In a nutshell, Biosphere Expeditions is about conservation volunteering abroad and citizen science expedition travel.

We offer citizen science and wildlife conservation expeditions all over the world, green campaigning and events. All of them are open to everyone, there are no special skills or level of fitness required to join and there are no age limits whatsoever.


First and foremost, there are our citizen science volunteer expeditions working in wildlife conservation. These are true wildlife research and conservation expeditions, which last from one to two weeks per expedition group, and offer you opportunities to volunteer in wildlife conservation, explore fascinating parts of the world, have the adventure of a lifetime and get truly hands-on. On our wildlife volunteer programs, you’ll be learning about and working in wildlife conservation, immersed in the subject out in the field with local scientists and people.

Whilst on volunteering on expedition, English is our language of communication for the international team of scientists, helpers and team members.

The wildlife volunteer opportunities we have for you are varied: there are marine and terrestrial expeditions, expeditions to Africa, Europe, the Americas and all over the rest of the world. Have a look at our expeditions map for where we operate.


We have various green campaigns such as our Do More campaign, 20 tips on how to be (radically) green, 10 tips on how to avoid the charlatans in wildlife conservation volunteering and our donation campaigns.


We also hold a number of other events, usually in countries where we have offices. These may be talks, slide shows, presentations, open or tracking days, get-togethers for former team members, as well as events organised by former expedition participants and/or members of our Friends. All are designed to make Biosphere Expeditions accessible to you locally and give you the chance to meet some of our staff and ask your questions in person.

Genuine citizen science

These days it is hard to find a worthwhile volunteering experience that achieves genuine and tangible benefits. The market is full of profit-driven, unscrupulous operators, which do little for local wildlife at best and are harmful to it, and local communities, at worst (see our Top Ten Tips on choosing a wildlife volunteering experience on this topic and how to avoid the charlatans, as well as our opinion piece on voluntourism in nature conservation). 

Committment and expedition leaders

At Biosphere Expeditions we carefully select long-term projects, always run by scientists embedded locally, that make a significant conservation impact (see our achievements). We make them feasible by providing the workforce (you) and funding (amongst other things your expedition contribution), and we don't just go there once, we keep going back until the work is done, even if it takes years. Your presence, your expedition contribution and the work you put in, are the reasons the research can be carried out. But it does not stop there. We are not just an administration body funding research and sending conservation expedition volunteers into the field. We get actively involved, with an expedition leader on every project. This leader stays with the expedition for the entire duration as an integral part of the expedition team, participating in the research, working, eating and staying with you, and generally making sure that things run safely and smoothly. Of course, the expedition leader is also there to provide guidance and leadership, to take care of any problems as they arise, and to be an interface between the expedition team, the local scientists and the local population.

Unique, progressive policies

We also have unique policies of non-growth and vegetarian food on expedition. To our knowledge we are the only wildlife conservation volunteering organisation with such progressive policies, if not the only conservation NGO with a meat-free policy, as many others appear to be too frightened to grasp that nettle.

Expedition reports

After expedition travel comes serious science: We publish our expedition research results and finances in a clear and transparent way. As far as we are aware, Biosphere Expeditions is the only organisation in the world that has a direct and transparent link between the work done by citizen scientists and an expedition report. Each expedition year is matched by an expedition report for that year, which deals with the two main areas that expedition participants contribute to: funding and data collection. Chapter 1 of each report, written by Biosphere Expeditions, reviews the expedition logistics and publishes an expedition budget, which shows in a clear and transparent way income and expenditure for each expedition and the percentage of income spent on the project. Chapter 2 onwards, written by the expedition scientist, shows who collected what data, how they were analysed, what the conclusions were, as well as the conservation recommendations and actions flowing from this, and what future expeditions should do. In this way, each expedition comes full circle for its participants. We believe this transparency, and the clear results that are generated by each expedition, are two reasons why so many people come back time and again on expedition adventures with us.

Research output

Our overall research output is impressive. Just have a look at our ResearchGate page, which lists our expedition reports as well as articles in peer-reviewed science journals, presentations given and more.

Awards & achievements

But all of this is just us talking about ourselves. There is independent confirmation too, such as our many achievements and the multitude of awards we have won. We have been involved in the creation of protected areas, as well as species and habitat protection and action plans all over the world, have won awards such as the “Best Volunteering Organisation” award at the international Responsible Tourism Awards in London and an environment award from the German Minister for the Environment – the list goes on and you can see all our awards and achievements on our website. More independent confirmation comes from participant feedback or the media coverage we receive.

We have a testimonials page with video and text feedback from former participants, scientists and other people who are involved with us, as well as a YouTube playlist of testimonials. More independent testimonials, on a page that we have no control over, are on GreatNonProfits.org and on Facebook. You can also look at what the media say about us. Finally there are our awards and accolades as independent evidence of what other people and organisations think of us.

We know this is a problem these days, with profit-driven expedition travel operators trying unscrupulously to take advantage of people's goodwill and enthusiasm. This is why we have come up with our Top Ten Tips on choosing a wildlife volunteering experience (below) and our opinion piece on voluntourism in nature conservation.

The Top Ten Tips are:

1. Reputation, reputation, reputation: has the organisation won awards or accolades, who are they associated with, what is their philosophy, do they write & publish their results and what’s their safety record.

2. Qualified staff: work should be led by qualified & proven experts, group leaders should be well qualified and all staff should be well briefed on risks and safety issues.

3. Where does your money go: good organisations will always publish clear information that shows how your money is spent.

4. Proper follow-through: a good organisation will, through updates and reports, keep you informed about how the project progresses even after you’ve left.

5. What will you get out of it: be clear about what you want to get out of the experience - training, self-development, an adventure - then check whether the organisation is clear in communicating what’s on offer for you.

6. Community involvement and benefit: understand a project’s relationship to the local community and make sure that the organisation is properly embedded with locals efforts and people – does the community benefit, have they given consent for work to be carried out, how have they been involved. Is there training for locals, scholarships, capacity-building, education, etc.

7. Your fellow participants: understand the profile of the people that will share your trip by checking the organisation’s website and social media sites.

8. In the field: check that the organisation is clear & transparent about what will be happening day to day, the accommodation, food and other logistics, and also what is expected of you.

9. Captive animals: if the experience involves captive animals, be very clear on the purpose of the captive facility, where the animals come from and whether it is part of a reputable programme.

10. Handling animals: steer clear of organisations that encourage handling of captive wild animals for anything other than essential veterinary or neo-natal surrogate care. If wild animals are handled, it should only be for essential research & conservation work and following strict animal welfare guidelines.


Yes. Safety is our top priority, but as we are not in the business of controlling nature, we will expect you to take some responsibility. Our three key watchwords are ‘safety, science, satisfaction’ - in that order. We always have emergency procedures and backup systems in place on all conservation volunteering experiences and each new expedition proposal we receive is put through a stringent safety test before it is added to our portfolio. Biosphere Expeditions has an excellent safety record with no serious accidents, long-lasting injuries - let alone deaths, since its foundation in 1999. It may also come as a surprise to you that statistically expedition life is no more dangerous than normal life at home and certainly far less dangerous than doing DIY! Achieving our research aims is important, but the expedition cannot be considered successful unless it is also conducted responsibly, safely, harmoniously, and with regard for the environment.

A common misconception about expedition travel is that conservation expeditions are full of youngsters roughing it and boozing. With Biosphere Expeditions nothing could be further from the truth. Our typical participant is in his/her mid-30s to late 70s (average age 42.3, spread six months to 87 years) and there are usually many singles and a few couples. It is rare to have fewer than five nationalities - from the host country and then mainly from Europe, North America and Australasia - on the expedition and they are all united by the common interest in volunteering with wildlife, wilderness and conservation. If you would like details about who is already signed up, then just get in touch.

We only operate small teams of around 10-12 volunteers to maximise research efficiency and minimise impact. Expedition participants are from all walks of life, of all ages and from all over the world (see the profiles of our volunteers over the last few years below), and they all share the same vision that made them choose the same project as you.

Also, we are all about being inclusive, so you are never too old or too young, or not fit enough - and that includes people with special needs or challenges. Have a look at the wildlife conservation volunteer expeditions and pick one that you think is realistically achievable for you. If you are in any doubt, contact us for more details on what it's going to be like and for advice on whether it will be the right kind of wildlife volunteer opportunity for you. And just to put your mind at rest, our oldest expedition adventure participant so far was 87 years and our youngest six months






And if you are not sure, then you can see written and video testimonials on our our testimonials page, which includes testimonials on external pages over which we have no control. You can also get in touch with expedition alumni via the Outreach Network or see videos of the variety of people who come with us.

The people who then commit to join us in the field are those who care enough to become actively involved, those who want to come home and tell their friends not just what they saw, but also what they have done about it. Our expeditions are real scientific citizen science research projects, not package holidays, and the way they are run reflects this. You will be living, breathing and sleeping on expedition air, working and sharing in our vision. And if you go to your bed tired after a day's work, then that will only make the experience more enriching, the memories stronger, and the sense of fulfilment more real. So if you are looking for an expedition adventure with a conscience, a sense of purpose and tangible benefits and outcomes at the end, then Biosphere Expeditions is for you.

Biosphere Expeditions is about making hands-on wildlife conservation accessible to everyone, so we have no upper or lower age limits for those wanting to volunteer with wildlife and everyone is welcome to join.

Over the yeras, we have had many children, including babies, take part in various expedition travels. Having said this, participating in the research may require tasks that could be difficult for children, as for example longer hikes or sitting still in a hide. Each expedition involves different tasks (detailed on our expedition pages) and parents will be the best judge of what is suitable for a younger expedtitioner. Please have a look at the expeditions and if you have any questions after that, we will gladly talk you through the different options. Or if you have one or more expedition(s) in mind already, please get in touch and we can discuss.

Underage teenagers may be able to come on an expedition without their parents/guardians, provided they give their written consent. Again, please just get in touch and we can discuss. We can also put you in touch with other teenagers and their parents/guardians who have gone for this option in the past.

At the other end of the spectrum we have had many retirees, including octogenerians on our expeditions. Here too our expedition pages should be your first point of call to find out about expedition facilities and requirements, which we are happy to discuss with you to help you decide whether the expedition would be suitable for you.

You may also be interested in our overview of who comes on our expeditions (by age, nationality, etc.) or you may want to watch videos of the variety of people who come with us

Yes, you can. Written and video testimonials are on our our testimonials page and this includes testimonials on external pages over which we have no control. You can also get in touch with expedition alumni via the Outreach Network.

Apart from the ability to communicate in English and a diving qualification for our diving expeditions, there are no special skills (biological or otherwise) required to join our expeditions and there are no age limits whatsoever. If you have special needs, please contact us to find out about the suitability of the experience of your choice. If you are healthy and enjoy the outdoors, your fitness level will be sufficient in most cases. Apart from that, all the skills you will need will be taught to you during the first couple of days of the expedition. It will be a steep, but very satisfying learning curve and you will acquire a host of new skills in topics as varied as animal identification, navigation, camera trapping and other research and conservation techniques, off-road driving, behaviour in the bush, etc.

See also Stamp collecting: Voluntourism, volunteering, citizen science and wildlife conservation & research - can laypeople really be of help to serious research & conservation projects?

Our events are conducted in the language of the country they are held in. Otherwise participants come from all over the world, so English is our main language of communication. If, with the help of a dictionary and a little patience, you can understand what we are talking about on this website, then don't worry - you'll be fine.

The food we provide varies from country to country and we aim to provide as much locally purchased fresh food as possible. There will usually be a local cook who has experience in catering for western groups. Vegetarians will be catered for by default (see below) and we can accommodate other special diets on most expeditions. Just contact us regarding more details what is possible on the ground.

Biosphere Expeditions is all about animal conservation and research or caring for animals in its widest sense. The United Nations has identified vegetarianism as one of the major ways to reduce impact; it has also concluded that a global shift toward a vegetarian or vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change. Therefore Biosphere Expeditions will give preference to a vegetarian diet wherever possible on expedition. More on this policy is here.

Yes, of course, no problem. There will be some people arriving in pairs or even larger groups, but most of our team members arrive by themselves (see also more information about the usual composition of our expedition teams). Once you have made it to the assembly point, you will be part of a small team, united by a common goal.

Futher information on single supplements is here.


A short description of a typical day is part of every expedition description. And of course you will have some time off - it's not just about work! Time off is built in for recuperation and/or to give you the chance to visit some local sights and attractions, where applicable and possible.

The accommodation we use on our expedition adventures around the world is always locally owned and varies between luxurious lodges or live-aboard boats, to comfortable guest houses, to rustic expedition base tent camps. Whatever the accommodation, we never run 'hardcore' survival courses or anything of that sort. We feel strongly that our participants need to be well fed and as comfortable as possible in order to be motivated and efficient citizen science research assistants!

Yes, absolutely - if the project is set up properly! Much of biological data collection consists of simple tasks and with a little training anyone can become a citizen scientist and help to collect much-needed information. Hard data form the core of all scientific arguments, but someone has to collect the information and this is often labour-intensive and, within a well-designed research project, can therefore be perfect for lay people / citizen scientists involvement.

Example 1: The study site of our Namibian project is very large. The local scientists have many animal traps for capturing big cats for radio-collaring, but on their own would not have the time to drive through the vast study site and check each trap every day, so most traps are idle and fewer animals are captured when Biosphere Expeditions is not around. When the expedition is on-site, however, all the traps can be checked every day, more animals are captured and radio-collared, resulting in more data. Needless to say that you do not need to be a fully-fledged scientist to drive through the study site, check the traps, and radio in when a cat is captured!

Example 2: A child can distinguish between a blue-and-yellow macaw and a scarlet macaw, because one is predominantly blue and yellow and the other red! Armed with this information, laypeople are ready to gather data from an Amazonian macaw clay lick (a place by the river where birds congregate to eat clay, probably for detoxification). For example, they may gather important data such as how many blue-and-yellow and scarlet macaws come to the clay lick over a certain period of time, what the behaviour of each species is (by ticking off a simple list of behaviours such as eating, socialising, resting etc), or how they react to being disturbed, say, by a passing boat. Over time these data will help scientists determine parameters such as population trends and human impact on wildlife, but someone - and this someone is you – needs to commit their time to volunteer with wildlife and sit in a hide to collect the data in the first place.

Example 3: A bear track is unmistakeable - even with no training you would probably know when you see one! A lone local scientist can only cover a small area each day, but a whole expedition team can survey a very large area and thereby provide the scientist with a much better picture of bear movements and numbers. And if for some reason (for example an unclear print on a hard substrate or a small juvenile print) you are not sure whether you are looking at a bear track, you simply take a picture with a digital camera or your phone and ask the scientist at the end of the day. If it was a bear track, it will be entered into the datasheet; if it wasn't, the scientist will tell you (and the rest of the team) what you have found, helping everyone to build up their tracking knowledge.

Don’t worry if the expedition you are interested in is not mentioned in the examples above. There simply would be too many examples to cover them all and all our expeditions are set up so that laypeople can make a real contribution as citizen scientists. The “typical day” section of each expedition description will give you a good idea of what you will be doing on our various wildlife volunteering opportunities.

And if the examples above from within Biosphere Expeditions have not convinced you yet, then there’s more, independent, evidence. Going back as far as the 1960s, a great deal of literature has been produced highlighting the value of data collected by laypeople and the ideas, enthusiasm and hard work that they bring to the conservation world.

A study by Dr. Judy Foster-Smith and Dr. Stewart Evans of the University of Newcastle investigated the use of laypeople to collect marine data in Cumbrae, Scotland. In this study the authors say that “much of this type of research is labour-intensive but technically straight-forward and volunteers could make significant contributions to it in the future”. And it gets even better: “(data) generated from them (i.e. volunteers) were almost identical to those produced…… by an experienced scientist.”!

A similar study in Oxfordshire’s Wytham woods by Dr. Chris Newman and Dr. Christina Buesching, from Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit yielded much the same conclusions: “…the study has found that people from all walks of life, with all levels of previous involvement with field ecology, from novice to expert, have something to offer to conservation… The results collected by the amateur naturalist teams proved very reliable when compared to more complex monitoring techniques used by professional researchers at Wytham.”

The Cumbrae study went on to highlight the additional benefits of laypeople participation: “It should be noted that there are also educational benefits from the involvement of volunteers in scientific projects… it is a means of both raising people’s feelings of responsibility towards the environment and increasing their knowledge of environmental issues”. “An additional benefit is that volunteers may bring ‘new’ skills, experience, insights and enthusiasm to projects, and have the potential, therefore, of contributing significantly more to scientific investigations than simply providing a workforce to collect data.”

See also Stamp collecting: Voluntourism, volunteering, citizen science and wildlife conservation & research - can laypeople really be of help to serious research & conservation projects?

Whenever we set up an environmental volunteering opportunity, an environmental impact assessment is part of the process. From this assessment flow things such as what you can do as an individual to reduce your impact (and when you sign up you will receive guidelines on this), what Biosphere Expeditions can do as an organisation (such as, for example, offsetting its carbon debt and serving vegetarian food) and how we can help local partners and people too. Needless to say that all this is done to keep environmental impact to a minimum.


Select an experience and a date, check availability, then send us your deposit (€300 for expeditions) or full payment (for events) to reserve your place. It's as easy as that and the quickest way of doing it is via our online forms. For expeditions, the full balance will be due four weeks before the start of the expedition (or immediately if it starts sooner). There is a full range of payment options.

Contributions vary between expedition travel choices, so please check the one(s) you are interested in. To reserve your place on an expedition, you need to send us a €300 deposit. It's as easy as that and the quickest way of doing it is via our online forms. The balance of your expedition travel contribution will then be due four weeks before the expedition starts.

On top of your expedition contribution, you will have to make your own travel arrangements to and from the assembly point, which is usually in an easy to find and accessible place such as a hotel in a big city. This means that your airfares or other travel costs to the assembly point are not covered. Additional costs may include passport, visa and airport fees, and money you may have to spend on travel at either end of your experience with us, or your personal gear and preparations. You will also have to purchase appropriate travel insurance. Once you have made it to the assembly point and we’re on our way, we pay for everything apart from the obvious such as personal souvenirs, luxury drinks, phone calls home, etc.

You may also be able to reduce the net cost of your volunteer holiday. Depending on your country of origin, a portion of your expedition contribution and additional expenses (such as additional food, lodging and transportation) may be tax-deductible. Have a look here for more details and examples.

Finally, many employers, particularly in the USA and Canada, but also elsewhere, will match fund charitable contributions made by their employees, retirees and employees’ spouses. That means you may well be able to increase significantly the contribution you make towards wildlife contribution. More information about this is on our match-funding page.

Our expeditions are on-going research ventures with team members joining at particular times of the year when their help is most needed (as for example during the rainy, or at the beginning of the breeding season). We divide all our expeditions into several groups, which run back-to-back. A group for an expedition is between one and two weeks, so when one team leaves, the next one arrives and so on. You can join our wildlife volunteer programs for single or multiple groups and therefore stay for multiple weeks.

If you want to join an expedition for two or more groups, you will get €75 off each group up to a maximum discount of €200. You can also qualify for a discount if you join more than one expedition in any one calendar year. If you do, the same discount principles as above apply. So if you join two or more expedition travel opportunities for one group each in a calendar year, you will get €75 off each expedition up to the €200 maximum discount.

Our "Frequent Flyers", i.e. those who have been on three or four separate expedition adventures (not groups), as well as our "Friends of Biosphere Expeditions", start with a €100 discount and get the same discount again for each additional group they add up to a maximum discount of €250.

Our "VIBPs" (Very Important Biosphere Persons), i.e. those who have been on five or more separate expeditions (not groups), start with a €150 discount and get the same discount again for each additional group they add up to a maximum discount of €300.

Whatever combination of discounts you accrue, our maximum ceiling is €200 in any one calendar year (€250 for Frequent Flyers and €300 for VIBPs). 

Do join us as early as you can. To maximise research efficiency and minimise environmental impact, our environmental volunteer group sizes are kept small, so teams often fill up fast. It is a good idea to contact us as soon as you can to avoid disappointment. The other reason to join as early as possible is to be able to book your travel to the assembly point well in advance. You may also be able to trigger additional discounts from your flight carrier by booking early - and flights can get booked up months in advance, especially around peak times such as the June - August, and the Christmas/New Year period.

Once you have joined up and your payment has cleared, we will e-mail you all the information you need to get ready for your volunteer holiday. Four weeks before the expedition’s start, your balance will be due, and provided you pay and make your way to the assembly point on time, you'll be off before you can say 'Dr Livingstone, I presume'!

You do, and you can also support Biosphere Expeditions by using our affiliate flight and travel agents

Research suggests that around 70 days in advance is the best time to book flights. You can also track flight prices via Google Flights or Hopper to receive price change notifications about your tracked flights.

We are a conservation volunteering organisation, not a travel agency and our participants come from all over the world. Not making travel arrangements for everyone keeps us focused on conservation and our overheads low, which means more money can go into the projects locally. Also, quite often our participants add their own itineraries, doing some travelling of their own prior to joining or after leaving. Having an assembly point in-country gives you the freedom to do this too, and to hunt around for the best travel deal available to you locally. We also have a number of affiliate travel and flight agencies, in our host countries and internationally, who can help you with your travel plans. And by booking through them you will also support our work, as any commission that we make is ploughed back into our wildlife volunteer programs.

You will have to make your own expedition travel arrangements to and from the assembly point, which is usually in an easy to find and accessible place such as a hotel in a big city. This means that your airfares or other travel costs to the assembly point are not covered. Additional costs may include passport, visa and airport fees, and money you may have to spend on travel at either end, or your personal gear and preparations. You will also have to purchase appropriate travel insurance. Once you have made it to the assembly point and we’re on our way, we pay for everything apart from the obvious such as personal souvenirs, luxury drinks, phone calls home, etc.

Yes, you can, but depending on when you do it, you will be charged various amounts. It works like this: If you withdraw 100 days or more before the balance payment date given on your invoice, we will give you a full refund less the non-refundable deposit. If you cancel between 99 and 50 days before the balance payment date given on your invoice, we will credit you a 50% refund. If you cancel between 49 and 21 days before the balance payment date given on your invoice, we will credit you a 10% refund. If you cancel 20 days or fewer before the balance payment date given on your invoice, we shall not credit you any refund.

Note that deferring expedition places to another time or expedition is classed as withdrawal. Once we have accepted your withdrawal, we will send you an invoice for any balance owing once the above credit has been taken into account and you must pay any balance due within 14 days of receipt.

These cancellation charges are made to compensate us for advance payments and purchases we have made in the host country and/or with our field stations and scientists and for the cost of remarketing and/or changing arrangements for someone else to take your place. We strongly advise all participants to obtain insurance that covers them for withdrawal costs.

Note also that deposits are always non-refundable and that we do not allow deposits to be transferred between expeditions. This is because putting down a deposit is a firm committent to that particular expedition group and since we are not a holiday company, we rely on our expeditioners to stick to their commitment. This is so that we in turn can stick to our commitments with our partners on the ground, which are also not holiday companies, but researchers, research institutions or NGOs who rely on us (and you) to fund their projects and supply citizen scientists for data collection.

Of course we realise that life can get in the way of even the most well-intentioned committment. This is why we strongly advise all expeditioners to obtain insurance that covers them for all withdrawal costs as described here.

Once you have joined the expedition team, you will receive detailed information on how best to prepare for the expedition. All scientific research equipment will be provided by Biosphere Expeditions and you will also be given a recommended personal kit list when you join the expedition. Your personal kit list may include things such as waterproofs, jungle clothing and boots, a hat, sun block, a pair of sunglasses, but nothing out of the ordinary. Everything else will be provided.

Yes you do. We make it compulsory that each expedition participant holds a suitable travel insurance policy, which covers them fully for the activities detailed in the briefing, and provides cover for emergency medical repatriation. You should pay special attention to the fact that your policy covers you for adventurous activities and/or light manual work. See our affiliates page for some insurance companies that we recommend. We also strongly recommend obtaining an insurance that covers you for any losses should you have to withdraw from the expedition.

We do not offer single supplements, because we run expeditions, not holidays, and are an expedition organisation, not a tour company.

Having said this, single "rooms" are possible under many circumstances:

1. Where we work from base camps with tents, single tents will be assigned to single expeditioners by default at no extra cost.

2. Where our expedition base is a home stay in the community, single rooms will be assigned to single expeditioners by default at no extra cost.

3. Where our expedition base is in a building or a boat, two people of the same sex by and large need to share a twin room (or friends or couples who request to share a room). However, depending on the makeup of the team and base, we may well have single rooms available. You can request these and we will try our best to heed your request (if you are assigned a single room, there will be no extra cost), but we will not guarantee or offer or accept single supplements to guarantee a single in these cases.

Of course couples or families can share a room too and where we have double bed rooms, we will assign these to couples automatically at no extra cost.



The work of our conservation volunteers makes all the difference. In fact, it is often what make the conservation project possible in the first place.

Biosphere Expeditions’ work has been instrumental in creating protected areas around the world, preventing the destruction of wilderness and wildlife, and improving their management and protection. There is a long list of examples on our achievements pages. In addition, there is a whole library of scientific expedition reports, publications, presentations, etc., all geared towards one goal – benefiting species and habitats under threat and creating a sustainable biosphere in which all parts can thrive and exist. There are the less measurable benefits for local communities, such as capacity-building, job creation, education, training and awareness.

Finally, have a look at our voluntourism article for more a in-depth analysis of how conservation and volunteering can and should work.

We pride ourselves in our scientific output. Within six to twelve months of the end of your expedition, you will receive a report with full details on all conservation work done, the data collected, how this information was used and what the results were. This report will be made available to the public, the scientific community and relevant decision-makers in an effort to let the objects of your study and as many people as possible benefit from the work you have done. The report will also contain a detailed budget on how exactly your contribution was spent. So within a year at most, everything will come full circle for you and you will be able to see how your support on the two main levels of data collection and funding has made a difference. To our knowledge Biosphere Expeditions is the only organisation in the world that does this. 

Where applicable, results will also be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and presented at scientific conferences. Your name will appear in the acknowledgements of all scientific papers and you will be sent copies of any publications arising out of your work.


Please note that after multiple successful expedition without Covid incidences, we have now suspended most Covid restrictions and procedures, including adapted signup terms, with immediate effect (read more about this here). Our normal terms & conditions now apply again to all expedition signups).


Genuine science that achieves genuine conservation successes does not come cheap and the way that the research and logistics of our expeditions is financed is almost exclusively through expedition contributions. You therefore have to pay an expedition contribution to take part in the expedition. This contribution is shown clearly on every expedition page and it makes the expedition independent (from government and other grants), sustainable and long-term. Without those contributions, there would be no conservation volunteering or research outcomes.

We guarantee that on average at least two-thirds of your contribution will be spent on the project. The contribution you pay towards your expedition will go towards advance planning (reconnaissance, team recruitment and logistical support), direct field costs (such as your transport, board and lodging, paying the local scientists and helpers such as cooks and porters, and paying your expedition leader), post-expedition work (the expedition report, scientific publications and other means of making the results known to science and the public), towards supporting the research project itself (which without your help could not be long-term and sustainable), and towards administrative and communication backup. On average at least two-thirds of your contribution will benefit the project directly; the rest will go towards administrative back-up, as well as researching and setting up new wildlife volunteer opportunities.

Within six to twelve months after your expedition you will receive an expedition report with full details on how your expedition contribution was spent on running the expedition and supporting its research work. The expedition report will also show you the fruits of your labour by detailing scientific findings, conclusions and resulting actions. To our knowledge Biosphere Expeditions is the only organisation in the world that has this very direct and transparent system of one expedition being mirrored by one expedition report.

We of course realise that our expedition contributions are not low. But genuine conservation and expeditions to protect wildlife and wild places do not come cheap. We are aware and regret that our model will put our expedition adventures beyond the reach of many students and other people. This is why we have competitions for free places on a regular basis, as well as a placement programme aimed at local people. Participants also get their employers to contribute via match giving, or they fundraise or benefit through personal taxation.

Expeditions run on the published dates only, usually only once a year. The volunteer holiday dates are published around 11 months in advance. As one expedition finishes, the dates for next year are published. Dates usually stay the same year-on-year, so if the expedition you are interested in runs in September one year, it is very likely to run on very similar dates again the year after. If you would like to be notified of dates as they come up, please just let us know.

We are a small non-profit research and conservation volunteering organisation, not a large scale tourism business, which means that we can keep expensive overhead costs to a minimum. We also do very little advertising and costly marketing, concentrating instead on press, media and research publication work.

We of course realise that contributions for our expeditions to volunteer with wildlife are not low. But genuine wildlife conservation and expeditions to protect wildlife and wild places do not come cheap. There's fuel and transport, local and international staff, camp and research equipment, permits, board and lodging, to name but a few. With funds for conservation being slashed globally and grants increasingly hard to come by, our solution is to finance conservation work via those who can and want to do something for the planet's wildlife by helping on two levels - active labour and monetary funding - in return for an expedition adventure with a purpose and the knowledge to have been part of a genuine conservation project run by a transparent, non-profit organisation that publishes its results and finances and achieves things in conservation. We are aware and regret that our model will put our expeditions beyond the reach of many students and other people seeking wildlife volunteer opportunities. This is why we have competitions for free places on a regular basis, as well as a placement programme aimed at local people. Participants also get their employers to contribute via match giving, or they fundraise or benefit through personal taxation.

Yes, it's not problem at all to bring your photography equipment and take photos/videos; and if you can share your photos and videos afterwards, we would appreciate this too. Our research and conservation volunteering work always takes precedence, though, but photography does not usually interefere with this and in fact may enhance the work, for example, by taking good-quality pictures of animals or videos of behaviours, etc. 

You may also want to think about power supply. Check what power supply is available in the "expedition base" description of the expedition you are interested in. In some locations mains power is no problem, but in other places you will need to bring solar chargers or 12V car cigarette lighter chargers or USB charging cables. You can also always contact us if you have any questions about this.

Our policy of minimum impact and least disturbance extends to local people. Your expedition leader and the local scientist will brief you on this and you should refer to them if you are ever in any doubt. Needless to say that we will always respect the customs and laws of the host nation. We also advise on clothing to bring with you where there can be cultural issues about dress and behavioural codes.

There are several ways of getting more information. Firstly, our website will give you a good overview of all our experiences with pictures, videos, feedback, media coverage, etc. Secondly, if your interest and imagination have been stirred by a particular expedition and you would like to know all the details such as the exact location of the assembly point and how to get there, what you will be doing, etc., you can read up on this on the expedition pages and/or download a briefing document with lots of details from each expedition page. Lastly, you can of course always contact one of our offices to talk to us in person, or attend one of our events to do the same.


Biosphere Expeditions organisiert mehrfach ausgezeichnete, gemeinnützige Naturschutz-Mitforscherreisen für Bürgerwissenschaftler. Wir verstehen unsere Aufgabe als Brückenschlag zwischen Forschern mit wichtigen Artenschutzprojekten und enthusiastischen Laien, die durch ihren Zeiteinsatz und Expeditionsbeitrag diese Artenschutzprojekte ermöglichen.

Als Teilnehmer an unseren Bürgerwissenschaftler-Naturschutz-Mitforscherreisen entdecken Sie faszinierende Landschaften unserer Erde und erleben einen einmaligen Abenteuerurlaub mit Naturschutz hautnah. Ab einem Tag bis hin zu mehreren Wochen können Sie bei der Freiwilligenarbeit mit von der Partie sein. Mindestens zwei Drittel Ihres Expeditionsbeitrags kommen dabei nachweislich direkt dem jeweiligen Artenschutzprojekt vor Ort zugute. Erst Ihr Beitrag ermöglicht diese wichtigen Projekte und sichert eine nachhaltige Finanzierung.

Unsere drei Maxime sind Sicherheit, Forschung und Zufriedenheit („safety, science, satisfaction“), denn die besten Bürgerwissenschaftler sind die, die sicher, ausgeruht und mit Spaß an die Mitforscher-Freiwilligenarbeit gehen. Mitmachen kann dabei jeder, auch ohne spezielle Vorkenntnisse! Dabei verbindet der Wunsch, aktiv für den Naturschutz zu werden, bedrohte Arten schützen zu wollen und gleichzeitig einen ungewöhnlichen, spannenden Urlaub erleben zu können, Menschen aus aller Welt, verschiedensten Alters und unterschiedlichstem Hintergrund. Die Expeditionsteams sind klein und unsere Expeditionsleiter und die Feldforscher sind stets an Ihrer Seite.


Sicher nicht! Grundsätzlich sind alle Projekte für jeden zugänglich; deswegen sind Sie nie zu alt, zu jung oder nicht fit genug. Unser Angebot ist so breit gefächert, dass für jeden etwas dabei ist, auch für behinderte Menschen. Kontaktieren Sie uns einfach und wir finden bestimmt das passende Projekt für Sie. Und übrigens war unsere älteste Teilnehmerin bis jetzt stolze 87 Jahre!

Die Menschen, die sich entscheiden mitzumachen, möchten aktiv etwas für den Naturschutz tun und hautnah dabei sein. Sie möchten nach einer Reise nicht nur von Gesehenem berichten können, sondern auch von neuen, ganz besonderen Erfahrungen und dem Beitrag, den sie geleistet haben. Wenn Sie also auf der Suche nach einem Abenteuer mit Sinn sind, so wie es kein Tourist oder Ökotourist jemals erleben kann, dann ist Biosphere Expeditions etwas für Sie.

Unsere Informationsveranstaltungen in Deutschland finden auf deutsch statt. Unsere Teams auf allen Expeditionen bestehen jedoch aus Teilnehmern und Wissenschaftlern aus aller Welt. Deshalb ist Englisch die verbindende Sprache. Einzige Voraussetzung für Teilnehmer, deren Muttersprache nicht Englisch ist, ist daher rostiges Schulenglisch (und viele Teilnehmer nutzen die Gelegenheit ihr Englisch zu verbessern und gleichzeitig etwas für den Naturschutz zu tun). Aber keine Angst: Wenn Sie mit etwas Geduld und einem Wörterbuch unsere Infomaterialien, wie z.B. das Briefing zu einer Expedition oder einem Projekt verstehen, brauchen Sie sich wegen Ihrer Englischkenntnisse keine Sorgen zu machen.

Die Expeditionsbeiträge sind von Expedition zu Expedition verschieden und können auf den jeweiligen Expeditionsseiten eingesehen werden. Um einen Platz zu reservieren, ist eine Anzahlung von €300 erforderlich. Am einfachsten und schnellsten geht die Anmeldung auf der jeweiligen Expeditionsseite oder zentrl über www.biosphere-expeditions.org/join. Auf dem Anmeldeformular finden Sie dann verschiedene Bezahlmöglichkeiten (Karte, Überweisung, etc.).

Wir sind eine gemeinnützige Organisation und garantieren, dass mindestens 2/3 des Expeditionsbeitrags direkt in das Projekt fliessen. Wohin das Geld fliesst ist jeweils auf den Expeditionsberichten nachzulesen. Nach unserer Kenntnis  sind wir weltweit die einzige Bürgerwissenschaftler/Naturschutzorganisation, die sowohl Kostenaufstellungen, als auch Forschungsergebnisse so transparent und für alle nachvollziehbar öffentlich macht.

Fest steht, dass eine Forschungsexpedition nicht ohne Fahrzeuge, Treibstoff, Lagerausrüstung, Koch, Essen und wissenschaftliches Gerät, wie z.B. Kamerafallen oder Nachtsichtgeräte auskommt. Dazu kommen noch lokale Helfer, wie z.B. die NABU Anti-Schneeleoparden-Wilderereinheit in Kirgisien, die wir mit unterstützen und ohne deren ganzjährigen Einsatz das Überleben der Schneeleoparden in der Region noch mehr in Frage stünde.

Natürlich ist uns bei alledem bewusst, dass unsere Expeditionsbeiträge nicht niedrig sind. Aber echter Naturschutz und Artenschutz-Expeditionen kosten wie oben beschrieben Geld; Geld, das leider an allen Ecken und Enden im Naturschutz fehlt. Unser Ansatz ist Finanzierung durch interessierte Laien, die im Naturschutz helfen und gleichzeitig ein Abenteuer mit Sinn im Urlaub erleben möchten (siehe auch www.biosphere-expeditions.org/voluntourism zu dem Thema wie das funktioniert). Dass unsere Beiträge trotzdem für viele Studenten und andere Menschen zu hoch sind und sie somit aussen vor bleiben, bedauern wir. Für solche Menschen gibt es manchmal gesponserte Wettbewerbe und/oder ein Praktikantenprogramm; letzteres richtet sich dabei vornehmlich an Einheimische der Expeditionsländer. Es gibt außerdem die Möglichkeit Kosten zu reduzieren durch Arbeitgebern-Spenden, eigene Spendenakquise oder über persönliche Besteuerung.