Family volunteering vacation activities
Although you will spend plenty of time working out in the forests, jungles or sanctuaries, there will be time built into your schedule to splash out a bit too, depending on the location of course. Some water devotees may want to work in it all the time; marine conservation vacations are the ones to seek out in that case. However, if you are working on turtle conservation projects in Costa Rica, for example, you will stay in cabins just metres from the sea, and have time to surf, swim and stroll along the Pacific coast. The trips are tailor made so you can add time at the beginning or end for a complete chill out. In Thailand, jumping in the river after washing elephants in them is par for the course. And if you are working on horse rehabilitation programmes in South Africa, you will not only be riding the horses along the Eastern Cape’s beaches, but also have some time off to enjoy your own beach time, go whale or dolphin watching or learn to surf.
Our Family volunteering Vacations
Off duty safarisAlthough you may be working with monkeys in South Africa, elephants in Namibia or Sri Lanka, you will probably want to spend a couple of days having full on family time on safari. When working in a monkey rehabilitation center in South Africa, you will have a chance to visit the world famous Kruger National Park.
In Sri Lanka, the elephant project takes place on the borders of Wasgamuwa National Park where, in additions to elephants, you can see purple-faced langur, macaque, water buffalo and, if you are very lucky, leopard. In Namibia you may have a long journey from the desert to, for example, Damaraland, a vast wilderness where elephant, black rhino, giraffe and springbok can be seen across the endless grasslands on safari. But it will be worth it.
And for desert
If I had to choose one 'champagne moment' in life, it was hiking the crest of Dune 45 with my teenage sons just after sunrise
When you work on elephant conservation projects in Namibia, you’ll have a full on desert experience. Down times here take you into a world of sand boarding, quad biking and exploring the extraordinary plains and tree skeletons at Dead Vlei, as well as the dunes at Sossusvlei, some of the world's most towering ones. They are challenging though, so best for older children.
If you'd like to chat about Family volunteering or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.
Somewhere over the rainbow
The Sinharaja rainforest in Sri Lanka translates as 'Lion King' - Hakuna matata doesn't really translate into Sinhala, but the sentiment still stands
Dreams really do come true in countries like Thailand, Borneo and Sri Lanka where you could spend days exploring the jungles and rainforests when your work in them is done. On wildlife conservation projects in Borneo explore the likes of Sepilok or Kinabatangan wildlife sanctuaries. In Sri Lanka visit the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, the largest expanse of rainforest left in the country, with a canopy as high as 45m.
More about Family volunteering
Find out the best time to go family volunteering on vacation abroad, based on your children's age and your school timetable.
This family volunteering vacations guide has two aims. The first is to show you that such wonderful things exist. The second is to show that they involve proper work.
Most volunteering projects that open their doors to families are in pretty far flung places. Think Peru, Thailand, South Africa and Borneo.
We have a wonderful array of types of family volunteering vacations:in the desert, by the sea, some with baby monkeys, others with giant elephants.
You might want to contribute towards the conservation – but you might also be wondering if this kind of trip will actually work for your family.
Be inspired by a mother and daughter who went off on a family adventure of a lifetime, helping with a sea turtle conservation project in Costa Rica.
Romanian bear sanctuaries don’t get the money they need, so volunteers are essential. Take your family volunteering with bears in Romania, and be inspired by the difference you can make.
Baby monkeys need round-the-clock care – something kids can do just as well as adults on a family volunteering vacation with monkeys in South Africa.
We have some fantastic family volunteering advice here, not just from our expert conservation and volunteering organisations, but also from those families who have been there, done that and want to go back.
Should I take photos? Should I visit an orphanage? Should I bring gifts? Read on for some more of our thoughts on responsible family volunteering vacations.