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A young green sea turtle navigates the oceans in Malaysia where organizations hope to help save the species from extinction. Learn how to help animals while travelling and assist creatures such as this.

It’s one thing to be able to see tigers and other wildlife up close, but it’s an entirely different and rewarding experience to help them survive and thrive. Volunteerism is on the rise around the world as a result of this kind of thinking and if you are an animal lover looking to contribute to do-good organizations with a focus on animals, then you will have your choice of experiences to pick from. Here’s a list of a ways animal-lovers can help animals while travelling.

Wash elephants in Thailand

On this volunteer holiday you will get to preserve and improve the lives of Asian elephants while in the middle of that Thai jungle, because elephants of Thailand have been forced to work in the logging industry along with learning how to beg for money and performing tricks for the benefit of tourists. You will work with the team to prepare the elephants’ food, feed them and watch as they bathe in the lakes and learn how they operate and live in their natural habitats.

If you want to be even more involved, you can stay on longer and help with general maintenance tasks in the park, cutting their food from the forest to get a general understanding all parts of the conservation efforts being made to save and protect these giant, noble creatures. Check out the Elephant Nature Park website for more volunteerism trip information.

Save sharks in South Africa

With volunteerism opportunities in South Africa, many will take to the seas to share the mostly secret world of great white sharks with you. You will get to know understand and protect these sharks, along with the other 4 animals that make up the marine Big 5: whales, cape fur seals, dolphins and the African penguin. You will participate and aid a passionate research team by helping to monitor and observe the sharks in their natural habitats.

In return for all your hard work and attentiveness, you’ll be rewarded with unparalleled access to the sharks, by climbing into shark cages and seeing how they move underwater in addition to above-water vantage points from the boat. You’ll learn about these mysterious creatures and about the conservation efforts being made to protect them—all while enjoying the rugged coast line of South Africa. Oyster Worldwide, while being based in England, has superb volunteer opportunities for anyone and everyone on their site.

Spread turtle awareness in Malaysia

Help Our Penyu (HOPE) in Malaysia promotes turtle conservation and general marine awareness volunteering opportunities on one of the most beautiful island chains in Malaysia—the Perhentian Islands. Here, green turtles traditionally nest and, seeing as their numbers have dwindled dramatically in the last 50 years, volunteers take the time to monitor and collect data on the turtle nests. This information is then shared with tourists and school children to help promote marine conservation and awareness. Head to these stunning islands from March to October to take advantage of this unique volunteer opportunity to help animals while travelling.

Study tigers in India

Trek to India where you will join the teams at Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve to work alongside a maximum of 7 other volunteers where you will have some of the best tiger viewing sites and work with renowned researchers who can offer a genuine and unique insight into tiger behaviour and research. While a large majority of the focus for this tour is on tigers, seeing tigers and getting to understand tigers, there will be additional opportunities to search for a wide range of animals including sloth bears, wolves, leopards and a plethora of colourful birds who call the reserve home. Check out Responsible Travel for their tiger conservation tour for more details.

Use your next holiday to help by giving your time and love to these organizations and come back from your time abroad with stories and memories to last a time. Protect your holiday and investment with an adventure travel insurance plan from Cover-More New Zealand and rest easy knowing our team of experts has your back if something unexpected occurs.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Silke Baron