What is voluntourism?

Voluntourism is experiencing somewhere new while you volunteer at the destination. You could be helping out at a school, an orphanage, helping to build structures or even helping wildlife at a sanctuary.  It is a great way to see a new place from the perspective of a local and will allow you to meet many new friends!

The good things:

  • Positively contributing to an organisation or location
  • Meeting new people
  • Life/ career experience
  • Living like a local, not a tourist
  • You have more time at the location than you would have if you were visiting

Things to ask yourself before you volunteer:

  • Am I actually going to make a positive contribution to the community or environment?
  • What are the ethics or morals of the place I wish to volunteer in?
  • Will they be exploiting me or my values?
  • What is the cost of working here?
  • Is it a big business or a small organisation? Which would I rather contribute to?

Handy resources

It is almost impossible to find big cat sanctuaries that don’t contribute to canned hunting so here are a few that are Heroic Tourism approved!

Here are some amazing elephant sanctuaries too!

The most highly rated volunteer sanctuary for animals in tourism is: