PMGY programs start on two dedicated start dates every month throughout the year and participants can join us from 1-24 weeks. Volunteers are provided with an extensive pre-departure support service, airport pickup, orientation, meals, accommodation, project transportation and local support throughout.
The majority of participants are first-time solo travellers, therefore safety and support is our top priority to ensure you have a positive experience.
Most Affordable – PMGY’s programs are accessible to everyone who wants to make a difference, through low fees and high-impact projects.
Best Support – Our international and local teams provide extensive around the clock services to assist you every step of your PMGY adventure.
Safety Prioritised – With safety a PMGY number-1 priority, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure our programs are as safe and structured as possible.
Extraordinary Experiences – With PMGY, you have the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in amazing cultural and travel experiences, ensuring you leave with unforgettable memories.
Friendships for Life – Your PMGY experience not only opens up a doorway for new experiences and exciting memories, but also life-long friendships when meeting new people from around the world.
Bali animal rescue volunteers help to care for a variety of different species of animals, who may be endangered, poached or displaced from their natural habitat. Help with rehabilitation, enrichment and improving the wellbeing of each animal at the animal rescue centre. Get involved in additional opportunities to focus on environmental sustainability, plastic pollution and increasing awareness in the local communities.
Your Volunteer Role & Typical Work Day
As an animal volunteer in Bali, your main project will be based at the animal rescue centre, which is 5 minutes away by minivan. The daily shifts run from 8-10.30am and 2-4pm. While on the project you will work alongside the animal keeper and other staff members who have years of experience interacting with animals.
The beach cleans are about 20 minutes away by minivan, usually from 8-10am or 3-5pm. If your volunteer work in Bali includes the sea turtle conservation, this runs from 7-11am and is about 45 minutes away by private car. The mangrove restoration is about an hour away so you will be transported by private car, normally between 7-11.30am.
In general, Bali wildlife rescue volunteers are expected to work for around 3-5 hours per day from Monday-Thursday. The activities you will get involved in during your time on the volunteer in Bali projects include:
Feeding – These animals are fed based on the species and time of year. For instance, the crocodiles are fed two times a week with things like chicken or duck, while monkeys are fed daily with fruits. You will be able to cut and prepare meals based on the species you are working with and learn about the types of food that are best.
Enrichment – Many of these animals are endangered and have come from the loss of their native habitat or poor treatment in the black market. Their displacement often leaves these animals irritable and at times depressed, causing them to have poor eating habits or behaviour. Your time interacting with them and coaching them on things such as eating, foraging, play or social interaction with other animals is imperative. Over time these animals may just learn to trust you and in turn, you could find one of those pretty Parakeets on your forearm.
Enclosure Cleaning – These enclosures are made for each animal based on the feedback of the veterinarian during the first assessment. You may find the enclosures to be small, but some animals who are irritable find it more comfortable to be in smaller spaces. Over time the enclosures will be expanded and eventually they will be released back into the wild. The crocodiles tend to need the brush cleared back to keep them from being confined to one area, so an example of this upkeep would be cutting the brush back, while the staff keep the crocodile occupied. In the bird enclosures, the branches and chains may need to be replaced and cleaned as they begin to rot. If you are comfortable they will let you clean and make repairs in the enclosure with these beauties flying all around you!
Maintenance – The rescue centre is a great place, but with limited funding it could do with some tender loving care. During animal volunteering abroad, you will be asked to help with creating a better atmosphere for the animals by clearing up the grounds. While you are doing a bit of upkeep this can include fixing the hinges on enclosure doors, relining the fencing, adding new gating on the enclosure, repairing the habitats or cleaning the grounds of rubbish and weeds.
Protect endangered sea turtles through hands-on fieldwork as a Greece turtle conservation volunteer. Monitor nesting beaches, conduct beach patrol surveys, tag turtles and complete hatching rescues. Enjoy a true research and conservation project adopting an established scientific methodology when you volunteer in Greece.
Your Volunteer Role & Typical Work Day
When you volunteer in Greece on the sea turtle conservation project, you will be protecting an endangered species. More specifically, you will be preserving the sea turtles of Kefalonia and their ecosystems. Practical measures to do this include surveying nesting beaches and protecting turtles’ nests, This extends to monitoring the population’s health, identifying threats and public awareness campaigns.
You will begin field surveys on the day after your arrival and orientation. Your first few days on the volunteer project will be full of hands-on learning. This will be under the guidance of experienced field assistants. Enjoy training and workshops to get acquainted with all aspects of the fieldwork you will be undertaking.
Beach Surveys – A core part of the fieldwork will be patrolling the beaches. That is to say, each morning you will find and protect sea turtle nests. Most importantly, you will walk the sand to look for fresh turtle nests. For the reason that you can then mark and measure the nests that were laid most recently.
As a result, progress can be monitored throughout the incubation to hatching stage and accidental damage can be avoided. Nesting activity typically begins in the middle of May and runs through to late August. Therefore, this is the core period beach patrols take place when working with turtles.
Hatching Rescue & Nest Protection – The nests typically hatch around 2 months after the eggs have been laid. Consequently, the hatching season usually begins in the middle of July and runs through to late October. You will continually monitor the nests to ensure they remain safe and away from danger. As the young turtles’ hatch, limit obstacles like light pollution and ensure they crawl safely to the sea. Conduct nest inventories to assess the hatching success of each nest.
Light Pollution Surveys – Asides from storms, light pollution represents the next biggest threat to sea turtle nests in Kefalonia. Lights from nearby sources can disorientate the turtles and make them crawl away from the sea rather than towards it. Conduct environmental studies to quantify light pollution and determine its source. Assess the risks to each nest and implement appropriate actions to prevent light pollution factors harming baby turtles. Engagement with locals and public awareness are also key factors.
Turtle Tagging – The mating season for the loggerhead turtles typically runs from April to May. During this time, volunteers usually focus on the tagging process. This is where you will collect measurements of the turtles and assess their overall health. A tag is attached to the turtle so we can track its movement.
Other Activities – There will be many other activities that you are involved in as a Greece turtle conservation volunteer. Conduct harbour monitoring as you observe the behaviour and record activity of sea turtles swimming around the bay. Enjoy a night shift rota as you keep watch through the night over the nests. If you are lucky, assist with a baby sea turtle release if eggs begin to hatch. Support with data entry and educate local tourists on why sea turtle conservation is so important.
Field leaders will provide volunteers with a weekly schedule for each project location. As a result, volunteers will have a clear understanding as to what their daily tasks and project shifts are. You will rotate across the tasks to ensure your role is varied. As a result, you will build as much experience in each area of conservation as possible. Furthermore, you will get accustomed to each research method and fieldwork technique that is used.
Most mornings will involve an early start. You will cycle to the nesting beaches to monitor the nests and conduct beach surveys. Afternoons are free to relax, explore the local area or simply take cover from the heat. Conservation work and field research will continue in early evenings with ad-hoc night shifts also a possibility. You will volunteer 6 days per week and you will either cycle or walk to your fieldwork setting each day.
As a Peru dog rescue volunteer, you will get up close and personal to these amazing animals. Create a better life for Cusco’s street dog population. Not only this, PMGY’s Peru volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. If you love dogs, the Peru dog rescue volunteer project is a great way to give back and make an impact!
Your Volunteer Role & Typical Work Day
When you complete volunteer work in Peru at the dog shelter, you will be helping with the daily chores. As a Peru dog rescue volunteer, you will help with cleaning and feeding. Other activities include enrichment activities, maintaining hygiene and general upkeep of the shelter. Participants may also help support local campaigns on an ad-hoc basis. The working hours are typically from 9am-12pm on a Monday-Friday basis.
If you are up for it, take a 1 hour walk through the heart of Cusco to reach your dog shelter volunteer in Peru placement! Alternatively, you can take a 20-45 minute bus ride to reach your dog shelter project. The bus stop is located either just outside the volunteer accommodation or the Spanish school. Furthermore, the local team will assist you in learning the routes to your volunteer project. As a result, you will be acquainted with how to get to and from your volunteer project.
As a Peru animal rescue volunteer, you will get up close and personal to some amazing animals. Not only this, PMGY’s Peru volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. As a Peru animal volunteer, you will help care for a variety of different species of animals. Most noteworthy, animals who are endangered, poached or displaced from their natural habitat.
Your Volunteer Role & Typical Work Day
Our Peru animal projects allow volunteers and interns to experience their love of animals during their time in Peru. Working at the centre of the project as part of your international volunteer experience, your daily tasks will make a positive contribution. Moreover, the care and wellbeing these rescued animals receive will greatly improve. The sanctuary cares for all types of wildlife animals. Ultimately, the long-term aim of the project is to liberate the rescued animals back into natural environments.
When you complete work as a volunteer in Peru at the animal rescue centre, you will be helping with the daily chores. As a Peru animal rescue volunteer, you will help with cleaning and feeding. Other activities include enrichment activities, medical assistance and general support for the local project staff. The working hours are typically from 9am-1pm and/or 2pm-5pm.
You will be required to take a 45 minute bus ride to reach the Peru wildlife rescue volunteers project. The bus stop is located either just outside the volunteer accommodation or the Spanish school. Furthermore, the local team will assist you in learning the routes to your volunteer project. As a result, you will be acquainted with how to get to and from your volunteer project.
As a South Africa Wildlife Reserve Volunteer, you will get the opportunity to work behind the scenes on a world-class animal reserve. In addition, you will gain a rich education in conservation management. PMGY’s South Africa volunteer programs provide a fantastic opportunity to engage in meaningful animal volunteer work in South Africa. If you have a real passion for animals then this South Africa animal volunteer program is the opportunity for you.
Your Volunteer Role & Typical Teaching Day
Each volunteer in South Africa participant will play a big part and benefit to the conservation efforts of the reserve. All your day to day activities is shown on the itinerary which will be displayed on the volunteer notice board. The itinerary will show you what activity your group will be doing and at what time. If you have any suggestions around working with animals in conservation, you can discuss these with the local team.
On the South Africa wildlife reserve volunteer program, you will play a key role in saving the precious wilderness. This is not just for the here and now, but also in protecting it for future generations. So, if you fancy rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty in a once in a lifetime setting then this is the program for you. Whether it be for 1 week or part of a gap year, there is no better place to volunteer with animals in conservation when you complete volunteer work in South Africa.
Working hours as a conservation volunteer are generally quite fixed across Monday-Friday. They are split into a morning and afternoon session. The morning session is often more physically demanding where temperatures are relatively cooler running from around 9:30am-1:00pm. A lunch break then follows with the afternoon session usually running 2:30pm-4:30pm thereafter. Please note that times are subject to change based on summer/winter times and the activities. Finally, as volunteers are based on the reserve, they are only ever a short jeep drive or walk from where their daily volunteer tasks take place. Any project transport required is included in the Program Fee.
Join us as an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka to play a key role in education, research and conservation of Asian elephants. Based in the central province, Wasgamuwa National Park is famous for hosting a large number of wild elephant herds. Volunteers will engage in a wide range of conservation techniques to see how these elephants live and mobilise in their natural setting. Help provide solutions and education to the conflicts that exist between the elephant population and multiple villages located within the area.
Your Volunteer Role & Typical Work Day
Based on the outskirts of the wild Wasgamuwa National Park, each elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka will be working in one of the most spectacular and tranquil places across the globe. Your day will be split into morning and afternoon activities, often working in subgroups depending on how many people volunteer in Sri Lanka. Usually, you’ll be up early to start around 8am, breaking for lunch and finishing around 6pm from Monday-Friday. You will get around the project by jeep from the accommodation into the heart of the reserve and jungle. Journey times will usually be up to 45 minutes. The schedule is designed around limiting the impact by volunteers during the elephants busier and more active parts of their daily cycle.
Consequently, this ensures conservation techniques and research can be maximised and your role is varied and meaningful. The timings of each activity are set in a routine around minimising the impact on the elephant’s usual daily cycle. There are two main goals of the project; reducing the human-elephant conflict to protect elephants and help the local community as well as protecting elephants through conservation techniques. Here are a variety of tasks that you will get involved with for each category:
Reducing Human-Elephant Conflict – Throughout your time as an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka, you will work closely with the local villages to help them live compatibly with elephants. The main goal is to naturally decrease the conflict and repercussions that follow between humans and elephants. Your role in this includes:
• Observing Interactions – Most importantly, between wild elephants and also human-elephant interactions.
• Conducting Human-Elephant Conflict Surveys – An elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka can visit village homes that had been raided by elephants to question about the conflict.
• Monitoring Electric Fences – These were erected to stop elephants from raiding village homes. Walking the length of solar-powered electric fences erected to protect villages and their fields, identifying the need for maintenance and repair along the way.
• Meeting with Community Leaders – Monitoring human-elephant conflict resolution projects.
• Riding the Elefriendly Community Bus – You can travel on the bus early in the morning when school children are transported to school and home through the elephant corridor. The bus was established in 2015 and educates local children on living alongside the elephants. It has been fully funded directly through the elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka project. Before the bus, many children would not go to school or turn back home should they encounter an elephant on the long walking commute.
• Promoting Project Orange Campaigns – Research by the team has found elephants dislike citrus flavours. As an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka, your role is working alongside the team to educate and promote citrus-based crops as natural deterrents within the village communities of Wasgamuwa. Consequently, this will protect and conserve their crops, property and livelihoods. Help farmers to take care of their orange groves, check for diseases and pests, dig holes to plant new orange plants. During the fruiting season, help count fruits, harvest and sort them for sale. The Sri Lanka elephant volunteer program will provide transport costs for the farmers to take them to the markets for sale with the long-term aim to get into supply with Sri Lanka’s largest supermarket supply chain.
Protecting Elephants Through Conservation Techniques – An elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka will monitor elephants closely in order to help develop strategies to conserve and protect the local animals. Here you will use an array of technology, observations and conservation techniques:
• Monitoring Tracks – Setting up sand traps across the jungle and elephant corridors to detect tracks, building research, analysing findings and understanding the diversity that exists in the forest. This will require physical energy as you will dig up and rake fresh new 2 x 2-metre sand traps each week to check for new prints. Expect to find more animal prints than just elephants as you look for signs of leopard, sloth bears, wild buffalos and of course elephant activity.
• Setting up Camera Traps – As an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka, you may be responsible for setting these up in hotspot locations across the forest. You’ll be replacing these each week with new SD cards. After a busy morning in the depths of the Sri Lankan forest, its time to return to the office to download data from the SD cards you collected and check the computer for what the camera traps have picked up in the last week. Be ready to make conclusions on the findings as you learn what different animals exist in the forests, what times of day elephants pass through the corridor and more.
• Gaining GPS Experience – You’ll be polishing off your navigation skills on the Sri Lanka elephant volunteer program. For instance, in the use of GPS across your time in the forest.
• Observing Movements – During the afternoons you might be located high up in the jungle treetops. We have created multiple purpose-built viewing towers across the forest aligned to the elephant corridor, which is the traditional popular route elephants use to migrate between the national park. Here you will observe passing elephants, collate data on their movements, behaviours and other variables.
• Gathering Data – For example, on elephant foraging transects, plants elephants eat and their impact on various habitats and plant species.
• Inspecting Elephant Dung – Taking measurements to assess what the elephants have been eating, any foreign objects inside and their movement patterns. An elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka can also learn about the elephant’s age through the size of the dung!
• Trekking Through Dense Jungles and Wetlands – As you walk along typical elephant trails to record findings, you’ll assess any seasonal variations in behaviours, habitat preferences and better understand elephants on the outskirts of the national park.
• Updating Records – You will get to spend a session at the Weheragala Tank looking for Sri Lankan elephants to observe and photograph for ID purposes. You will also have to fill in an elephant care identification datasheet to build up a catalogue of elephant numbers, movement behaviours and any differing physical features.
Whatever the activity when you work abroad, being an elephant volunteer in Sri Lanka will incorporate you being based in the heart of their natural habitat as you trek through the jungles, wetlands and mountains of Wasgamuwa National Park along the way. In your free time enjoy the incredible views offered by the volunteer accommodation, with a large central reservoir engulfed by luscious towering mountains.
Each volunteer in Sri Lanka will receive an orientation session before heading into the field to better understand their role, impact and history of the Sri Lanka volunteer program. If you truly want to make a difference to animal conservation efforts by working closely with local communities, then working in Sri Lanka with elephants is the project for you.
You can protect and rehabilitate sea turtles whilst also helping at community development projects as a Sri Lanka turtle conservation volunteer. Many species of turtles are under threat and at risk of becoming endangered, hence there is a great need for animal conservation efforts. Raise awareness of plastic pollution, care for injured and disable turtles and release freshly hatched babies back into the wild, safe from natural risks and local poachers.
Your Volunteer Role & Typical Work Day
Every PMGY Sri Lanka turtle conservation volunteer will spend their days next to the beach caring for the sea turtles that have been rescued and are now living in the project site. Your project will run from Monday-Friday between 9am-12pm. You will get your project usually by tuk-tuk, which takes about 10 minutes. Your typical duties as a volunteer in Sri Lanka will include:
• Preparing fresh food and assisting feeding on a daily basis
• Cleaning within the project premises and nearby beach area
• Taking care of the nesting area
• Cleaning and refilling the turtle tanks
• Assisting with medication
• Cleaning the turtles’ shells
• Counting and burying turtle eggs safely
• Designing education boards around the sanctuary
• Painting and drawing for information and animal welfare education
• Releasing hatched baby turtles into the sea
Each Sri Lanka marine conservation participant will join with the local staff at the project to get to grips with the daily tasks and what is expected of them. This will include tasks as part of a team as well as individual roles. In addition, our local team regularly arrange a day for the volunteers to engage in a mass beach clean across the Ambalangoda area.
You can do your bit to help tackle the global issue of plastic pollution by cleaning the beaches where many turtles lay eggs in the south. Although this may be one of the more mundane aspects of the program, its importance cannot be underestimated. The volunteer’s efforts are recognised positively by the Wildlife Department. It is not uncommon that after one beach clean we have collected up to 20 bags of litter!
As a turtle conservation volunteer in Sri Lanka, you may also wish to get involved with community awareness education. The purpose of these sessions is to educate local young Sri Lankans in the local communities about the importance of protecting these endangered species.
From factual presentations on sea turtles to information on what the community can do to aid marine conservation, we aim to introduce the concept of conservation on a community level and so bring about long term change. Please note these sessions run on an ad hoc basis. If it is something you are interested in then please speak with our local team, who can help to make the appropriate arrangements.
As an elephant volunteer in Thailand with PMGY, you will have the unique chance to work behind the scenes to care for rescued elephants. Eager and passionate volunteers are required to assist with the general upkeep of the project throughout the year. The centre works to rescue and rehabilitate elephants within Thailand. With our team on this Thailand volunteer program, you will have an amazing chance to help care for these gentle giants.
Your Volunteer Role & Typical Working Day
Thailand elephant conservation volunteers are required to support and assist with the day-to-day operations at the volunteer project. This includes (but is not limited to): preparing and distributing food, preparing and distributing behavioural enrichments, assisting with environmental enrichments, cleaning the land, and general maintenance, including maintaining forest areas.
As an elephant volunteer in Thailand, the working day starts at 6:30am at the Volunteer House. The Volunteer House is where all organisation and orientation of volunteers is based. On the Thailand elephant volunteer program, you will normally finish work around 5pm. There will be several breaks throughout the day for breakfast, lunch and water and toilet breaks. Volunteers are expected to work 6 days a week with one day off. The Volunteer House is based on-site at the rescue centre. Although volunteer work with elephants in Thailand is very physically and mentally demanding, the end result is always well worth it. Participating in Thailand with elephants is tremendously rewarding.
As an elephant volunteer in Thailand , you will stay on-site at the animal centre. This means that external transport is not required. Any required transport for the needs of the project will be included in your Program Fee.
As a PMGY volunteer with animals in Thailand, you will have the unique opportunity to work behind the scenes to care for animals. Enthusiastic and passionate volunteers are required to assist with the general upkeep of the project throughout the year. The centre works to rescue and rehabilitate animals within Thailand. With our team, you will have an amazing opportunity to care for a wide variety of rescued animals.
Your Volunteer Role & Typical Teaching Day
Volunteers with animals in Thailand are required to support and assist with the day-to-day operations of the project. This includes (but is not limited to): preparing and distributing food, preparing and distributing behavioural enrichments, assisting with environmental enrichments, cleaning enclosures, scrubbing animal pools and general maintenance, including maintaining forest areas in the local area.
The working day for a volunteer with wildlife in Thailand starts at 6:30am at the Volunteer House. The Volunteer House is where all organisation and orientation of volunteers is based. Volunteers will normally finish work around 5pm, with several breaks throughout the day for breakfast, lunch and water and toilet breaks. Volunteers are expected to work 6 days a week, with one day off. The Volunteer House is based on-site at the animal rescue centre.
As a volunteer with elephants in Thailand, you will stay on-site at the animal centre. This means that external transport is not required. Any required transport for the needs of the project will be included in your Program Fee.
The work as an animal volunteer in Thailand is very physically and mentally demanding, but the end result is always well worth it. Volunteer coordinators will assign volunteers to groups each day. The groups are managed by team leaders – longer-term experienced volunteers who assist and guide their teams throughout daily tasks.
During these times of global uncertainty, it is really important that you book your flights via a respected and reputable company. This provides you with more flexibility and security in the event your plans change at a later date. We recommend you book your flights through the airline’s direct website and to re-confirm your flight details with them 72 hours before you fly.
Your arrival airport and date are dependent on the specific destination you are joining us in:
🇮🇩 Tabanan – To join the animal project on our Bali volunteer program, you should book your flights to Ngurah Rai (Denpasar) International Airport on the Sunday start date. The airport code is DPS. Volunteers in Bali can arrive at any time on their designated Sunday start date.
🇬🇷 Kefalonia – To join the animal project on our Greece volunteer program, you should book your flights to Kefalonia International Airport Anna Pollatou on the appropriate Sunday or Tuesday start date. The airport code is EFL. For this program, you are encouraged to arrive before 6pm so that you can partake in the evening orientation on your start date.
🇵🇪 Cusco – To join the animal project on our Peru volunteer program, you should book your flights to Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport on the Sunday start date. The airport code is CUZ. Volunteers in Peru can arrive at any time on their designated Sunday start date.
🇿🇦 Port Elizabeth – To join the animal project on our South Africa volunteer program, you should book your flights to Port Elizabeth International Airport (airport code PLZ). For this program, you will need to arrive between 9:30am-3:30pm on your Monday start date.
🇱🇰 Ambalangoda and Wasgamuwa National Park – To join one of the animal projects on our Sri Lanka volunteer program, you should book your flights to Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo on the Saturday start date. The airport code is CMB. Most volunteers can arrive at any time on their designated Saturday start date.
🇹🇭 Thamairuak – To join one of the animal projects on our Thailand volunteer programs, you should book your flights to Suvarnabhumi (Bangkok) Airport or Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok on the Sunday start date. The airport codes are BKK and DMK, respectively. Volunteers in Thailand can arrive between 6am-2pm on the Sunday.
Having an appropriate travel insurance policy during your time abroad is essential. It is therefore mandatory for all of our international participants to be appropriately covered across all of their trip dates. Although most of our participants experience a smooth ride during their time overseas, occasionally things may go wrong. Having a travel insurance policy in place helps you effectively deal with any problems you may encounter during your time away.
We recommend you put your travel insurance policy in place as soon as possible once you have confirmed your place with PMGY. This ensures that you have an activated policy in place that may provide some protection for your trip in the event of an unforeseen cancellation (circumstance-dependent).
You should make sure that any insurance policy covers you to travel with any international restrictions currently in place. For example, the majority of insurance providers will not provide cover in the event of the FDCO advising against “all but essential travel”.
Our friends at Battleface offer a specialist product that is valid in countries under FCDO or government non-essential travel advisories. For COVID-19, Battleface provides medical expenses cover for travellers between the age of 18-59. Every plan includes 24/7 Emergency Travel and Medical Assistance services.
For more information about Battleface, visit their website click here
Battleface is provided by Tangiers Insurance Services Limited, a UK insurance intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Tangiers Underwriting Services SRL, a Belgian mandated underwriter registered with the Authority of Financial Markets and Services and Battleface Insurance Services LLC, a US licensed insurance producer. The details provided on this webpage are for information only. Always read the description of cover contained within your policy to ensure it is suitable for your needs.
Our International Team will work hard to provide extensive levels of support in the build-up to your trip. From our online chat service to email support and telephone conversations, our team are always ready to help. All international volunteers with PMGY will receive a Volunteer Handbook. This detailed hand guide will provide you with all you need to know in the build-up to your trip. From visa guidance to suggested packing lists, this will be the ultimate guide, helping you plan for your volunteer trip abroad.
We have Facebook groups for each of our volunteer destinations. Here you can find members of our international and local teams, as well as past, present and future volunteers. These pages, therefore, provide a great forum for volunteers to network, share experiences and community updates year-on-year.
Sometimes it can be difficult to picture yourself abroad without yet being there. We, therefore, do our best to further manage expectations before you arrive through a variety of informative and action-packed videos on our PMGY Vimeo channel. These clips help provide you with a visual perspective of what you can expect during your time overseas with us. Our webinars are not to be missed either. Running on selected Tuesdays, at 4pm UK time, our International Team provides invaluable advice for your upcoming trip. Each webinar covers something different. Our pre-departure webinar covers all of the essentials you need to know and do before joining us abroad. Our program preparation webinar is more project-specific, with advice and information for the time you will spend on placement. Finally, our safety webinar offers you some top tips on how to manage your safety and wellbeing across the pond. For those who are simply interested in learning more about PMGY, our team also run an introductory webinar. This provides an introduction to the volunteer organisation, our background, goals and volunteer opportunities overseas.
🇮🇩 Tabanan – The animal project on our Bali volunteer program is based in Tabanan, around 1.5 hours away from Ngurah Rai (Denpasar) International Airport. Tabanan is the capital town of the regency of Bali with the same name. It is referred to by many as the ‘rice bowl of Bali’. Parts of Tabanan regency lie in Central Bali and others in the west. Tabanan regency is best known for its rolling green landscapes and hills. It is also home to Mount Batukaru – Bali’s second-highest peak at 2,276 metres. Tabanan town itself is a very commercial town, with no shops or entertainment facilities aimed at visitors or tourists. Despite this, the town offers all the amenities you need during your volunteer work abroad with animals, such as banks, hospitals and shops.
🇬🇷 Kefalonia – The animal project on our Greece volunteer program is based in in Kefalonia, a short distance from the island’s main airport and around 6 hours away from Athens in mainland Greece. Considered the gem of the Ionian Sea, Kefalonia is famous for its green mountains, breathtaking beaches and crystal clear waters. Argostoli is the capital town of Kefalonia and our main project location base. It also happens to be one of the most popular towns on the island.
Argostoli’s loggerhead turtles inhabitants prove the biggest attraction for tourists and locals who flock to the Koutavos lagoon to catch a glimpse of them. In addition to an active harbour, there are many shops, restaurants and cafes to keep you entertained. The waterfront is a long promenade that runs adjacent to the main street and provides picturesque views of Argostoli and its surrounding areas. In addition, our second project location can be found across the Bay of Argostoli in Lixouri. Located 35km west of Argostoli, a short ferry ride will take you to Kefalonia’s second-largest community in Lixouri. The town is home to 3000 inhabitants many of whom are engaged with agriculture and tourism. Its main square is filled with old-fashioned cafes and really comes alive in the evenings.
🇵🇪 Cusco – The animal abroad project on our Peru volunteer program is based in the south-eastern region of Peru within in the city of Cusco. Cusco was once the capital of the Incan Empire. This UNESCO World Heritage site rests at an elevation of 3,400 metres above sea level. The city now hosts more than 2-million tourists each year, many of whom are on a journey to visit Machu Picchu. A trip to this World Wonder provides individuals with an opportunity to learn about the origins of Quechua people. While visiting Cusco, you will feel an overwhelming presence of history and culture!
🇿🇦 Port Elizabeth – The animal abroad project on our South Africa volunteer program is located approximately 1.5 hours from Port Elizabeth International Airport. Volunteers on this South African volunteer project are based in the heart of the project’s game reserve, situated on the Eastern Cape. The reserve spans over 6000 hectares, homing not only the majestic Big 5 family but thousands of species of fauna and flora.
🇱🇰 Ambalangoda – Our sea turtle conservation project on the Sri Lanka volunteer program is based in Ambalangoda, on the south-west coast of Sri Lanka. It is approximately 2.5 hours away from Colombo Airport. Ambalangoda is a quaint ocean-side town. It is traditionally a fishing community but is famous for being the major production centre for demonic wooden masks.
🇱🇰 Wasgamuwa National Park – Our elephant conservation project on the Sri Lanka volunteer program is based in Wasgamuwa National Park. Wasgamuwa is one of Sri Lanka’s many magnificent National Parks, famous for its large number of elephant herds. The park is home to over 20-species of mammals. It is also identified as one of the Important Bird Areas in Sri Lanka. The volunteer accommodation here is located overlooking the Knuckles Mountain Range, approximately 15 minutes from the National Park.
🇹🇭 Thamairuak – The animal abroad projects on our Thailand volunteer program are located on the same grounds as the conservation centre. This is a rural location, approximately 3 hours south of Bangkok and a 10 minute walk from the local village. There, volunteers in Thailand can find roadside restaurants, 2-small supermarkets and an internet cafe. The nearby tourist locations of Hua Hin and Cha-am are approximately a 45 minutes drive from the project.
PMGY’s animal volunteering abroad programs are run by our dedicated and experienced in-country local teams. All staff have been fully vetted by our International Team. The committed local community network provides the structure for your stay with us as an animal volunteer abroad. Our local team will arrange your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, in-country orientation and 24/7 emergency support. Our team provides a great framework for you to enjoy a unique experience with us as an animal volunteer abroad.
When you arrive onto your specific animal conservation volunteering abroad program, you will receive an orientation from your in-country team. This day will usually be broken down into two components. The first portion will usually be dedicated to all the theoretical aspects, from ‘dos and don’ts’, to safety aspects, project information and team introductions. The remainder of the day is usually used to introduce you to the local area. The local team will teach you how to locate every essential you may need during your time. They will also be able to help you arrange your money and a local SIM-card. Please note that the exact itinerary of the orientation will vary from country-to-country.
If you have not travelled much before, it is really hard to know what to expect. When anticipating their time overseas, many international volunteers (and their loved ones) are often concerned about safety and security. Although we can never guarantee volunteer experiences to be 100% trouble-free, we have taken all necessary precautions to ensure our programs are as safe as possible. Every program that PMGY offers has been personally inspected and selected by a director of PMGY. We have lived in the accommodation, experienced the orientation and worked on the projects. Through our frequent visits and daily communications, we have built strong, trusting relationships with our local staff.
In the unlikely event that something was to happen, volunteers have various layers of support available to them:
• PMGY Local Team
• Project Staff
• PMGY International Team
Projects are monitored on an on-going basis to gauge volunteers’ experiences. With the help of volunteer feedback, we are able to continually improve our placements and volunteer opportunities. Security and safety are frequently assessed as part of this. We ask our participants to raise any concerns with our local or International Team. This ensures that these can be addressed and/or resolved as readily and appropriately as possible.
Through pre-departure and in-country guidance, we do our best to prepare our international volunteers for their time abroad. All participants are provided with a comprehensive safety briefing during their orientation period. Our local teams will go through everything from project introductions, to emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. During this period, our team also provide participants with a full list of the important contact numbers.
Listed below are some general safety tips:
• Be modest with the amount of jewellery worn in public
• Do not drink tap water
• Be cautious of beggars or crowds. Incidents can occur when is confusion to distract you.
• Be cautious about removing money in public
• Always try to know where you are going before you attempt long journeys. Be especially careful at night
• Use reputable transport only. Our local staff will be able to recommend some during orientation
• Try to keep in groups at night and never walk alone along dark, empty streets
• The recognised tourist areas can be considered potentially high-risk areas for pickpockets and thieves
• Leave your valuables behind before a night out in the town
• For traffic safety, always keep looking to the left and right and walk slowly when crossing the road
• Do not accept drinks or food from strangers
🇮🇩 Tabanan – On the animal volunteering abroad project on our Bali volunteer program, the cost of your project transport is included in your Program Fee. Some of our projects are within walking distance of our Volunteer House and some are not. PMGY will take you to and from projects that are not within walking distance. This will usually be via minivan or private car.
🇬🇷 Kefalonia – On the animal project on our Greece volunteer program, the cost of your project transport is included in your Program Fee. Some of our project settings are within walking distance of the Shared Apartment and some are not. The local team provide you with a bicycle so you can get to and from fieldwork locations projects that are not within walking distance. In addition, where extended travel is required or heavy equipment needed then you may travel by minivan to your fieldwork setting.
🇵🇪 Cusco – On the Peru volunteer program, the cost of your project transport is not included in your Program Fee. Transport to the project will be by local bus or walking. Your bus stop will be located either close to your host family or the Spanish school. Furthermore, the local team will assist you in learning the routes to your volunteer project. As a result, you will be acquainted with how to get to and from your volunteer project.
🇿🇦 Port Elizabeth – On the animal South Africa volunteer program, the cost of your project transport is included in your Program Fee. During your animal conservation volunteering abroad, you are based on the animal reserve and are therefore within close proximity to the volunteer projects. You will be transported to and from your project each day by safari jeep.
🇱🇰 Ambalangoda – On the Sri Lanka volunteer program in Ambalangoda, the cost of your project transport is included in your Program Fee. Your animal project transport will usually be by tuk-tuk, but sometimes by private car. Journeys can usually take anywhere from 10–45 minutes each way. However, this will ultimately depend on which project you join as a volunteer in Sri Lanka.
🇱🇰 Wasgamuwa National Park – On the elephant Sri Lanka volunteer program the cost of your project transport is included in your Program Fee. The local team will collect you every day from the Volunteer House. You will then be transferred via a private jeep for the day’s activities on your animal project. The jeep will return to the accommodation at the end of the day.
🇹🇭 Thamairuak – On our animal Thailand volunteer programs, the cost of your project transport is included in your Program Fee. During your animal volunteering abroad, volunteers stay on-site at the animal centre, therefore external transport is not required. Any required transport for the needs of the project will be included.
PMGY welcome volunteers of all nationalities and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the program is 17 and there is no upper age limit. All volunteers need to have a good level of English, although it does not need to be your first language. You do not need to speak the local language. However, you will find that learning a few words in your days with us will go a long way!
For individuals on an animal program in South America, we recommend that you speak a basic to intermediate level of Spanish. Volunteers in South America are only required to speak a basic level of Spanish. However, we find that the ability to speak a good level will greatly enhance your overall experience. English is generally not widely. Consequently, if you do not speak a reasonable level of Spanish, you may find it difficult to communicate. This may make your experience frustrating.
All participants must be able to provide a clean criminal background check in advance of their animal conservation volunteering abroad with us. In general, no formal experience or qualifications are required, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation!
In order to confirm your place on a PMGY program, you need to pay your Registration Fee of 249 USD. The remaining fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge.
Please check out our Application Process for more info on how to join on a animal program with PMGY.