Local Bear Sanctuary

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Coordinator | Jen
Coordinator | Jen
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Working closely with sun and moon bears (no direct contact) and supporting an ethical organisation.
Safety for our volunteers, visitors, team members as well as the welfare of the bears is top priority. You will receive a complete induction and safety brief upon arrival.
Assisting our local team day to day! Get to know the Khmer language and get to know us.
You will volunteer with like minded individuals. Unlike other programmes we take a maximum of 7 pax at one time, your experience will be unique, immersive and one you will never forget.
Everyday is different! No two days are alike and the volunteer tasks change every day based on what is highest priority, if you have skills let us know!
You'll be helping our local bear care team look after rescued bears and maintain the sanctuary. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

Volunteering at Free the Bears sanctuaries offers an amazing & unique opportunity to join our experienced team and look after sun & moon bears rescued from the illegal wildlife trade.

What will I be doing?

You'll be helping our local bear care team look after rescued bears and maintain the sanctuary. Your physical and financial contribution allows us to grow, develop and improve, year after year!

Activities include:

  • Food preparation & distribution
  • Providing sensory enrichment
  • Assisting keepers in cleaning of forest enclosures and bear dens
  • Creating/repairing bear hammocks.
  • General maintenance & improvement to the center i.e. painting, sanding, repairs & gardening

Does it cost anything?

A fee is charged to cover general expenses including accommodation, meals and volunteer programme costs. In addition, a portion of the fee goes towards bear care at that sanctuary i.e. if you are volunteering in Cambodia, you'll help support the care of over 100 rescued bears! Fees vary slightly between countries to reflect local costs.


Each of our sanctuaries is gorgeous and yet uniquely different in their setting.

CAMBODIA: Cambodia Bear Sanctuary, Phnom Tamao

Free the Bears Cambodia is located within the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre, home to over 1,200 animals of many different species, rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. It is the largest sun bear sanctuary in the world! Located one hour outside of the bustling city of Phnom Penh, you'll stay in a comfortable house just outside of the sanctuary.

With volunteer placements ranging from 3 days to 8+ weeks, there's an option for everyone. After volunteering you can explore Cambodia's famous Angkor Wat temples or take a trip to the mountains or beach in no time at all.

Typical day

Volunteers start at 08:30am until 3:30-4pm with lunch from 12-1pm.
  • Food preparation & distribution
  • Providing sensory enrichment
  • Assisting keepers in cleaning of forest enclosures and bear dens
  • Creating/repairing bear hammocks.
  • General maintenance & improvement to the center i.e. painting, sanding, repairs & gardening

Free-time activities

Volunteers do not work on Saturdays or Sundays, how you spend your weekends is up to you. There is a set transfer to Phnom Penh on Friday afternoons for volunteers from the sanctuary each week which is a 1-1.5 hr drive from the sanctuary to the city.

From the volunteer house we can also arrange a private taxi to take you to Kep or Kampot which is 2-2.5 hrs away. Popular tourist destinations in Cambodia include Kampot, Kep/Rabbit Island, Koh Rong Island/Koh Rong Samoleom (the non-party island), Battambang (Bats), Kratie (River Dolphins), Kirirom National Park, Cardamom Mountains (Wildlife) or Siem Reap to see the famous temples of Angkor Wat! 



In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Required Documents
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 15:30

What's Included

Services by FREE THE BEARS


Fees Include:

Accommodation at the volunteer house throughout your stay. 5 DAY (MON to FRI) OR multi week includes weekends during placement dates.

Breakfast daily and dinner Khmer style food (Mon-Thurs) included. Vegan/Vegetarian options available. Drinking water at accommodation and sanctuary.

Transport between the volunteer house and the sanctuary Monday-Friday, plus entry into the park.

Scheduled pick up/ drop off at set location in Phnom Penh city on Mondays at 7:45am (pick up) and drop off on Friday afternoons.

A donation towards the ongoing running costs and development of the sanctuary.

A once in a lifetime experience to work closely with our rescued sun and moon bears

Extension of stay is possible upon enquiry. 


  • Accommodation in a comfortable house approximately 7km from the sanctuary. Arrive Monday to depart Friday. We have 3 rooms with twin single beds and ensuite and 1 double room with ensuite. Double room is reserved for couples, volunteers will twin share/ same sex rooms. 

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

  • Breakfast and dinner at accommodation site per day. Lunch available to purchase at the sanctuary with dishes priced between 1$-8$.
  • Drinking water provided at sanctuary and at accommodation site. 


Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH) in Phnom Penh. We assist you to find cheap flights to Cambodia.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Cambodia provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Cambodia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Cambodia.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

Start days are always a Monday morning beginning with a pick up from Phnom Penh at 7:45am from our designated pick up location.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 - 3 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
5 days (min. stay)
12 days
19 days (max. stay)
Average fees
$536 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. FREE THE BEARS will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with FREE THE BEARS during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if FREE THE BEARS cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by FREE THE BEARS.

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Local Bear Sanctuary

You'll be helping our local bear care team look after rescued bears and maintain the sanctuary.


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