Greater one-horned rhino on Conservation program in Nepal

Rhino Conservation in Nepal

Experience village life in a Community Forest and protect rhinos as you volunteer with animals in Nepal

At a glance

  • Help protect vulnerable animals in Nepal, contributing to ongoing conservation efforts
  • Collect data on greater one-horned rhinos, Bengal tigers, vultures, and so much more
  • Work with the community to learn about and spread awareness of wildlife conservation
  • Live with other volunteers surrounded by nature in Chitwan National Park

Start Dates: 

Anytime

See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

Two Weeks

Ages: 

16 or over


Is volunteering with animals in Nepal right for me?

Passionate about wildlife? Excited by the prospect of protecting rhinos, tigers, vultures, butterflies, and more? Then this Conservation Project in Nepal is for you. Contribute to the protection of endangered wildlife in a picturesque natural setting.

This project is suitable for anyone who cares deeply about animals as well as students of zoology, environmental studies, or similar subjects. You'll complete tasks suited to your skill level.

You’ll volunteer with animals in the Community Forest of Chitwan National Park. This was created as a buffer zone between humans and animals, creating a safe space for both. You’ll enjoy this project if you love the idea of living in a beautiful natural setting, immersed in the rural communities of Nepal.

This trip runs year-round, meaning you can join at a convenient time. The minimum duration is two weeks, but the longer you stay, the greater your impact and the more you’ll get out of the experience.

A Conservation volunteer in Nepal spotting birds in the forest

Help protect the greater one-horned rhino

Nepal is home to some of the world’s most spectacular wildlife, not least the greater one-horned rhino. With the help of conservation experts, you’ll track these powerful creatures. Help preserve the Community Forest, which creates a safe space for rhinos to roam free.

You’ll collect data that supports the work of environmental scientists in Nepal. The last census reveals that just 694 rhinos remain in Chitwan. Their survival depends on the hard work of volunteers and local community members.

By spotting rhinos, tracking their footprints, and using camera traps, you’ll collect valuable data. This will be compiled into an annual report to be shared with local conservation organizations.

Conduct butterfly and bird surveys

Chitwan is a hotspot of biodiversity, meaning there’s a variety of wildlife to protect. In Nepal, you’ll discover the interconnectedness of all life, from the delicate butterfly to the mighty rhino.

By conducting butterfly and bird surveys, you’ll help monitor their populations. Learn to identify incredible birds that you may not have seen before. Marvel at the vibrant beauty of the great hornbill, enjoy the charisma of the lesser adjutant, and feel the power of the mighty vulture.

Contribute to Bengal tiger conservation work

The Bengal tiger: perhaps Nepal’s most mysterious and beloved animal. One of the world’s largest cats, it's a powerful symbol across the world. As an apex predator, its existence is crucial to the balance of the ecosystem.

With just 128 remaining in Chitwan National Park, you won’t spot any tigers in the flesh - nor should you want to! Instead, you’ll help maintain the buffer zone that protects tigers from unwanted human activity.

Although you won’t meet a tiger, your work will help ensure their protection. You’ll blaze a trail as you become among the first to place camera traps in Chitwan National Park. These will allow you to track tiger populations and study their behavior.

Preserve the natural environment

You’ll be based at Chitwan’s Community Forest. This is a special area, designed for the benefit of both animals and humans. It acts as a buffer zone between the National Park and the surrounding villages. This means that animals remain undisturbed and humans have controlled access to local wildlife.

Maintaining the Community Forest means improving conditions for local people while protecting animals. Expect to engage in practical maintenance tasks, including:

  • Controlling erosion
  • Removing alien plants
  • Clearing roads
  • Creating educational signs
  • Building viewing hides
  • Renovating the visitor center
  • Joining local residents on anti-poaching patrols

We believe that protecting animals should benefit residents in rural areas. By preserving the habitat of vulnerable animals, you’re also improving the local community.

Develop wildlife education programs

You’ll become part of a long-term strategy to protect the planet’s biodiversity. Help leave a lasting impact by raising awareness of environmental issues. Be part of leading a cultural shift towards a state of harmony between humans and animals in Nepal.

Help local children become passionate about wildlife protection. You can achieve this by:

  • Creating a Nature Conservation syllabus for all schools
  • Giving a presentation on wildlife protection
  • Inventing conservation-focused games
  • Leading classes on painting local wildlife
  • Field trips into the Community Forest

Inspire the next generation to continue the good work that you’ll complete while in Nepal.


Where in Nepal will I work?

Chitwan

You’ll work deep in the wilderness of Chitwan National Park. Specifically, your placement will be at Namuna, Shantikunja, and Krishnasaar Community Forests. These Community Forests form a buffer zone between the park and bordering villages.

This area prevents conflict between humans and animals, keeping them both safe. Dedicated to wildlife protection, it's where Nepal’s greatest conservation experts gather. It’s also where Nepal’s most majestic animals, including the greater one-horned rhino and Bengal tiger, roam free.

You'll live in a nearby village, within walking distance of the Community Forest. You’ll be immersed in the rural side of Nepali culture, living with other passionate wildlife volunteers.

Airport pickup, flights and visas

When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our Nepal Arrival Procedures page


What is a typical day on this project like?

Your schedule will depend on the priorities of the Community Forest at the time of your visit. Generally, Conservation volunteers work five days a week, with weekends for sightseeing and leisure activities.

Your days will be split into physical and non-physical days. On a physical day, expect to help renovate buildings, dig waterholes, or fix fences. Non-physical days are for tasks like GPS mapping, data collection, and species research. On other days, you'll visit a local school to raise awareness of protecting animals in Nepal.

Evenings will involve cooking and eating local dishes, playing games, and planning for the next day. Become immersed in Nepali culture, bonding with local people and fellow volunteers.

Whichever conservation tasks you complete, you’ll be accompanied by local experts. They’ll make sure you’re safe while mentoring you and helping you make the most of your time in Nepal.

Nepal Wildlife volunteers conducting a bird survey

What are the aims and impact of this Rhino Conservation Project in Nepal?

The main goal of volunteering with animals in Nepal is to conduct research and collect data. You'll work with greater one-horned rhinos, Bengal tigers, vultures, and many other species. The data you collect be compiled into an annual report to aid scientific research.

Second, this project involves hands-on preventative conservation and building tasks. You'll help create an area that meets the needs of wildlife while enhancing the visitor experience. This improves the lives of animals as well as the local community.

Finally, this Conservation Project is designed to raise awareness. We can only protect the environment if enough people understand the value of doing so. Help re-energize local people, encouraging them to take action to protect animals.

A one-horned rhino in the forest of Nepal

Management plans

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.


Food and accommodation

You will stay in a guesthouse shared with other volunteers. This will provide an authentic Nepali experience, helping you bond with fellow volunteers and local people.

The accommodation is safe, clean, comfortable, and within walking distance of the project.

Find out more about our accommodation.

You’ll receive water and three meals per day for the duration of the project. This is included in the fee. The food will be locally sourced, but we can cater to all dietary requirements and preferences.

In fact, vegetarianism is widespread in Nepal. Get ready to sample new and unique flavors, such as momos (stuffed dumplings) or dal Bhat (lentil soup and vegetable curry served with rice).

Visitors should also give gundruk a try. It’s made of fermented leafy green vegetables and goes with just about everything. You won’t find beef during your time in Nepal, but meat-eaters can try something a little more adventurous, like yak, goat, or sheep


Leisure activities and free time

Volunteering with animals in Nepal is a chance to discover the incredible nature of this region. We'll arrange activities for your free time, so you can make the most of this unique opportunity.

Enjoy scenic hikes up nearby mountains, safari tours, and temple trips to explore the spirituality of Nepal.

We’ll strive to provide an immersive experience in Nepal, broadening your horizons. Local guides will lead excursions, ensuring you can see more of Chitwan in a way that is easy and hassle-free.


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.

When you apply you only pay a $295 deposit, which comes off the total program fees.

Things are changing rapidly these days. If you have ANY questions, please call us at (+1) 619 320 2424 and we’ll fill you in on the latest updates.

Please choose a Duration and Start Date to continue.

Dreaming of volunteering with rhinos in Nepal?

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