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?

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Dates of Departures Duration Price (Land Only) Trip Status
4 May 20144 weeks£1,029AvailableBook now
4 May 20146 weeks£1,449AvailableBook now
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21 December 20146 weeks£1,449AvailableBook now
4 January 20154 weeks£1,079AvailableBook now
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21 June 20154 weeks£1,079AvailableBook now
21 June 20156 weeks£1,499AvailableBook now
5 July 20154 weeks£1,079AvailableBook now
5 July 20156 weeks£1,499AvailableBook now
19 July 20154 weeks£1,079AvailableBook now
19 July 20156 weeks£1,499AvailableBook now
2 August 20154 weeks£1,079AvailableBook now
2 August 20156 weeks£1,499AvailableBook now
16 August 20154 weeks£1,079AvailableBook now
16 August 20156 weeks£1,499AvailableBook now
20 September 20154 weeks£1,079AvailableBook now
20 September 20156 weeks£1,499AvailableBook now
4 October 20154 weeks£1,079AvailableBook now
4 October 20156 weeks£1,499AvailableBook now
18 October 20154 weeks£1,079AvailableBook now
18 October 20156 weeks£1,499AvailableBook now
1 November 20154 weeks£1,079AvailableBook now
1 November 20156 weeks£1,499AvailableBook now
15 November 20154 weeks£1,079AvailableBook now
15 November 20156 weeks£1,499AvailableBook now
6 December 20154 weeks£1,079AvailableBook now
6 December 20156 weeks£1,499AvailableBook now
20 December 20154 weeks£1,079AvailableBook now
20 December 20156 weeks£1,499AvailableBook now

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 near Zolfo Springs, Florida (approx. 1.5 hrs from Orlando).  Zolfo Springs is a small town found in Hardee County, Florida.
 
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 Sebring offers 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
 
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.

 

Accommodation

You will be staying in shared living quarters either in a small house or in a static caravan on the sanctuary grounds. The accommodation is basic but comfortable - private bathrooms with  hot showers, electricity, air conditioning, TV, DVD and VCR. Linen will be provided. Laundry facilities and a full kitchen are available in the main house. There is an onsite phone that you can use with a prepaid phone card.

 

Female volunteers generally stay in the small house off site while male volunteers are accommodated in the static caravans on site. It is the responsibility of volunteers to keep accommodation clean and tidy.

 

Meals

Food and groceries are provided for the volunteers. You will have to prepare your own meals in the fully equipped kitchen in the main house or in the volunteers’ 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 necessarily involve physical contact with the animals. 

 

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 private bathrooms with hot showers, electricity, air conditioning, TV, DVD and VCR.

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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?

16 photos

What other travellers thought

I've done this trip

Write review

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

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

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