There’s the old standby of going to the zoo on vacation—but after a while, one panda exhibit looks just like the next. But with a little advance planning, you can make it an unforgettable, interactive experience.
These kinds of zoo programs are all over the globe. You can travel as far as Malaysia’s Zoo Negara, which has a very cool open layout that gives animals plenty of space to roam around. As a volunteer, you can spend one day or one week on projects like assisting the zookeepers or working in the research facilities
At the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, it pays to arrive before anyone else—that way you can get a behind-the-scenes tour with the zookeepers…even going into the kitchen where they prepare the animal feed.
But you don’t have to travel to Australia to get the outback experience. Zoo Atlanta lets you become a zookeeper for a day in the various habitats.
Your day might take you into the Australian section, or you might head into the African savannah to care for elephants and warthogs.
And while a lot of volunteer experiences are for adults only, the Dallas Zoo has a program for kids between 11 and 18. It’s a longer-term program, but it’s a great way for younger kids to get the inside track…and that’s the kind of trip to the zoo they won’t forget.
Keep reading for more travel tips.