Wolong National Nature Reserve is considered to be the real hometown of wild pandas. Tragically, the Wolong Panda Center was largely devastated by the catastrophic 2008 earthquake. 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.
During this tour, by day you will be able to explore the habitat of wild giant pandas and to be a panda keeper; at night, you will have a chance to be panda’s private guest and explore panda’s nightlife without tourist and noise in the brand new center.
- Take a secret night tour in the new Wolong Panda Research Center
- Hike in Dengsheng Gorge to explore the habitat of wild pandas
- Make panda cakes in different shapes
- Feed a panda with your own hands
- Receive a unique certificate proving your love for pandas
Your tour guide will be waiting in the arrivals hall of the airport with a name plate and a welcoming smile. You will be transferred to your hotel by private car and driver, and your tour guide will help you check-in and ensure everything is okay at the hotel.
At 7 am your private guide and vehicle will pick you up from your hotel in Chengdu. It takes about three hours to drive the 120 km (75 miles) between Chengdu and Wolong. For a rest and to break up the long drive, you’ll stop at the 2008 Earthquake Memorial Site. It is the ruin of Xuankou Middle School. The buildings remain as they were after the quake and the whole area has been cordoned off and made into a memorial site.
Continue the car journey and you’ll arrive at Gengda Town in Wolong at around 11:30 am. Have a simple lunch at a local restaurant and prepare for the exciting hike to Dengsheng Gorge.
We will arrange a room on the hostel right inside the Panda centre for you tonight, thus you can pay a night visit to cute panda without tourists and noises, under the guidance of real panda feeder and your guide. Wonder what does the panda do at night and further information from a panda feeder? Just book the tour and find out.The gorge, is an authentic natural habitat of wild giant pandas, together with other wild animals, such as white-lip deer and red pandas. Sponsored by Hong Kong people, the well-paved hiking trail is 5 km (3 miles) long and the hike takes about 2–3 hours. The forest and ecosystem along the trail are well preserved. If you’re lucky, you may find evidence of wild giant pandas.
Arrive at the Wolong Panda Research Center at 8:30 am and your day as a panda keeper begins.
During the program, you will learn more about this endangered species, and help take care of pandas under the guidance of experienced staff. Activities may include cleaning the enclosure, weighing and cleaning bamboo, making panda cakes and feeding the pandas. At the end of the program you will receive a panda keeper certificate.
Lunch will be arranged at the center canteen. The program ends at around 4 pm, when you will begin the drive back to Chengdu. You’ll reach your hotel at around 7 pm.
After breakfast at the hotel, the tour wraps up with transfer to the airport by private car and driver. Your tour guide will escort you to check-in and will wave goodbye at the security check point. It’s time to say goodbye to the pandas’ home province.
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
- Hand-picking of hotels for your requirements
- Hotel breakfasts arranged, and local restaurant lunches ordered, to suit you
- Entry to all attractions on your itinerary, with queues avoided wherever possible
- Our 24-7 helpline for while you are travelling
Hotel Recommendations in Chengdu
The price for reference is based on the following included hotel. We are happy to adjust the hotel according to your preference.
- Central location, 10-minute walk from the shopping mall
- Featuring a local Tibetan theme, with some modern art
- Decorated with French elegance and a subtle Chinese touch
- Next to Jinjiang River, 15-minute walk from the commercial centre
- Ranked 1/2746 of Chengdu hotels on TripAdvisor
- Tucked away on an ancient temple site, with a blend of traditional and modern
Suggested Activities to Enrich Your Tour
Would like to make your tour more unique? Why not enrich your tour with our exclusive activities. 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. Tour Map
2. Hotels and Meals in Wolong
Tourism in Wolong is still in the early stages of re-development after the earthquake in 2008. Hotel and restaurant options are still limited, and standards are rather basic. China Highlights has carefully selected the best restaurant and hotel available, based on criteria like location and environment. Your private guide will assist you in ordering the dishes you like and will accompany you to check in to your room.
3. Seeing and Tracking Wild Giant Pandas
Giant pandas are solitary animals. Wild pandas usually don’t have a fixed resting spot. Most of the time they wander in a big habitat, feeding on bamboo and resting wherever they go.
Wild pandas don’t have good eyesight, but they have very sharp sense of smell and hearing, and they are easily frighten by humans, so they will usually hide themselves before they can be seen. The number of wild pandas is still low and their habitat is huge, so there is no guarantee of seeing wild pandas or their spoor.
In winter, when there is a lack of food, their foraging will extend to more easily accessible areas. Therefore, the possibility of seeing panda activity is slightly larger from December to March.
China Highlights has conducted three field inspections in Wolong Nature Reserve in 2016, building partnerships with the new Wolong Panda Research Center and experienced local guides.
We can tailor-make panda tracking tours to Huangcaoping (where pandas are trained for release into the wild), Wuyipeng (the most well-known panda observation station), and Niutoushan (for mountain camping and tracking wild pandas). The hiking difficulty and length of the tour can be customized to fit your physical strength, time, and budget.