4.5 star rating: Recommended 16 Reviews

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  • Location: Chengdu, China
  • Duration:  8 hours (approx.)
Volunteer for a day with giant pandas on a private tour at the Dujiangyan Giant Panda Center. Help record panda behavior, clean enclosures and prepare food with a professional animal keeper as you get up close to China’s beloved black and white bears. Your volunteer service and program fee help ensure the survival of this vital species and contribute to the important work of the non-profit research facility one of three bases that are part of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP). Let your guide know if you'd like to take a photo with one of these beautiful animals (additional fees apply). Lunch and round-trip hotel transport by private vehicle from Chengdu are included.

Highlights

  • Private full-day volunteer tour at the Dujiangyan Giant Panda Center
  • Learn to record panda activities as you observe the behavior of China's favorite bears
  • Support the staff with their cleaning and feeding duties at the non-profit research facility
  • Spend free time touring the area with your knowledgeable guide
  • Enjoy lunch at the on-site cafeteria
  • Round-trip hotel transport by private vehicle from Chengdu included

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Panda Rescue Center Volunteer for a Day

Baby Panda

China’s most symbolic animal is now an endangered species numbering just 2,000. Since 2011, the Dujiangyan Giant Panda Center, part of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP), has made a home for injured and elderly bears, treated with utmost care in specialized facilities on a secluded, 126-acre (51-hectare) reserve of bamboo and parkland at the foot of a sacred mountain. Departing from your hotel after morning pickup, drive by private vehicle for approximately 1.5 hours to the non-profit rescue and research center. Receive a commemorative t-shirt, then switch vehicles and ride an excursion bus up to the top of the site, where you can observe resident pandas going about their daily lives.

Meet the panda keepers who work to create a natural environment for China’s most beloved animals, and receive a short training session. You can participate in two panda feedings — one in the morning and one in the afternoon — washing and carrying fresh bamboo, and preparing food like fruit, carrots and panda cakes. These nutritional treats are made with shredded bamboo mixed by hand with rice and egg to create a large, solid cake.

After your first volunteer session, enjoy your own lunch, provided for you at the center’s cafeteria.

Spend about an hour visiting the panda gardens before you resume your volunteer work. Your guide provides a complete overview of panda development so you can understand the bears’ progression from infancy to adulthood. Stop at the sub-adult garden, where the adolescent pandas between the ages of one and five years old hang out. Then observe full-grown giant pandas in the adult area, where the bears can be seen eating bamboo, sleeping and frolicking about.

In the afternoon, you’ll help clean the pandas’ indoor and outdoor enclosures, and may perhaps learn to record panda behavior or even assist with weighing the pandas (depending on the caretaker's schedule). After the pandas’ second feeding, take a break from your volunteer duties to walk around the panda center at leisure. You are free to use the computers and watch panda videos at the volunteer service center if you’d like.

Please note: The center limits direct contact with the animals to ensure their well-being. The duties of your volunteer service may be changed due to the needs on any given day, and are not guaranteed.

After a full day helping out with these impressive animals, you’ll receive a volunteer certificate and the satisfaction of contributing to a great cause. At the end of your tour, you’re transferred back to your hotel in Chengdu by private vehicle.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

what a fantastic day - up close to the pandas! Not too many people, so perfect for those also to the pandas experiences, feeding them by hand etc. The work programme was pretty relaxed and low energy if you wanted - broke the day up nicely, great lunch in the workers canteen, excellent food! Overall a real highlight of our China/Tibet trip and highly recommended. our guide was a star, spoke excellent English and very helpful and knowledge able etc.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

Great experience and great tour. Expensive but in the end, worth every penny. Picked us up on time in the morning from hotel in a clean spacious car. We went to a panda center about 1.5 hours away which is not open to general public. Only organized tours. In 8 hours, maybe only saw another 30 tourists. No crowds but tons of pandas. We got to clean the cage a little, feed pandas, walked around and ate lunch with the local workers. The best thing was we paid the additional RMB 1,800 for our kid to sit with panda. The panda even looked over and put his paw on her at one point. Amazing. Such a wonderful day.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2014

This was a brilliant day, we helped to look after pandas all day had a lovely lunch and my daughter and me had photos with a 2 year old panda. This tour was organised through Samtours and Sam picked us up from our hotel and looked after us all day at this wonderful place. We used Samtours all week including airport transfers. We had an excellent driver Mr Cheung and Andy, Lilleth, Rosa and Carol were our tour guides. We had a brilliant time in Chengdu with wonderful memories. Thank you Sam

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2014

Very interesting day of work. My center guide was very knowledgeable and I learned much about the Pandas. When you volunteer to work, you work! It was a once in a lifetime experience and I was glad that I could help support the Center.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2014

This entire experience was a bucket list for me, not only did I get to touch a Panda, but I had the chance to feed a few of the Pandas. on the down side to this tour was that I thought I was going to the Chengdu but I was in Wolong, I was nice was because it had way less tourist. You really don't hold a Panda, you sit next to them, but I totally understand, 1 1/2 year old Panda that is some what wild. overall I would do it again because I turned from 33 to a kid again.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2014

Volunteering to work around the Panda's for a day was a magical experience. If you are looking for something different than the typical visit to the research center, don't hesitate to book the volunteer program.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2014

An excellent experience for me and my wife. We absolutely love pandas. We had a chance to feed the pandas two different times and spend a lot of close up time with them. The panda holding was something we will remember for the rest of our lives. The whole experience was unrushed and was exclusive the day we were there. My wife is already talking about doing the experience again on a future trip to China.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2014

THE PANDA TOUR WAS FANTASTIC

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2014

I booked this activity for my two teenage boys, husband and self. It was "amazing."
To be that close to the Pandas and hand feeding them was a memory we will all cherish. Well worth every dollar paid as you are taken behind the gates where the general public aren't allowed to access.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2014

Awesome experience. If you want to be able to get behind the scenes and feed Pandas, prepare their bamboo food, clean up their enclosures, a volunteer day is a great way to do it. My English speaking tour guide picked me up at my hotel in the morning. It's roughly a 2 hour drive from Chengdu. When we arrived we walked around viewing Pandas for a little while before I put in the overalls and gloves and reported for 'duty'. There were 6 volunteers that day and we got bamboo ready to feed them, swept and mopped up, then it was time to take turns feeding one of the Pandas. Then I had free time for the guide to show me around the facility to view other Pandas in their enclosures. Periodically during the day I went back for more duties and feeding Pandas. Had a delicious lunch with my guide and driver across the road (with free wifi too). Whilst I would have loved to have taken a photo holding a Panda, the cost was too much for my budget. As a volunteer I was able to take as many photos as I wanted while they were being fed and feeling their warm breath on my hand while feeding them and hearing their sounds of contentment when eating the food - especially apples being their favourite was such a special experience I will treasure.

From USD $ 290.66

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Tour code: 5489CTUPANDAVOL

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