Portugal – Wolf Conservation and Lisbon Experience

This program is now open and accepting international volunteers!

Contribute to the conservation of wolves in Portugal! Begin your volunteer adventure experiencing the bustling capital city of Lisbon and then enjoy making a difference at a nearby wolf reserve.

 

Program Highlights:

  • Gain experience in wildlife conservation
  • Contribute to the conservation of wolves
  • Spend two days in the vibrant city of Lisbon
  • Enjoy a complimentary pub crawl or tour of Belém, Alfama or Sintra
  • Use free weekends to explore more of the country

 

Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum two-week commitment):

Arrival Day, Monday: Arrive at Lisbon Airport (LIS). Volunteers will be picked up and taken to the hostel to settle in.

Day 1, Tuesday: Volunteers will have the opportunity to join a complimentary tour of their choice on this day. Options include a pub crawl or tour of Belém, Alfama or Sintra.

Day 2, Wednesday: A member of the hostel’s staff will arrange for a taxi to take volunteers to the program site. (The taxi cost is included in the program fee.) Volunteers will be taken to the accommodations to settle in, meet current participants and will receive a short introduction to the program.

Days 3-13, Thursday-Sunday: Volunteers will work Monday-Friday, seven hours each day, starting at 9:00 AM and finishing at 6:00 PM (with a two-hour lunch break). During summer months, work may begin earlier and end later, with a break during the hottest part of the day. After a few morning tasks, weekends are free for volunteers.

Day 14, Monday: Departure day for volunteers staying two weeks and regular volunteer work day for those extending their stay.

Remaining Weeks: The remaining weeks will follow the schedule of volunteering Monday-Friday and having weekends free. Departures are on Mondays.

 

Location icon Location of the Project: Greater Lisbon Area, Portugal

Project length Project length: Min 2 weeks – Max 4 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Lisbon Airport (LIS)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work:  Wildlife conservation

Age Age:  Min age 18

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Up to 8 international volunteers

 

What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Shared rooms in a hostel and volunteer house

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup is provided upon arrival

Orientation Orientation: A short introductory orientation will be provided upon arrival.

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

 

What’s not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, meals and groceries, personal expenses.

Portugal is a stunning country in southwestern Europe bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and Spain to the north and east. Its rocky history with dictatorship left it one of the poorest countries in Europe pre-1974 when democracy was then introduced and gave rise to the inspiring current-day prosperity found in the region. The county’s rich culture, picturesque countryside, and lively cities make Portugal both a fantastic tourist destination and unique home to its roughly 10 million warm and hospitable locals.

The capital city of Lisbon is a popular tourist destination, and is most well-known for its bright yellow trains. The reserve is located in the district of Lisbon, on the west coast of Portugal, and is just a tad more than half an hour’s drive from Lisbon.

Join a non-governmental, non-profit association dedicated to conserving the wolf and its ecosystem in Portugal. This program seeks to guarantee the survival of the wolf in Portugal through applied research, practical conservation efforts and educating the community about environmental issues.

The wolf reserve sits on an impressive 18 hectares (44 acres), allowing the wolves to roam in a proper habitat. The reserve is a haven for wolves that can no longer live in the wild. The wolves at this center were either born in captivity or illegally removed from the wild and raised in illegal captive conditions. The wolves contribute to increasing public awareness for the conservation of the species.

Volunteer tasks may vary, depending on the current needs of the project.

Some of your tasks may include:

  • Preparing food – Please note: food preparation involves handling and cutting raw meat.;
  • Feeding the wolves;
  • Checking the wolves’ water supply (during summer at least three times per day)
  • Monitoring and observing the wolves;
  • Forest maintenance (70% of the time): tree felling and pruning; removal of branches and other materials and subsequent burning; vegetation clearing using agricultural tools like hoes and scythes; and so on. During the summer (May to October) volunteers participate in fire watch, which can include night rounds;
  • Infrastructure maintenance: checking enclosure’s walls and fences, painting; pathways improvement.

Internet icon Internet: WiFi is available at the hostel and is available in the office room of the accommodations area at the volunteer program.

Laundry icon Laundry: A washing machine is available for use at the volunteer program

Accommodations icon Accommodations: During the first two nights in Lisbon, volunteers will stay in shared, mixed-gender dorm rooms in a hostel with up to six people per room. Private room upgrades are available at an additional fee. During the volunteer program, volunteers will stay in wooden volunteer houses. The program price includes a 4 bed mixed gender dorm room. This room is based upon availability, and if full at the time of booking, volunteers will need to pay an additional fee to upgrade to one of the smaller rooms. Upgrades to a private room for couples is also an option at an additional fee. The bathrooms and kitchens in the houses are shared.

Food icon Food: While in Lisbon, volunteers are responsible for their own meals. During the volunteer program, the local team takes volunteers to a nearby supermarket for groceries. Volunteers must pay for and prepare their own meals.

 

Please take note of this project’s minimum requirements:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • Fluent level of English or Portuguese
  • Good level of physical fitness
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Able to complete tasks independently

Volunteers have two days off per week, but extra days are possible if requested.
Here are some travel suggestions for your free days:

– Science and Natural History Museum
– Botanic Garden
– Lisbon Story Centre
– Fado Museum
– Dolphin watching in Lisbon or Setúbal
– Sintra – a lot of palaces to visit, very nice village and very good cakes at “Piriquita”
– Óbidos – a beautiful village surrounded by a castle- Mafra Palace
– Ericeira – a typical village close to the beach. You can go to the beach or take surf/paddle board lessons!

Volunteer Experiences

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