Animal Welfare

Animal conservation volunteering allows you to help an incredibly worthwhile cause. Volunteer abroad with animals to help promote the quality of life of many endangered or mistreated creatures. Oyster works closely with leading and influential animal welfare projects and NGOs, promoting conservation and charity work abroad. Get rewarding experience as a conservation volunteer with jobs working with animals from bears to lions, elephants to orangutans, or turtles to monkeys.

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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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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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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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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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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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South Africa - Veterinary experience in South Africa

Veterinary experience in South Africa

Gain unparalleled access to wildlife experts on a Big 5 game reserve, home to some of the most magnificent mammals on this planet. Shadow a vet on their rounds of the on-site rehabilitation centre and get stuck in to the veterinarian’s role on the wider game reserve – from darting animals to doing game captures, from health checks to autopsies.

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South Africa - Wildlife conservation experience with the Big 5

Wildlife conservation experience with the Big 5

Live life on the wild side and get stuck in to the life of an assistant game ranger on a stunning game reserve, home to Africa’s Big 5. Enjoy the thrills of taking a safari, all whilst helping to promote the survival of African flora and fauna. Experience the lions roaring, elephants trumpeting and antelope running as you work out and about on the reserve each day.

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Thailand - Diving and marine conservation in Thailand

Diving and marine conservation in Thailand

Become a research diver on an important volunteer marine conservation project in Thailand. Get involved in daily dives to explore the health of the marine environment just off the stunning island of Koh Phangan. Suitable for new and experienced divers alike, this project allows participants to play in active role in tackling marine decline, all whilst enjoying the wonders of life under the sea.

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Ecuador - Wildlife sanctuary volunteering in Ecuador

Wildlife sanctuary volunteering in Ecuador

Volunteer with over 200 exotic Amazonian animals in a beautiful rain forest sanctuary. From monkeys to forest cats, from caimans to birds, from tortoises to rodents, this wildlife haven is home to amazing animals aplenty. Contribute to their rehabilitation and care during the week, and explore this stunning corner of Ecuador on your weekends.

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South Africa - Game Ranger course in South Africa

Game Ranger course in South Africa

Take the first steps to becoming a game ranger on this amazing 8 week course, working towards the highly regarded FGASA level 1 qualification. Live the life of a trainee game ranger on a lush game reserve, learning all about and participating in animal care, reserve management, game drives and more. If that’s not enough, your classroom is a Big 5 game reserve, with amazing animals at every turn.

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Malaysia - Zoo assistant internship in Malaysia

Zoo assistant internship in Malaysia

Calling all animal lovers! Volunteer in one of Malaysia’s leading zoos, working closely with the staff to nurture the graceful creatures in your care. Bring your creativity and ideas to the fore to improve living conditions and welfare for the many animals that call this place home, including orangutans, sun bears, elephants, tigers and much more. This internship is a fantastic opportunity for animal lovers and those studying to work with animals longer term.

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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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Galapagos - Conservation volunteering on the Galapagos Islands

Conservation volunteering on the Galapagos Islands

Giant tortoises that date back to the dinosaurs, sea lions that sunbathe next to you on the beach, glittering blue waters with amazing marine life – the Galapagos is undeniably one of the most biodiverse places in the world. Join a conservation mission that is working hard to preserve the fauna and flora on the Galapagos Islands, promoting its survival for generations to come.

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South Africa - Veterinary internship in South Africa

Veterinary internship in South Africa

Travel the Eastern Cape on this mobile veterinary internship, helping to care for sick and injured animals in game reserves, vet clinics, farms and local communities. See some beautiful sights and amazing animals in rural Africa, all whilst making a genuine contribution to the welfare of local animals, and the livelihoods of the people who depend on them.

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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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South Africa - Volunteer with lions in South Africa

Volunteer with lions in South Africa

Head to LIONSROCK, South Africa’s largest big cat sanctuary, to volunteer with lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards and other magnificent animals. Wake to the roar of the lions each morning, and immerse yourself in the daily life nurturing these animals, from monitoring to feeding, from enrichments to education. Witness the amazing sight of these big cats forming prides, and living a life as close to the wilderness as possible.

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Namibia - Elephant conservation volunteering in Namibia

Elephant conservation volunteering in Namibia

Experience rare desert elephants in the wild, helping these endangered animals and rural communities to co-exist in harmony. Enjoy all that desert life brings, from cooking over camp fires to sleeping under the stars, and throw yourself into the volunteer role, which includes tracking elephants, doing building projects and helping the local community.

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Thailand - Turtle conservation volunteering in Thailand

Turtle conservation volunteering in Thailand

Explore an island that time forgot, all whilst encouraging the survival of turtles that reside and nest nearby. This project is not only important for protecting turtles, but also for bringing income to a remote paradise, untainted by tourism. This is a unique way to contribute to conservation and community work, with the added bonus of clear blue seas and golden beaches.

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Thailand - Elephant conservation in Thailand

Elephant conservation in Thailand

Come together with a remote Karen community to enable elephants to return to the wild after a lifetime of working in the tourist industry. Experience the joy of seeing these elephants learn how to live in their natural habitat, monitoring the progress that they are making. Live in home stays alongside local people, properly immersing yourself in this hill tribe community.

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Volunteering with Animals overseas

Volunteer work abroad with animals gives you the rewarding opportunity to help bring recognition to many endangered or mistreated animals. Depending on how much time you can commit to, we offer both short and long term life-changing programmes. We don’t just offer volunteer opportunities, you can also improve your work experience with veterinary internships, game ranger courses and qualifications.

Our animal welfare volunteer opportunities welcome a wide range of people; from general animal lovers, to those taking career breaks, from people looking to gain more experience in animal care to those just wanting to try their hand at wildlife rescue and responsible travel. You can spend time volunteering with animals in some incredible locations, including but not limited to volunteer roles in a game reserve or wildlife sanctuary. If you wish to take part in a volunteer project, we ask for a hard work ethic, enthusiasm and a willingness to muck in.

All of our programmes offer great work experience for those thinking of a career that involves working with animals, as you may be working in fields such as scientific research, rural conservation, general animal care and photography. These projects will enhance your CV for future job prospects and university applications by demonstrating your confidence in living abroad and contributing to a worthwhile cause. If you are passionate about animals volunteer projects, look no further than Oyster Worldwide.

For more information about how we choose our animal welfare project, read our animal welfare policy.