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Iberian Wolf Conservation Project

  • In Brief
  • The Project
  • What to Expect
  • Reviews
  • Gallery
  • Extras
  • Dates & Costs
  • Apply
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One of Europe’s most vibrant countries, Portugal offers outstanding landscape diversity, boasting forested mountainous areas in the north, rocky sloping mountains in the central regions and glamorous beach destinations of the Algarve.  
This important project is based in the city of Mafra, an area that epitomises Portugal’s beauty. Culturally important, Mafra is home to the magnificent Palácio de Mafra, an extravagant palace-monastery hybrid built in 1717. Shortly after its construction a park called the Tapada Nacional de Mafra was created nearby as an area for the Portuguese monarchy to hunt in. Nowadays it provides a habitat for a diverse range of species and is used for environmental awareness and education programmes.
Volunteers on this project will have the incredible opportunity to contribute towards the conservation and protection of the Iberian Wolf. Only a century ago, they inhabited areas of Spain and Portugal in high numbers, but unfortunately, due to hunting and other man made factors, they became endangered during the late twentieth century. Since then the hunting of wolves has been banned and thanks to projects such as this one, their numbers have increased. However, it is vital that progress is maintained; therefore the meaningful work of volunteers on this project is extremely important.
Volunteers will be accommodated in very comfortable wooden housing, based in a beautiful nature reserve. Working with local staff, they will have the opportunity to partake in a wide range of activities such as; monitoring the behaviour of the wolves, observing their health, helping with feeding and supplying water, forest cleaning, maintenance of the centres infrastructure and forest fire prevention.   

•    Gain hands on wildlife conservation experience
•    Make a positive impact towards the conservation and protection of the Iberian Wolf
•    Explore the rich Portuguese culture
•    Live and work in beautiful surroundings
•    Make lifelong friends and unforgettable memories!

Airport Pickup Emergency Ground Transport Hotel Mountainous Terrestrial Trekking Wildlife Free Time SomeMeals

Location        Mafra, Portugal
Activities        Learning all aspects of a Wolf conservation programme!
                       Monitoring and observing the health of the Iberian wolves
                       Feeding and water supply
                        Maintenance of centres infrastructure
Transport        Airport pick-up & transfer to project location
Accommodation            A comfortable wooden house in a beautiful nature reserve!


Before you go
•    Pre-departure support & documentation
•    Travel and medical advice & documentation
•    Advice on visas & equipment
•    Discounted medical kit
•    Free Frontier T-shirt (UK only)
•    Accommodation
•    3 meals a day for the first 2 days in Lisbon
•    Project orientation and training
•    24-hour international HQ backup

The Iberian wolves population numbers have decreased drastically over the past century. This is due predominantly to human activities.  Despite a recent resurgence their population numbers are still low, therefore conservation efforts are required.
The project aims to ensure that the Wolves have what they need to survive such as food and water. Behaviour patterns are also monitored and health checks carried out with appropriate action taken by professionals is urgently required.

You will be working together with local staff and other volunteers from all around the world to help protect and conserve the Iberian wolf at a centre based in a nature reserve.  You will participate in a wide range on day to day activities at the centre including; helping with feeding, checking and refilling the water supply, monitoring health, fire prevention, maintaining forest areas and the centres infrastructure.
This opportunity will allow you to make a real difference towards the conservation of a vulnerable species. You do not need any special skills to participate in this programme, just a wiliness to help and an interest in wildlife conservation.  
You will also get the opportunity to travel around Mafra and Lisbon with your fellow volunteers. By working alongside local people you will get inside knowledge on the best spots to eat and shop while you enjoy your days off. This means you may have access to some of the most beautiful places in Portugal that are off the beaten track, providing you the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in Portuguese culture – all while making new friends from around the world and making a truly meaningful difference on a fantastic conservation project!

You will be picked up at Lisbon International Airport by a member of our in-country staff. You will then be transported to your accommodation where you will be given an introduction to the program and the city.

Volunteers on this project stay in a very comfortable wooden houses in a nature reserve.

Three meals a day are provided for volunteers. Unfortunately vegetarian, gluten-free and lactose-free meals are not provided. Additionally local restaurants, cafes and supermarkets are available for you to try the local cuisine.

impressive!  | 13 Aug 2018
This was a really rewarding project! It was tough at times to deal with a different culture and l...

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In your spare time you can explore the local area of Mafra. There are plenty of sights to see with the main attraction being the magnificent Palácio de Mafra, an extravagant palace-monastery hybrid built in 1717.
Or if you fancy exploring Lisbon’s rich culture and history you can get there in 40 minutes by express bus. You can explore the many architectural marvels of the city including the Mosteiro dos Jerimos and nearby Tower of Belém, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


2 week US$ 1,645

The project is open all year round except December and January.

2 or 4 weeks

March 31 - April 13

April 14 - April 27

April 28 - May 11

May 13 - May 29

June 1 - June 15

June 17 - July 3

July 3 - July 19

July 20 - August 5

August 5 - August 21

August 21 - September 6

September 7 - September 23 

September 23 - October 9

October 12 - October 26

October 27 - November 9 


November 10 - November 23

Before you go

•    Pre-departure support & documentation
•    Travel and medical advice & documentation
•    Advice on visas & equipment
•    Discounted medical kit
•    Free Frontier T-shirt (UK only)
•    Accommodation
•    Project orientation and training
•    24-hour international HQ backup


Nearest airport(s): Lisbon (LIS)



Flights are not included in our project costs. However, Frontier have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with Frontier. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact Frontier’s dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .


For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.


You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.

Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

To apply for this project, or to register your interest, just click on the orange "Apply Now!" button at the top of the menu. Fill out and submit a short application form and then one of our advisers will give you a call back to answer any questions and to progress your application if you wish to continue.

There is no obligation when making an application, and you do not need to pay anything at this point.