China Giant Panda Conservation
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From £749, 2 weeks, China Trip code: CHGP

  • Adventure 2 out of 5
  • Relaxation 3 out of 5
  • Culture 3 out of 5
China Giant Panda ConservationChina Giant Panda ConservationChina Giant Panda Conservation

Trip Highlights

• Play a part in helping to save the Giant Panda from extinction
• Work closely with panda keepers and the pandas!
• Immerse yourself in the Chinese way of life
• Explore nearby Xi'an with its world famous Terracotta Army

 

Trip Summary

See full itinerary

The Giant Panda is one of the most endangered animals in the world, and this conservation project is a fantastic opportunity to observe and help these amazing creatures.

 

Volunteer here and your assistance will go a long way to helping prevent the extinction of this beautiful animal.

Not only will you be passing on valuable communication skills, but increasing the number of Chinese people that can get the panda conservation message across.

But it’s not all volunteer work – you have the weekends free. And they are a great opportunity for you to experience what the local area has to offer. You can travel to Xi’an to visit the amazing Terracotta Army Museum, Tang Theme Park and Goose Pagodas to name but a few.

 

Alternatively you can stay at the centre and visit the beautiful lakes and waterfalls nearby and take in some more of China's culture.


When do I want to go?

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What will I be doing?

  • Arrival and Orientation (3 Days)

  • Start the volunteering and meet the pandas (2 - 4 weeks)

  • Volunteer Activities (2 - 4 weeks)

Arrival and Orientation: 3 Days

Next Leg

Destination info

The country we know today as China actually derives from a long line of smaller civilisations dating back six millennia. China’s influence on modern life is nothing short of remarkable having given the world a huge array of inventions such as paper, the compass, gunpowder and even pasta. The country is steeped in traditions and ancient practices and it is all just waiting to be discovered while you are in China volunteering.

China’s rapid development over the past 20 years has helped transform it into a global economic super power, but its historic roots are here to stay. You only have to visit one of the many temples, the Great Wall or the Terracotta Army to see that!

  • Location: Xi’an

Saturday - Sunday
On arrival at Xi’an airport, you will be met by a project representative and taken to your accommodation in Xi’an to relax for your first 2 nights. On Sunday you will have your project orientation covering all the important aspects of the programme and preparing you for your volunteering in the weeks ahead. This is also a great opportunity to ask any last minute questions. You will then have the rest of Sunday to explore Xi’an, a great chance to try some of the local food and see some of the amazing sights in and around Xi’an. Don't forget to try the dumplings!

 

Monday
This morning you will be transferred by car/taxi from Xi’an to the programme, the journey is around 70km and takes approximately 1-1.5 hours giving you the chance to see some of China’s varied landscapes. Once you arrive you will be taken to your accommodation for during your project and shown around the centre and introduced to the panda keepers and the other project staff.

Start the volunteering and meet the pandas: 2 - 4 weeks

Next Leg

Destination info

The country we know today as China actually derives from a long line of smaller civilisations dating back six millennia. China’s influence on modern life is nothing short of remarkable having given the world a huge array of inventions such as paper, the compass, gunpowder and even pasta. The country is steeped in traditions and ancient practices and it is all just waiting to be discovered while you are in China volunteering.

 

China’s rapid development over the past 20 years has helped transform it into a global economic super power, but its historic roots are here to stay. You only have to visit one of the many temples, the Great Wall or the Terracotta Army to see that!

  • Location: Lou Guan Tai town, which is 70km outside Xi’an, in the Shaanxi Province

Tuesday – Friday
You will start to get into the full swing of the project beginning work at 8.30am and generally finishing at around 5pm, with rest breaks during the day. This will vary depending on the feeding and cleaning times for each of the pandas. It will be your first chance to see all the valuable work that the panda keepers do and why your help is so vital to this project. The centre is home not only to the Giant Panda but also to some other fascinating creatures including the Lesser Panda (Red Panda), the Golden Monkey, the Sika, the Takin and Crested Ibis. It is likely you will get involved in the conservation of these animals too and learn some more about China's native creatures! In the evenings you will have free time to get to know your fellow volunteers or relax by watching a DVD, reading or using the internet at the accommodation. There are even some Hot Springs round the corner which you can enjoy during your evenings or weekends!

 

Saturday - Sunday
Your weekends are free to explore or relax! For those who wish to explore, there is a wealth of sights and activities that you can enjoy. Head back to to Xi’an for the weekend and you'll experience China’s great city life. If you choose to go back to Xi'an, the transfer back and accommodation will be at your own cost. Alternatively why not stay to relax or explore the mountains and lakes in the local area around the project.

 

Following weeks
Depending on how many weeks you choose to spend on this programme, you will continue with the great conservation work you've started and help to give the staff the language skills to educate tourists who visit the centre.

 

Volunteer Activities: 2 - 4 weeks

Destination info

The country we know today as China actually derives from a long line of smaller civilisations dating back six millennia. China’s influence on modern life is nothing short of remarkable having given the world a huge array of inventions such as paper, the compass, gunpowder and even pasta. The country is steeped in traditions and ancient practices and it is all just waiting to be discovered while you are in China teaching English.

 

China’s rapid development over the past 20 years has helped transform it into a global economic super power, but its historic roots are here to stay. You only have to visit one of the many temples, the Great Wall or the Terracotta Army to see that!

  • Location: Lou Guan Tai town, which is 70km outside Xi’an, in the Shaanxi Province

As a panda conservation volunteer you will be working closely alongside the keepers at the centre. A great way not only to get close to the pandas, but also to immerse yourself in the Chinese way of life.

 

You can expect to help out on some of the following:

 

  • Assisting the Panda Keepers in their daily duties and providing care and attention to the Pandas.
  • Cleaning the enclosures of the animals.
  • Preparing food and feeding the Pandas and other animals, this will include carrying Bamboo.
  • General maintenance at the centre including fencing, planting, rubbish collection and building platforms.
  • Helping staff at the centre develop their English skills.
     

Trip Notes Download

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Trip Notes include a full itinerary, country guides and travel advice on visas, money, insurance and the local weather. By filling in your details you'll also be kept updated on all the latest news, offers and stories on this particular trip. Happy reading!

What's included?

  • Airport pick-up
  • In-country orientation
  • Transfer to programme after orientation
  • All accommodation
  • All meals during placement

What's not included?

  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Return airport transfer at the end of placement

Additional Information & FAQs

Minimum age

Minimum age 17 years old, maximum decided on potential participant's health. Please be prepared that you may be working with volunteers of all ages.

 

Minimum numbers required on this trip

There are no minimum numbers on the trip.

Please note: you may be the only volunteer at your chosen project at any one time. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact us

 

Accommodation

For your first two nights in Xi’an you will be staying in a volunteer apartment. You will then be transferred to your accommodation at the panda centre. While you are at the project you will be staying on site at the panda centre, which means you won't have to go far each day.

The bedrooms at the volunteer accommodation are mainly based on a twin share, although there is one four-share room. There are also two shared bathrooms with western toilets. You will also have the use of the other great facilities in the house that include; a free washing machine, TV, DVD player, a computer with internet access, telephone, fridge, oven and even a toaster.

 

You will have breaks during the day and your evenings will be free, so we do recommend that you bring books, playing cards, travel games etc to keep you occupied. There is a hot a springs nearby, so we recommend that you also take a swimming costume. 

 

Meals

You will be provided with 3 meals per day during your stay, these will be taken in the local restaurant close to your accommodation. Please let us know before you depart if you have any special dietary requirements.

 

Is this trip for you?

You may be the only volunteer at your chosen project at any one time. However, you will still have the full support of your in-country team and those at the project. If you are looking for a group volunteering experience we have plenty of options for you to consider.

 

Please note

You will require a doctor’s note for you to participate in this project. You'll be spending lots of time in close proximity to these rare creatures so we need to ensure that you don't have any communicable diseases that you might pass on to them. Please send us a note from your doctor stating that you are fit and healthy to work with these beautiful animals. You will also need to take the original letter with you to the project.
 

Advice & Safety

Throughout your programmes you will have the support and guidance of the programme co-ordinator and team. You will be provided with competent assistance and help with any questions or advice you may need during your stay.

 

You will be assigned a personal travel adviser who will co-ordinate your programme with you. Feel free to contact them at any time before you go, or when you are on your travels.

 

In addition, you will have access to a 24-hour emergency contact number so you can contact one of our staff at any time should you need to.

 

FAQ

1. Will I be able to have hands on contact with the Pandas?

No, you work closely with the Pandas but there is no hands on contact with them or the other animals at the centre.

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2. How much extra money should I take for the departure transfer and extra activities?

The transfer will cost around £20 per person and between £60 - £80 per week for extra activities should be plenty.

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3. Is there a chance to travel, do you work every day?

You'll be working at the centre from Monday to Friday and at the weekends you can have free time to explore the local area. You can travel back to Xi'an (approximately 1.5 hours drive away) and stay in our volunteer apartment for free, the transfer to the city! There are lots of things to do and visit including the amazing Terracotta Army Museum, Tang Theme Park and Goose Pagodas to name but a few.

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4. When is the best time to go?

Weather wise the best times to visit China tends to be in the spring, March and April and in the Autumn, September and October. However take both summer clothes and waterproofs - the weather can be unpredictable.

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5. Are the visas difficult to obtain?

No, but you should allow up to a month for your application to be processed. You need to contact the your nearest Chinese Embassy for full details on the visa application process.

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What will I see at the Sanctuary?

16 photos

What other travellers thought

I've done this trip

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Overall rating: (9/10) (13 reviews)
China Giant Panda Conservation

Holly Marshall - September 2014

How would you rate your overall experience?
(8/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

A truly amazing experience for our family.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(8/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(8/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(8/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(6/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(7/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(8/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Spending so much time with giant pandas. Meeting lots of local people and children, gaining an insight into Chinese family life.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Take lots of activities for evenings and for use with local children who are keen to learn English. Enquire if any particular items required at project for animal enrichment programme. Make sure you visit hot springs located next door to centre.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

10

China Giant Panda Conservation2014-09-04

Jeanee Waiari - December 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Amazing unforgettable exciting experience!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(7/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(8/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(6/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(8/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(9/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Spending time improving animals enclosures, making them toys and treats. Working with the pandas and other animals. The people you met and volunteer with. Spending w.es exploring Xian.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Have fun and make the most of it with the people around you and the animals. Be sure to have back up camera charges etc most of our electronics failed and we were making trips to the electronic store each w,e Do your best to help all of the animals, you have plenty of free time and those animals need enrichment ideas.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

China Giant Panda Conservation2013-12-11

Ronna Brody - September 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(7/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Loved the animals but the place is in shambles!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(9/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(8/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(4/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Working with the animals was the whole reason why I signed up for this experience. Unfortunately there were only 2 pandas available to work with, and 10 of us volunteering, so I was only able to work with the pandas for 1 week. The other week I worked with the Moon Bears, which although rewarding, was not what I was expecting.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

China Giant Panda Conservation2013-09-28

Michael Jeannette - August 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(9/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Amazing experience! Truly something I will never forget. I have made so many new friends and am still in regular contact with them.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Caring for the animals, making new friends, exploring Xi'an (terracotta museum!) and obtaining new skills.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Learn some basic Mandarin, buses don't have limits when it comes to squeezing people in and avoid getting lost.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

China Giant Panda Conservation2013-08-12

Victoria Satterthwaite - May 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(8/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Adorable pandas, lovely people and great food.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(7/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(8/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(8/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(6/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(7/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Seeing and spending time with pandas and the other animals. The weekends spent in Xi'an, sightseeing (this was made very easy by the help of the in country team). The food was very good and the other people on my trip were lovely.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

1) Have tissues in your bag at all times as the toilets out and about rarely have paper. 2) You don't need all the items on the travel list. Most things have been left behind by previous travellers e.g, shampoo, mosquito repellent, nets, books, washing powder. 3) Bring clothes you are willing to leave behind. They can be donated to the poor people in the village. Prepare for both hot and cold weather. We had 30 degree heat some days and rain the rest of the time.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

China Giant Panda Conservation2013-05-27

Roberta Allen - May 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Amazing memorable experience...a must do!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(3/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(8/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(4/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Working with and around the Giant Pandas was amazing. Definitely a memorable experience! Bike riding along the City Wall in Xian Visiting the Terra Cotta Warriors

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Download movies/music/books because at the panda center the DVD player does not work Take throw away clothes and shoes...you will get dirty...no need to bring them home with you Take every opportunity to discover the area around you, both at the panda center and in Xian.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

China Giant Panda Conservation2013-05-25

Kate Butchart - November 2012

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Wonderful experience, met some great people, a fantastically interesting country.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(9/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(10/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(4/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The pandas, obviously! Evening activities organised by the in country team including walks and evenings sitting round campfires with beer, were great.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Remember you are there to work and to help - you are not on a 5 star package holiday - so keep your expectations realistic. Don't worry - trust Real Gap to look after you because they will! Get a Doctor's note saying that you are healthy in advance - Real Gap don't make this clear but you need one to work with the pandas

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

China Giant Panda Conservation2012-11-29

Norma Collins - May 2012

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Wonderful, emotional, dream-fulfilling experience. Adorable Pandas. Remarkable people. Truly Memorable.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(10/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(9/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Working with Pandas and other endangered species. A dream come true; particularly with the Pandas being so close to accommodation. Meeting other travellers and getting on so well as a group. Fantastic food at Mr Deng's - (i am a non mushroom eating vegetarian and don't eat chinese food in the UK; but thoroughly enjoyed Mr Deng's food). Visiting local Taoist temples and mountain walks with fellow travellers and 'Tiger' (Real Gap in country employee). Tiger's support was fantastic. He helped not only with language and orientation but became our local plumber and handiman when water supply/pressure ran short. A truly amazing guy - very suited to this supportive role. He slept on site with the volunteers so was always on hand.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

1) ENJOY every moment - it's a Privilege to work with these animals (even though we pay for this experience). Enjoy the company of your fellow travellers. Be generous with each other. Have fun. 2) Pack some MUSCLE RUB (eg winter green/ deep heat). Shovelling panda poo can be back breaking stuff - and leg muscles might need a rub after mountain/hill walks. 3) Baby WIPES / large wet wipes essential as water tends to run out or pressure very low; showers hit 'n miss. I sometimes used bottled water to wash/shower (only 2 or 4 yuan a 1.5L bottle - in sterling that's 2p-4p). It' all part of the 'experience'. Embrace it!

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

China Giant Panda Conservation2012-05-24

Asma (asmawati) Saimon - February 2012

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

the best trip i ever had.will miss the animals and people there!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(9/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(9/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

seeing the pandas from my bedroom window

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

#NAME?

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

China Giant Panda Conservation2012-02-24

Hanna Neville - October 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Waking up every morning and knowing that you would be working face to face with pandas! Experiencing new food, culture and ways of life. Feeling satisfied that I could help both people and animals :)

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

1. Don't have to high aspectations of accommodation as things such as running water may not be so accessable in other countries. 2. Try everything even if you think you may not enjoy it, atleast you can say you've done it! 3. ENJOY!!! There are things (such as the panda conservation programme) some people will never be able to do, count yourself lucky.

Would you travel with our company again?

No

Would you recommend us?

Yes

China Giant Panda Conservation2011-10-11

Charlotte Foreman - October 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(9/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(9/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Working with the baby panda's. Around the edge of their outdoor enclosure were lots of weeds, and during my time at the panda centre I weeded all around the side of it so that the panda's could be well exercised. Doing this, as well as watching the baby pandas improve during training every day, really made me feel like I was helping.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

- Bring a torch as the light in the bathroom often doesn't work and you have to shower/go to the toilet in the dark. - Bring very strong mosquito repellant and a mosquito net as the mosquito are horrendous. -Bring wet wipes as the water supply is very unreliable.

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

China Giant Panda Conservation2011-10-11

Benjamin Martin - October 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(6/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(7/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(8/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Working with every single animal at the enclosure. Meeting some of the most incredible and interesting people I have ever come across. Discovering that there is a bigger world out there!

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

China Giant Panda Conservation2011-10-11

Danielle Kenneally - July 2011

How would you rate your overall experience?
(10/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Great people, rich culture, safe and beautiful environment, unmissable animals!

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(9/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(9/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The rich culture and the pandas.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

1. prepare to explore independently 2. take both summer clothes and waterproofs - the weather is as unpredictable as it is at home 3. take a torch

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

China Giant Panda Conservation2011-07-04

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