Your private driver will collect you from your downtown Chengdu hotel around 7-7:30am: it's about an hour's drive to the Dujiangyan Panda Base outside the city.
A giant panda breeding and research center, the Dujiangyan program helps preserve this endangered species with the longterm goal of reintroducing them to the wild. Volunteer schedules and activities can change daily to fit with the needs of the base, but a typical experience generally begins around 8:30am.
After registration, change into your supplied work outfit – overalls and gloves – learn some basic safety procedures and your tasks for the day, and perhaps meet some other volunteers.
Work begins around 9am, and it's a great introduction to the daily routine of caring for the pandas. Your first task will be to clean the residual bamboo and panda feces and wash the pandas' enclosures: it's a great opportunity to see how pandas live in the center.
Your trainer will show you around the giant panda villa area before it's feeding time. You'll get the chance to help feed the pandas with fruit and nutritious snacks.
All volunteers join the regular staff at the research center for a Chinese lunch between 12pm and 1pm. It's a great opportunity to find out more about their daily lives.
After lunch, watch an educational science video. You'll learn how humans have sought to protect giant pandas and live in harmony with them since early times.
You'll feed the pandas a second time around 2pm. Once they've eaten, your instructor will explain the formula of the 'steamed bun' snacks and why nutrition matters for pandas. You'll learn how to prepare the snacks in the facility's food preparation area.
Around 3:30pm or 4pm, it's time to head back. Return your work outfit, bid your instructor goodbye, and say farewell to the giant pandas too. Your driver will drop you back at your hotel around 5pm, traffic depending.