Wolong National Nature Reserve (Wolong Panda Center), a Wild Panda Reserve
Wolong National Nature Reserve or Wolong Panda Center is considered to be the real hometown of wild pandas. It is a newly built panda center that focuses on panda wilderness training programs.
If you want to see pandas enjoying their original habitat and experience a variety of panda volunteer programs, Wolong National Nature Reserve is the perfect choice for you.
- Location: about 120 kilometers (75 miles)northwest of Chengdu, which takes about 3 hours by road
- Number of pandas: about 30 (second only to Chengdu ResearchBase of Giant Panda Breeding)
- Time needed: at least 2 days
- Best times to visit: March to May and September to November
- Activities: giant panda/red panda/baby panda volunteer programs, hiking in the wild pandas' habitat, a nighttime visit to the panda center
Giant Panda Volunteer Program
In Wolong Panda Center, you can have a great opportunity to get close to the lovely giant pandas through the panda volunteer program.
During the program, the activities you can do include cleaning a panda enclosure, weighing and cleaning bamboo, making panda cakes, and feeding the pandas. You will also have time to tour around the panda center and watch a panda movie.
Age limit: 10 to 70 years old. Your guide can help take care of your child if he/she is unable to join in with the program.
Red Panda Volunteer Program
Different from the other panda bases, Wolong National Nature Reserve offers a red panda keeper program.
According to many reviews, the program is more interesting than the giant panda program because the red pandas are more active and you enjoy barrier-free contact with them.
In the program, you can feed a group of red pandas without a fence in between you and you can also touch and photograph them.
Join our red panda volunteer program and have a zero-distance encounter with the cute animals.
Age limit: 8 to 70 years old
Baby Panda Volunteer Program
If you want to hold a panda, your dream will come true in the baby panda keeper program at Wolong Panda Center.
It is an exclusive experience that is only offered by us.
You will become a nanny as you take care of the baby pandas, with activities that include feeding them with milk and bamboo shoots and observing the pandas' acts from the staff-only control room.
Join the program and become a baby panda nanny for a day.
Age limit: 10 to 70 years old
Evening Date with Pandas
Looking for ways to beat the crowds when looking at pandas? There is no better way than to have a private date with them.
You can enjoy the opportunity to go around Wolong Panda Center in the evening and be the pandas' private guests you see what their nightlife entails without other tourists and noise.
You can also go behind the scenes to see some pandas through monitors and hear interesting stories about them that are told by professional panda keepers, such as why mother pandas only raise one baby even if they have given birth to two cubs.
Wild Pandas' Habitat Exploration
Wolong, known as "the homeland of pandas" in China, is part of the original habitat of wild pandas.
To enrich your experience, you can consider taking a 2-hour hike in Dengsheng Gorge, which is an authentic natural habitat for wild giant pandas as well as other wild and rare animals.
Even though there is a slim chance of seeing pandas or even their footprints, you will be impressed by the beautiful scenery, fresh air, rare plants, and tranquility far away from the city's hustle and bustle.
You can enjoy this hike in our Wolong In-Depth Panda Tour.
How to Get to Wolong Panda Center from Chengdu
Wolong Panda Center is 120 kilometers outside of Chengdu by road. It takes about 3 hours to get there by public bus. Buses operate from Chadianzi Bus Station in Chengdu's Jinniu District to Wolong Town.
It is more convenient to get there by private car, which is included in our private Wolong tours. This ensures you save time on transportation and enjoy spending more time with pandas.
Accommodation in Wolong
Due to the long distance from Chengdu, we recommend you stay overnight in Wolong. Don't expect too much from the accommodation, however.
As tourism in Wolong is still in its early stages, there are no standard hotels but several hostels instead, which have very basic facilities.
We have carefully selected the best hostels available, based on criteria that include the location and environment.
A Recommended Wolong Itinerary
Since there are so many interesting activities to do at Wolong Panda Center, we suggest you spend 2 days there. Including the arrival and departure days, you should have a 4-day tour:
Day 1: Arrive in Chengdu.
Day 2: Transfer to Wolong and hike in Dengsheng Gorge.
Day 3: Take part in the one-day giant panda volunteer program and return to Chengdu.
Day 4: Depart from Chengdu.