Volunteer Experience | Environmental & Wildlife

China: Panda Experience

Chengdu, China


Location: Chengdu, China

Duration: 1 week placement

Start Dates: Project is on-going, and you can join at any time, depending upon availability. Placements start each Monday

Cost: €1,200 Euros for the week – see Costs tab for further details

Includes: all food, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation, in-country support and all project related activities

Does not Include: flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations


  • Get very close to the amazing pandas, working with staff to help keep them clean and happy
  • Flexible placement, tailored according to your interests and abilities.

On hold until further notice

Costs Explained


Adorable black and white bears, with their plump appearance, indulging in the consumption of bamboo – the Giant Panda exudes both tranquility and playfulness, captivating all who encounter them!

In light of dedicated conservation initiatives and increased awareness, the World Wildlife Federation has upgraded the status of Pandas from “endangered” to “vulnerable.” However, their position on the “vulnerable” list underscores the continued significance of conservation endeavors. It remains imperative to sustain and strengthen these efforts to ensure the preservation of these marvels of nature, allowing Giant Pandas to triumph over the looming threat of extinction.

Daily Life

Embark on a meaningful journey with us at the Bifengxia Giant Panda base, a distinguished branch of the China Conservation & Research Center for the Giant Panda, renowned as one of the largest of its kind. Established in 2003, its prominence surged in 2008 when it became the new home for pandas relocated from the earthquake-ravaged Wolong Panda base. Since then, the panda population has more than doubled, a remarkable accomplishment that has significantly contributed to the global panda community. Your presence here will play a vital role in supporting the base’s ongoing efforts to release pandas into the wild, realizing a long-standing ambition.

Engage in an immersive experience by dedicating approximately 5-7 hours each day to work alongside panda caretakers. Your responsibilities will include preparing a diverse range of food for the pandas, including apples, panda bread, carrots, and their beloved bamboo. Additionally, you’ll participate in feeding the pandas with the nutritious meals you’ve crafted, contribute to cleaning their enclosures, and ensure a secure and enriching environment for these captivating creatures.

As a participant in this unique program, you will enjoy exclusive privileges such as complimentary access to stroll through the panda reserve – an experience typically requiring payment for other visitors. Explore the panda nursery (available approximately from July to September), witness animal rescue initiatives, discover educational facilities, and more. While you’re encouraged to explore, exercise caution not to venture too far into the forest, and strictly adhere to the guidance of the panda caretakers for the safety of both yourself and the pandas.

Commitment to your assigned tasks is essential, but should unforeseen circumstances arise, communicate promptly with the panda caretaker or coordinator. Immerse yourself in the company of these incredible and beautiful creatures, bearing in mind that pandas, being wild animals, possess a natural inclination for leisure and independent relaxation. Your dedication and cooperation will ensure a rewarding and unforgettable experience in the service of panda conservation.


Chengdu Hostel

  • Meet at our meeting point and transfer to the hostel in Chengdu City. Please note there is no airport pickup from TFU (Chengdu Tianfu International Airport), please kindly follow the guidance of Arrival information.


Panda Reserve

  • Breakfast
  • City walk and visit Chengdu IFS and Taiguli shopping area.
  • Lunch
  • Pack your luggage and transfer to Shuangliu Airport. Take a bus from the airport to Panda Reserve (approx. 2.5 hours by bus)
  • Dinner and ice-breaking
  • Orientation: Meet the team of the Panda Reserve and introduce yourself.


Panda Reserve

  • Breakfast
  • Get acquainted with the rules and regulations. Read and understand them thoroughly, and don’t hesitate to ask questions if anything is unclear.
  • Sign the security agreements. These are essential for ensuring everyone’s safety and well-being.
  • Collect your working manuals and assignments. These will outline your responsibilities and tasks for the coming days.
  • Receive information about the tasks you will be carrying out. Ask clarifying questions and get a good sense of what’s expected.
  • Get your uniform, participant card, and any other materials you’ll need from your working group.
  • Lunch at the Panda Reserve Hostel
  • Watch a documentary about the Giant Panda.
  • Split into groups and make Panda cake in turns. Panda cake is a form of food for Pandas prepared from fresh ingredients.
  • Dinner
  • Chinese lessons and Chinese handwriting


Panda Reserve

  • Breakfast
  • Meet at the Gate of the Panda base. A staff member will lead your group to your respective places of work.
  • You should finish your tasks under the Panda keepers’ guidance, such as cleaning the Panda house. The Panda keepers decide on tasks.
  • After completing the morning tasks, meet at the participant service center. Staff will lead the Canteen for Lunch
  • After Lunch, you will return to the participant service center and support the Panda reserve staff in simple research activities. These vary depending on need. Your time at the Panda base is over. Return your work uniform, participant card, and gloves.
  • Dinner
  • Playing Mahjong


Chengdu Hostel

  • Breakfast
  • After breakfast, we will walk to Bifengxia Vally and visit there.
  • After lunch, we will travel back to Chengdu and take a rest in hotel.
  • Dinner: Try Chengdu’s famous food– hotpot.


 Chengdu Hostel

  • Breakfast
  • Visit Chengdu museum
  • After lunch will walk around Chengdu City,  which will last 3-4 hours. (People’s Park Kuanzhai Alley, Tianfu Square, Panda Post Office)


  • If this is the last week of your program, it’s time for you to say goodbye after breakfast. Transportation from the hostel to the airport is not included, our coordinator will help you to arrange it which you should pay for on your own.
  • You will arrive at the airport around noon. Late afternoon flights are recommended to be on time!

***This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions, and unforeseen circumstances.***

Book with Confidence

Travel & Accom.

You will be met at Chengdu airport and transported to the project location by bus.

During your Panda program, you will be staying at two different accommodations.

  • Sunday, Thursday, Friday stay at Chengdu Hostel
  • Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday stay at the Hostel of Panda Reserve

There are a few small shops in and around the panda base; and a bar and common room opposite the hotel, where you can relax, watch TV, and share your experiences with other adventurers.

The Panda Base can provide free Internet access during working hours; but when you need money, or wish to use an Internet cafe, you’ll have to make the short trip into Ya’an City. If you need medical assistance at any time, there’s a clinic at the base, and several good hospitals in Ya’an.

Fundraising Help


  • Minimum age 18.
  • No previous skills are necessary, however you will need to speak English at a native or near-native level.
  • Minimum & maximum 1 week commitment
  • Necessary vaccinations.
  • Necessary flights & visas.
  • Full travel & medical insurance.
Premium Support Upgrade


€1200 Euros for the week

* Check the latest currency conversions with xe.com
** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee.
*** Placements are confirmed with a 1 week deposit

What’s Included:

Project Fee includes food, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation, in-country support and project activities.

Private rooms are available for an additional €150 per week.

What’s not included:

Flights, insurance, visas (if applicable) and vaccinations. Full assistance will be provided in getting all these arranged if you choose our Premium Support.

Premium Support Upgrade

We understand there’s a great deal to plan and organise for your trip. When booking a Placement, many of our participants choose to purchase our Premium Support Upgrade to benefit from the expertise, knowledge and experience of our Project Coordinators.

We can provide the personal advice you need to ensure your trip is organised with excellence and planned with efficiency; ensuring the very best experience possible. Read more about how we can help you.

Note: Map coordinates are approximate

Past Participants Say

Valerie Frazier
United States
Nomad Rating
Project Impact
Extra Activities
  "So here is some detail of the work we did. I will be open - it is not glamorous but it is so worth it. It is a very physical job. We start work about 8:40. The keeper typically has started getting the pandas inside so we can clean the outside. We scoop up all the panda poo we can find. A nice walk thru their outside enclosure. :) We also...
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Jeremy Admin
United Kingdom
Nomad Rating
Project Impact
Extra Activities
This is definitely a lifetime experience and I learned a lot in this program. We spent the first two days in the city Chengdu and visited one panda base here. Also, we tried some local food and got to know each other in this program. We then moved to the Bifengxia Panda base to start the volunteer work. Our major work was to clean the enclosure and...
Read More