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General Info

DUCK Expeditions


DUCK Expeditions offer Durham students the journey of a lifetime - a journey of cultural discovery and personal development, as well as contributing to DUCK’s charitable legacy in communities all over the globe.

Entirely student-run, DUCK Expeditions are offering you the opportunity to volunteer and travel in one of ten stunning destinations around the world next summer, in a team of 8-12 Durham students. Whether caring for rescued elephants in Thailand, teaching kids in Cambodia, running extra-curricular for street kids in Peru, bonding with orang-utans in Borneo or climbing Kilimanjaro - there’s many more opportunities available and there really is something for everyone. For summer 2018, we’re adding two new and exciting expeditions: to Tanzania and to Nepal, including a trek through the Himalayas. A once in a lifetime experience, wouldn’t you love to join in, and give both time and money to great international causes?

  DUCK Cambodia 2017

DUCK Cambodia 2017

  DUCK Kili 2017

DUCK Kili 2017


  Hi everyone - I'm Gillian and I'm this year's Expeditions Co-ordinator. Direct any questions or interest my way - feel free to find me on Facebook or email me at

Hi everyone - I'm Gillian and I'm this year's Expeditions Co-ordinator. Direct any questions or interest my way - feel free to find me on Facebook or email me at

  • teams of 8-12 students - including one leader (selected, already completed at least one DUCK Exped) and a deputy leader
  • 10 amazing destinations - check out the tabs
  • 4-6 weeks of incredible experiences, and a lifetime of memories


DUCK Expeditions volunteer for 3 or 4 weeks on charity projects around the world, working with small NGOs or partner projects. Many of these only exist due to previous DUCK funding. Projects are usually off the beaten tourist track, meaning participants gain a unique and eye-opening insight into real life in these countries - you’re not stuck behind the tourist screen. This offers real opportunities, on a short-term scale, for the team to immerse themselves and discover so much about unfamiliar cultures, as well as contributing to the local communities. Largely operating in third-world countries, for many participants, DUCK Expeditions will be the first time that they’ve left ‘the West’ - and it’s shocking for many. It’s eye-opening, the polar opposite to the Durham bubble, but it’s also enticing.

Projects fall into three broad categories, with most expeditions a combination of two: kids, animals, building construction/renovation. In addition to Kili, 3 expeditions feature treks - Peru to Machu Picchu, Nepal through the Himalayas, and Borneo up Mt Kinabalu.

Each participant donates up to £1000 to selected charities, including the Project itself.

Each team then has at least one week of travel, to make the most of their exotic destination!




You may not be the leader, but as a participant you still have a large degree of responsibility, both for yourself and to those in your team - DUCK Expeditions are entirely student run after all. Your leader is in charge of logistics, of team well-being, and above all it is their responsibility to lead the team through the expedition and safely back home. But for many participants, this is the first time travelling without parents or teachers. And that’s a whole new ball game of travel, but one which I can’t recommend enough. Participants develop a whole host of skills, from confidence and self-assurance, to creativity to cultural awareness.

Ultimately, Expeditions are difficult. They’re a unique challenge like no other, and you’ll be pushed to your limits at least once. In fact, you’ll probably feel like you've taken a running jump miles into the deep end. But never once has a participant failed to swim rather than sink. And that’s the awesome thing. When you’re on the edge of your comfort zone, you’ll learn more about yourself than you thought possible, you’ll know what makes you tick and learn to deal with challenges which seemed unsurmountable. And you’ll learn to do this as a team member, supporting others as much as they will support you. That’s what being a team is about. DUCK expeditions are an incredible opportunity to challenge yourself in a new and exciting way - because if life was easy, wouldn’t you get bored?

Above all, DUCK Expeditions will test, grow and catalyse your maturity above any other uni experience.



Peruvian sunsets over the highest lake in the world, bungeeing into a Ugandan river or climbing Mt Kinabalu in Borneo - DUCK Expeditions offer you incredible travel opportunities with your team, which you'll plan together. And that’s additional to the joy of volunteering - of feeding an elephant homemade banana balls, coaxing a smile out of a shy poverty-stricken child, or watching a mother turtle lay her eggs as dawn breaks over the Pacific. These are moments in life that you won’t forget, ones that you’ll always remember with a smile.


Each team is a real cross section of the student body, a complete random mix of colleges, years and subjects. It may seem daunting, but it’s one of the most rewarding aspects of the challenge. Meet people you’d never have known but who share similar outlooks and aspirations, and form solid friendships through unique memories and experiences. You’ll get to know each other through socials and meetings throughout the year.



DUCK Expeditions contribute both time and money to charity. To some, it may seem odd to pay to volunteer. However, it’s all about sustainability; Project costs cover your expenses, i.e. accommodation, transport, in-country support. We then choose to donate £1000 per participant to the Project/related charities in order to leave a real lasting impact and legacy. DUCK’s short-term and intensive volunteering is an incredible boost for the Projects that we work with, and the donation enables them to continue their work long after the DUCK team has returned home.

Once flights, insurance and any trek costs are added in, Expedition totals vary between £1800-£3000. An estimated cost will be available in early October on each specific page.

*Kit costs, vaccinations and extra travel costs are additional and, although team leaders will offer all necessary advice, are at the participants’ discretion.



Don’t panic! We don’t expect you, at all, to pay for DUCK Expeditions out of your pocket - nor out of the Bank of Mum and Dad. Instead, it’s all about fundraising. Done badly, it can be a horrendous drag. Done well, fundraising is not only successful, but fun, satisfying, and rewarding. You’ll develop so many skills along the way, from event management, to interpersonal communication, to time management and organisation. And you’re not alone, we’re here to help - as the Expeditions Coordinator, the DUCK exec, and the team leaders.

Starting points:

  • travel grants. very useful for covering expenses. raising £1000 is easy this way, but raising £3000 isn’t unknown!
  • rag raids. raise up to £400 in one day, simply by dressing up and asking strangers for money. sounds funky, but it works. we’ll be organising at least one per term for participants to take advantage of.
  • online fundraising pages. old-fashioned, but simply asking for money works. you’re fundraising for an amazing cause, one you can proudly ask for donations towards.
  • sponsorship. set yourself a challenge, and accomplish it whilst raising money.
  • events. think big. club nights are a classic, and can raise well over £2000 in a single night. team leaders will offer at least one team fundraising event.

These are simply starting points. The key message - don’t be put off by fundraising, but embrace it as part of the challenge!

  DUCK India 2017

DUCK India 2017

  DUCK Peru 2017

DUCK Peru 2017