Set in beautiful rural surrounds of Ban Keun, this wildlife sanctuary was formed to combat the rise in illegal animal trafficking. Unfortunately, Laos is one of South-East Asia’s major gateways of wildlife smuggling and every day thousands of endangered and vulnerable animals leave and enter the country. The sanctuary was formed after Laos Zoo brought on consulting wildlife organisations and the local government in 2015.

Laos zoo, for many years, went without the vital expertise needed which meant the animal residents were not often properly looked after. But now, with the implemented sanctuary all animal welfare has drastically improved!

As a volunteer on this project, you’ll help to develop the sanctuary and care for the 500+ animals that live here. Feeding the animals, cleaning their enclosures and creating enrichment will all be on the agenda! You’ll also help to construct new and more natural enclosures for these animals allowing them to live the best lives possible.  



Day 1

After arriving at Vientiane International Airport, you’ll be picked up by a member of project staff and transfer to the sanctuary, roughly a 2-hour drive. You’ll be shown to your room and given time to settle in before receiving an orientation tour.

Day 2-13

You’ll start your morning activities at 7:30am, after a brief meeting to discuss the day’s tasks. Your mornings will consist of caring for the animals by feeding them and cleaning their enclosures. After a mid-morning break, you’ll start a construction project which you will continue with after lunch. The final activity of the day, before finishing at 5pm, will be caring for the nocturnal residents. Sunday’s are usually the elected day off for volunteers.

Day 14

Sadly, today will be your last day on the project and after saying goodbye to your fellow volunteers and your new-found animal friends, you’ll head back to the airport to begin your journey home or commence your onward travel plans.


Project Activities

Animal Feeding

Preparing and serving the animals food is a huge part of volunteering on this project. With over 500 animals and constant new arrival,s there are many portions of food to be made up and delivered every day!

Animal Enrichment

Creating enrichment for the animals is another big and important task! Volunteers will help to create enrichment for the animals to keep them stimulated and to encourage natural behaviours that will benefit those that will potentially be released.

Enclosure Cleaning

Volunteers will help with the cleaning of the animal’s enclosures each day and will make sure they have clean and comfortable homes. Cleaning the enclosures is essential to ensuring the animals are healthy and safe.

Construction Projects

Transforming the old zoo grounds into the new, thriving sanctuary is an ongoing task. As a volunteer, you’ll help to build a future for the new rescue and education centre by taking part in construction projects. You’ll also help to improve the animal’s enclosures by building enrichment structures such as pools and climbing platforms. Helping them live healthy, happy lives!

Free Time

Usually, Sunday is the elected day off for volunteers. Volunteers may take a trip to a local resort where you can treat yourself, for a small price, to a dip in the pool and the cheap beer. There is also a small village located 200 metres away from the sanctuary, with a market and a handful of restaurants you can visit.