The Great Projects

The Great Projects

Volunteer with The Great Projects and really help to save some of the most endangered animals around the world!

Here at The Great Projects we believe that there is a better way to holiday. With us you can volunteer with the world’s most incredible wildlife in breath-taking environments.

From working with orangutans in the Bornean rainforest to tracking elephants in the Namibian desert - our 35+ projects can really offer you life changing experiences.

We work with organisations worldwide to establish high standards in animal welfare and conservation within the responsible tourism sector. The Great Projects believe in using sustainable tourism as a tool to positively impact local communities and at-risk environments to aid the conservation of endangered animals, as well as fragile ecosystems all over the globe.

What’s more, through our donations to projects (up to a third of the price each time someone volunteers) and sustainable initiatives, you will know that your travel really does help to make a difference to not only conserving and protecting wildlife but also to the local communities which live amongst them.

Duration / Dates

7 days to 3 months.

Costs / Pay

From £500 and upwards (dependent on the project in question).

Placement Info

A range of volunteer projects and voluntours working with wildlife and local communities in Africa, Asia, South America and Europe.

Contact Info

Tel: +44 (0)208 885 4987

Address : The Great Projects, 3 Dairy Yard, Star Street, Ware, SG12 7DX

Contact / Enquiry

The Great Projects Reviews

Would recommend in a heart beat!

I went to the animal sanctuary in Bolivia where animals are always first - everyone is so committed to the animals!

By: Maria Renee Barreal
Nationality: Bolivian
Age: 33

If you are a kind heart and love animals The Great Projects are perfect

I went to volunteer in Bolivia with the Great Projects and it was such an eye opening experience to learn about the animals of South America, the extent of the illegal animal trade and the damage to the animals it causes. This was just the volunteering holiday I needed. When you go on these sorts of holidays you should not expect creature comforts but I would expect to get a dirty, very dirty! I'll continue to spread awareness about illegal animal trade with my acquired experience.

By: Louise Tomlin
Nationality: Australia
Age: 29

Namibia is a treasure

I went to Namibia in 2013 for a trip of a lifetime. The naankuse ranch, the neauras trip, the desert all the people and of course all the animals! Everything was super well organised by the great project as well. Super friendly staff and had quick answers to all my questions. I think everyone should do a trip with the great projects at least once in their lifetime. It's mind opening fun for an affordable sum that you will never forget.

By: Seb
Nationality: Swedish
Age: 30

The Orangutan and Tribes tour

I am so happy that I booked onto The Great Projects as they are trying to conserve and protect not only the land but the animals, especially the Orangutans and the tribes that live in the jungle. They are doing a fantastic job and like minded tourists are in dire need. If anyone wants to experience the jungle and tribe life and help save it at the same time then please book onto this trip!
The two weeks there I held back tears, mostly sorrow but also joy. It's heart breaking hearing and actually seeing the reality of deforestation and also being with a tribe that was tricked into signing a contract that they couldn't read or understand, the chief believing the man who told them that he would help them, is just terrible. The jungle is their life and want to protect it as much as we do.
Definitely recommend this trip to anyone who loves animals and conservation. Truely had the best time there!

By: Hayley
Nationality: British
Age: 27


I was very lucky to find The Great Projects! I found their site easy to navigate and once I reached out the customer service was top notch. I had a zillion questions as it was my first time traveling alone and my first time to Africa. They answered every question I had and made me feel very happy with my choice of the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary. They handled my flights, recommended hotels to stay before and after the trip, and the my projects page on the website helped to keep everything organized. After almost 24 hours in flights, I arrived in Namibia, still a bit scared. But I was SO happy when the very first person I saw outside of baggage claim was holding a sign with my name. That put me at ease. It was a short ride to the sanctuary where I spent two amazing weeks here over the holidays. I had incredible experiences and met so many amazing people. The staff there are so friendly and fun and passionate about their jobs. My favorite activities were walking with the baboons (especially my favorite, Shrinky!) and the game count on horse back. I actually started crying happy tears - being on horseback, in Africa, surrounded by zebra and many other animals. It could not have been more perfect. I was also really pleasantly surprised by the food. I'm a vegetarian and brought jars of peanut butter and dozens of protein bars assuming I wouldn't have much to eat. To my surprise, they had vegetarian meat at many dinners. I never went hungry. The staff made Christmas and New Years Eve so special for us, with great activities and meals. I left here with so many new friends from around the world. I cried all morning the day I left and I'm already researching another volunteer trip with them.

By: Lori
Nationality: American
Age: 41

Great White Shark Project

I will never forget my trip in South Africa volunteering with Great White Sharks. I had the best experience of my life and met some amazing people. I love the ocean and sharks, so this project was the perfect fit for me.

During the summer of 2017 I traveled abroad alone for the first time. The staff with the Great Projects made everything so easy! They were able to find and book flights that are reasonable in price and have comfortable accommodations for long flights. If you want to extend your stay and travel more they can help you with that as well.

I’m already saving up to go on another trip through the great projects, and I’m sure I’ll continue to book my volunteer adventures with them for a long time.

By: Jessica
Nationality: American
Age: 21

A ‘voluntourism’ experience with integrity.

I had been thinking of doing some travel to see different parts of the world and I feel I was extremely fortunate to come across The GreatProjects in my instagram feed.

I decided that I’d like to head somewhere in Africa where I would be likely to see and help conserve the animals that are in danger of extinction and after looking through the different projects I decided to head to Shamwari Game Reserve in South Africa for four weeks.

I wasn’t 100% on what being part of ‘Team Shamwari’ (this is what the project volunteers participants are refferrred to as) would entail but signed up for a four week stay but couldn’t have been happier once I was there! The accommodation was brilliant, I was in twin room with an ensuite sharing with one other volunteer and there were three meals provided each day - breakfast we prepared ourselves and was either toast or cereal with a cooked breakky followed by lunch and dinner each week day. The meals were tasty and filling which is exactly what we needed for a long days at the reserve.

In terms of daily activities we generally did a half day of ‘work’ (removal of weeds and maintenance of the roads and fences) every second day. The other time I was there we would observe and monitor the wildlife at the reserve. We would track specific elephants and learned who to identify which family groups they were as well as keeping record of what they were eating when while we were tracking them. We helped out the vet team with some health checks of a specific elephant bull and we’re lucky enough to see the lion cubs playing with their mother and aunties. While at the camp we were regularly witness to velvet monkeys, zebra and nyala which was surreal. During my time at Shamwari we also spent a half day at the BornFree foundation learning about the animals there and how they are best cared for.

My favourite day was Fridays as it was the day we would travel to volunteer at the local community’s Children’sParadise’ playing, drawing and teaching some basic English words to the kids there.

The weekends are left free for volunteers to spend them at their own leisure and we would usually hang around camp, watch movies and spend time swimming in the pool when it was hot. We were also informed by FreeWalker tours and most volunteers spent at least one weekend during their stay exploring nearby areas/towns doing hikes, zip lining, horse riding etc.

The education I received at Shamwari was one of the best components of the experience. We watched Blood Lions and discussed the issues around poaching at length with the staff at Shamwari and it was enlightening, I was shown a different perspective of the issues that South Africa is facing and have continued to fundraise and donate to organisations helping to conserve endangered animal species.

The only down side was the cliques that formed during the project, people were soon saving seats and whole trucks for their friends in the vehicles we’d head out in each day which I found immature and annoying but this was a minimal aspect to my time spent at Shamwari.

I think it was great value for money and feel privileged to have seen four of the Big Five animals in the wild (leopards were the only one I didn’t see in the wild but did see them at BornFree). The weekend activities were also a great way to extend the ‘African’ experience and after my first trip to Shamwari I just really want to head back there!

By: Megan Saw
Nationality: Australian
Age: 29

The only true way to travel

I was lucky enough to win my trip with The Great projects through a competition they won, and I went on their Orangutans tour in Borneo.
To say this trip will open your eyes, humble you and let you grow out of a mould you didn’t even know you were stuck in, is an understatement.
You get to see the real country, the real Borneo, eat the real food that the locals eat, whether it be a roadside eatery to stop off at, or a riverside BBQ with the food being scavenged along your river boat trek to Pebble beach. Being vegan, I was catered to UNBELIEVEABLY WELL, probably the best vegan food I’ve ever eaten to be quite frank; the flavours, the freshness. It’s cant be beaten.
Another amazing fact is that these trips contribute to real eco-tourism, we got to see and learn about the rescued orangutans and sunbears at the sanctuary and make them enrichment toys. Not to mention travel by boat to a treehouse in the jungle and meet and play hilarious games with the iban tribe chief and his family, or to turtle island to clean up the beach and see the release of newly hatched baby turtles!
All these amazing experiences just to name a few, and to do so with friends that after just a few days, you’ll be thick as thieves with. And that includes the people working at the sanctuary and your inland-tour guide.
Honestly, you couldn’t regret this experience even if your tried.

By: Raphaella Ruggiero
Nationality: British
Age: 21

Experience of a life time

Volunteering with The Great Projects was one of the most incredible and sureal experiences of my life. I travelled to Borneo in order to help at Samboja Lestari Orangutan sanctuary. Throughout the long hours that it took to get there I tried to imagine what to expect: what would I be doing? What good can I do during the time I'm there?

Well I now know that what I would be doing is a something amazing and it turns out that myself with a team of 5 others could do a whole lot of good in 2 weeks.

During my time there I helped with enrichment activities and built part of an island that would be used for years to come by the Orangutans. We also cared for the sunbears that live at the sanctuary. At the end of it I felt like I'd really accomplished something amazing and would not hesitate to go back at a moments notice.

Now I won't lie, volunteering at the sanctuary was some of the hardest work I have ever done in my life. Lifting and carrying iron wood posts to the island in the sweltering 30 degree heat in tough work. However, it is worth every second when you get to see an orangutan wake up on their island, surrounding by lush vegetation and high nesting posts.

If you won't to give back to the world and are thinking of volunteering I would definitely recommend working with The Great Projects. The volunteer coordinator was amazing and she will make sure you have an experience you will never forget.

By: Ryan Cookson
Nationality: British
Age: 26

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