There are many “wildlife volunteer” organisations and “eco-tour” operators that may appear, on first inspection, to be contributing to conservation.  These often include the big charismatic species e.g. elephants, rhino’s, bigs cats and turtles.  While some of these make genuine contributions, many contribute little to the actual conservation of “wild” animals and may have a negative impact on real conservation efforts and local communities. While we would encourage anyone to help the better organisations, when considering possible options, please make sure you are clear on the following:

  • Where does my contribution go?

  • By participating, will my money benefit local communities, wildlife and governmental bodies?

  • Will the research I choose to be involved in, be published in scientific journals and contribute to the international conservation of nature?

  • What conservation successes has the organisation had?

  • Travelling to these countries has a huge environmental carbon impact on the environment, how is the organisation working to offset this and to become a carbon neutral organisation?

  • Will I develop skills that will benefit my career in wildlife conservation?

  • What is the academic background and experience of the staff?

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