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help conserve Pandas in China

CHINA

PANDA CONSERVATION IN YA'AN:
Category: Volunteering, gap year and career break in China

The Giant Panda is very loved around the world, but sadly there are only 1,600 left. They are listed as the most endangered species in the world, making this experience a true once in a lifetime opportunity.

Volunteer your time to caring for and researching these magnificent gentle giants as they go about their daily lives in the largest Panda base in China, where the focus is on protecting and building a safe environment in which to begin the possible reintroduction of Giant Pandas into the wild. This voluntary project is based in the mountains of the Woolong Nature Reserve and  near  the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Leshan Giant Buddha.  


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PRICES Please see the Prices Page - prices for all projects and all lengths are listed and you can also choose which currency you'd like to see them in.
Start Dates Available all year round. Programmes start every Sunday.
Duration This project is a fixed length of 1 week. Longer durations are not available 
Requirements Minimum age 17. No qualifications necessary but you should be an enthusiastic person who loves animals.
What's included
  • Arranging your Programme
  • Full pre-departure support and assistance
  • Payment Protection Insurance
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Meeting you at the nearest airport
  • Transfer to your accommodation
  • Transport to and from your project
  • Local in-country team support and backup
  • 24-hr emergency support.
What's not included
  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Cost of Visas (if a visa is required)

PANDA CONSERVATION IN YA'AN, CHENGDU, IN CHINA

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WORK CONTENT:

Get close with baby pandas who weigh only 100 grams at birth and gradually develop to 60lbs in their second year of life to their far larger parents that weigh a massive 250-350 lbs. The volunteer work over the past 2 years has contributed to the doubling of the panda population. The numbers are now such that the panda reserve can at last experiment with returning them to the wild. Your duties may vary depending on what is required of you at the time, so flexibility is essential. During your placement your daily activities will include:

  • Cleaning of the Giant Panda enclosures, and the nursery.

  • Preparing the food and feeding the Giant Pandas. 99% of their diet is bamboo, however the balance usually consists of rice gruel, high fibre biscuits, carrots, apples and sweet potatoes.

  •  You may also be asked to conduct some research into their habits and health, in order to expand the knowledge of how best to care for these highly endangered species.

A typical programme is as follows, but this will vary from week to week and season to season.

Sunday:
Pick up from Chengdu airport.
You will be collected from Chengdu airport by one of our English speaking co-ordinators who will transfer you to the city where you will stay for two nights.

Monday:
After a morning's rest, you can take a tour the city of Chengdu including local markets, parks and the famous ancient pedestrian street of Kuan-zhai Alley. Visit the Business quarter. Later, join us at the welcome dinner in one of the City’s restaurants.

Tuesday:
Transfer to the Panda Reserve (3 hours by bus). Lunch at the Panda base.
Afternoon briefing and introduction to the work you will be doing.
Also registration (where you will be issued with your uniform, volunteer card etc).
Guided tour of the Panda base and meet the panda keepers whom you will be assisting.
Dinner at the hostel restaurant.

Wednesday – Friday:
For the next 3 days you will work as an assistant to the Panda Keeper. General duties will include cleaning, preparing food, chopping and carrying bamboo.

Saturday:
8:00 am transfer to Chengdu City/airport (arriving Chengdu airport at approximately 11.00 a.m) for your departure. Afternoon flights are recommended.

Help care for Pandas in China

Help care for Pandas in China

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ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation at Chengdu:
When you arrive, your accommodation for the first two nights will be at Chengdu. Here you'll stay in a hostel room with between 4 and 6 other people. It has a shared bathroom.

At the Panda Base:
You'll then be transferred to the Panda Base. The Centre in the Ya’an Panda base has been chosen to give you a special environment for your visit to China. It is located 1,100 metres above sea-level with an average temperature of 15 degrees. It is perfect for the pandas – and for you!

The Centre is in a pleasant, cosy, recently renovated hostel. Accommodation is in twin rooms with TV, 24-hour hot water and toilets. If you prefer, upgrade options are available (please contact us for further details).

Laundry facilities are available for a small charge (roughly 20 CNY each time). Other facilities include; free wi-fi and a book cabinet with a few books in different languages. There’s also a small shop where you are able to buy the basics like drinks and snacks.

FOOD:
At the Centre at the Panda Base you will be provided with three meals a day - breakfast, lunch and dinner. These will be Chinese dishes typical of the local area, comprising mainly rice, noodles and vegetables with some meat.

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Help care for Pandas in China


 

LOCATION | TRAVEL | SIGHTSEEING & EXPLORING:

The Panda base is in the middle of nature reserve, thus surrounded by tranquillity and peacefulness, with the loudest noises often only being the male pandas' chatter and birds singing in the trees.

Often after completing your duties there is a fair amount of free time, as Pandas do also want their own space to be wild animals. So during this time there is a range of activities for you to be able to take part in:

  •  Full access to the Panda reserve and volunteer centre

  •  The Chinese favourite sports, including: Table tennis, Mah-jong, and Chinese chess

  • Free Chinese language lessons from 4pm -6pm daily

  • You will also have access to the Volunteer Centre – this is a general area where most volunteers will take time to relax, chat or eat ice cream.

On the weekends, you will have time to further explore this beautiful country, with options like:

  • The many walking routes in the reserve. (Guided tours are available around nearby waterfalls)

  • Fishing.

  • Visit the hot springs that are approx. 1 hour away from the Panda base.

  • Explore the city of Ya’an for shopping and general sight seeing

  • Visit the local zoo (10 minutes from the reserve).

  • Visit sites like the Sichuan opera, Jinli night fair or the Tibetan quarter in Chengdu city.

  • Hike to the Emei mountain or mount Oingchent to see the giant Buddha

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