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As part of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (NPA), the wildlife reserve’s mission is to protect endangered desert animal populations, preserve the native wildlife and educate the public about the desert and its inhabitants. This unique area encompasses a variety of arid terrains, including acacia groves, salt-flats and sand. The reserve features a three-acre, penned-in drive-through safari area for herbivores to roam in conditions similar to the wild. In addition, visitors can make their way to the reptiles, small desert animals, and large predators and the Desert Night Life Exhibition Hall to observe nocturnal animals during their active hours and feed the large carnivores after sunset if they desire.
Location of the Project:  Arava Desert, 50km north of Eilat, Israel
Project length:  Min 2 weeks - Max 10 weeks
Arrival Airport:  Ben Gurion Airport (TLV)
Volunteer Work:  Feeding animals and cleaning habitats, maintenance, observations and data collection
Age:  18 - 50 Due to project conditions, volunteers aged 40+ must provide medical clearance
Number of Volunteers:  Up to 8 international volunteers
Important Note:  The reserve and accommodations are located a 45-minute walk from the nearest bus stop. Occasionally, rangers and park employees can give you a lift to the bus stop but you should not expect this on a regular basis. The reserve is quite isolated so you will be spending a lot of your free time with the rangers and other volunteers. However, there is an opportunity for you to go with the staff to Eilat every Sunday where you can shop tax-free and buy your groceries.

What's Included

Accommodations:  Shared apartment on the reserve
Food:  Small stipend for meals is provided, but budget $80 per week for groceries.
Airport Transfers:  Volunteers make their own way to orientation, but a one-way ticket from Tel Aviv to the project is included.
Orientation:  Orientation, including a walking tour of Tel Aviv, is provided upon arrival.
Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, travel health insurance, food (budget around $80 per week), airport transfer to Tel Aviv (budget around $20), return public transportation from project (budget around $20), personal expenses.
The Negev is a desert region that covers the southern half of Israel. The least populated area in Israel, it is home to a wide variety of people such as the nomadic, desert people known as the Bedouin, as well as unique Israeli wildlife. The wildlife reserve is located in the dramatically scenic Arava Valley, which is part of the Negev. 
Orientation (included): Orientation will take place in Tel Aviv on Sunday upon arrival. 
  • Volunteer preparation and travel directions to the program
  • Expert advice for traveling in Israel during and after your volunteer placement
  • Walking tour of Tel Aviv

During the project, you will become an integral part of the staff at the wildlife reserve.

Your volunteer tasks may include the following:
  • Preparing food and feeding animals
  • Cleaning and maintaining reserve facilities
  • Accompanying & assisting park rangers on daily rounds
  • Assisting with construction of enclosures and enrichment activities for the animals
A typical day: Your volunteer day will start around 7am as you prepare food for the animals and ensure that each is fed appropriately. Afterwards, you will work on a special project which could range from a game drive through the park to enclosure maintenance. Your work day will finish around 2pm, at which point you will be taken back to the volunteer house for some rest and relaxation. Fridays and Saturdays are free days.
Internet:  WiFi is available at the volunteer house.
Laundry:  A washing machine is available at the volunteer house.
Accommodations:  You will stay on the reserve grounds in shared, single-gender rooms with 2 bunk-beds and a big closet. There is a shared bathroom with a hot water boiler and both the bedrooms and living room are equipped with air-conditioning. There is a TV as well. Please note: The reserve and accommodations are located a 45-minute walk from the nearest bus stop.
Food:  You will have the opportunity to go grocery shopping once a week and cook for yourself. The house has two refrigerators and a fully functioning kitchen. There is also filtered water at the house. There is also a kiosk to buy snacks on the reserve (budget around $80 per week for food). A small stipend for groceries is provided, but please keep in mind that this is supplemental and will not cover the full cost of your meals.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Min age 18 - Max age 50
  • Volunteers 40+ must provide medical clearance
  • High level of independence
  • Basic level of English
  • Good physical fitness
  • Motivation to work with animals
  • Able to handle extreme heat from June - September
The international beach resort of Eilat is only 50 kilometers away by bus (approximately $5 one-way), if volunteers want to enjoy some snorkeling, go to an internet cafe or enjoy the vibrant night life. For those that want to see the rest of the country, it is easy to use public transportation and explore Tel Aviv or the north of Israel and no trip would be complete without a mud bath and float in the Dead Sea. 

 Check out a list of tours you can join for an additional fee, here.
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