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Journey to the Heart of Panda Conservation

Journey to the Heart of Panda Conservation: A 9-Day Immersive Experience in Chengdu, China


Project contact person:

Phoebe Zhang (

Registration Form

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Sichuan, China, while playing a crucial role in the global effort of giant panda conservation. Hosted by the "Green Guard", this enriching 9-day and 8-night experience combines exciting cultural exploration with hands-on participation in our Panda Conservation Volunteer Program at the Wolong National Nature Reserve.

Background of this project:

The Panda Conservation Volunteer Program by “Green Guard” offers you a chance to get a close-up understanding of the daily life and habits of the pandas. As a volunteer, your basic activities will involve cleaning and maintaining the panda enclosures and living areas, as well as preparing their food. In addition, you will have the opportunity to freely explore the park, engage in discussions with the keepers and researchers about panda behavior and physical conditions, and gain a deeper understanding of panda conservation, fostering a strong ecological awareness among volunteers. If you want to gain a better understanding of giant pandas and have an authentic experience as a panda caretaker, you should definitely come and join us in the project!

The Camp: Wolong National Nature Reserve:

Wolong National Nature Reserve, the hometown of giant pandas, is located on both sides of the eastern foot of Mount Siguniang, also known as Wolong Gou, the river inside the valley is called Pitiao River. The water flows rapidly, rushing for thousands of miles, and converges into Mian River before flowing into the Yangtze River through the Min River. Peaks stand facing each other on both sides of the river. Rocks in the river reach a height of three to four meters, standing in the middle of the river. The pouring river water collides and creates waves, resembling scattered jade and flying pearls, presenting a magnificent and spectacular view. Wolong National Nature Reserve was established in 1963 and is one of the earliest protected areas in China. In 1980, it was approved to join the UNESCO and the Biosphere Reserve Network, and in the same year, it collaborated with the World Wildlife Fund to establish the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda.

The Importance of Giant Pandas:

Pandas are not only extremly precious natural heritage in the world, but also serve as a bridge for many countries to understand and learn about China. Therefore, protecting pandas is not only about preserving the ecological environment but also a practical way for us as global citizens to inherit and promote the Chinese cultural treasures. When you visit the Wolong base of the China Conservation and Research Center for Pandas, you will have the opportunity to get up close with the adorable pandas. The activities organized by the “Green Guard” for Panda Conservation offer you a unique chance to interact with the adorable pandas, your service will greatly help the base in better protecting these endangered species.

Application Notes:

- Participants are required to sign a health commitment declaration upon arrival.

- Participants must be between 8 and 60 years old. Child between 8 to 10 needs to have a guardian. 

- Participants with cold or flu symptoms will not be not be allowed to enter the Reserve. Please ensure there are no disabilities that are not suitable for outdoor activities and work.

- During the activities, unauthorized departure from the camp or the reserve area is not allowed.

What the Journey Entails

In this enriching journey, you will:

- Experience the vibrant city of Chengdu, tasting world-renowned Sichuan hot pot, exploring museums, and immersing yourself in the local culture.

- Bask in the tranquil beauty of the Wolong National Nature Reserve.

- Become an honorary panda caretaker, contributing to the maintenance of their habitat.

- Participate in field investigations on giant pandas, starting with the surprisingly informative "poo".

By the end of this program, you'll gain the knowledge and skills of a giant panda caretaker and field investigator, and receive an official certificate issued by the Wolong National Nature Reserve and Panda Base.


What can you get out of this?

- The knowledge and skill of being a giant panda caretaker, and a field investigator.

- An official certificate issued by the Wolong National Nature Reserve and Panda Base.


Camp schedules:

Day 1: Sunday, 24 September - Arrival in Chengdu

Morning: Airport pickup, Flight CA4182 7:00-10:00 to Chengdu, China, check-in at the hotel (approx.1.5-hour drive)

Afternoon: Rest and refresh after lunch, schedules briefing, instructions, familiarization with the others and environment

Evening: Experience the world-famous Chengdu hot pot

Day 2: Monday, 25 September - Jinsha Site and Wuhou Temple

Morning: Visit Jinsha Site, a national first-class museum in Chengdu after breakfast.

Afternoon: Explore Wuhou Temple, visit the Three Kingdoms historical site and Jinli Ancient Street.

Day 3: Tuesday, 26 September - Unveiling Chengdu

Morning: After breakfast, car ride to Sichuan Provincial Museum, the largest comprehensive museum in the southwest region, with a collection of over 260,000 cultural relics.

Afternoon: Walk around Chengdu city area for approximately 3 hours, visit People's Park, taste traditional Chengdu teahouse-style tea, and explore Kuanzhai Alley, the world's first panda-themed post office.

Day 4: Wednesday, 27 September - Sichuan Cuisine Museum

Morning: After breakfast, travel to Chengdu Sichuan Cuisine Museum, visit the collection museum and traditional craft production demonstration, learn about Douban (fermented bean paste) production and understand the culture of Sichuan cuisine.

Afternoon: Hands-on cooking class to learn and taste local specialty dishes after lunch.

Day 5: Thursday, 28 September - Earthquake Site and Dujiangyan Irrigation System

Morning: After breakfast, travel to Dujiangyan, (approx. 1-hour drive.) Visit Dujiangyan Scenic Area (a UNESCO World Heritage site and National 5A-level tourist attraction).

Afternoon: After lunch, continue the journey to the Wenchuan Earthquake Site, the epicenter of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, (approx.. 30 minutes drive). Then proceed to Wolong Shenshuping Panda Base, check-in at the hotel.

Evening: Panda knowledge quiz to prepare for the activities in the following days.

Day 6: Friday, 29 September (Mid-Autumn Festival) - Introduction to Wolong

Morning: After breakfast, register at the Panda Base, learn about safety precautions during the activities, understand the program arrangements, and receive task cards.

Fun Trip: Accompanied by the base instructors, visit various panda enclosures, observe the adorable pandas up close, and have a chance to see the panda cubs being fed.

Afternoon: Visit the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda - the only museum in China dedicated to showcasing the national treasure, the giant panda. Divided into six parts, the museum displays the pandas' habitat, historical evolution, characteristics, associated animals, as well as the development of artificial breeding, conservation research, and management of nature reserves. It also highlights the achievements of international cooperation and research on giant pandas, revealing the mysteries of pandas.

Expert Lecture on Giant Pandas - Uncovering the unknown facts about panda conservation.

Day 7: Saturday, 30 September, (National Day), Panda Conservation Work

Morning: After breakfast, enter the park and quickly change into working clothes. Transform into an honorary panda keeper, responsible for cleaning the panda enclosures, collecting panda feces, and transporting bamboo. Gain the prestigious title of "Panda Poop Officer."

Lunch: Enjoy a panda-themed staff meal in the base cafeteria.

Afternoon: After lunch, take a look at the documentaries about pandas to learn about the current status of panda conservation. Head to the panda kitchen and become a nutritionist, learning to make exclusive panda delicacies – the “Panda Steamed Buns.”

* The staff will allocate tasks based on the daily needs of the pandas. Please follow the instructions given by the staff for specific task assignments.

Day 8: Sunday, 1 October, : Panda Conservation Work

Morning: After breakfast, enter the park and quickly change into working clothes. Become an honorary panda keeper, responsible for cleaning the giant panda enclosures, collecting panda feces, and transporting bamboo." Qingtuan Analysis - Starting with "poop," learn the methods of field population survey for giant pandas and experience the difficulties and challenges of conducting field research on giant pandas.

Lunch: Enjoy the panda staff meal at the base's employee cafeteria.

Afternoon: Behavior Observation - Under the guidance of professionals, use specialized methods to observe, record, and analyze the behavior of captive giant pandas.

Evening: Group activities.

* The staff will allocate tasks based on the daily needs of the pandas. Please follow the instructions given by the staff for specific task assignments.

Day 9: Monday, 2 October : Red Panda Conservation Work

Morning: Under the guidance of the staff, visit the Walnut Grove Base and enter the red panda enclosure for some cleaning. Assisting the caretakers in feeding and have some wonderful moments interacting with the red pandas. Cleaning and disinfecting the inner circle of the red panda enclosure. Free time available for self visits.

Afternoon: Assisting the caretakers in feeding the pandas and returning to the Shentuping Base,received certificates and souvenirs, and take group photos for the unforgettable memory. Around 3 o'clock, depart for the Tianfu International Airport for flight coming back to Auckland. (approx. 2 and a half hour drive.) 10/2 CA4185 20:00-22:50.

* The staff will allocate tasks based on the daily needs of the pandas. Please follow the instructions given by the staff for specific task assignments.



Standard fee:NZ$5,860

Earlybird special:NZ$4,980

Special for group bookings (3 or more):$4,880


The fees includes:

- Airport pick-up and drop-off services at Chengdu Airport at scheduled times.
- Transportation expenses during the camp period.
- Accommodation and meals expenses during the camp period.
- Accompaniment by a local coordinator during the camp period.
- Arrangement of all activities during the camp period.
- Tickets, administrative fees, and clothing expenses during the camp period.
- Costs of expert lectures during the camp period.
- 24/7 emergency services.
- Basic insurance expenses.


Fees do not include:

- Flights from and to New Zealand
- Personal expenses during camp period


Project Certificate:

Project certificate issued by “China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda”


Things to Keep in Mind:

In order to allow participants of the Panda Science Education Program to have a better understanding of the pandas' behavior and ensure the quality and safety of the participants, the following regulations are set for the attendees:

1、Participants must engage in relevant work under the guidance and supervision of the instructor and must not operate independently.

2、Participants must treat the assigned tasks seriously and refrain from making loud noises, playing, or fooling around in the work area.

3、Participants must wear appropriate work clothes during the work period. When handling bamboo, gloves must be worn to prevent scratches from bamboo branches or ice.

4、Participants must prioritize safety and exercise caution on steps, as well as slippery surfaces caused by rain, moss, or ice to prevent slipping and injuries.

5、Participants must disinfect before entering the work area and must not feed the pandas without permission.

6、Participants should avoid using strong perfumes or fragrances during the activities to prevent any irritation to the pandas' sense of smell.

7、While cleaning the pandas' enclosures, the project staff will take photos and provide them to the participants after approval. These photos are strictly prohibited from being uploaded to any domestic or international online platforms and should be kept for personal collection only.

8、Participants are strictly prohibited from taking photos without permission and should not engage in interviews with domestic or international media. They must not publish any content that harms the image of the research center or violates its confidentiality regulations.

9、Smoking is prohibited for participants during work hours and in public areas.

10、Participants must not leave their posts without authorization. If they feel unwell, they must immediately report to the instructor. If they need to leave early, they must inform the guiding teacher.

11、On the day of the activities, participants must not wear shorts, skirts, slippers, or high heels. Avoid using skincare or cosmetics with strong fragrances, applying nail polish, and heavy makeup. Long hair should be tied up in advance. It is recommended to wear casual attire and waterproof shoes suitable for outdoor activities. It is also recommended to bring raincoats, umbrellas, and rain boots.

12、Participants are only allowed to engage in activities in designated work areas or public viewing areas and must not enter non-visiting areas without permission.

13、Without the consent of the staff, no one is allowed to privately take photos or videos. Any violation will result in accountability for the individuals involved.

14、Participants must strictly abide by the park's regulations and rules during activities.


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