Being a volunteer for the Wildlife Conservation Program in Portugal, you'll be living and working at a wildlife park in Miranda do Corvo, a quaint town in the district of Coimbra. Along with the local staff members, you'll be working towards the well-being of rescued animals and taking care of them. The ecological park of Serra da Lousã has been protecting and conserving various animals, including deer, wild boars, different species of eagles, lamas, Euro-Asian lynx, Iberian wolves, European otters, and even brown bears.
Apart from this, you'd also assist in the local farm, taking care of horses and oxen but also ducks, pigs, chickens among others. Major tasks of the volunteers would include observing their behavior of the animals, planting trees and looking after forest conservation, habitat maintenance, feeding the animals, and other tasks depending on the season.
Volunteering Solutions, in association with a local organization, will be supporting the local community and contribute towards making a difference. Around 43% of the staff working in this organization are suffering from some kind of disability or chronic disease - hence the support of volunteers will be highly appreciated.
Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the time of joining the project, and must be ready to commit at least 2 weeks for this program. You need to have an open mind and a flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference. Participants must be fit and healthy at the time of joining the program and should be prepared to work outdoors and get their hands dirty. Participants in the program should have a keen interest and love for animal conservation work. Participants should have no criminal convictions and should provide a clean criminal background check report.
Volunteer Roles & Responsibilities
As a volunteer for the wildlife conservation program, your major tasks would be:
- Observing their behavior of the animals
- Planting trees and looking after forest conservation & habitat maintenance
- Feeding the animals, and other tasks depending on the season
Volunteer Work Schedule
Here's a brief idea of how the volunteer's schedule would look like (although it might change depending on circumstances).
Day 1: You'll be arriving in Portugal (either Porto or Lisbon). Airport pickup will be provided to all volunteers.
Day 2: This will be an introduction day, when we'll tell you more about the country & the program you've joined, as well as take you out for a guided tour in Porto/Lisbon.
Day 3: You'll be traveling to Mirando do Corvo, the placement site (approx. 3 hours from both Porto & Lisbon) by train.Upon arrival you shall be picked up from train station and transferred to your accommodation.
Day 4: Placement welcome and first day of volunteering. Continue with the program for the subsequent days.
A day at the program site would mostly be like:
9 am | Walk to the Park for an initial briefing of your tasks
1 pm | Have lunch at the project with the local staff and other volunteers
3 pm | Enjoy your free time to explore the surroundings
8 pm | Dinner at the accommodation
Please note that the actual schedule can change according to the current needs of the project, seasonality, and weather. Usually, shifts are in the morning but can also change to the afternoon or last longer.
You will be picked up on arrival at Porto or Lisbon airport and transferred to the volunteer accommodation. For those participants who will already in Porto or Lisbon beforehand just let us know and we will arrange your pick up accordingly.
On the first day of the program, all participants are given an introductory presentation with the group giving further details of the program along with a walking tour of Porto/Lisbon.
For the first 2 days, volunteers will either be at Porto or Lisbon, before they travel to Miranda do Corvo where they'll be staying at an apartment. This apartment has rooms with a private bathroom & TV. There is a kitchenette with a microwave and fridge. It is very central in the town and is within walking distance from the project.The meals are at the project canteen where they use fresh local ingredients and can prepare meals according to different diet restrictions.
If you choose to arrive in Porto you will be accommodated at a centrally located hostel for the first two days.Located right at the city center, the hostel, provides a wide range of rooms, from dormitories to private rooms, a spacious and friendly lounge area where you can hang out, chill, listen to music, enjoy the atmosphere, play some games, and get to know other fellow travellers while enjoying a nice cold beer, a tasty cocktail or a glass of the famous Porto wine! The welcoming staff will always be there to make the guests experience to the fullest! All the guests can count on the best tips about the city, an endless energy and a welcoming smile!!
If you choose to arrive in Lisbon, you will be accommodated at a sustainable hostel accommodation for the first two days. Located in one of the oldest Lisbon neighborhood, Restelo, the hostel is just 20 minutes away from the best custard tart in the country ! You can find local shops, traditional restaurants, the stunning Belém area, supermarkets, ATMs and most utilities you will need just around the corner.
Three meals are provided everyday to the volunteers. Breakfast, lunch and dinner (Local style. Vegetarian, gluten-free and meals for lactose-intolerant are also available upon request)
During your Free Time
The weekends are free for you to get to know Portugal in a better way. We can help you to book the trips that you want to go to any point in the country. Besides that, we have one or two day programs, where you will have unique experiences on your own or in a group.
Some of the tours and experiences that you can enjoy during the freetime include :-
Douro, Port and Moscatel Tour – You will visit these wines Estates, taste them and have a typical lunch with amazing views.
Minho and Vinho Verde Alvarinho Tour – You will visit the beautiful Viana do Castelo, Melgaço, and Monção, taste the Vinho Verde and some of the best Portuguese cuisine
Aveiro and Bairrada Sparkling Wine Tour – Visit the beautiful city of Aveiro and get to know its wonders and traditions. The Lunch is going to be Roasted Suckling Pig accompanied by wine from the region of Mealhada.
Dão and Coimbra Tour - Visit Coimbra, a magic place with the most ancient University of Portugal and full of history. Taste the Dão region wines and the typical food and bakery.
Please Note: -An application fee of £165 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. Please Note: -An application fee of €189 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment.
What are you Paying for?
- Airport Pickup in Lisbon or Porto
- Introduction session and Placement Orientation
- Guided Porto City Center Walking Tour
- Accommodation at a dormitory at a dormitory hostel in Lisbon/Porto for 2 nights
- Accommodation in a shared apartment in Serra da Lousa during the program
- Transportation to the project site
- Three meals a day
- Guided city tour
- Volunteer placement coordination
- Suggestion of weekly activities with the other volunteers
- In-country staff support 24/7 (and the best local tips to discover the city)
- Pre Departure Info Booklet
- Travel & Medical Insurance (Available at an extra cost)
- 100% Financial Protection
- UK Based Support
- Certificate Of Completion (Upon Request)
What's NOT included?
- Round-Trip Flights to Portugal
- Return Airport Drop
- Visa Fees
- Any personal expenses
FAQ's Application and Program Details
Once you complete your application, your individual 'My Account' will be active in which you will receive your placement confirmation after which you can pay the program fees. You can pay the program fees later as well in installments, but 45 days before the program starts.
- Volunteers must be 18 years or older at the beginning of the program. The minimum age requirement for Food Waste Management program is 17 years. Participants under 18 need to provide signed parental consent prior to joining the program.Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment.The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference. The participant must be in good health.
The volunteering programs in Portugal are located in Lisbon, Porto and in Miranda do Corvo, a quaint town in the district of Coimbra. You can choose to be a part of the Marine Conservation Program in Lisbon, Food Waste Management Program in Porto, Youth Support Program in Porto or Wildlife and Animal Care Project in Miranda do Corvo
Health and Safety
If you already have a valid Travel and Medical insurance, you can email us a copy of the same. It is also advised to bring along the Insurance documents during your trip.
Flights and Visa
Once you arrive at the airport, our in-country coordinator will be there to be in touch with you. You'll be taken to your accommodation where you can rest before kickstarting your amazing journey.
Connect with Past Volunteers
We encourage volunteers to get in touch with former Volunteering Solutions program participants and also other program participants joining our projects. You are recommended to join the Volunteering Solutions Facebook Page or Facebook Group to communicate with other participants.
To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit the Meet a Volunteer page on our website.
Accommodation and Living
Accommodation in Porto:
Volunteers in Porto are accommodated at a centrally located hostel.Located right at the city center, the hostel, provides a wide range of rooms, from dormitories to private rooms, a spacious and friendly lounge area where you can hang out, chill, listen to music, enjoy the atmosphere, play some games, and get to know other fellow travellers while enjoying a nice cold beer, a tasty cocktail or a glass of the famous Porto wine! The welcoming staff will always be there to make the guests experience to the fullest! All the guests can count on the best tips about the city, an endless energy and a welcoming smile!!
Accommodation in Lisbon: Volunteers in Lisbon are accommodated at a sustainable hostel accommodation. Located in one of the oldest Lisbon neighborhood, Restelo, the hostel is just 20 minutes away from the best custard tart in the country ! You can find local shops, traditional restaurants, the stunning Belém area, supermarkets, ATMs and most utilities you will need just around the corner.
In Lisbon, breakfast is generally self-made at the hostel with different supplies provided at the accommodation. Lunch and Dinner are also provided either at the placement or in the form of a packed meal.
Accommodation in Miranda do Corvo : The volunteer apartment has rooms with a private bathroom & TV. There is a kitchenette with a microwave and fridge. It is very central in the town and is within walking distance from the project.