Volunteer at an ethical wolf sanctuary. Learn about wolf conservation in Portugal whilst supporting the welfare of the endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus).
Learn about the plight of the iconic Iberian wolf, and help to contribute directly to conserving this endangered species. Relax and enjoy the stunning natural surroundings, whilst exploring Portuguese culture and heritage during your free time.
The wolf sanctuary is located within a stunning 18 hectares of forest, in the hillsides near Mafra, about 30km North of the capital city of Lisbon.
During your free weekends, you can take time to relax and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings, or travel to visit famous Portuguese touristic and cultural sights at Mafra, Lisbon and Sintra to name a few.
The work is physical and demanding. Most of the time it involves working with manual tools and clearing vegetation in a hot climate. However, it is highly rewarding knowing your work contributes directly to helping conserve this magnificent species. Typical Volunteer Tasks include;
- Preparation of food and feeding the wolves. (Please note, food preparation involves handling and cutting of raw meat).
- Checking the wolves’ water supplies.
- Monitoring and observation of the wolves.
- Forest maintenance; tree felling and pruning; removal of branches and other materials and subsequent burning; vegetation clearing using agricultural tools and so on.
- During the summer (May to October) watching out for forest fires – can include night shifts.
- Infrastructure maintenance: checking enclosure walls and fences, painting; maintaining pathways in the forest.
Volunteers work approx 7 hours per day: starting at 9 am and finishing at 6 pm (with 2 hours lunchtime). During the summer, the schedule may change and the workday starts earlier and finishes later with a large break during the hottest hours. Volunteers usually have 2 days off (weekends), but extra days are possible if requested in order for you to explore more of Portugal.
Volunteers have the choice of staying in one of our volunteer houses, situated in the beautiful hillsides near the wolf sanctuary. Depending on if you are an individual or a group/couple and whether you require a private room or are happy to share a room, we can suggest an option to fit your needs. In all houses, the kitchen and bathroom are shared by all occupants.
The houses are equipped with a washing machine, stove, oven, microwave, fridge/freezer and cooking utensils. We provide towels and blankets.
Meals are not included in the project cost. The houses have a kitchen and cooking appliances and also a fridge/freezer. Volunteers are taken grocery shopping once a week to a large supermarket where virtually all kinds of foods can be found. Vegetarians/vegans can also find items here like tofu and seitan. Volunteers can prepare the meals in a group or as individuals.
Volunteers must be aged 18+, be in good physical condition, able to work as part of a team and be self-motivated when carrying out a range of tasks. You should expect to be doing lots of manual work, in a hot climate. You will be carrying heavy items and the tasks can be repetitive. Volunteers will also work with spades, hoes, and similar tools. Volunteers should be fluent in English or Portuguese.