As a volunteer you will engage in a wide variety of activities as part of the project, involving yourself with the local community and supporting areas of tiger conservation. Alongside this productive volunteering, you will have many opportunities to see the beautiful big cats during numerous safaris within Kanha National Park.
Perhaps the highlight of this project will be the jungle safaris, during which you have the chance of encountering some of the world’s most glorious wildlife in their natural habitat. You will get to take part in many a jungle safari, in various different zones of the park, as well as at different times of the day. While of course, you will be keeping an eye out for those tigers, make sure you look for the majestic leopard, the adorable sloth bear, and not to mention countless species of bird!
During the project, you'll explore many aspects of vital tiger conservation in India. While you will learn some of this through seminars and talks with wildlife experts, you will also assist the park rangers with setting up camera traps and impression pads for monitoring animal movements, as well as taking part in enriching nature treks with a wildlife biologist to learn about the surrounding ecosystem.
Visiting Local Villages
You will have the opportunity to educate the natives about wildlife conservation by explaining the issues tigers face here and providing helpful information about villager's rights and government schemes in the event of wild animals entering villages and causing damage. This type of education leaves a lasting impact on the project long after you have left, and it helps locals to understand the wildlife on their doorstep, as well as learn how to better care for it. Within your community-based work, you will also help villages to prosper and learn something from them in return, by assisting with arts and crafts and harvesting fruits!
Teaching In Local Schools
This rewarding activity truly reflects the positive impact that volunteering can have on the younger residents of the village. You will assist teachers and staff with educating the local children about the importance of wildlife. Here you get to share your knowledge of just how important environmental conservation is, and instil the same care and motivation to care for the ecosystem into the younger generation. Schools are closed between March and June for annual exams so if you join during this time you will instead volunteer at the local play schools for children aged 3-6.
By taking part in art classes with the local artists, you will discover yet another beautiful aspect of the culture here. You will be taught the basic techniques of their art, as well as the animalistic inspiration behind their paintings. This is a fantastic opportunity to purchase some of the art, in turn helping the tribal craftsmen and their communities.
The Baiga Tribe
During your trip, you will have the pleasure of meeting with the talented Baiga Tribe. The tribe are a key component for tiger conservation in Kanha as they work closely with park officials to identify potential poachers and track tigers in the area, and you will learn more about this through your interaction with them. The Baigas will perform a dance for your group – watch and enjoy, or feel free to get involved in the fun!
Please note itineraries are subject to change and what follows is simply a rough guideline
Day 1 - The Adventure Begins!:
After arriving at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, you'll meet the project staff and transfer to your hotel. Once checked in, you will have the chance to relax, or explore Delhi and all of its cultural gems.
Day 2 - Fly To Jabalpur & Settle In:
After breakfast at your hotel, you will fly to Jabalpur, and once there, you will transfer to the species-rich haven of Kanha National Park, before settling in at your accommodation and enjoying a welcoming lunch.
Day 3 - Tiger Safari & Working With School Children:
Embark on your first jungle safari, then pay a visit to a local school and watch a class take place. You will teach the local children about wildlife and the importance of environmental conversation and later you have the chance to watch the talented Baiga Tribe perform a dance for your group, before retiring to your beds in preparation for the next day's activities.
Day 4 - Tiger Safari & Touring Local Villages:
Today you will wake up bright and early, to walk in the dry river bed, learning about the pugmarks and other signs of wild animals. You'll then take a tour of local villages, getting to know local residents and taking part in local crafts or harvest. You will then enjoy a picnic lunch away from the park, and afterwards, venture out on a safari to soak in the beautiful landscapes of Kanha, and its rich array of wildlife. You will spend the evening in the training centre watching an informative conservation film and enjoying dinner by the campfire.
Day 5 – Tiger Safari & Conservation Activities:
Start the morning with another safari. After lunch, you will participate in art classes with talented local artists, learning the basic techniques, inspiration and animalistic stories behind the paintings. In the evening you'll take part in a discussion and presentation, with experts, on wildlife corridors and their importance.
Day 6 - Tiger Safari & Setting Up Camera Traps :
This morning you will take part in a nature trail trek within Kanha Tiger Reserve, taking the opportunity spot various birds and learn how to track and identify different species of wildlife. Enjoy lunch at the Lodge before heading out for an afternoon safari and enjoying your last night at your tent-cottage style deluxe accommodation.
Day 7 - Transfer To Chitvan Jungle Lodge:
You will depart for the Chitvan Jungle Lodge located approximately an hour and 30 minute's drive from your initial accommodation. You will take part in an orientation before visiting the Corbett Foundation, an organisation which works for the local communities distributing solar lanterns, offering health care and more. You will next pay a visit to the Tribal Museum for a guided tour to learn a little more about the local culture, finishing the day by watching the Wildlife Film Show and discussing issues faced in tiger conservation with experts.
Day 8 – Tiger Safari & Organic Farming:
You will take part in a morning safari to Kanha National Park. Afterwards, enjoy an orientation of organic farms in Chitvan where you will discover the concept of solar cooking, vermi composting, rainwater harvesting and other activities which help to reduce both carbon and water footprints.
Day 9 – Working With Children & Evening Safari:
After breakfast, you will visit the local school and begin to understand their education patterns and routines. You'll get the chance to educate the children about their role in maintaining the ecosystem, and the importance of wildlife conservation before joining a fascinating and insightful evening safari in the Mukki zone of Kanha!
Day 10 – Safari & Tiger Census:
In the morning you will venture out on a new safari in Kanha. You'll then spend the afternoon in the buffer zone, where you will learn the process of tiger census to assist with calculating tiger populations, as well as the previous method of pugmark tracing with a wildlife biologist/forest official. At this time, you will also learn how to set up camera traps which help with tiger census as well as monitoring other wildlife such as leopards and sloth bears!
Day 11 – Baiga village & The Local Aanganwadi:
You will visit the Baiga village and start to understand the local’s concerns regarding man-made animal conflict, their dependence on the forest, and also how to work in their fields. You will then take a trip to the local Aanganwadi, a nursery school in the nearby village and spend time with the children and assisting with any tasks that need completing here. Then you will finish the evening by going on a safari in the Mukki zone.
Day 12 – Kanha To Delhi:
After breakfast, you'll leave for Jabalpur Airport (packed lunch in hand!) to catch the flight back to Delhi. On the way back to Jabalpur, you will have the opportunity to stop briefly at the WWF centre to learn all about the activities and community work done by this monumental organisation in this particular landscape.
Day 13 – Delhi Departure:
You have the chance to spend your final day admiring Delhi itself, before saying a fond farewell to enchanting India before either heading back to the airport for your flight home or to commence your onward 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.
Select a duration below to see the available start dates. All dates shown are currently available for you to join this project!
If you are travelling in a group of 2+ you may join this project at anytime of the year depending on availability. Please enquire for further details.
Updates & Outcomes
At current, there are roughly 131 tigers resident in Kanha National Park, which as increased by a total of 51 since 2010. It is the mixed efforts of locals, project staff and of course volunteers who have enabled so many tigers to live freely in protected areas!
The programme combines tiger conservation in India with community work, aimed at reducing human-animal conflict. It also champions a number of initiatives to promote more sustainable and alternative living for those living on the edge of Kanha National Park.
Your donations as a volunteer are used to take tribal children from the local school into Kanha Tiger Reserve to educate them on human-animal conflict, to purchase camera-traps, and for providing essential health care to villagers.
As part of our commitment to responsible tourism, we are International Tour Operator members of the TOFT (Travel Operators for Tigers) campaign. This is a global travel industry initiative which aims to advocate, catalyse and support a more responsible and sustainable approach to tourism within Indian wildlife reserves. For more information, please visit TOFT's website.
The 29th of July marks International Tiger Day, and now is the time to make a positive impact on this beautiful animal's uncertain future. Read on to learn about the history of this important occasion, the threats faced by this beautiful species, and the global efforts to save it from extinction.
- posted on Sep 12, 2017
- by Adam Smith
Even though lions, jaguars and other big cats live in the African savannahs, the continent has never been a habitat for wild tigers. Let’s look at why.
Sadly, there are so many endangered species all over the world, and the responsibility is upon everyone to change these circumatnces. We shouldn't just leave it up to wildlife conservationists, as they can't do it all themselves. The Great Projects aim to spread awareness of the shared responsibility of humans, to care and preserve the animals we are slowly destroying.
Is this trip for you?
On your first and last night, you will be staying at the Holiday Inn next to the New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport to allow for an easy transfer to your project the next day.
For the remaining 10 nights, your time will be split equally between two stunning types of accommodation both situated within Kanha National Park. At each accommodation, there are double rooms for couples, or else rooms are based on a same-sex, twin share basis.
Your accommodation for the first 5 nights will give you an authentic feel of the jungle surrounded by tropical sights and sounds in the form of a deluxe tent style cottage. The last 5 nights of your time in Kanha National Park will be spent in the luxury Chitvan jungle lodges, where you will once more take in the ambience of the jungle, this time with your very own private terrace and open showers.
Each accommodation has a pool for you to make use of in your spare time, as well as a peaceful and relaxing spa with treatments available at an additional cost.
During your time at the Holiday Inn, you will be staying under a B&B meal plan.
During your time in the tent style cottage accommodation in the park, you will be dining at the on-site restaurant, eating authentic Indian meals. You may even get to enjoy an open-air barbeque!
At the Chitvan Jungle Lodge, you will be eating organic fruits, vegetables and oils cultivated from their very own farm! You will be provided with 3 delicious meals a day also cooked in true Indian style.
The work involved in this project is not physically exerting, but there are many walks and safaris during the two weeks, so a moderate level of fitness is necessary. No specific skills or experience are required, only a positive attitude and full commitment to the cause. You must be prepared to work as part of a team.
The vaccinations required for travel will depend on your medical history. 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.
When Is The Best Time To Volunteer?
The Kanha Tiger Reserve, where this project is based, is home to a diverse number of wildlife including barasinghas, gaurs, sloth bears, wild dogs, leopards and tigers as well as over 300 species of birds. There are 3 seasons which allow for different types of wildlife viewing.
November to February: This is the winter season and is one of the best times to visit Kanha. The weather brings cool mornings, pleasant days and crisp cold nights which mean long walks don't tire you out easily and physical work does not look like a tough task. Though the vegetation in Kanha is largely evergreen, in the winter many park trees lose their leaves making wildlife viewing easier. This is also a great time for bird watching as the forest is playing host to a number of winter migrants from the much cooler climates.
March to mid-June: After winter spring arrives, bringing warmer temperatures and new growth on the trees. While the early mornings, evening and nights are pleasant the day time, especially the noon could be taxing on an individual, but with adequate nutrition and precautions this is no problem at all.
This season also brings out a lot of wildlife as nearly all species are seeking a mate during this time. The hot summer sun has also evaporated nearly all the water from the streams and pools in Kanha and only a few shaded rock pools and water holes have water left in them. Naturally, therefore, these places become a hotbed for all wildlife activities and wildlife sightings can be a lot easier in this season.
Mid-June to October: This is monsoon season and is also when the park is closed.
Arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport on the project start date between 7am - 5pm. You will be met by a project representative in the arrivals hall and transferred by road to a temporary hotel, and the next day, to the project site. The journey will be split up, first by flying from Delhi to Jalapur and finally driving to Kanha National Park itself.
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.
All foreign nationals, including children, require a visa to enter India. A Tourist Visa is granted to those who are visiting India for tourism. Tourist visas may be valid for 3 months, 6 months or 1 year with single, double or multiple entries. Please note the validity of the visa is effective from the date of issue. Many Indian embassies have outsourced visa processing in full or in part to third party companies, so check ahead before going to the embassy. Foreigners coming from or through Yellow Fever countries must have a valid vaccination certificate
Currency and Exchange Rates
The Indian currency is the Indian Rupee. The conversion rate is around 1 INR to 0.01 GBP, 0.011 EUR and 0.015 USD. For up-to-date conversion information click here.
What's included in the price of the project?
- Full board basis for 12 nights, and Bed and breakfast in Delhi
- Airport transfers using air-conditioned vehicles and assistance by our representative
- Conservation donation
- 9 Jeep safaris (shared basis) and 1 day of trekking to Kanha National Park and Kanha Tiger Reserve
- Naturalist fees
- Internal return flights between Delhi and Jabalpur
What's not Included:
- International airfare
- Travel insurance
- Any expenses of personal nature such as laundry, bar bills, spa treatments, telephone calls etc.
- Tourist Visa cost