You will start your day by unloading all the food and begin to sort all the produce (meat, fruit, vegetables, bread and dairy products). The main component of this will be assisting in preparing and delivering the bears’ food. The bears need to eat up to 10kg per day to stay healthy- that's a lot of food! <br />
After the food is ready the you can feed the bears by throwing the food over the sides of the enclosures and the cubs are fed on their own. It’s a real highlight is to see the bears coming out of the undergrowth to get the best bits! Other animals around the sanctuary like wolves, donkeys, horse, deer and a fox also need to be fed, so you will also be feeding these.
It is important to get directly involved in monitoring the bears and their behaviour, health, hibernation, interaction and how they are adjusting to life outside. This will be a major part of your volunteering role whilst here.
Construction and Maintenance
Preparing for the winter construction and any hands on maintenance work that needs doing within the sanctuary.
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.
You can also join 2 trips (transport included in the trip price) whilst on the project, the first to Dracula’s Castle and Rasnov Hill Fortress followed by dinner in the mountains, and the second to Sinaia town and Peles Castle.
Day 1 - The Adventure Begins:
Arrive at Bucharest airport and transfer to the project. The transfer drive takes approximately 2-3 hours.
Once there Razvan, the project facilitator, will help you to settle you into your flat, before giving you a thorough brief and orientation.
Day 2-13 - Project Days:
You will generally work at the bear sanctuary from Monday to Friday each week. Your day starts at 9 am with your transportation up to the bear sanctuary before you begin your daily activities. On the way, there are few stops at different supermarkets in Brasov to collect food that has reached its expiry date for humans (but not for bears!).
You will also have the opportunity to join 2 trips to Dracula's Castle and Peles Castle. Free days can be spent exploring the town, the surrounding countryside and even skiing in the winter months!
Day 14 - Final Day:
Today is your final day and so you will be transferred from the project site back to the airport for your return flight, or commence your independent travel plans.
Dates, Availability & Price
To secure a place on this project a deposit of £195 is required at the time of booking, with the remaining balance due any time up to 60 days prior to your start date.
Updates & Outcomes
For volunteers, the great thing about this project is that it really gets you close to the bears in a natural environment, in a way that is positive for the bears. Getting involved in the running of the Romanian bear sanctuary really opens your eyes to the wider implications of animal welfare, and of the importance of making sure that people understand how critical it is to the bears survival. The fact that you are there enables the sanctuary to keep running. Without the help of volunteers, the sanctuary would struggle to be able to care for the bears and would not be able to move towards saving the other bears that have been identified as needing help. Volunteers free up permanent members of staff by undertaking the basic sanctuary jobs, which means that the staff can work towards rescuing other bears. Romania is not renowned as being an animal welfare country, and there is a very little investment into such enterprises, so the help of the volunteers is very much needed.
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.
Ever wanted to find out more about the Grizzly Bear? Look no further than our latest blog!
Is this trip for you?
During your time on the project you will be based in Brasov, living in a comfortable, central flat with your fellow volunteers. Rooms are shared between at least two. The flat is situated at the foot of the towering Mount Tampa and is just a few minutes’ walk to the centre of the town and all amenities. In the flat, Wi-Fi is available for use, as well as televisions and books. The fully-equipped kitchen allows you all to cook together.
Ingredients for meals can be purchased from local supermarkets and cooked in volunteer flats, however, this is not included in the cost of the project.
The work involved in this project is not particularly exerting, so only a moderate level of fitness is advised. No specific tasks or qualifications are required to partake in this project, simply a positive attitude, ability to work in a team and commitment to the cause and its aims.
The vaccinations required will depend on your medical history of each volunteer. We recommend that you consult with your GP regarding your own immunisation needs. In conjunction with this, we would recommend that you check Fit for Travel’s website.
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 driven to Brasov, approximately a 2 to 3 hour drive from Bucharest. Once there Razvan, the project facilitator, will help you to settle you into your flat, before giving you a thorough orientation. Alternatively, you may wish to arrive in Brasov by train. This is a long but thoroughly worthwhile journey, taking you through some fantastic landscapes.
If you would like help
booking your flights, please visit our flights page and fill out
the form. A member of our team will get back in touch as soon as possible with
a suitable quote.
There is no visa required for most nationalities to enter Romania. Check the Romanian Immigration Website for detailed information.
Currency and Exchange Rates
The Romanian currency is the New Leu. The conversion rate is around 1 RON to 0.2 GBP, 0.3 EUR and 0.4 USD.
What's included in the price of the project?
- Airport Transfers
- Welcome meal
- Daily return transport to the sanctuary
- Pre-trip briefing
- Two weekend day trips are arranged (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?
- Travel insurance
- Meals (approx. £3 per day)