Once-in-a-Lifetime Panda Volunteer Experience
One Day Dujiangyan Panda Volunteer Program Tour
If you're looking for close contact with pandas, this 1-day panda volunteer experience will utilize your time to its fullest. It's a memorable chance to look after a cute and fluffy panda as you clean its enclosure, make its food, and feed it.
- 1. There is a daily quota of 60 volunteers for the Panda Volunteer Program. Please inquire and book soon to secure your place.
- 2. The age restriction for volunteers is between 10 and 70 years old. You can still take good care of the pandas even if you are unable to be a panda volunteer for the day. There are several activities to take part in, such as panda excreta analysis, watching a documentary movie, making panda cakes, and so on.
- 3. To participate in the panda volunteer experience, customers would need to provide the following documents:
(1) The Nucleic Acid Test Results within 7 Days
(2) Green Code
(3) Blood Routine Test within 7 Days
- Feed a panda with your own hands at a very close distance
- Clean panda's bedroom
- Make cakes in different shapes for the pandas
- Meet oversea returnee pandas with our expert panda guide
- Receive a unique certificate proving your love for pandas
What Our Customers Said
Two amazing tours
Both tours were led by excellent guides who knew a lot about everywhere we went, and were very helpful and friendly. The agent was equally helpful and quick in responding to questions which was ,especially in covid restrictions time, extremely convenient.more
Jul 2022, Elizabeth
Panda Keeper for a Day at Dujianyan Sichuan
This is was the second time that we had signed up for the program Panda Keeper for a Day, this time at the Dujianyan Panda Base, about 1 hour drive away from Chengdu. Great experience again. We will surely do it once again.more
Mar 2022, Thomas
Amazing Tibet experience in Sichuan
Henry was an informative guide who went out of his way to ensure positive experiences. Mr Wu was not only a safe and attentive driver on sometimes rough roads but also a great photographer, capturing shots of us as we toured. Henry went out of his way to talk to anyone around to help bring the place alive through stories so we had the opportunity to meet so many locals, real people, and hear about their lives. Another highlight was the opportunity to climb a 1000 year old watchtower in Danba and meet the local family who managed it. Truly magical. Henry was also a consummate foodie who provided us with great local food recommendations along the way.more
Jul 2021, Deborah J
We have just completed the Chengdu leg of our trip to China organised by Robert Hui at China Highlights. Our Guide for the 2 Day trip was Daisy Du who made us feel very welcome and helped us check in and ensured our rooms were satisfactory then gave us directions of where to go for the best food. The next day Daisy took us straight to the Giant Panda Breeding and Research centre. It was fantastic to see the Pandas so close. It’s a little sad that they are in captivity but it is essential to increase the breeding rate and so save these wonderful animals from extinction. We saw Pandas of all ages and sizes including a tiny little baby that was only 36 day old. After an extremely tasty lunch picked for us by Daisy she then took us into the people’s park and showed us the tea houses and dating area where parents can advertise their single ‘30 something’ children to potential partners. The day ended with a wander around Jinli Old Street where you can buy anything from food to souvenirs to furniture. We have had the best time in Chengdu helped no end by the friendly, helpfulness of our guide Daisy who knew all the best places to go and sights to see. Thank you Daisy, a great time was had by all. ---jayne_Stu Halifax, United Kingdommore
With other two friends I have visited Chengdu in September 2018 and our tour guide was Jason, who has been really amazing with us. He had the smart idea to bring us to the Pandas reserve very early in order to avoid the crowds, even if we were visiting Chengdu right during the Chinese national holidays. After the Pandas reserve, we visited the tea park and the city centre, where Jason could give us a lot of information about Chengdu. Jason gave us also very nice suggestions about places to visit in the evenings during our free time. Totally recommended!!! ---Vittorio C Berlin, Germanymore
We had a great time in Chengdu seeing the pandas and other excursions. Cecelia, our guide, picked us up with a bag of fruit and a wealth of knowledge. She took great care of us, got us through lines quickly and brought us to great restaurants. We even took a cooking class. Highly recommend her. --Robert D,Seattle, Washington, USmore
Aaron picked us up from the airport and drove us straight to the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center. We had a very enjoyable time touring the Research Center with Aaron. Even though he has probably been to the research center many times he seemed just as excited to see them as we were. Especially the babies! The next morning we headed to the Wolong Panda Base with a stop at the 2008 Earthquake memorial site. We had a great lunch in the small town of Gengda and then went on a hike in the Dengsheng Gorge with a local guide. The next day we did the panda keeper program which entailed cleaning cages (inside and out), feeding pandas, making panda cakes, watching a film about the program and walking around the base looking at the many pandas. After the program we drove back to Chengdu. While we were working Aaron took some great pictures of us cleaning and feeding the pandas. The next morning tour guide Snow took us to the train station. Aaron was such fun to be around, he spoke English wonderfully and gave us great info about the pandas. ---Cougfan Auburn, Washington, USmore
Had a wonderful time on the panda keeper program which we booked through China Highlights. We generally avoid doing organised tours whenever possible as we prefer to do our own thing. Cecilia was our guide for the day and quickly made us feel at ease in her company she was interesting, knowledgeable and enthusiastic everything you want in a guide. The whole day was great and Cecilia certainly enhanced the experience, she took lots of photos for us throughout the day which was brilliant as it’s difficult getting photos together, she also provided us with buckwheat tea and biscuits which was a lovely touch. A big thank you to Cecilia. --Maria & Peter Foulgermore
Your guide will call you at your hotel one day in advance or will leave a message to confirm the collection time with you. You will be picked up at around 7am from your hotel. After arrival at the panda base, sign up and get a uniform. 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 volunteers need to supply fresh bamboo three times a day. The pandas usually only eat 30% of the bamboo, wasting 70% of it. You will need to sweep out the leftovers and replace them with fresh bamboo, as well as clean out the feces.
Take a break and tour around the panda base. Our guides are veritable panda lovers — they are familiar with the base and know a lot about pandas. Some of them have even hosted a live cam feed about pandas on Facebook and YouTube.
There are about 10 pandas at the base and some of them are overseas returnees, including the most popular Tai Shan and Bao Bao, who arrived from the US. You will also have the chance to meet four naughty red pandas.
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.
A simple Chinese lunch is included in the 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 volunteers' office or the resting room, where benches are provided.
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.
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.
The volunteer work ends here and you will receive a certificate for this unforgettable day. Say goodbye to the pandas you have taken care of. Your guide and driver will escort you back to your hotel in Chengdu and you will arrive at about 5:30pm.
1. Booking Panda Volunteer 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.
2. Age Limit
The age restriction of volunteer is between 10 to 70 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 10 years old and above is the same as the cost for adults. If your children are between 0–9 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 can help take care of them if you like.
3. Dress Code
Certain pavements in the base can be very wet and slippery. To avoid slipping, 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.