On this project, you will engage in a wide variety of activities with the animals at the sanctuary on a rotntional basis. Below are some of the activities you can expect to be involved with:
Feeding The Animals
As the sanctuary continues to grow, the need for extra hands to feed an expanding population of animals becomes increasingly important. You will prepare and distribute food to the sanctuary’s animals three times per day, ensuring that they have the correct portion sizes and that their eating habits are normal.
Maintenance And Construction
Many animals make for a messy sanctuary and it’s important to stay on top of the cleanliness of the enclosures, vet clinic and quarantine area. Many of the animals arriving at the sanctuary are extremely vulnerable and may be prone to infection if the area is not kept sanitary. Additionally, you may be given the task of building or maintaining the animal enclosures, taking part in landscaping activities or assisting in the construction of new platforms.
This will be your main responsibility at the project, but is sure to be a fun one! A minimum of 2 hours per day will be spent observing your assigned animal, taking note of their behaviours and keeping the sanctuary staff updated on its condition. Animal behaviours say an awful lot about their overall happiness, and their comfort within the sanctuary is a top priority.
The animals here need to be kept stimulated, so get creative when working on your enrichment activities! You want to make sure that the animals remain active both physically and mentally, and new methods of enrichment are a fantastic way to achieve this goal.
You will be invited to go either canyoning or ziplining, the former being a full-day activity; the latter being only a couple of hours away from the project site. If you stay for longer than two weeks, you will be allocated a day off, in which you can enjoy local hikes and rivers nearby to the property. Elsewhere, you can visit some attractive tourist sites in Coroico, and you may even like to go horseback riding!
Please note, itineraries are subject to change depending on the needs of the sanctuary and what follows is only a rough guideline.
Day 1 - The Adventure Begins:
After arriving into La Paz Airport, you will be met and transferred to the Bolivia Wildlife Sanctuary. Spend time getting to know your fellow volunteers and settling into your new surrounds before enjoying a dinner with your group and heading to bed. Make sure you sleep well – tomorrow is going to be a busy day!
Day 2 - 14 - Project Days:
These are your project days and you will have a briefing each morning at 7:30am to discuss the tasks for the day. It’s important to make sure that the animals are fed, so take part in food preparation and distribution before taking an hour for breakfast at 9am. The rest of your day will consist of a variation of the activities listed in the 'Activities' section, with a brief lunch break taking place at 13:30 and the day drawing to a close at 17:30. For a more detailed idea of your daily itinerary, please enquire to receive your free project guide!
Day 15 - Final Day:
Today is your final day, so bid farewell to your new friends (human and animal alike!) before being transferred back to La Paz Airport for your return flight home or to continue your onward travel plans.
If you join the project for longer than 2 weeks, the number of project days will increase with a day off being given every fortnight.
Dates, Availability & Price
To secure a place on this project a deposit of $245 is required at the time of booking, with the remaining balance due any time up to 60 days prior to your start date.
Select a duration below to see the available start dates. All dates shown are currently available for you to join this project!
Updates & Outcomes
The sanctuary started its operations with a small number of animals that were voluntarily handed over. Before the end of 2007, a relationship was established with the organization Animales SOS. From here on in, the sanctuary received an increasing number of animals that were rescued from the illegal trafficking trade.
Following this, the project began working with the Department of Biodiversity and the La Paz Government and it began to take care of animals intercepted by the government. As a result of both this and the increase in animal trafficking in Bolivia, the animal population at the sanctuary is constantly increasing.
The primary mission of the project now is to give adequate care to the animals coming from illegal trafficking, guaranteeing their well-being under optimal scientific and technical handling conditions, in a natural environment that allows the development of their physiological and physical capabilities.
Tristan is one of our most well travelled volunteers and he paid a visit to the Bolivia Wildlife Sanctuary! He loved his time there so we asked him some questions about the sanctuary, what he got up to whilst out there and if he has any tips for future volunteers. Read up and see what he tols us and see if you are inspired to become our next Bolivia volunteer!
Read our top 5 facts about Bolivia!
With thousands of different animal species in Bolivia, find out more about some of the animals that call the Bolivia Wildlife Sanctuary home.
Is this trip for you?
Whilst on this project, you will be accommodated in the volunteer house, a cozy wooden house with jatata leaf roofing, located across the river from the wildlife sanctuary. There is one six bed dormitory and one three bed dormitory, so you should be prepared to share a room with your fellow volunteers. Toilets and warm showers are adjoined to the house and laundry facilities are also available.
If you are travelling as a couple or would prefer some more privacy, separate accommodation in Eco-Huts is also available, however, there is an additional cost for this and it is dependent on availability.
All volunteers are provided with three meals per day and these are all prepared by the project staff. Tea and coffee are also readily available and you will have either juice or lemonade with breakfast and lunch each day. Water, however, is not included in the cost of the project but bottles are available for purchase at the sanctuary for a small fee.
Most dietary requirements can also be catered for but please do let us know of any before you travel.
Due to the hilly nature of the area, we recommend that all volunteers have at least a moderate level of fitness and the ability to walk on steep terrain. La Paz has one of the highest altitudes in the world; subsequently, you may find yourself out of breath from time to time and it is important to prepare for the effects of altitude sickness.
No specific skills are needed for this project but we do ask that you are reliable, hardworking and arrive with a passion for animals and a willingness to get your hands dirty!
There are no specific vaccination or medical requirements needed to join this project and as such, the vaccinations you require will depend on your medical history. We, therefore, recommend that you consult your GP/Doctor regarding your own immunisation needs.
When is the best time to volunteer?
As this project is based at a wildlife sanctuary, there are animals here year round. Therefore, regarding wildlife, there is no preferred time to volunteer.
Weather, however, can have an impact. Day time temperatures throughout the year average between 20 and 25°C (68-77°F) and night time temperatures vary between 5 and 10°C (41-50°F). Rainfall, however, varies with May to September being the driest months and December to February being the wettest.
You will need to fly into La Paz El Alto International Airport, where you will be met before transferring to the project site. This transfer, which is included in the cost of the project, will take approximately 2 hours, so take a little entertainment for the journey!
If you would like help booking your flights, please visit our flight page and fill out the form. A member of our team will get back in touch as soon as possible with a suitable quote.
Citizens of most countries can get a tourist visa on arrival for up to 90 days (this will be dependent on your nationality, however). Please make sure you check with your local embassy regarding visa requirements, as this can be subject to change. There are often numerous passport checks, so your passport must be carried at all times. As with most countries, your passport will also need to be valid for at least six months in order to gain entry.
What is included in the extra voucher?
Included within the price of the project is a voucher which allows you to either go ziplining or canyoning. Both are exciting activities exploring the stunning scenery of the Yungas province - all with an extra pinch of adrenaline! Either activity can add a whole new aspect of adventure when volunteering in Bolivia. If you would like any more information about these activities, please enquire with us directly.
What's included in the price of the project?
- Private transfers to and from the airport
- Three meals per day
- Bed linen and towels (a refundable USD100 deposit is required on arrival)
- Laundry facilities
- A voucher to use for extra activities (ziplining or canyoning)
What's not included?
- Travel insurance
- Water, soft or alcoholic beverages, except any provided with breakfast and lunch