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Plan & Do Panda Volunteer Program in Sichuan

Search for where can do panda volunteer program all over the world? A certain answer is here - there is no other place but China providing the memorable volunteer program to make a meaningful difference!

Head to the “Real Hometown of Giant Pandas” - Sichuan Province in China, and volunteers can choose among three natural panda bases - Dujiangyan Panda Base, Ya’an Bifengxia Panda Base and Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base where you can take care of the endangered giant pandas and have conservation with them. During the program, volunteers will see as many pandas as possible, clean the pandas’ enclosures, prepare special panda food, chop bamboo...

For travelers who are interested in volunteering with red pandas (the lesser panda or red bear-cat), it is suggested to reach Wolong Hetaoping Panda Base for the one full day red panda volunteer program.

Essential Things to Know about China Panda Volunteer Program

All about Panda Volunteer Program

1. Where Can Do Panda Volunteer Program in China? How to Choose It?

Panda Base Volunteer Length Distance from Chengdu Features
Dujiangyan Panda Base 1 day 62 kilometers (1-1.5 hours) the closest panda base from Chengdu; over 30 pandas live here.
Bifengxia Panda Base 1 day / 3 days or longer 155 kilometers (2.5-3 hours) awesome site to do volunteer program for 3 days or more; over 40 pandas live here.
Shenshuping Panda Base 1 day 100 kilometers (2 hours) located in Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries in primitive environment; the largest breeding center for giant pandas; over 30 pandas live here.
Hetaoping Panda Base 1 day 120 kilometers (2.5 hours) the only base to attend Red Panda volunteer program.

How to Choose a Panda Base?

  • For panda lovers who have very limited time in Chengdu, it is recommended to visit Chengdu Panda Base which is located in the northeast of Chengdu suburb with 30 minutes’ drive. Travelers can see nearly 120 giant pandas & baby pandas, as well as 76 red pandas. (PS: No panda volunteer program is provided in this base.)
  • To experience the one-day volunteering work, you’d better go to Dujiangyan Panda Base which is chosen by 80% - 90% volunteers.
  • If you want to experience something different in a relatively primitive environment, Shenshuping Panda Base or Bifengxia Panda Base is a good choice to do the volunteer program.

2. Who Can Join a Panda Volunteer Program?

To do the panda volunteer program, volunteers should be aged between 10 and 70 years old. The numbers of different bases are different and you can have a check before booking. If the booking for one base is full, you’d better head to another base or change your time to do the volunteer program.

  • Dujiangyan Panda Base: The center can accept up to 50 volunteers at any one time and the age should be between 10 and 70 years old.
  • Bifengxia Panda Base: The center can accept up to 40 volunteers at one time (only 20 volunteers once in July and August) and the age should be between 12 and 65.
  • Shenshuping Panda Base: Shenshuping Panda Base can accept up to 15 volunteers at one time and the age should be between 12 and 65.

3. Is Health Examination Form Needed?

Yes, every volunteer needs a health examination form. Being a volunteer, you should apply it a week in advance with your Application Form and Health Examination Form (valid medical certificate and signature which could apply it in your country or in China). Interested people could feel free to contact our travel consultant to get more information about the form!

4. You’d Better Book 10 Days in Advance

It is recommended to make a reservation of the panda volunteer programs at least 10 days in advance, and even 1 to 2 months earlier for volunteers during peak seasons (mainly May to October).

5. What a Volunteer Program Consists of?

The following is the sample volunteer program at Dujiangyan Panda Base and you can have a general idea about what for a volunteer to do in a panda base.

Time Activity
Learn safety announcement and sign the security agreement; put on the work suit and gloves, wear the volunteer pass card before go to the work place; the staff will tell the panda volunteer matters need attention.
"Honorable Panda Keeper" experience: carry out the old bamboo, wash the panda house, clean up the panda excrement, carry in the fresh bamboo, etc.
"Wonderful Panda Tour" time: visit other panda enclosures, look around the panda base for more giant pandas and red pandas.
Have lunch with the staff in the restaurant and take a break;
Visit around the base and see the cute panda if you like. 
"Panda Cinema": Watch a panda documentary that shows the scientific facts about panda, to understand how humans protect them.
"Panda Nutritionist" time: prepare food for the panda and also make the panda cake.
Answer some scientific questions about panda through your whole days’ experience; Plant bamboo to improve the pandas’ environment; and then, finish the panda volunteer experience and get the panda volunteer certificate and souvenirs.

6. What are the Volunteer Fees?

Usually, the program fees range between 700 - 1000 RMB which include the volunteering work, uniform, sightseeing, sightseeing vehicle in the base, lunch, certificate and souvenirs, etc.

For panda volunteers who want a worry free package including private car with driver and an experienced tour guide escorted you the whole way, the fee will increase and please feel free to contact our travel consultant for the reasonable quote (PS: before ready to book the panda volunteer program packages, the quote will be free.)

7. Is Training Provided?

Conservation efforts should always have a positive effect on the giant pandas, and for this to happen, volunteers should have a good knowledge of how to best serve the needs of the “black and white animals” they work with. The panda base at the above four panda bases will first train their participants before do the volunteering work. These measures ensure the safety of both the volunteers and the animals themselves.

8. Panda Volunteer Program Practical Tips

  • Dress Code: For you need to do some physical work, like carrying and breaking bamboo, cleaning the panda house, please try to wear comfortable (like sneaker) and do not wear skirt, short pants or slipper.
  • No Strong Smells: For pandas have keen sense of smell, volunteers should avoid using perfume or other odorous articles like mosquito repellent liquid or nail polish, skin care products, makeups, etc. on the volunteering workday.
  • Healthy Bodies: To well protect giant pandas, volunteers are required to be healthy, and people who are suffering from illness, like a cold, fever, influenza, and other infectious diseases are not suitable to have physical contact with the giant pandas.
  • Photo-taking Permission: Please get permission before take photos and videos!
  • Force Majeure: The panda volunteer is to be delayed or inaccessible if there is Force Majeure like earthquakes, epidemic... Also, the inevitable requirement and control of the government, country may influence your volunteer program.

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