USA Wildlife Sanctuary in Florida

From £1,029, 4 weeks, USA Trip code: USWF

  • Adventure 1 out of 5
  • Relaxation 3 out of 5
  • Culture 2 out of 5
USA Wildlife Sanctuary in FloridaUSA Wildlife Sanctuary in FloridaUSA Wildlife Sanctuary in Florida

Trip Highlights

  • Get up close to a range of fascinating animals from leopards to native American wolves
  • Help support the wildlife sanctuary provide injured, orphaned and abused animals with a safe and secure refuge
  • Lend a much needed hand and carry out a variety of duties wherever needed at the centre
  • Soak up the sunshine in North America’s sunshine state!
  • Explore Florida in your free time; Orlando, Daytona Beach and some amazing state parks are all within reach!

Trip Summary

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On this worthwhile volunteer programme, you’ll help care for exotic animals such as leopards, tigers, bears, cougars and wolves!  These animals have been abused, neglected or orphaned. The Wildlife Sanctuary is dependent on volunteers to support the centre.

 

During your time at the sanctuary, you will be involved with a variety of activities from animal care  (such as food preparation and feeding)  to grounds maintenance. If you have a certain skill such as mechanics, landscaping, carpentry or maintenance you will have the opportunity to work using these skills during your time at the sanctuary. Whatever you do, you’ll be helping to maintain a safe haven for these neglected animals, and in addition making a positive difference towards preserving Florida wildlife.


When do I want to go?

Deposit fr £199 Click Book now to reserve place

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7 September 20144 weeks£1,029AvailableBook now
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What will I be doing?

  • The Volunteer Role (4 to 6 Weeks)

  • It's not all work! (4 to 6 Weeks)

The Volunteer Role: 4 to 6 Weeks

Next Leg

Destination info

 

The wildlife sanctuary is situated in a rural area in Silver Springs, Florida, on 80 acres of native land, surrounded by the Ocala National Forest.  (approx. 1.5 hrs from Orlando and approx 1 hour from Daytona).  
 
The sanctuary is in a very remote location and there is no public transportation in the area. The co-ordinators aim to organise time for volunteers to have an ‘outing’ (to the cinema, shopping, etc) every few weeks, but you should be aware that opportunities will be limited. If you wish to rent your own car, you will need a full drivers license and you must be 21 or 25 years of age, depending on the company. We recommend that you use either one of the car hire companies at Orlando airport or nearby Ocala for car rental.
 
If you wish to travel around Florida it would be advisable to allow yourself some time before or after the programme for independent travel. There is so much to see and do in this sunshine state - scream at the top of your lungs at one of the top theme parks in Orlando, explore the lush wilderness of the Everglades or just chill out on one of Miami’s sandy beaches - the possibilities are endless.
  • Location: Zolfo Springs, Florida

 

There are a wide variety of volunteer duties that you may get involved with at the sanctuary.
 
Duties include but are not limited to:
 
  • Feeding 
  • Food Preparation 
  • Cleaning enclosures 
  • Animal Enrichment 
  • Gardening/landscaping 
  • Performing maintenance tasks 
  • Sorting fresh produce and rotating food supplies 
  • Maintaining proper animal husbandry notes in the journal 
  • Assisting with veterinary care as needed 
  • Administrative duties
  • Habitat construction
  • Fence construction
 
Animal enrichment is an important part of the daily schedule as lack of enrichment causes stereotypical and harmful behaviour in animals. Volunteering at the sanctuary is hard work but yields enormous rewards.
 
If you have a certain skill such as mechanics, landscaping, carpentry or maintenance you will have the opportunity to work using these skills during your time at the sanctuary.
 
Occasionally you may have the chance to assist with tour groups to help educate the public about why wild animals are not good pets, animal endangerment and extinction.

It's not all work!: 4 to 6 Weeks

Destination info

 

 
If you wish to travel around Florida it would be advisable to allow yourself some time before or after the programme for independent travel. There is so much to see and do in this sunshine state - scream at the top of your lungs at one of the top theme parks in Orlando, explore the lush wilderness of the Everglades or just chill out on one of Miami’s sandy beaches - the possibilities are endless.
  • Location: Florida

You're in Florida so make the most of it! There's so much to see and do in your free time. The sanctuary is located in the Ocala National Forest and along its edge is the Silver Springs State Park about 10 minutes away. This is definitely worth a visit and there are loads of activities on offer such as horse riding, canoeing, kayaking and hiking. For any adrenaline junkies out there, you can also go zip lining nearby!

 

There are plenty of local beaches at the lakes and springs, all on the doorstep, but of course if these aren't enough the sanctuary is only an hour away from the ocean, with Ormond and Daytona Beaches to the east. The same distance in the opposite direction there are lots of places to see Manatees as well as other springs and parks to visit. 

 

If you want to venture further afield then Orlando is only 90 minutes away and a trip to Florida would not be complete without visiting Disneyworld!

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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?

  • Volunteer Project
  • Meals
  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodation
  • Full support from the co-ordinator
  • Buddy list
  • Telephone and Internet facilities onsite
  • 24 hour support number

What's not included?

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • E-mail or phone charges

Additional Information & FAQs

Minimum age

Minimum 21 years, maximum decided on potential participants’ health.

 

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

You will be staying in shared living quarters in a small house near the sanctuary . The accommodation is basic but comfortable - private bathrooms with  hot showers, electricity, air conditioning, TV with DVD player, laundry facilities, full kitchen and a wireless internet connection at your lodging for you to bring your laptop or wireless device.  

 

Male and female volunteers stay in separate house. It is the responsibility of volunteers to keep accommodation clean and tidy.

 

Meals

Food and groceries for regular meals are provided for volunteers. You will prepare your own meals in your quarters. Volunteers are required to clean up after themselves.

 

Is this trip for you?

Reality Check

Animals at the sanctuary are often rescued from conditions that do not make them accustomed to human interaction and therefore require special handling by experienced individuals. Interaction with animals is in a safe manner; feeding or enrichment and does not involve physical contact with the animals. 

 

You may be the only volunteer working with staff 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.

 

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 advisor 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 UK staff at any time should you need to.

 

FAQ

1. Do I need to have worked with animals before?

No. As long as you are enthusiastic, fit and happy to get work hard and get involved, you will really enjoy the experience!

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2. What is the accommodation like?

The accommodation is basic but comfortable with air conditioning and TV with DVD.

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3. How hard is the work?

You do need to be fit & healthy as you will be working 9-10 hours per day.

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4. What animals will I be working with?

The resident animals range from big cats, such as cougars, leopards and tigers to wolves, primates, bears and native American animals.

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5. Do I have to have the vaccinations you suggest?

To be accepted onto the programme, you will require proof of a TB vaccine or a current negative TB test within the past 12 months. If you wish to work with bats you will also require rabies vaccinations.

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What will I see at the Sanctuary?

14 photos

What other travellers thought

I've done this trip

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Overall rating: (9/10) (3 reviews)
USA Wildlife Sanctuary in Florida

Emma Hansen - June 2014

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!"

You will not go "empty handed" from there. You will have whit you new knowledge and experiences to fill in your "baggage"!

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?

One of my highlights was actually right after when they from the rescue center came and pick mi up after the airport. Just a few minutes after, we saw an alligator beside the highway, on the grass that’s between the roads. So we stop the car, because they who own the rescue center are the people you call when this sort of things happens. They didn’t have their equipment whit them so they call the police and two other people that they know for help to move the alligator. The police came and a few minutes after, the other came and then they started to move the alligator. It was really interesting! The others highlights was also that I got to work whit wild animals and they who own the rescue center really invited mi in, I defiantly felt welcome and appreciated!

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

1, Be prepared to work hard in really hot temperatures in long pants and boots. 2, Bring sunscreen whit you. 3, Bring ha hat whit you.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

10

USA Wildlife Sanctuary in Florida2014-06-10

Helen Guilbert - July 2011

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!"

Brilliant to get so close and help these beautiful wild animals.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(8/10)
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.
(9/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Being close to beautiful animals and able to help them directly. Experienceing living in Florida, so different to UK.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Insect repelant! Suncream Old/cheap clothing

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

USA Wildlife Sanctuary in Florida2011-07-04

Janine Ellis - July 2011

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!"

Turned into GI Jane after 6 weeks, never gonna forget everyone!

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

Feeding the animals Meeting new people Days off were appreciated & lots of fun

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Bring all medical docs with you (not mentioned on Real Gap details) Be prepared for hours of food prep. Suck it up on the bad days & live for great days

Would you travel with our company again?

Yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

USA Wildlife Sanctuary in Florida2011-07-04

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