Mature travel

Our projects for mature travellers are suitable for people of all ages and are carefully selected to offer accommodation and tasks that can be adapted if you have specific limitations – just let us know. Our projects can be done for as little as one week and for as long as 12 weeks. Whether you are retired, taking a career break or even just looking for a holiday with a difference, our projects can immerse you into local life overseas.

You will join a group of people from all walks of life, all working towards the same goal together. Whether you are passionate about animals and conservation, or keen to give a helping hand to underprivileged children, there are some amazing opportunities whatever your age.

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Thailand - Elephant sanctuary volunteering in Thailand

Elephant sanctuary volunteering in Thailand

Join an international team of volunteers who are working together to care for rescued elephants in an inspirational sanctuary. Together you will be helping these elephants to have a life as close to the wild as possible, a far cry from their previous lives working on the streets or in tourist camps. Highlights include bathing and walking the elephants, allowing you to really get to know these gentle giants.

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Costa Rica - Volunteer with turtles in Costa Rica

Volunteer with turtles in Costa Rica

Get off the beaten track to live on a beautiful Costa Rican beach, protecting the turtles that nest and hatch on the golden sands. Become part of the local rhythm, immersing yourself in community life and beach life alike as you make a genuine contribution to marine conservation. Pura vida!

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Romania - Volunteer with Bears in Romania

Volunteer with Bears in Romania

Volunteer at Eastern Europe’s largest bear sanctuary, helping to care for the world’s most beloved animal. Watch the bears enjoying their newfound freedom as you look after their basic needs in this beautiful woodland haven. Romania is described by many of our volunteers as “Europe’s hidden gem”, and with its vast number of outdoor, historical, cultural and city pursuits, you won’t want to leave!

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Romania - Volunteer with Children in Romania

Volunteer with Children in Romania

Volunteer with vulnerable children in care, bringing love, laughter and hope to these young lives. Our volunteers have described this project as inspiring and meaningful, as the work that is being done will genuinely help to change these children’s lives. Play with the kids, help them improve their English, bring them laughter and most importantly of all, be a friend to them.

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Laos - Volunteer teaching with monks in Laos

Volunteer teaching with monks in Laos

Volunteer in Laos, teaching young Buddhist monks in beautiful Luang Prabang, a UNESCO Heritage town. Live and experience day-to-day life in an exciting, culturally rich town, next to the Mekong River. Work with young, novice monks and help them to improve their English, helping them to improve the employability in the future. By giving back to the community, gain a privileged insight into the Buddhist religion.

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Australia - Conservation Volunteering in Australia

Conservation Volunteering in Australia

Experience parts of Australia that many will never get to see by taking part in outback, rural and urban community projects with other enthusiastic volunteers. Chose from 11 gateway cities stretching across this vast land, and why not combine more than one?

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Chile - Teach English and learn Spanish in Patagonia

Teach English and learn Spanish in Patagonia

This is one of our best and longest running programmes. Set up in 2002, the programme was created to allow full Spanish immersion whilst volunteers assist with English in schools that want to improve the standard of English. This programme is particularly popular with people looking for an adventure in Patagonia – a remote and stunning destination.

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Thailand - Wildlife sanctuary volunteering in Thailand

Wildlife sanctuary volunteering in Thailand

Bears, birds, orangutans, monkeys, gibbons, deer, otters – and much more! – are being cared for by volunteers like you at this inspiring sanctuary on the outskirts of Thailand’s largest national park. Help to look after over 400 neglected animals, rescued from the cruel tourist trade, and brought to this sanctuary to recover. If that isn’t enough of a draw, there is even an on-site elephant sanctuary that you may be able to help at too.

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South Africa - Volunteer with elephants in South Africa

Volunteer with elephants in South Africa

Become part of an elephant research team, monitoring these gentle giants in their daily lives together. The project is located in a beautiful park, where you will be working closely with orphaned elephants as they recover from previous trauma and stress. In your free time, explore the stunning Garden Route and immerse yourself fully in this wonderful corner of Africa.

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Malaysia - Orangutan conservation in Malaysia and Borneo

Orangutan conservation in Malaysia and Borneo

Work with orangutans in two stunning settings, assisting with orangutan welfare and habitat restoration. Actively be part of the orangutan care programme in a primate centre in mainland Malaysia, before heading out into Borneo’s rain forest to help protect and monitor these graceful creatures in the wild. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to volunteer with orangutans in one of the most stunning settings on the planet – don’t miss it!

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Nepal - Teach English in Kathmandu

Teach English in Kathmandu

This teaching programme is one of our originals. Nepal has welcomed Oyster volunteers since 2001 and our programme gives volunteers the opportunity to step off the tourist route and fully immerse themselves into Nepali culture. You’ll live with a local family and teach English, sport or art in a local school.

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Sri Lanka - Elephant conservation in Sri Lanka

Elephant conservation in Sri Lanka

Step far off the trodden tourist trails and deep into stunning Sri Lanka, where elephants are still clinging on to life in the wild. Work closely with the local community to help promote the survival of these endangered elephants, all whilst enjoying seeing these creatures roam in their natural habitat – a rare wonder.

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South Africa - Volunteer with sharks in South Africa

Volunteer with sharks in South Africa

Spend your days out on the water, observing sharks, dolphins, penguins, seals and even whales, all whilst contributing to innovative shark conservation and eco-tourism measures. Get to know this often misunderstood creature, and help to change general perception. And if that’s not enough, why not tick something off the bucket list and go cage diving with sharks too?

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Brazil - Volunteer at an inspiring youth centre

Volunteer at an inspiring youth centre

Join Oyster’s well respected youth centre project in Brazil, Latin America’s largest and most extrovert nation and learn Portuguese. An immensely enjoyable volunteer position participating and helping in youth centre activities ranging from cooking, dance and conversational English. Oyster seek volunteers who are motivated, selfless and willing to get involved for this challenging but fulfilling project.

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Laos - Volunteer with elephants in Laos

Volunteer with elephants in Laos

Live with elephants in a beautiful lakeside rescue centre, surrounded by sprawling jungle and jagged mountains, and help to protect these endangered creatures. Work with elephants that have been rescued from the demanding logging industry, and witness baby elephants being cared for in the on-site elephant nursery. The elephant population in Laos, once known as the “Land of a Million Elephants”, is plummeting, and you can be part of the solution to this tragic problem.

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New Zealand - Conservation volunteering in New Zealand

Conservation volunteering in New Zealand

Explore one of the most beautiful and untouched destinations on earth – New Zealand! Help local conservationists with their efforts to preserve some of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations. Chose from two gateway cities on the North Island and one on the South Island.

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Borneo - Volunteer with bears in Borneo

Volunteer with bears in Borneo

Head to Borneo, an island that has gone down in legend as one of the best places in the world for wildlife lovers, to help preserve the world’s smallest species of bear. Volunteer with Bornean sun bears at a moving rescue and rehabilitation centre, watching them become accustomed to life in the wild, and helping them on this incredible journey to freedom.

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Ecuador - Volunteer with monkeys in Ecuador

Volunteer with monkeys in Ecuador

Get stuck in working with a wide range of cheeky primates at an inspirational rescue centre on the fringes of the Amazon rain forest. From spider monkeys to squirrel monkeys, from woolly monkeys to capuchin monkeys, help to provide for these rescued animals, enabling them to live a life as close to the wild as possible.

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Borneo - Wildlife conservation volunteering in Borneo

Wildlife conservation volunteering in Borneo

Step into the heart of Borneo’s rainforest, helping to regenerate habitats and monitor local wildlife, from orangutans to pygmy elephants and from primates to crocodiles. This is a once in a lifetime experience to live in a small remnant of paradise, immersing yourself in the local way of life and helping to preserve this magical area and its creatures for the future.

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Romania - Art course in Romania

Art course in Romania

Head to the beautiful medieval city of Brasov to improve your art on this intensive one-week course. Work in a bright and airy studio, receiving expert tuition from a talented and passionate international artist. Explore the cobbled streets of Brasov’s old town, and venture into the foothills of the Carpathians to create your next masterpiece.

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Uganda - Rhino conservation volunteering and safari in Uganda

Rhino conservation volunteering and safari in Uganda

Volunteer with endangered white rhinos, recently reintroduced to Uganda after they were tragically poached to extinction in the 1980s. Aid the team at the rhino sanctuary to care for these rhinos, and understand the impact that their reintroduction is having to local biodiversity. After 10 amazing days at the rhino sanctuary, head off on a 3 day safari at Murchison Falls National Park to search for elephants, lions and leopards, before taking a cruise up the Nile to the foot of the impressive waterfalls.

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Laos - Women’s empowerment volunteering in Laos

Women’s empowerment volunteering in Laos

Live in a stunning city, nestled in a valley between the Mekong River and majestic mountains and become part of a inviting and intriguing community.  This is a fulfilling programme for volunteers looking to join a movement that aims to increase disadvantaged women’s access to education, helping to boost their future employability.

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Adult gap years are on the up, giving rise to the phrase “Gap Year for Grown Ups”.  Our volunteering holidays for over 50’s are suitable for everyone, with people in their 60s and 70s travelling with us for durations of 1 week to 12 weeks. These carefully selected projects are able to offer accommodation and tasks that are suitable for a variety of ages, and most can be adapted if you have specific limitations – just let us know.

Volunteering abroad for older people certainly doesn’t limit you to being away from home for months. Oyster welcomes volunteers looking for over 50’s holidays for just a week or two- just be prepared to work hard and get stuck in as part of your holiday!

You will be joining a group of people from all walks of life, working together to make a genuine contribution. You can choose to volunteer with a wide range of animals or on conservation projects around the world, to teach English or sport to children and adults, or help children who have been dealt a tough hand. These projects enable you to make a genuine contribution, experience a totally different way of life and meet a group of like-minded people. It comes highly recommended!