Travelling can get boring if your goal is just to relax and take Instagram-worthy photos. So why don’t you explore something else with a voluntourism (volunteer and tourism) concept? Something that can actually nourish your soul and make you think about the world with different perspectives?
1. Sumatra, Indonesia (Orangutan preservation)
This project aims to investigate the behaviours and suitable habitats that are important to maintain the health of wild orang-utans. It is aiming to build an understanding of the behaviours of the orang-utan species that are related to health and illness, such as parasites, self-medicating behaviour and the impact of human interference on orang-utans’ health. This data will have a direct impact on biodiversity preservation, which will enhance the prosperity of primate reintroduction programmes and help promote sustainable tourism in the region. The project is important to improve public knowledge of orang-utans and the danger of diseases in wild primate populations. The project will last approximately 13 days. Visit www.goeco.com for more information.
2. Ningaloo Reef, Australia (Marine life preservation)
There are so many species that live in the clear waters of Ningaloo Reef, including manta rays, stingrays and reef sharks. Join the researchers of Earthwatch and help them collect environmental data to protect these precious waters. The animals are attracting a large number of tourists, which, in turn, are costing the environment huge pressure as reef ecosystem and marine life depends on the health of the coastal area. If you join the expedition, you can contribute to the compilation of data that is critical for habitat and marine life preservation. You can also collect data on the impact of tourism and human activities on marine life such as reef sharks and manta rays. Visit www.earthwatch.com for more information.
3. Malawi, Africa (Preservation of wildlife habitat)
Want to experience a holiday with plenty of wildlife such as lions, leopards and elephants? Go to Malawi’s Majete Wildlife Reserve. You will assist the researches in collecting data that is needed to manage the wildlife reserve better and help in maintaining the species’ survival. The wildlife in Malawi is not in a good condition due to smugglers and habitat destruction, which has led to drastic reductions in the wildlife population to near extinction levels. This is why the government has started an initiative that the goal of conserving wildlife by reintroducing key species such as rhinoceros, leopards and hyenas. As a part of the team, you will help in monitoring the reintroduction of these iconic species. You will learn about wildlife habitat and preservation, and you will also contribute in making the wildlife reserve a safer and better place for those animals in the future. Visit www.earthwatch.com for more information on the project.
4. Peru, South America (Amazon Rainforest Conservation)
This project is a mix of volunteer activities at an ecological reserve in the Amazon rainforest with guided tours throughout southern Peru. Go to Maras and Moray on a motorbike tour and ride the train to the stunning ruins of Machu Picchu, which has a rich Incan history. Some places you will go during this expedition include the national park of Maras and Moray, Sacred Valley, the ancient city of Cuzco and the ruins of Machu Picchu. You will have many tasks under the guidance of nature experts and biologists. It’s the perfect combination of tourism and conservation work in a spectacular part of the world. Visit www.goeco.com for more information.
5. Cape Town, South Africa (Girl Empowerment)
In South Africa, there is one problem that still plagues the country: gender equality. The majority of the girls in this country never got past primary school and a huge percentage of them claim the role of a mother before they even turn adult. Most of them experience some kind of sexual violence even before they turn 18. This project will allow you to improve the lives of these young and vulnerable girls by equipping them with the necessary skills and hopefully allow them to tap into their own potential that they can contribute to the broader African society. You can help them overcome barriers to necessary resources such as education. A huge part of this project is devoted to English teaching to the women caregivers, as the language is an essential tool in their working lives. You will also create discussions group on topics like birth control techniques. The length of project ranges from 2 weeks to 3 months. Visit www.goeco.com for more information.
6. Tha Kham, Thailand (Eco Clay Community Construction)
Building structures created with clay and mud are growing in popularity in Thailand as the clay aids in providing breathable space in the mostly hot and humid weather. Clay is a natural material that is affordable and is sustainable as a building material. The aim of the project is to construct several buildings inside this environmental friendly neighbourhood. You will be preparing the clay mixture on top of the process of constructing the buildings. There will be schools made as well and it is roughly calculated to take a total of five years to finish, and will be constructed in sections. Project lengths range from 1 week to 1 month. Visit www.goeco.com for information.
7. Youth Isle, Cuba (Coral Conservation)
As a volunteer at the Youth Isle in Cuba, you will join the efforts to preserve the stunning coral reefs and marine life. Snorkelling while joining in the activity of tending to the coral reefs and monitoring of marine life are just some of the activities you will enjoy. The aim of this project is to safeguard the ecosystems as well as the preservation of the ecosystem. This project’s activities will be different, relying on the prevailing needs of the coral reefs. However, the most important thing is that you will definitely make a positive impact on the marine ecosystems. The project length will be between 1 week to 1 month. Visit www.goeco.com for more information.
8. Bali, Indonesia (Education and Community Work)
Ubud is known as a countryside with a sheltered community, which is why it is hard for people to get access and support in developing their community. The range of activities will be English teaching to young children, building work in the Ubud neighbourhoods, and teaching the importance of health and hygiene. This project has the goal of aiding Ubud in creating a strong foundation and enhancing its education system. The entire project is designed to give security to the community. The exact location will be in Bali, Indonesia, with project lengths ranging from 2 weeks to 3 months. Visit www.goeco.com for more information.