Romanian Bear Sanctuary

Volunteer with bears at a renowned bear sanctuary in Europe!

From $1,295.00

  • Up to 3 Persons
  • Some Meals Included
  • 7 - 28 Nights
  • Bears
  • Set dates - enquire for details
  • Minimum Age 17 (Or From 10 Years Old With An Adult)

Project Details

Activities

Food Preparation Food Preparation
The bare necessity of any sanctuary work is food prep! You’ll start the day by unloading and sorting produce including meat, fruit, vegetables, bread and dairy products. Brown bears need to eat up to 10kg per day to stay healthy, so you’ll be busy ‘cooking’ up a storm in the kitchen and delivering the meals to the bears and other sanctuary inhabitants such as the wolves each day.
Feeding The Bears Feeding The Bears
A real highlight of acting as a waiter to the bears is seeing them up close! You’ll throw food over the sides of enclosures and watch as the cubs are fed separately. Knowing these bears are eating well after many have faced starvation and inappropriate diets before arriving at the sanctuary makes feeding time all the more special. You’ll soon learn which bear prefers what food! You’ll also lend a hand to feeding the other rescued animals on site.
Monitoring Monitoring
A huge part of your time on the project will be monitoring the bears, you’ll keep an eye on their behaviour, health, hibernation, interaction and how they are adjusting to their newfound freedom. After years kept in tiny cages, some bears take time adapting to their new surroundings, so it’s important to ensure they are settling in well and reporting any concerns to the sanctuary staff. Seeing the bears in their natural habitat is certainly magical!
Construction And Maintenance Construction And Maintenance
Keeping the grounds safe and tidy through construction and maintenance tasks helps the sanctuary run smoothly and truly be the haven that these bears need! You’ll help keep the sanctuary grounds looking like the storybook setting of Winnie the Pooh and aid sanctuary work through raking leaves, gathering hay for quarantine, and helping to prepare for winter construction tasks.
Sanctuary Tours Sanctuary Tours
There are various educational groups that visit the sanctuary, and input from you and all volunteers really helps to educate them about wider animal welfare. As you’ll get to know different bears and their personalities and backgrounds, you’ll be able to share your knowledge and inspire others to care about bear conservation.
Excursions Excursions
With weekends typically free, you’ll have time to explore more of Romania and its stunning scenery. Transport is included for two half-day trips to the fascinating sites of Dracula’s Castle and the Rasnov Hill Fortress, followed by dinner in the mountains, as well as a trip to the picturesque town of Sinaia and the Peles Castle.

Itinerary

Below is an example of a 2-week itinerary but it is possible to join for just 1-week or stay a little longer for 3 or 4 weeks.

Day 1 - The Adventure Begins:
After arriving into Bucharest Airport, you’ll be collected by a member of staff and will transfer to Brasov which will take approximately 2-3 hours. You’ll be given time to settle into your accommodation before meeting with the project facilitator for orientation.
Day 2-13 - Project Days:
The working days at the sanctuary for volunteers are usually Monday to Friday each week and you’ll begin the day by transferring to the sanctuary which takes around 40 minutes. On the way, there will be a few stops at different supermarkets in Brasov to collect food that has reached its expiry date for humans (but not for bears!). The day will start around 9am with a flexible lunch break and you’ll finish up at approximately 4-5pm. You will also have the opportunity to join 2 trips to Dracula's Castle and Peles Castle and your free days can be spent exploring the town, the surrounding countryside and even skiing in the winter months!
Day 14 - Final Day:
Unfortunately, today is your final day with the bears, so after saying your goodbyes, you will be transferred back to the airport for your return flight home or to commence your independent travel plans.

Dates, Availability & Price

Unfortunately this project is not available for online booking so please give us a call or send us an enquiry if you would like to discuss it.

Nikita & team.

Updates & Outcomes

Unfortunately, bears have been cruelly used for entertainment for thousands of years, from bearbaiting to performing in circuses and street corners, as well as cubs being stolen from their mothers and sold into the pet trade, they have faced a world that put human boredom before their right to live natural lives. Over the years, laws and legislation have been brought in to protect animals from such tragic fates, and whilst Romania joining the EU in 2007 saw the treatment of bears and other wildlife improve, illegal captivity and hunting are still a real threat in Romania today.

Each bear at the sanctuary has a moving history, the majority having been prisoners to tiny cages, under-fed and gawped at by passing tourists, others were rescued from failing zoos and even circuses. Until they arrived at the sanctuary, many of the bears never knew what it was like to climb a tree, feel the grass under their paws or enjoy a bath in deep water - all natural behaviours they should have been engaging in for their whole lives. Now, 130 bears call these 69 hectares of oak and hazel forest home, living in a true haven. Though sadly there are many more bears under the radar in need of help, even around the world, bear paw soup, bear bile farming, trophy hunting, the pet trade and habitat destruction are all things this sanctuary is raising awareness of and campaigning to end whilst caring for the victims of such devastating practices.

 Bear Paw Soup - Learn About This Vile Practise

Bear Paw Soup - Learn About This Vile Practise

Bear Paw Soup is a delicacy from the Far East and it involves chopping off the paw of a bear, often whilst it is still alive, and then cooking it in a stew. This vile practise is still commonplace in many locations all around the world and it needs to be stopped.

Read More

Is this trip for you?

Accommodation

Accommodation

During your time on the project, you will be accommodated in a comfortable, central apartment within the city of Brasov. The volunteer apartment has two twin-share bedrooms, two bathrooms, one shower and a fully equipped kitchen for you to prepare all your meals. Whilst there is a TV, books, and free Wi-Fi, you’ll likely find yourself spending your free time strolling around the scenic city centre which is just a few minutes’ walk from your accommodation!

Meals & Beverages

Meals & Beverages

Food and drink are not included in the price of the project, but there are multiple shops and supermarkets close by to your accommodation. Volunteers usually cook together in the apartment, or on occasion, head out to eat at some of the amazing restaurants located around the city centre.

Fitness

Fitness

Due to the hilly nature of the sanctuary and the high levels of walking, you will be doing each day; we recommend that all volunteers have a moderate level of fitness. No specific skills or experience are required for you to join the project, but we do ask that you arrive with a willingness to get involved and a passion for wildlife conservation.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations

There are no specific vaccination or medical requirements needed to join this project. The vaccinations required will depend on the individual medical history of each volunteer. We recommend that you consult with your doctor/GP regarding your own vaccination needs as this will ensure you are protected and prepared to travel.

Project Details

Getting There

There are two airports in Bucharest, and you are welcome to arrive at either of them. You will be collected from arrivals by a project representative and transferred to Brasov which is approximately a 2–3-hour drive from Bucharest. Alternatively, you may wish to arrive in Brasov by train. This is a long but thoroughly worthwhile journey, taking you through some stunning landscapes.

Visa Requirements

Most nationalities do not need to obtain a visa in advance of travelling to Romania, as entry for up to 90 days is granted on arrival. We do, however, recommend checking the entry requirements with your country’s embassy prior to travel.

What's included in the price of the project?
  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodation
  • Welcome meal
  • Daily return transport to the sanctuary
  • Pre-trip briefing
  • Two weekend day trips (transport costs covered only) Trip 1: Dracula's Castle and Rasnov Hill Fortress followed by dinner in the mountains, Trip 2: Sinaia town and Peles Castle
  • A book about the project
What's not included?
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Meals & beverages


Speak To A Travel Expert

Enquire to receive the Project Guide for free!
Where you can go
Contact Info
UK Office
The Great Traveller Ltd,
3 Dairy Yard
Star Street
Ware, Hertfordshire
SG12 7DX
United Kingdom

Opening hours:
   Mon-Fri 8:30am–5:30pm
   Sat 10am-4pm

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987

Foreign Office Travel Advice