Aufnahme eines Iberischen Wolfs auf dem Gelaende des Wolfsschutzprojekts in Portugals Distrikt Lissabon

Your trip at a glance

Highlights

  • Actively contribute to conserving habitat at a wolf sanctuary in Portugal
  • Live and work only 30 km north of Portugal’s capitol Lisbon
  • Partic­i­pate in a wide range of conser­va­tion activ­i­ties in a wolf sanctuary
  • Work and live together with volun­teers from all over the world
  • Explore Lisbon and other parts of Portugal outside project hours

Locations

Der an der Westkueste Portugals gelegene Distrikt Lissabon glaenzt durch historische Orte, gruene Weiten und eine atemberaubende Kuestenlandschaft
Lisbon District

Plan your trip

  • Included in the programme fee
    • Placement in the programme
    • Assistance with travel arrangements
    • Assistance with selecting travel insurance
    • Assistance with booking flights
    • Risk coverage certificate
Chrissy

Write An Email

Chrissy, your travel agent for Portugal

You are interested in joining this adventure? I am happy to help you! From the first steps until the end of the trip – I answer all of your questions and support you throughout your time abroad.

Ein Iberischer Wolf auf dem Gelaende des Wolfsschutzprojekts im portugiesischen Distrikt Lissabon
Blick auf das Gelaende und die Einrichtungen des Wolfsschutzprojekts in Portugal
Ein Weg auf dem Gelaende des portugiesischen Volunteerprojekts zum Wolfsschutz
Riesige Wolfsgehege auf dem Gelaende des portugiesischen Wolfsschutzprojekts
Ein Iberischer Wolf steht im Gras auf dem Gelaende des Wolfsschutzprojekts in Portugal
Wege auf dem Gelaende des portugiesischen Freiwilligenprojekts zum Wolfsschutz
Zwei Freiwillige laufen mit Eimern in der Hand auf dem Gelaende des Wolfsschutzprojekts in Portugal entlang
Close-Up eines Iberischen Wolfs auf dem Gelaende des Wolfsschutzprojekts im portugiesischen Distrikt Lissabon
Blick ueber das Gelaende des portugiesischen Volunteerprojekts zum Schutz von Woelfen
Freiwillige des Wolfsschutzprojekts in Portugal bei Vegetationsarbeiten
Eine freiwillige Helfern beschneidet Pflanzen auf dem Gelaende des Wolfsschutzprojekts in Portugal
Blick auf das Gelaende und die umgebende Landschaft des Wolfsschutzprojekts in Portugal
Blick auf das Gelaende und die Einrichtungen des Wolfsschutzprojekts in Portugal
Ein Iberischer Wolf steht auf einer Wiese des Wolfsschutzprojekts im portugiesischen Distrikt Lissabon
#

Volunteering in Portugal

Become a conservation volunteer in beautiful Portugal, contribute towards the conservation and protection of the Iberian wolf and discover the natural diversity that the vibrant European country has to offer.

Blick auf das Gelaende und die Einrichtungen des Wolfsschutzprojekts in Portugal

Arrival and orien­ta­tion in Lisbon

The project is open for volunteers from February to November. Volunteers should arrive at Lisbon International Airport (LIS). Depending on where you are coming from, you can take a flight on the same day the project starts or arrive one day earlier and spend one night in the city. From the airport, volunteers need to get to the small town of Vale da Guarda by public transport, about 30km north of Lisbon, where they will be picked up in the early afternoon and taken to the project site. Here, you can settle in, get to know your team and receive an overview of the project, its aims and your upcoming tasks.

Volunteers des Wolfsschutzprojekts in Portugal bei der Arbeit auf dem Projektgelaende

Activ­i­ties in the wolf conser­va­tion project

Project participants will be part of a dedicated conservation team, working in a sanctuary that provides a safe haven for wolves that can no longer live in the wild. As a volunteer, you will be part of an international group, always instructed and trained by experienced supervisors. After you’ve been familiarised with the sanctuary and its facilities, common working structures and essential safety rules, the actual project work begins.

Zwei Iberische Woelfe auf dem Gelaende des Wolfsschutzprojekts im portugiesischen Distrikt Lissabon

Core volunteer tasks mainly include forest maintenance (tree felling/pruning, vegetation clearing, fire watch during summer months) and infrastructure maintenance (checking walls and fences, painting, improving pathways) but also preparing food and feeding the wolves, checking the animals’ water supplies as well as monitoring and observing them. Most of the work is physical and demanding, but yet very rewarding. Working hours are usually from around 09:00 AM to 06:00 PM, with a 2-hour lunch break in-between.

Zwei Freiwillige laufen mit Eimern in der Hand auf dem Gelaende des Wolfsschutzprojekts in Portugal entlang

Please note: You will not be able to touch the wolves as the goal is to give them a similar life to the one they have in the wild. Even observing the animals might be difficult sometimes. That’s why we cannot guarantee that you will see a wolf during your stay. Furthermore, the needs of the project will decide what and when a task has to be done. Please be flexible if the schedule changes out of a sudden.

Blick in einen Schlafraum der Unterkunft für Freiwillige des portugiesischen Wolfsschutzprojekts

Accom­mo­da­tion as a volunteer

During the project, volunteers will live on the sanctuary grounds in small but very cozy wooden cabins. Here they will share a dormitory with one to three other volunteers; the entire cabin can accommodate six people. There is also the option of getting a single room. The houses have a shared bathroom, a kitchen and a living room/dining area. The kitchen provides a stove, an oven, a microwave, a fridge, a freezer and cooking utensils. A washing machine, towels and blankets are also available.

Blick in die Kueche der Unterkunft für Freiwillige des portugiesischen Wolfsschutzprojekts

Daily meals are at the volunteers’ own cost. Once a week our partner takes the project participants for grocery shopping to a large supermarket where all kinds of foods can be purchased. Volunteers can use the kitchen to prepare the meals in a group or individually. Please note: As a volunteer you are responsible for cleaning the kitchen and any utensils that you have used.

Blick in das Wohnzimmer der Unterkunft für Volunteers des portugiesischen Wolfsschutzprojekts

Leisure time during the volunteer project

As a volunteer, you usually have the weekends off (Saturday and Sunday). You can use this time, to go on a weekend trip – either by yourself or with your fellow volunteers – to explore Lisbon and other parts of beautiful Portugal. You can also use the evening hours of each working day for your own activities. Read a book, play card/board games or simply relax together with your team members.

Learn what others say about their Natucate adventure.

erfahrungsberichte-freiwilligenarbeit-portugal-wolfsschutz-wolf-robert-natucate
Review Volunteering Portugal – Robert

“I really liked the proximity to the wolves. I could see every one of them, some of them even every day.”

Read more
freiwilligenarbeit-spanien-erfahrungsbericht-naturschutz-natucate
freiwilligenarbeit-spanien-naturschutz-natucate
Review Volunteering Spain Valencia – Christine

“All in all, I look back on a wonderful time as a conservation volunteer in Spain.”

Read more
erfahrungsberichte-freiwilligenarbeit-spanien-valencia-naturschutz-alenya-kleine-schildkroete-natucate
erfahrungsberichte-freiwilligenarbeit-spanien-valencia-naturschutz-alenya-graeser-natucate
Review Volunteering Spain València – Aleyna

“Our team leaders in the projects were so friendly and nice. They picked us up every day, were very understanding and always helped us with questions or problems.”

Read more
Auslandsaufenthalt in Spanien: Mehrere Blumen auf einem Feld in Spanien
Freiwilligenarbeit in den Duenen Spaniens
Review Volunteering Spain Valencia – Vicky

“The project definitely exceeded my expectations; it was such an enjoyable experience and the work we did was so varied.”

Read more
  • Der an der Westkueste Portugals gelegene Distrikt Lissabon glaenzt durch historische Orte, gruene Weiten und eine atemberaubende Kuestenlandschaft
    1. Lisbon District

    The Lisbon District is a district in Portugal on the west coast of the country. It covers an area of approx. 2800 km2 and is composed of 16 municipalities. As the name already reveals, the district capitol is Portugal’s capitol Lisbon.

    A highlight of the Lisbon District is doubtlessly the city of Lisbon itself. Its picturesque narrow streets, beautiful squares, colourful buildings, iconic monuments and a history dating back to the Stone Age attract travellers from all over the world. But also the charming little villages, green landscapes, sandy beaches and panoramic coastal views that the Lisbon District has to offer surely provide each visitor with unforgettable travel memories.

Background of the wolf conser­va­tion project in Portugal

In 1907, Angel Cabrera described the Iberian wolf as a subspecies of the grey wolf for the first time. Until the late 19th century, wolves lived almost across the entire Iberian Peninsula. In the 20th century, however, people in Europe started to perceive the animals as a pest which led to intensive persecution and therefore a strong decline of wolf populations within the following decades.

Whereas wolf populations have commenced recovering naturally since the 1960s/1970s in many European countries, the populations in Portugal are still small due to the destruction of habitat, loss of potential prey, illegal hunting and other forms of human persecution. It is estimated that there are 300 animals left on Portuguese territory, occurring only in the north and centre of the country.

Our partner organisation, a Portuguese non-governmental and non-profit environmental association, was founded in 1985 and is dedicated to the preservation of wolves and their ecosystem in Portugal. They developed a combining concept of applied research, practical conservation measures and education/environmental awareness in order to contribute to the survival of the wolf in the country.

In 1987, our partner set up a large recovery centre for Iberian wolves to provide a suitable environment and a safe sanctuary for individuals that can no longer live in the wild. The wolves that are cared for were either born in captivity, including zoos, or illegally removed from the wild and raised in captive conditions.

The sanctuary’s spacious enclosures contain a wide variety of vegetation and landscapes features, providing the best natural conditions possible. As species conservation involves lots of time and efforts, and resources are often scarce, the helping hands of dedicated volunteers are an essential support for the development of the project.

#

Conscious Travel with Natucate

Supporting real conservation projects worldwide through individual wilderness adventures – our ambitions, our values, our service.

Adventures to get you dreaming