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Wolong Panda Tour

cd-8: 4-Day Wolong Panda Keeper and Habitat Exploration Tour
From: $739
Photography Panda Nature Hiking

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, you will be able to explore the habitat of wild giant pandas and to be a panda keeper for a day in the brand new center.


  • Visit 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

What's Included

  • Entrance to scenic spots listed in the itinerary
  • Private guide service from experienced English-speaking tour guide
  • Private transfers between the airport, attractions, and hotels
  • Panda Keeper Program fee and golf cart ride at Wolong Panda Research Center
  • Hotel accommodation with breakfast and Wi-Fi
  • Meals mentioned in the itinerary

Price Per Person in US Dollars

Nov.1 - Mar.31 5 Star 4 Star
2-5 People $719 $739
6-9 People $519 $509
Apr.1 -Oct.31    
2-5 People $789 $779
6-9 People $569 $539

1. The price for children is about 60–70% of the adult price, depending on the number of people in the group and the room arrangements.
2. The price is not applicable during National Holidays.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1Chengdu Arrival

Recommended Hotel in Chengdu: Sofitel Chengdu Taihe (5-star)/Tibet Hotel Chengdu (4-star)

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.

Day 2Private Transfer to Wolong and Dengsheng Gorge Hike

Meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner

Recommended Hotel in Wolong: Wolong Minjiang Hotel (2-star)

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. The site is in Yingxiu Town, Wenchuan County, about 2 hours from Chengdu city by car. 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.

The gorge, 55 km (34 miles) from Gengda, 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.

After the hike, you’ll be transferred back to Gengda for a good sleep.

Dengsheng Gorge
Day 3One-Day Giant Panda Keeper Program at Wolong Panda Research Center

Meals: breakfast & lunch

Recommended Hotel in Chengdu: Sofitel Chengdu Taihe (5-star)/Tibet Hotel Chengdu (4-star)

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.

Panda Keeper
Day 4Chengdu Departure

Meals: breakfast

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.

Trip Notes

1. Tour Map (click to enlarge)

Map of Wolong

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. Taking Photos with a Panda

A donation program that allows you to pose for photos with a panda for about 20 seconds is not included in the Panda Keeper Program. It is only available in Wolong and at the Dujiangyan Panda Base, and the standard donation is CNY1,800 per person [September 2017].

About 40 tourists are allowed to take close-up photos with pandas each day. If you would like to take part in this donation program, please tell your travel advisor in advance because we have to book at least one week in advance. Even with booking, the program is subject to the availability of pandas on the day. Please take enough cash in Chinese yuan, as payment by a non-Chinese credit card may not be accepted there.

Please note again that the photo program is totally dependent on the availability of pandas on the day. We will double-check on bookings one day in advance and inform you as soon as we know of any unexpected change.

4. 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.

5. More Trip Information

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