In terms of volunteering, working with animals is hugely popular with gappers, and there’s certainly no shortage of options to do so! Plenty have been there and done it and come home to tell the tales, many of which can be found in this section.
You can read about volunteering with orangutans in Malaysia, about seeing the Big 5 (elephant, leopard, lion, buffalo, rhino) in South Africa, about whale-watching in New Zealand and about conservationism in Borneo.
Hopefully you’ll find some inspiration in these articles to consider working with animals yourself on your gap year. If this is the case, have a browse of our opportunities to work with animals on your gap year.
This backpacker spent three months of her gap year in South Africa, working with rhinos at a national park called Lapalala, and in this article she tells us about her experiences.
On an incredible gap year to South Africa, James Cook worked as Conservation Game Ranger to get closer to the action and the wildlife of the South African outback.
Many associate the Indonesian island of Bali simply with sun, sand and parties, but look beyond the tourist facade and you'll see a darker side, particularly in the form of stray dogs...
When John was about 10, he read an article about the incredibly rare mountain gorillas of central Africa, later inspiring him to go trekking in Northern Rwanda to see them.
Anna spent a summer volunteering with husky dogs in the Arctic Circle in Canada. Sounds like an incredible opportunity, but was it worth the epic journey?
Tina Thorburn has been volunteering all over the world - in this 'a day in a life as a volunteer' she talks about her time volunteering in Thailand.
Gapyear.com speaks to Borneo conservation leader Leo Biddle to learn more about his journey to the jungles of Asia, the honest reality of wildlife conservation and the rewarding challenge of animal volunteering. Read this fascinating interview of the man aiming to change the volunteer industry.
What kind of animal volunteer projects can you do in Malaysia? What wildlife will you encounter? Malaysia is one of the jewels of South East Asia, full of dream-like scenery, rich cultural history and amazing travelling adventures. Whilst simply backpacking through the country can be fantastic, spending time working on a volunteer project can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
Seeing the Big Five is top of many peoples’ wish lists for the holiday of a lifetime. If you’re looking for seriously memorable safari holidays, Kenya offers it all. Fantastic game viewing, great value for money and great beach resorts for some rest and relaxation after your exertions.
Animal encounters are one of those things that you really need to experience on your gap year, so here's our list of top five animal encounters.
Illegal poaching and trade of endangered animals has been a huge issue in Africa for decades. Even today, despite great efforts by African wildlife authorities and environmental groups, the killing goes on. Earlier this year, over 1,200 tusks were discovered in Tanzania, a sign that the situation is nowhere near where it should be.
Lewis Smith and Dani Mason split their time in Sri Lanka between teaching in schools for under-privileged children and working in an elephant orphanage.