Is mountain conservation volunteering in Nepal right for me?
Environmental volunteering in Nepal is a great fit for you if you’re passionate about wildlife and want to live in and protect a unique environment like the Himalayas.
You’ll be surrounded by towering peaks and forests as you learn from conservation experts. It’s an opportunity you can’t get anywhere else. We’re the only volunteer organisation running a Wildlife Conservation Project in the area.
In Nepal, you’ll add conservation work experience to your CV with each day you spend at the project. You’ll also learn about the animals that live in the Himalayas. This can help your future career and enhance your studies. Or it can be a chance for you to do something different and exciting!
You don’t need any specific qualifications or experience for conservation volunteering abroad. Our staff will teach you everything you need to know, and you can reach out to them for help at any time. Please note that this project does involve a lot of walking and hiking, so you need to be reasonably fit.
This project runs year round, and you can join at any time from a minimum of two weeks. We strongly recommend that you stay for a minimum of four weeks if possible, to avoid spending too much of your time travelling.
Your work can be divided into three main categories:
You’ll participate in several of our wildlife research programmes throughout your stay. Through these initiatives, we’re able to monitor the population of different wild animals in the area. This enables us to keep an eye on the balance of ecosystems, and create a strong database to use when creating conservation strategies. We do this through:
- Bird surveys and inventory
- Butterfly surveys and inventory
- Reptile and amphibian studies
- Remote sensor camera surveys
- Indicator species surveys
- Assembly and monitoring of camera traps
It’s likely that you’ll participate in the Rhododendron Regeneration Survey during your time in Nepal. The aim of the study is to discover whether the Annapurna area is home to the largest rhododendron forest in the world. You’ll help by measuring trees and recording data.
Raise awareness about the need to protect the environment
Raising awareness in local communities is part of our ongoing conservation work in Nepal. You’ll help with this by running workshops and events in the community. During these workshops, you’ll teach local people about their surrounding natural environment and the importance of preserving it. You’ll also discuss recycling, and how litter and pollution harm the environment. We also do regular rubbish clean-ups.
Himalayan Mountain Conservation Project Partners
In Nepal, we work with the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) at our Conservation Project.
ACAP is a government organisation that works to preserve and enhance biodiversity in the area. We are helping them create baseline data that show the need for conservation strategies. We then assist them with implementing these strategies successfully. ACAP also uses this data to measure the progress of the region, and the impact of our joint efforts.
Where will I be working?
You will live and work in Ghandruk. This picturesque rural village is located in the Annapurna mountain range in Nepal. Ghandruk is home to truly spectacular views of the Himalayan mountains as well as plenty of friendly people. You will stay at a guesthouse.
Pokhara, one of the largest cities in Nepal, is the closest city. Simultaneously vibrant and laid-back, Pokhara is home to plenty of attractions and restaurants, making it an ideal weekend getaway spot.
A typical day as a Conservation volunteer in Nepal
A typical weekday will begin with breakfast at your guesthouse before setting off on your morning activity.
You’ll work for about five to eight hours each day from Monday to Friday. Your day will be split into a morning activity, and an afternoon or evening activity. These activities will take place over two to four hours. In one day, you could find yourself monitoring animals using camera traps in the morning, and helping with a forest study in the afternoon.
You’ll receive your schedule at the beginning of each week. It’s likely that you will work on several different programmes in one week, so no one day will be exactly the same. You may also participate in some initiatives that require a full day or overnight trip. In this case, the daily schedule would change to accommodate the trip. Your schedule depends on the season (Monsoon season from June - September; Dry season from October - June) and the weather predictions.
All meals will be provided for you at your guesthouse, so you’ll return for lunch and dinner each day. You’ll have the evenings free to play cards with your fellow volunteers, stroll through the village, or just relax in your room.
What are the aims and impact of this project?
The major aim of this project is to protect animals and biodiversity in the Annapurna mountain range in the Himalayas. We do this through a combination of research and community work.
This area of Nepal is home to a large variety of spectacular plant and animal life, including several vulnerable and endemic Himalayan species. The area is under threat as a result of:
- Habitat degradation
- Failed natural resource management
- A change in the livelihoods of local people
We’re working to reduce these threats and preserve the beautiful biodiversity of this area. We strive towards this goal by working closely with a local government organisation. Together, we conduct research and studies, and help local people understand the importance of protecting their environment.
By doing conservation work in Nepal, you’ll become part of these ongoing efforts. We need people like you to help, because we’re the only volunteer organisation doing this kind of work in the Annapurna conservation area. The more volunteers we can bring on board, the more we can do for the environment! Join us as a Conservation volunteer in Nepal and help us protect animals and the environment in the Himalayan Mountains.
We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.
Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.
Measuring our impact
Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.
Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.
Leisure activities and free time
When you think of Nepal, the first thing that comes to mind is the majestic Himalayan Mountain Range. This is just one example of the country’s extraordinary natural beauty. Combined with rich cultures, this makes it a unique country to volunteer in and explore.
There are a whole host of ways you can explore the stunning and incredibly varied landscapes of Nepal. You can drive off-road through Chitwan National Park, go biking through Kathmandu Valley, or trek in the foothills of Annapurna.
In the evenings and over weekends, it’s worth taking some time to see the sights in Kathmandu. This includes Durbar Square, where you can stand in the midst of an ancient palace. The towering spectacle of the Boudhanath Stupa is also a must-see.
Nepal is one of our most popular destinations, so there will be many other volunteers in the country with you during your trip. This gives you the freedom to spend your leisure time either exploring alone or in a group.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
Meet the team in Nepal
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