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Top 5 volunteer destinations for vegetarians and vegans! 

If you’re a vegetarian or vegan and have travelled overseas, you will most likely have encountered some challenges along the way! From carefully reading the ingredients of a local delicacy, to pointing to the menu asking ‘is this vegetarian’ only to be met with a blank expression – special efforts have to be made when travelling with any dietary preference or requirements! 

The number of vegetarians and vegans is growing year on year, meaning more travellers than ever now have the challenge of finding meat free food each meal time! Lucy and Gemma from the Pod Office are avid travellers and their top advice when first arriving in a new country is asking for local to write "I do not each meat or fish or chicken or eggs" in the local language - it makes it so much easier to try new dishes at local markets and cafes where the restaurant staff may not speak English! 
Popular tourist destinations have responded to this trend and are increasingly catering local dishes to vegetarians and vegans, so that there are more exciting options available. However, if you like exploring ‘off the beaten track’, then this can be a bit of a minefield for you!  

1  India https://www.podvolunteer.org/destination/india
If you are looking to explore the most vegetarian and vegan friendly destination – look no further than India! 
Our projects are situated in the state of Rajasthan, where 75% of the population consider themselves vegetarian. The local team are all vegetarians themselves and are volunteers live with Neha cooks incredible local dishes for our volunteers! 
During your time at the project you will get to sample lots of yummy dahls and curries – full of vegetables, beans and lentils that can be washed down with some tasty sweet chai tea! Neha also runs cooking lessons for volunteers too so you can share these great dishes with your friends and family back home (our favourites are saag aloo (spinach and potato curry), chickpea curry and her freshly made chapattis are the best we have ever tried!)

2  Madagascar https://www.podvolunteer.org/destination/madagascar
In Madagascar our volunteers camp out in villages to support the charity team building or conservation work and each volunteer team has their own cook who makes incredible cakes, stews and curries on an open fire. 
After a day working out in the field at one of our projects in Madagascar, you will be rewarded with a tasty feast of rice, beans, vegetables and lentils with a rich vegetable and curry sauce. A big hearty plate of beans and lentils is perfect at the end of a hard day’s work out in the jungle! 

3  Namibia170x130_fitbox-https://www.podvolunteer.org/destination/namibia
Volunteers at the Desert Elephant Conservation project take it in turns to prepare a meal over the camp fire in the heart of the Namib Desert, in the process some amazingly tasty vegetarian and vegan delights have been cooked up for our volunteers - these have ranged from Thai curries to vegetarian spaghetti bolognaise! It really does need to be tasted to be believed how tasty a dish simply made over a camp fire in the desert can be. 
After a tasty big meal, volunteers sleep under the stars and can look forward to a much-needed cup of tea or coffee in their sleeping bag in the morning!

4 Sri Lankahttps://www.podvolunteer.org/destination/sri-lanka
Sri Lanka is renowned for being a vegetarian paradise and our Elephant and Wildlife Conservation project is certainly no different! During your time at the project, you can look forward to sampling great vegetarian and vegan dishes such as noodles, lentils, curries and stir fry – a great blend of fresh spice and rich flavours! There are also exotic colourful fruits available throughout the year too. 

5  Thailand https://www.podvolunteer.org/destination/thailand
Vegetarianism is a growing trend in Thailand, and this is reflected at our volunteer projects – you can now find vegetarian and vegan versions of Thai classic dishes such as Pad Thai and Green or Yellow curry – as substituting meat for vegetables, tofu and lentils works brilliantly in Thai cuisine.
Ask us!

These are only a selection of our projects and many more are able to cater for vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements! If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with us in the Pod office and we can offer you advice on choosing the right project for you.

For a more general guide on how to find the right project for you, see our dedicated guide. 

Pod Volunteer Best Volunteering Organisation winner