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GoEco - Top Volunteer Organization Programs

South Africa

South Africa - Wildlife Sanctuary

The animals at this wildlife sanctuary have been injured or orphaned leaving them in need of some assistance if they have any hope for survival. The animals become tame during...

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Costa Rica

Costa Rica - Sea Turtle Conservation

Volunteers are needed to help protect the magnificent leatherback, hawksbill and green sea turtles on the beaches of Southeast Caribbean of Costa Rica. Currently, all eight...

This program has been saved 60 times

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Maldives

Maldives - Sea Turtle Conservation

Come and discover the magnificent Maldives and play your role in sea turtle conservation initiatives! The project is located in the northern Maldives on the spectacular island...

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Israel

Israel - Desert Wildlife Program

Join this unique wildlife conservation program in the spectacular desert landscape of the Arava, Israel and help to re-populate the nature reserve with the species of animals...

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Costa Rica

Costa Rica - Animal Rescue and Conservation

This project is in San Carlos, Alajuela province. The La Marina Wildlife Rescue Center is a privately funded organization. Injured and displaced animals are brought to the...

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South Africa

South Africa - Teach Children and Surf in Cape Town

This project takes place in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa, the oldest city in the country. From the iconic Table Mountain to the magnificent Cape beaches, this city

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South Africa

South Africa - The Big 5 Wildlife Reserve

-Location The Thanda Game Reserve in northern Zululand, South Africa, is 14,000 hectares of pristine bush and is home to Africa's infamous Big 5 including Lion, Leopard,...

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China

China - Giant Panda Center

Volunteer in China at the Giant Panda Center. Do you want to volunteer in China? Volunteers are invited to assist in an exciting and meaningful program with giant pandas...

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Israel

Israel - Vegan Bakery Internship

Be part of an up and coming vegan bakery. The owner is a passionate chef with a great deal of knowledge in cooking and baking. He is a wonderful mentor who knows a lot about...

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Italy

Italy - Dolphin and Marine Research

Get a real taste of marine conservation while living on board a research boat from the 1930's. Join this amazing project and work alongside top researchers and an experienced...

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Thailand

Thailand - Learn, Volunteer and Travel

Location- Singburi is an interesting and beautiful town located 142 km north of Bangkok. Singburi was founded in prehistoric period during the reign of King Rama V through...

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New Zealand

New Zealand - Conservation Experience

This project is perfect for nature lovers looking to explore New Zealand. The local organization boasts more than 2000 ongoing conservation projects throughout Australia

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South Africa

South Africa - African Wildlife Ranch

The ranch is home to over 90 species of animals and reptiles and is one of the largest cheetah breeding centers in the world. The ranch is internationally recognized for

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South Africa

South Africa - Cape Town Community Projects

Meet the amazing people who call the settlements surrounding Cape Town home. By joining this project, you will get to make a real difference in the community and in the

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GoEco - Top Volunteer Organization Reviews

Overall Rating

9 / 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Just what I was looking for

I recently returned from a trip abroad where I spent a fantastic week with an international group of researchers and volunteers living aboard a beautiful, historic sailboat on the island of Ischia. The research project studies cetaceans living in the Tyrrhenian Sea off Naples, Italy. Prior to booking this trip, I had spent a long time researching volunteer projects and found there were a lot of shady organizations out there willing to take people's money and time, and others that were essentially expensive vacations with a sampling of research work. With the Ischia Dolphin Project, I found just the right combination of science, adventure, education, and camaraderie.

I booked my trip through GoEco, which was extremely helpful with information, insurance, and general preparedness. And the trip itself, was a winner. Because we were fewer then a dozen people on board, it was important that we all got along - and that indeed was the case. We all became great friends from across the globe. Our captain, and researchers were locals who not only educated us in the ways of the sea, but were terrific storytellers and excellent cooks! We ate local food, drank local wine, enjoyed the company of friends from the island. We learned about the different dolphins living in the local waters, we learned about the behavior of the whales, and we counted shearwater birds for a sister organization. There was always something to do - whether it was standing watch on the foredeck, helping prepare a meal, or if you needed, catching a snooze in the sun.

Our trip was beset by some bad weather which prohibited us from sailing every day, but not from having fun or learning more about the amazing animals we were all there to see. Every day was an adventure and full of laughs. Although we went nearly the entire week without a sighting, we heard plenty of dolphin whistles and whale clicks from the hydrophones and finally on the last day, we were rewarded with a treasure trove of striped dolphins. They swam and jumped all around the ship for over an hour.

Finally, I cannot say enough about our hosts - our captain and two researchers - who always found ways to educate us and to teach us about life on Ischia. We had plenty of free time to explore the town but everyone was pretty intent of staying together and just enjoying time on the boat. The Jean Gab is just beautiful. She's an older boat, but gave us all we needed. Sleeping quarters were a little tight, but several volunteers slept on deck and everyone was attentive to the needs of others so there was never a problem. The bathroom in the harbor was also just a few steps from the boat and although the plumbing was sometimes a challenge, it was easy to adapt and it usually provided some good laughs.

If you're looking for a little adventure and a taste of Ischia-life, if you don't mind living in close quarters with others and pitching in wherever needed, this project is for you.

Program: Italy - Dolphin and Marine Research

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

This entire experience surpasses my expectations

This entire experience surpasses my expectations in every way possible. I am a student studying marine biology and took this opportunity for the hands on work in the marine centre, which taught me more than any classroom ever could! However, I did not take into consideration the volunteers and permanent marine biologists I would have the pleasure of working aside. The people behind the Atoll Volunteers were outstanding. They made everything about this adventure fun, and I have now not only acquired some new role models in my life, but life long friends as well. I would and will suggest this program to anyone looking for experience with marine life as well as meeting a few amazing humans along the way.

Program: Maldives - Sea Turtle Conservation

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    10

This was by far the best experience of my life

This was by far the best experience of my life, two weeks has never gone by so quick. In this short amount of time I grew such a strong attachment to the animals and people. My only regret is not staying longer, I can't wait to go back.

Program: South Africa - Wildlife Sanctuary

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    6

  • Health & Safety

    9

  • Day to Day Life

    10

The best month of my life!

Words cannot describe what an amazing time I had volunteering! First of all, the setting is just stunning as the place is surrounded by mountain chains. You can admire this view while walking the elephants, or if you go within the next few months, the 3 lion cubs. Malia, Nairobi and Malakkai were the absolute highlight as we had a lot of interaction with them and it broke my heart to leave them!
Everyday is different; from injecting goats, horse riding in the morning to chasing animals out of places where they aren't supposed to be! Everything was so overwhelming in the beginning and it was still at times after two or even 4 weeks because you experience so many different, new things.
Whatever excursion you want to do, the lovely Less will make it possible. I went to a monkey sanctuary, reptile farm, skydiving (twice), etc...
Of course the people you meet are a crucial part of your experience and you won't be disappointed: they are all amazing! They come literally from all over the world and still you all connect, because you are all there for the same reason: Your love for animals and traveling! Fun is guaranteed and it gets never boring!
The best part, however, were the different animals: the gracious tigers, the stunning lions (they are taller than you think!), the beautiful elephants, the playful leopard Selati, the super chilled zebra Jack an Roxy, the hyena, my personal favourite!
I enjoyed every second of my stay and I left a piece of my heart at this amazing farm in South Africa with all of those beautiful animals! I will definitely go back!!!

Program: South Africa - Wildlife Sanctuary

Overall Rating

9 / 10

  • Volunteer Placement

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Community Engagement

    10

  • Health & Safety

    10

  • Day to Day Life

    9

Living la vida loca in Africa

My two weeks in South Africa were the best of my life! I miss taking a walk with the elephants in the early morning and waking up to the lion's roar. I miss all those colorful sunsets and the breathtaking nightsky. I miss SHIT MONDAY.
It was a wonderful (and heartbreaking!) experience, and I will always carry a piece of SA deep in my heart.

Program: South Africa - Wildlife Sanctuary

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