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Volunteering - A to E

We have collated a number of courses requiring volunteers available to the backpacker and those just taking a gap year. Below is a list of organisations that offer courses or projects on a volunteer basis where you can help with your efforts on local projects.

When taking a Gap Year don’t forget Our Backpacker Travel Insurance is a great choice for anyone looking to travel for long periods and take part in work placements or volunteer programmes.

Volunteering Courses A to E

Across The Divide

You can take part in challenges that range from Desert and Jungle Medical Training to Diving and Marine Medicine courses. The courses run to a maximum of 22 days. The expeditions are fully supported with a trained doctor taking part and include trips to the Arctic Circle, Namib Desert and the Norwegian Fjords. Across the Divide arranges charity treks and multi sport challenges, each trip has an experienced leader, payment can be through sponsorship. Participants raise approximately £4 million a year for charities.

Blue Ventures

This company has been commended for its responsible tourism methods, its main remit is marine conservation and it programmes are open to adults who have had no previous experience in marine biology or conservation. Course lengths vary but can last more than 10 weeks. Locations include Malaysia, where you can be involved in turtle conservation, marine conservation in the Fijian islands or studying reef habitats in


BTCV has been running conservation holidays since the 1950’s and includes local conservation groups in its large nationwide network of volunteers. Short courses include those centred on the conservation of ponds, local wildlife and wetlands. Other courses centre on horticulture and environmental conservation. They also have opportunities to visit other groups around the globe.

Changing Worlds

Offering placements for people aged 18 to 29 in a variety of, mostly, voluntary programmes that include work in orphanages, schools, farms, zoos as well as community led programmes for young people. There is also some paid work available in the hotel and leisure industries in Dubai, Australia and New Zealand. Programmes can last up to 6

Earthwatch Institute

Earthwatch has a vast network of partners that enables them to offer a wide range of trips across the globe which helps conserve nature and natural environments and researches such areas as climate change and its effects on wildlife. Trips range from working with elephants in their natural habitat to digging for fossils in the US.

Eco Africa

Offering trips for up to 12 weeks in wildlife conservation areas in game reserves and national parks join in a 6 week course to train as a game ranger in South Africa. Destinations include South Africa, Sri Lanka and Kenya. You could travel to India and take part in an animal rescue programme aimed at street animals or elephant research in Sri Lanka, a tiger shark research programme in South Africa or a community project in the Eastern Cape.


This company offers a directory approach listing agencies offering volunteer work abroad and thus cutting out the middle man ensuring that the maximum amount paid for the course goes to the intended organisation. The courses are suitable for gap year students and those on a career break. Their categories include all the major areas of adventure travel including ecotourism, conservation, teaching, research and farming.

Volunteering Courses - F to M