Dujiangyan Panda Base is the most easily accessible base in China to join the Panda Keeper Program and to take photos next to a panda. This unique one day tour will utilize your time to get close to lovely pandas.
There is a daily quota of 60 volunteers for the Panda Keeper Program. Please inquire and book soon to secure.
Note: The Panda Keeper Program is getting more and more popular. To maximize your opportunity to get close to pandas, please inquire soon to check the availability. First Come First Served!
- Tour around the brand new Dujiangyan Panda Base without disturbing of noisy tourists
- Feed a panda with your own hands at a very close distance
- Clean the enclosure for pandas
- Watch a special documentary movie about panda's life cycle
- Make panda cakes in different shapes
- Receive a unique certificate proving your love to panda
Schedule for Reference
Dujiangyan Panda Base, short for the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) Dujiangyan Base, is located 60 kilometers, or 1½ hours by car, from Chengdu City. By taking part in the volunteer program, you will learn more about this endangered species and help to take care of them with guidance from the staff. Please check the general itinerary of the whole day. Your guide may adjust the itinerary based on the weather, transportation, and your requirements.
In the morning, your guide will pick you up from your hotel in Chengdu. Your guide will call you at the hotel one day in advance or leave a message to double check the collection time with you.
Arrive at the Dujiangyan Panda Base and sign up with the assistance of your guide. Get a uniform, gloves, and a volunteer’s card. Your guide will introduce you to the professional panda keepers. The panda keepers can speak simple English but your guide will be there for you at all times, helping to translate and taking memorable photos of you with the lovable pandas.
Clean the panda enclosures. Panda keepers need to supply fresh bamboo to these national treasures three times a day. The pandas usually eat only 30% of the bamboo, wasting 70% of it. You will need to sweep out the leftovers and replace it with fresh bamboo, as well as clean out the feces.
Take a break and tour around the panda base. There are about 10 pandas in the base and some of them were born abroad, including the most popular Tai Shan and Bao Bao, who arrived from the U.S. Have a relaxing walk in the well-paved base and listen to the legendary stories of these pandas. You will also have a chance to meet four naughty red pandas.
Feed a panda! Pandas are supplied with panda cakes, apples, and carrots four times a day. The panda keepers will show you how to feed a panda with your own hands at close proximity.
Have lunch and a rest. A simple Chinese lunch is included in the panda keepers’ canteen. Usually there are two meat dishes and one vegetable dish. Rice and porridge are also provided. It is highly recommended for you to prepare some snacks in case you do not like the food there. After lunch, you can walk around to continue exploring or have a rest in the volunteer office or the resting room, where benches are provided.
More cleaning and feeding. The bamboo you supplied in the morning will have become dry by the afternoon. Remove it and replace it with fresh bamboo. Then feed the pandas with some more panda cakes and apples.
Make panda cakes. Having fed the pandas with panda cakes, aren’t you curious as to how they are made? It is time to make some panda cakes with your own hands. The ingredients will be prepared in advance. Get creative about the shapes of the cakes.
Get a certificate. The volunteer work ends here and you will receive a certificate for this unforgettable day. Say goodbye to the pandas you take care of. Your guide and driver will escort you back to your hotel in Chengdu and you will arrive at around 5:30pm.
Our service includes:
- Our 1-to-1 expert China consultancy with unlimited itinerary changes
- Booking of China internal flights, trains, and cruises, per your preferences
- Your own China-Highlights-trained, versatile and knowledgeable tour guide
- Your own chauffeured and comfortable vehicle, chosen for ample space
- Entry to all attractions on your itinerary, with queues avoided wherever possible
- Our 24-7 helpline for while you are travelling
Suggested Activity to Enrich Your Tour
Would like to make your tour more unique? Why not enrich your tour with our exclusive activity. Feel free to get your personal travel expert add it for you.
This donation program allowing you to take pictures with a panda for about 10 seconds is not included in the Panda Keeper Program. The donation amount is CNY1,800 per person. Only 20 tourists are allowed to take close-up photos with pandas each day. If interested, please book as early as possible. Remember to take enough CNY cash, as payment by a non-Chinese credit card is not accepted there.
Sichuan Cuisine Museum lies in an ancient town , about 1 hour’s drive from Chengdu city. It is the only interactive museum in the world displaying Sichuan culinary culture. During this trip, you will taste various Sichuan snacks, learn about Sichuan cuisine's history and a professional chef will teach you to how to cook three typical Sichuan dishes.
1. Booking Panda Keeper Program
As the first tour company in China to operate the program, China Highlights has developed stable relationship with the Dujiangyan Panda Base. Sometimes the program is subject to change due to force majeure. Usually we are able to get the first-hand information that is very helpful for your tour arrangement. Your early booking is also useful to guarantee the availability of the program. Sometimes the activities listed in the description will be adjusted according to health condition of the pandas. Hope customers can understand this.
If your time is limited, you can only join the activities in the morning. The price is the same.
This tour is very flexible. You can alter the itinerary, and extend or shorten it to suit your schedule.
Physical Examination Record is required for panda keeper program application. Please click the link below to download the form. Feel free to contact our 1:1 travel expert for any questions.Download the PDF
2. Age Limit
The age restriction of volunteer is between 12 to 65 years old. Even though the pandas look harmless, they are carnivores. Parents must ensure that they prevent their children from coming into direct contact with the pandas. The cost for children of 12 years old and above is the same as the cost for adults. If your children are between 0–11 years old, you can still take them with you during the program. The children can not enter the room where the panda cage is. Your guide will help to take care of them.
3. Dress Code
To protect yourself when carrying bamboo, please do not wear short pants or slippery footwear.
Also, pandas have a very keen sense of smell. As you will get very close to them during the tour, please do not wear perfume or nail polish. Our sincere thanks for your extra care and respect towards the pandas.
4. Transportation Suggestions
If you need to catch a flight or train after the program, flights departing after 8 pm or trains departing after 7 pm are recommended. For international flights, flights after 9 pm are suggested. If your flight or train leaves earlier than the recommended times above, you may need to skip some arrangements in the afternoon and head earlier to the airport or train station.