Nature Travel Specialists

nature travel, wildlife tours, adventure travel and general travel to Australia, Southeast Asia and South America



Many people would like to do a little more and use their time while traveling to assist the country they are visiting, or would like to become more deeply involved with the things they are seeing. This section is devoted to nature travel where you can be more active in the country you are visiting than just observing - not that there's anything wrong with that. Remember, your very presence in an activity such as wildlife viewing, or visiting a National Park, presents an economic benefit to the country or region involved, and therefore encourages the preservation of the area.


But if you would like to get more down and dirty, we seek out relevant research and volunteer wildlife and nature travel opportunities and present them here. In some instances, we are actively involved in the program, arranging volunteers or assistants for the organization involved. With others we may simply offer to help with the mechanics, such as air arrangements and additional activities before or after the core activity. Lastly, we may just list connections to some opportunities - for example to countries we don't operate in, or completely self-contained opportunities, where the organization either arranges everything itself, or has contracted with another company to do so. Regardless, we're trying to get the information out, as research & volunteer travel is a great way to help the planet. In all cases if you wish to go direct, that's fine with us - the idea is to help.


As we are primarily a natural history travel company, that's the focus of our research and volunteer travel. However, many of the connections will lead to sites with more general outlooks, so if you've arrived here looking to help with and engineering project, check out the links anyway. If you know of any volunteer or research travel opportunities, or are responsible for such opportunities, please email us with more information. We're always looking add new opportunities.


Best as we try, we can't keep up with all the opportunities, and some may not be operating by the time you read this. Please check directly with the organizations for dates.


Volunteer travel tends to be cheaper, and the accommodations more down scale. Research travel tends to be more expensive, although the acommodation may or may not be nicer. With research travel you are usually making a significant monetary contribution to the research as well as a contibution of labor. Earthwatch is probably the best known of the commercial research travel organizations. You can also contact your alumni organization; many of these support research around the world.


ProAves is a Colombian conservation organization that operates Ecovolunteers for projects around Colombia (it's OK, it's safe there now and is one of our favorite countries). Volunteer opportunities aren't free, but way cheaper than a normal tour, and you get to add to knowledge that is directly helping conservation in Colombia and South America.


Green Volunteers offers worldwide wildlife and conservation voluntary work with nearly 500 projects listed. There are both short and long-term, marine and terrestrial projects designed to protect a variety of habitats and species.


Ecovolunteer is based in the Netherlands, and has a list of volunteer projects, based on species, and detailed information how to join.


Rainforest Action Network has a page of volunteer opportunities and similar travel, although many of the listing are not volunteer or research travel, but opportunities for internships, research projects, and overseas study. Click here to have a look specifically at this page, or RAN's name for their website generally.


Birdlife International has Pacific area volunteer opportunities on their website.

black sulawesi macaquePPS Tasikoki is a volunteer wildlife rescue and rehabitiation facililty near Bitung in northern Sulawesi. Northern Sulawesi has a number of rare, endangered and vulnerable species, and is also close to ports where through which wildlife is smuggled, both internally for pets and overseas. In addition to rescue and rehabilitation of woldlife, Tasikoki also has an outreach program for local schoolchildren, an important first step to put an end to capture and smuggling of wildlife. Volunteers are welcome, from rehabilitators to educators to assist with the outreach program. Volunteer opportunities with this and other organizations in Indonesia can be found on our Indonesia Volunteer Opportunities page here. Indonesia is a personal favorite destination of the staff of Nature Travel Specialists, and we know this area. We encourage you to help with any assistance you can, either in person or by donation.


Lifenet has a number of bird volunteer opportunities in Ecuador, but there is a tax-deductible donation of $1000-$1500 for the two-week programs, which covers all of your expenses from the start of the program in Quito.


The Orangutan Foundation International has volunteer opportunities (fee charged) in Kalimantan, Borneo, working with young orangutans as they are prepared to return to the wild. You can find more information and how to apply here.


Amazon Shelter, part of CRCAS, has a week-long voluntourism opportunity working with rescued Amazonwildlife in Puerto Maldonado, Peru. This is a wonderful opportunity to contribute while getting to know the Peruvian rainforest and its wildlife personally. More information can be found on our Amazon Wildlife Volunteer page.


Ornjobs, a project of Ornithological Societies of North America supported by Cornell sends out an email irregularly with paid and volunteer positions, mostly working with birds during the summer in the US. Jobs are primarily aimed at students or recent grads seeking experience, and many have a small stipend. However, hidden among these are usually some overseas wildlife volunteer jobs, most of which have minimum periods of at least 2 to 3 weeks. Typical work is bird-banding, observations, etc. Occasionally an opprtunity to work with non-feathered species pops up. You can subscribe to their listserv to get updates, but we list them as they come in, usually evey week or two from about January to April, outside these months new opportunities slow down. We also feature international wildlife work (and Alaska and Hawaii) from this source on the next page (click below) on; current US openings can be found on our bird intern and jobs pages.


For 2007 we have selected the Tasmanian Devil, currently facing a threat to its existance from Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease, as our eco-charity. You can volunteer to assist in monitoring the Devil in Tasmania - go to our Tassie Devil Volunteer page.



Click here for Research & Volunteer Opportunities for Hawaii, Alaska and Other Countries