Home Giant Pandas Wolong National Nature Reserve

Wolong Panda Center — Wild Panda Habitat

Wolong Panda Research Center Wolong Panda Research Center

Wolong National Nature Reserve is the recently reopened panda center that focuses on panda wilderness training programs. If you want to see pandas enjoying their original habitat, Wolong is a perfect choice for you.

  • Chinese: 卧龙熊猫基地 Wòlóng Xióngmāo Jīdì /wor-long sshyong-maoww jee-dee/
  • Location: about 105 km (65 miles or about 3 hours by road) northwest of Chengdu
  • Number of pandas: 33 (but only 26 can be visited)
  • Time needed: at least 2 days
  • Best times to visit: March to May and September to November
  • Highlights: panda volunteer program, panda kindergarten, wild pandas' habitat exploration

Wolong National Nature Reserve provides multiple activities for people to take part in, especially for those who prefer to see pandas in their own natural habitat.

Panda Volunteer Programs — Get close to giant pandas

Visitors to Wolong have a great chance to get close to the lovely giant pandas through the panda volunteer program. Every day a limited number of visitors are allowed to take care of the pandas, under guidance from the Chinese staff.

Different from the program at Dujiangyan Panda Base, this program is more flexible.

Activities — making panda cakes, feeding pandas…

During the program, 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.

At the end of the program, you will be awarded a certificate proving your participation in the panda volunteer program, a T-shirt, and a badge.

Age Limit — 10 to 70 years old

The age restriction for volunteers is between 10 to 70 years old. The main reasons for this are the safety and wellbeing of pandas and participants. The work is somewhat physical, and younger children are more likely to disturb/provoke the pandas, and disobey safety instructions.

You can still can take your children with you during the program, your guide will help take care of them, and over-65s can still watch.

Panda Kindergarten

Panda CubsPanda cubs

Panda Kindergarten at Wolong Panda Research Center has been open to the public since May 11th, 2016. Currently, eight panda cubs in their first year live in Panda Kindergarten.

The center is planning to build a totally transparent coffee bar beside the kindergarten. When it's finished, people can enjoy their coffee while watching the baby pandas.

Wild Panda Habitat Exploration

wolong panda base A panda skeleton: Giant pandas have not been reduced being dinosaur-like exhibits thanks to panda breeding and habitat preservation in the last 30 years.

Wolong, known as "The Homeland of Pandas" in China, is part of the original habitat of wild pandas. Wolong Panda Research Center is making efforts to protect pandas and research pandas, but is ideally placed for its main focus: training pandas to be released into the wild.

You will have an opportunity to explore the wild pandas' habitat, track wild pandas, and go hiking there.

Why You Should Visit Wolong Panda Research Center

The reasons why you should visit Wolong Panda Research Center may be multiple, but one thing is sure: Wolong Panda Research Center is a paradise for nature enthusiasts.

Not Just Pandas…

As the third largest National Nature Reserve in China, Wolong Nature Reserve not only contains the famous pandas, but also hundreds of thousands of animals and plants.

Due to the complicated and variable natural conditions, it is considered home for most animal and plant species of south central China.

The History of Wolong Panda Research Center

wolong nature reserveWolong Nature Reserve

In 2008, there was a catastrophic earthquake in Wenchuan County, and the old Wolong Panda Research Center was destroyed overnight.

China's government made great efforts to ship the pandas to other panda centers temporarily. In 2016 the new Wolong Panda Research Center was opened, and the pandas went back to their homeland.

Why did the government rebuild Wolong?

Although the earthquake destroyed the old Wolong Panda Center, the ecological environment of Wolong mostly survived intact. So considering its optimal climate, geography, and vegetation, Wolong is still the best place for pandas to live and be trained.

Wolong Panda Research Center is again the best choice for people who would like to see pandas in their native habitat.

Recommended Wolong Itinerary — about 4 days

Since there are so many interesting activities to do at the Wolong Panda Research Center, we suggest you spend 4 days there…

Day 1: Arrive in Chengdu

With masses of things to do, it is a better choice for you to arrive in Chengdu at least one day ahead of your Wolong trip. Then you can transfer to your hotel, check in, and take a good rest in readiness for your panda trip.

Day 2: Transfer to Wolong and Gengsheng Gorge Hike

It takes three hours of driving from Chengdu to Wolong, so you are advised to depart as early as possible to make the most of the day.

After arriving at Gengda Town, you can have a lunch and prepare for your hiking in the giant panda's original habitat.

Gengsheng Gorge is not only the homeland of pandas; it has many other native animals and plant species, like the white-lip deer and ghost trees. You are definitely going to enjoy the splendid scenery there.

Day 3: One-day Giant Panda Volunteer Program at Wolong

During the program you will learn more about pandas, and help take care of pandas together with experienced staff.

Activities may include cleaning the panda's enclosure, weighing and cleaning bamboo, making panda cakes and feeding the pandas. At the end you will be issued with a panda keeper certificate to prove your participation.

After the program, you can go back to Chengdu for your departure on the next day.

Day 4: Chengdu Departure

After your breakfast (or more Chengdu tourism) you can prepare to transfer to the airport.

Recommended Wolong Tours

wolongYou can see pandas in their native habitat at Wolong Nature Reserve.

The new Wolong Panda Research Center was opened to the public in May 2016 and China Highlights was the first tour company to inspect it. You will have a chance to be panda’s private guest and explore panda’s nightlife without tourists and noise in the brand new center.

Contact our experts directly to design a unique China tour from scratch — see the pandas and everything else on your bucket list in an interesting way with the hassle taken out.