Find Exciting Responsible Volunteer Programs this World Tourism Day

Vancouver, BC | Posted: September 21st, 2018

World Tourism Day is upon us, and travelers around the world are looking for a different way of traveling. Voluntourism, volunteering, and tours that have a meaningful component are increasingly popular, but the options available can feel a little over-saturated. How can you weed through all of the trips out there to find the best fit for you?

We work with a selection of partners who put the quality of their experiences at the forefront of their businesses. Whether they are for-profit or non-profit, they offer exciting responsible programs for travelers to enjoy and make lasting, meaningful memories.

Here are some thrilling options to celebrate World Tourism Day this September 27th:

Programs in Africa:

Music Volunteering in Kenya – IVHQ

Photo credit: IVHQ

Share your love of music with kids of varying ages in Kenya to help build their self-confidence and self-expression. This program starts at $569 USD including registration fees for 1 week, but this program is available for longer durations.

Great White Shark & Marine Volunteering in South Africa – International Marine Volunteers

Photo credit: International Marine Volunteers

If you have a passion for sharks, this is a fantastic opportunity to not only protect the Great White Sharks but also other marine life in South Africa through community projects. This is a life-changing experience for nature and wildlife lovers. Program rates start at $650 USD for 1 week and the program is available for durations up to 12 weeks.

Endangered Species Project in South Africa – SAVE

Photo credit: SAVE

Learn hands-on about endangered species in Africa as you monitor wildlife including rhinos, cheetahs, and the southern ground hornbill. You’ll learn bush survival skills, navigational skills, and much more. Rates start at $2130 USD for two weeks.

Programs in Asia:

Wildlife Volunteer & Elephant Conservation in Thailand – Oyster Worldwide

Photo credit: Oyster Worldwide

Wildlife lovers have an exciting opportunity to take part in a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation at a center in Thailand. Travelers that are staying for 2 weeks or longer, have the incredible chance to assist with the rehabilitation of elephants that have spent their lives carrying the heavy weight of tourists on their backs. This program starts at 739 GBP (roughly $967 USD) for the first week. Additional weeks are just 185 GBP or about $245 USD.

Nepal Snow Leopard Camera Trapping – Legends of the Wild

Photo credit: Legends of the Wild

This trip is more a tour than a volunteer program, however, as a traveler on the trip you will have the thrill of helping collect data from camera traps in Nepal. You’ll experience life in Annapurna, while getting to know the region, and the vast lands snow leopards call home. The 10-day adventure starts at $4075 USD.

Programs in the Americas:

Central America Ethical Adventure – Frontier

Photo credit: Frontier

Over the course of 4 weeks, you’ll make your way around Central America on this exciting travel opportunity that includes a conservation component. You’ll learn so much about the cultures of each country you visit, as well as go home knowing you participated in meaningful work. The 4-week adventure starts at $4845 CAD.

Costa Rica Green Sea Turtle Research Tour – SEE Turtles

Photo credit: SEE Turtles

Travel to the famous Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica and find yourself surrounded by wildlife as you take part in research in the Golfo Dulce. Gain valuable conservation skills as you learn from wildlife experts and gain hands-on experience at sea turtle research projects. The 7-day tour starts at $2195 USD.

Wildlife Rescue Center in Guatemala – Animal Experience International

Photo credit: AEI

Travel to Guatemala and participate in a volunteer program at a local wildlife rescue centre. The centre was created to care for and rehabilitate animals affected by the black market. The centre is one of the largest rescue centres in the world. Your contribution to the centre is to care for the animals including feeding, cleaning, as well as participating in extra tasks including cutting grass, cleaning, etc. This 2-week program starts at $2117 CAD.

Climate Change Activist Program – Richmond Vale Academy

Photo credit: Richmond Vale

Travel to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and take part in a 1-month Climate Change Activist program. You’ll test your own knowledge of climate change while learning a host of new skills along the way. The month-long program runs about $1100 USD

Gray Whale & Sea Turtle Research – RED Travel Mexico

Photo Credit: RED Travel Mexico

Experience the grace of the gray whales, on a 5-day expedition in stunning Magdalena Bay on the Pacific coast of the Baja California peninsula. This is where they come to mate and give birth to their calves before returning north towards the Bering Sea. As part of this trip, you will also take part in a sea turtle conservation project recognized around the world as a model for community-based conservation. This expedition starts at $1495 USD.

Working with the Elderly People in Ecuador – Love Volunteers

Photo Credit: Love Volunteers

This program works in a residential care home and is a fabulous opportunity to practise your Spanish! You’ll work with elderly members of the community to help enrich their lives. What could be better than that? This program starts at just $808 USD for 2 weeks, including the registration fee.

Program in Australia:

Australian Wildlife Journey – Echidna Walkabout

Photo credit: Echidna Walkabout

Join an Australia Wildlife Safari with a small conservation focus. Discover the incredibly diverse forests of East Gippsland, Australia’s southeast coastal wilderness. Along the way, you’ll participate in a conservation action that helps lessen the footprint of tourism. The 4-day tour starts at $1500 USD.

Program in Europe:

Art Restoration in Puglia, Italy – Messors

Photo credit: Messors

Travel to Italy and participate in an art restoration and conservation workshop that works to restore ancient frescoes for the enjoyment of the public. You’ll learn about the centuries-old art of fresco, including how to make it yourself.  Discover local historic sites on field trips, enjoy workshops and lectures from professionals. Starting at just 2760 EUR for 16 days, this trip is a steal!


Sarah Lafontaine

Sarah Lafontaine

Sarah is a travel writer, citizen of the world and lover of the Pacific Northwest and tacos. When not writing she can be found searching for her next travel destination or exploring with her dog, Otto.