Conservation Gap Years

Looking for a gap year opportunity that involves working with animals and the natural environment? It doesn’t matter whether you’re seeking a year off during your course, when you’ve finished an undergraduate degree or that you’re stuck in a job you simply need to escape from and get a whole new perspective on things - search Gapify’s list of conservation gap programme providers below.

We know all too well that important habitats are being destroyed unnecessarily and that a mixture of preservation, education and conservation efforts are needed to halt this loss of habitat. You can be part of this too by embarking on one of our life changing programmes. Our range of gap providers have programmes in all continents for varying durations, indeed, it doesn’t have to be a gap year, in fact most programmes run over the course of a few weeks.

We’ll let you guys delve further into the exact conversation programme you’re looking to volunteer with but rest assured, we’ve got experiences working first hand with elephants, wild cats, marine wildlife and much more. Volunteering in this sector is a crucial element of how we can make serious change, you’ll be supporting scientists, building data pools to feedback to governments and important conservation programmes meanwhile helping local communities sustainably maintain conservation efforts. This work is vital whilst giving you valuable experience that you’re so passionate about.

We found 23 programmes in our database that matched your search. Choose one below to learn more.

TURTLE CONSERVATION AND REHABILITATION ON NUSA PENIDA ISLAND IN BALI, INDONESIA

Programme Overview:

The programme begins with an Introduction Week which is packed full of exciting adventures, culture excursions and interactions! Then from Week Two onwards, you?ll do valuable hands-work to help rehabilitate and conserve the endangered turtles on the island of Nusa Penida. You might identify turtle species, collect eggs, monitor nests or see hatchlings get safely to sea.The project is in its early stages and you'll contribute to collecting vital baseline data on the turtle population on Nusa Penida. The Turtle Conservation project is on an island a 45 minute speed boat ride from mainland Bali.During the day, you may also teach English at a local school on the island. Few native English speakers have taught English here before, so your experience is guaranteed to be an authentic one!

From: £995
Country: Indonesia
Continent: Asia
Minimum age: 18
ELEPHANT AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION IN WASGAMUWA NATIONAL PARK IN SRI LANKA

Programme Overview:

The main aim of thise project is to "save elephants, other biodiversity and their habitats by helping people".The activities on this project are diverse - one moment you could be observing elephants overnight in a tree-house, and the next you could be helping to reduce human-elephant conflict within the national park.A real gem of a project! If you want to go back to the very basics, in a stunningly beautiful part of the world, helping local people and the local wildlife this project is perfect for you. You?ll do work that is really valued and that makes a significant difference to people?s lives. And the location is breathtaking!

From: £1245
Country: Sri Lanka
Continent: Asia
Minimum age: 18
GALAPAGOS ISLANDS CONSERVATION, REFORESTATION & COMMUNITY PROJECT

Programme Overview:

Work to preserve the native and endemic forests on the beautiful island of San Cristobal. There are numerous elements to the project that you'll be involved in and most of the work is on reforestation, research and community based projects.Some of your work includes the restoration of habitats in the Galapagos Islands, working with the local community; visiting ecologically important sites and teaching visitors about ecological issues.This is the only project in the Galapagos Islands that combines environmental, community and social initiatives to improve the sustainability of the islands. Plus ... it?s loads of fun!

From: £1395
Country: Ecuador
Continent: South America
Minimum age: 18
CARE, REHABILITATION AND RELEASE OF ORANG-UTANS ON THE MALAYSIA PENINSULA

Programme Overview:

Help with the care and rehabilitation of rescued and abused Orang-Utans at a Sanctuary near Taipeng. During your programme you'll focus purely on Orang-Utan conservation and research. You?ll get stuck into enrichment, husbandry, organic planting, as well as construction and maintenance of the sanctuary, to help provide the Orang-Utans with a healthy and happy future.Orang- Utans roam freely in the sanctuary ? but humans do not. The Sanctuary does vital work with the public in order to increase their awareness and engagement in Orang-Utan Conservation. The sanctuary has a fantastic foundation of knowledge which it has built on, having worked with numerous universities over the years. It is a recognised ex-situ conservation facility and referral centre for the endangered Bornean Orang-Utan.

From: £1345
Country: Malaysia
Continent: Asia
Minimum age: 17
LION CONSERVATION, TEACHING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMBO PROJECT IN GWERU, ZIMBABWE

Programme Overview:

Make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children while contributing to the conservation of the iconic African Lion. You'll give teaching assistance, care, mentoring and support to the children in the local community. Work hands-on with Lions on a 3,000 acre game reserve and tourist spot about 10 kilometres from Gweru. The main camp facility - made up of thatched African rondavels and buildings - rests on the shores of a beautiful lake and is a Game Reserve with many species of wildlife and bird-life. As you experience the best of both worlds, this project will open your eyes to both the beauty and harshness of Africa and give you a chance to make your own impact.

From: £1395
Country: Zimbabwe
Continent: Africa
Minimum age: 17
Conservation in Oana, Namibia

Programme Overview:

Oana Conservancy covers 45,000 hectares of utterly stunning, raw Africa. It was rescued from its previous life as a hunting and the land was secured with the aim to ecologically restore and link up with neighbouring conservancies to one day turn the greater protected area into a National Park to home Namibia's endangered wildlife.

This program allows you to be part of their 'restore and preserve' journey and for an wilderness African experience interwoven with endless adventure.

Oana is home to some of the most iconic species of flora and fauna such as the quiver tree, the African leopard, the Greater Kudu, Brown Hyena, Caracal, Oryx, Honey badger, Aardvark, Giant Kingfisher and the African Black Eagle. However it is an area unstudied and given its history we need to understand who lives where and in what numbers - the first stage of 're-wilding' the land. To do this you will set off across the reserve to literally seek out the wildlife, count what you see and analyse faeces and track prints.

You will also be involved in an on-going leopard survey, which involves identifying key game trails, setting up camera traps and ID-ing individuals, mapping out each leopard's territory to work out their home range.

At the same time you will help remove old buildings, structures and scrap left from its hunting days, develop water points for animals, build micro-basins to help with plains regeneration, remove alien vegetation and build hides for wildlife observation at water points.

You will also head out to the outskirts of Oana's reserve to help the local community. Oana are focusing on tangible projects here that make a difference where it is most needed. Currently they are constructing vegetable gardens, which the village will manage and turn into a business.

You will also help improve the village infrastructure by renovating classrooms and their water facilities.

From: £2165
Country: Namibia
Continent: Africa
Minimum age: 18
CARE FOR ANIMALS AT A WILDLIFE REHABILITATION AND RELEASE CENTRE IN KWAZULU-NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA

Programme Overview:

The best cage is an empty cage! Work in a Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre that provides life-saving care and treatment to wild animals in distress. You will assist the centre?s staff with feeding and caring for its wildlife patients on a daily basis, as well as assisting them with rescues and releases.Much of your work involves understanding the principles of wildlife rehabilitation and contributing towards giving animals that have been orphaned or injured, the best chance of getting back out into the wild where they belong. You?ll contribute to an extremely valuable conservation effort that provides medical care, rehabilitation and also releases wild animals back into their natural environment.

From: £1395
Country: South Africa
Continent: Africa
Minimum age: 17
CARE FOR ORANGUTANS AT SEPILOK REHABILITATION CENTRE IN BORNEO, MALAYSIA

Programme Overview:

This programme offers the only opportunity in the world to work at this remarkable, world-renowned Orangutan Rehabilitation and Conservation Centre at Sepilok, which conducts genuine, highly successful, conservation of orangutans. During your placement you'll learn about managing juvenile Orangutans by working at the Outdoor Nursery, learn about managing baby orangutans by working at the Indoor Nursery. Work will be done on a rotational basis, with different groups of volunteers working within each of the different departments. The Orangutan is found only in Borneo and Sumatra and their survival is constantly threatened by forest fires, tree felling, poaching and illegal hunting. Work hands-on to help their survival.

From: £3295
Country: Malaysia
Continent: Asia
Minimum age: 17
ANIMAL WELFARE & CONSERVATION: CARE FOR ANIMALS IN A WILDLIFE SANCTUARY IN SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Programme Overview:

Play a meaningful and active role in preserving and increasing populations of rare and endangered Australian wildlife and indigenous plant life.Australia has some of the world?s most unique wildlife, with many species found only in this country. This makes wildlife conservation in Australia incredibly important. Here you'll make a real contribution to the conservation of Australia?s weird and wonderful wildlife as you work alongside the rangers at a local sanctuary.

From: £1995
Country: Australia
Continent: Australia
Minimum age: 18
CONSERVATION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN THE AMAZON RAINFOREST IN PERU

Programme Overview:

Get involved in conservation and community development work on this excellent multi-activity project in the Amazon Rainforest! You'll benefit from professional training and actively assist in the environmental monitoring study at multiple locations.Begin your programme in the Inca city of Cusco where you'll receive an induction and orientation before travelling through the High Andes to the Acjance Park Guard Station and the Cloud Forest. Then you descend into the Amazon via motorised canoe down the Madre de Dios River. The journey to the Project is spectacular, an adventure in itself!

From: £1695
Country: Peru
Continent: South America
Minimum age: 18
FAMILY VOLUNTEERING IN THE AMAZON RAINFOREST IN PERU

Programme Overview:

This Amazon rainforest volunteering and adventure experience gives your family the opportunity to get involved in both conservation and social projects in the rainforest and gain a deeper understanding of this complex biosphere and the local communities who live there.Begin your programme in the Inca city of Cusco before travelling through the High Andes to the Acjance Park Guard Station and the Cloud Forest. Then you descend into the Amazon via motorised canoe down the Madre de Dios River. The journey to the Project is spectacular, an adventure in itself!

From: £1195
Country: Peru
Continent: South America
Minimum age: Children - 6; Adult - 13
CONSERVATION: THE GREAT WHITE SHARK PROJECT, NEAR CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Programme Overview:

Come face to face with the Great White Shark! You'll work in an organisation dedicated to the exploration and conservation of Sharks and the preservation of their environment. Weather permitting, you'll go to sea frequently. At sea, you'll get involved as much as possible with all aspects of sea work. This will be focused on working with the sharks from above and below the water.Your work will help to gather accurate data on Great White sharks to assist in management programmes for the ensured survival of the species. Your work will also help efforts to change negative public attitude towards sharks through awareness and education.Students may be able to obtain university credit for their experience, depending on your university.

From: £995
Country: South Africa
Continent: Africa
Minimum age: 17
THE LION RESEARCH, REHABILITATION AND RELEASE PROJECT IN LIVINGSTONE, ZAMBIA

Programme Overview:

The alarming rate at which lions in Africa is decreasing is heartbreaking. This programme enables you to assist in research and rehabilitation, and to have extremely close encounters with lions! Your primary task whilst on placement will be to assist management and their team of guides, handlers and scouts in all aspects of care for the animals in their charge; giving them the opportunities to develop their natural instincts in preparation for their release into the next stage of the program. Research is a another significant part of your role; collecting data not only on the development of the lions, but also joining the elephant monitoring team in the National Park. Your work will assist in helping this project to continue and, over the long term, will also hopefully contribute to preventing the decrease in the lion population in Africa.

From: £1345
Country: Zambia
Continent: Africa
Minimum age: 17
CONSERVATION WORK EXPERIENCE INTERNSHIP IN THE AMAZON RAINFOREST IN PERU

Programme Overview:

Are you looking to start a career in conservation research? Are you passionate about sustainability and helping to protect the rainforest? This 6-month internship programme is designed to help students and graduates develop specific career skills in conservation research, community development, and non-profit project management, in the heart of the Amazon!Begin your programme in the Inca city of Cusco where you'll receive an induction and orientation before travelling through the High Andes to the Acjance Park Guard Station and the Cloud Forest. Then you descend into the Amazon via motorised canoe down the Madre de Dios River. The journey to the Project is spectacular, an adventure in itself!Project Overview

From: £6050
Country: Peru
Continent: South America
Minimum age: 18
WILDLIFE AWARENESS, REHABILITATION AND VETERINARY PROJECT IN KNYSNA, SOUTH AFRICA

Programme Overview:

This is a perfect project for those wanting to get involved in animal awareness and rehabilitation, as well as veterinary students! You?ll work to help provide life-saving care and veterinary treatment to wild animals in distress. As well as feeding the wildlife animals and working on enclosure enrichment, you?ll also be involved in the care and medical treatment of animals.The nature of the work includes partly veterinary and partly care work with animals. There are two main sections to this project that you?ll be rotated on weekly.1. The Wildlife and wild cat awareness centre (for the public); and2. The Wildlife Rehabilitation and Clinic (not for the public).

From: £1595
Country: South Africa
Continent: Africa
Minimum age: 21
WILDLIFE AND GAME RESERVE CONSERVATION EXPEDITION IN KWAZULU-NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA

Programme Overview:

Work with a professional team (supported by WWF amongst others), with Cheetah, African Wild Dog and Black Rhino, as well as priority species like Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo.You'll work across different Game Reserves, helping to track wildlife, mapping the sightinhgs, observing animal behaviour and herd dynamics for research purposes, photographing and assisting with game counts, and so much more!Experience genuine conservation work in up to 5 different game reserves in the region, depending on the length of your stay. This project is very popular and gets booked up quickly, so we strongly advise early booking!

From: £1795
Country: South Africa
Continent: Africa
Minimum age: 17
CONSERVATION WITH BIG CATS IN A SANCTUARY NEAR CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Programme Overview:

Get up close and personal with big cats!You'll work behind the scenes in a sanctuary currently looking after Lions, Leopards and Tigers. You?ll help with all aspects of the day to day running of a big cat sanctuary, with the focus being on education and enclosure enrichment for the cats. This is a true conservation sanctuary and no ?cub-petting?, breeding or trading takes place!The sanctuary is situated on a 40 Hectare ?piece of paradise?, environmentally friendly and was created to rescue and care for captive-bred big cats, giving them a safe haven.

From: £1395
Country: South Africa
Continent: Africa
Minimum age: 18
PANDA CONSERVATION IN CHENGDU IN CHINA

Programme Overview:

Chubby black and white cute bears, chewing on bamboo, peaceful yet playful at times, it?s hard not to be charmed by the Giant Panda! Volunteer in the largest Panda base in China helping to protect and build a safe environment for the Giant Panda.There are only 1,600 left and they are listed as the most endangered species in the world, making this experience a true once in a lifetime opportunity. The focus here is on protecting and building a safe environment. The Project is located near the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Leshan Giant Buddha.

From: £995
Country: China
Continent: Asia
Minimum age: 16
VETERINARY, WILDLIFE GAME CAPTURE AND CONSERVATION IN LIMPOPO IN SOUTH AFRICA

Programme Overview:

You'll experience and witness some extraordinary sights, learn a great deal about African wildlife and work with the local community. Your work will include some veterinary experience, participation in some game captures (hugely exciting!), some community work and some wildlife monitoring.You may also get involved in other conservation-related fields. The amount of time you will have in the different areas will vary depending on the length of time you are there and what type of work is taking place or required at that time.

From: £1595
Country: South Africa
Continent: Africa
Minimum age: 17
CONSERVATION: WILDLIFE RESCUE AND REHABILITATION IN THE RAINFOREST IN ECUADOR

Programme Overview:

Help at an animal rescue centre to care for abused, neglected or abandoned animals and to rehabilitate and, where possible, release them back into the wild. This projects works to fight against animal trafficking, abuse and hunting of wild species.Some of the animals at the Rescue Centre are orphans because their parents were killed by hunters, others were rescued from animal dealers, and others were rescued from people who kept them in small cages! You'll be working with an organisation dedicated to caring for those animals that have nowhere else to go.

From: £1290
Country: Ecuador
Continent: South America
Minimum age: 18
CONSERVATION AND REHABILITATION OF LEMURS AND OTHER SPECIES IN MADAGASCAR

Programme Overview:

Get involved in the conservation and rehabilitation of the Lemur and other endemic species of flora and fauna!This amazing island offers you wonderful and unique experience in conserving this island?s precious ecosystem. You'll take part in various conservations activities which we have put in place where you can use your own initiative, research, time and effort in expressing your concern for the environment, whether natural, man made or cultural.

From: £845
Country: Madagascar
Continent: Africa
Minimum age: 16
TURTLE CONSERVATION IN AMBALANGODA IN SRI LANKA

Programme Overview:

This Project works towards preventing the extinction of sea turtles, a critically endangered species. You'll help in the rehabilitation and release back into the sea of turtles that are usually victims of commercial fishing. Apart from treating injured and sick sea turtles, you'll also be involved in protecting nests and rescuing eggs so that they can be hatched without incident in the safety of our hatchery.Daily tasks involve cleaning the turtle tanks, feeding and cleaning the turtles, cleaning the beach and general area and identifying different kinds of turtles.

From: £1245
Country: Sri Lanka
Continent: Asia
Minimum age: 18
ANIMAL WELFARE IN AN ENDANGERED ANIMAL SANCTUARY IN NORTHERN PERU

Programme Overview:

Improve the lives of endangered species native to the coast and jungle of Peru. Support the good works at the centre that supports the Humboldt Penguins!Take part in activities that will help build and maintain safe habitats for vulnerable animals and stop a further decline in their numbers.Efforts to assist Humboldt Penguins continue, but are challenging. Your ongoing help is needed! The energy you put in, will truly help many endangered animals out!

From: £1095
Country: Peru
Continent: South America
Minimum age: 18