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Volunteer at an elephant sanctuary in Western Thailand that allows these majestic creatures to live freely in a natural habitat! This project takes place at a refuge in Thailand for rescued and injured elephants. 

Program Highlights: 
  • Volunteer for elephants that are ill, injured or have been rescued
  • Observe the elephants in a natural habitat
  • Get up-close with these gentle giants as you feed and bathe them
  • Go trekking and partake in a Thai cooking lesson
  • Enjoy delicious Thai cuisine daily

Your Schedule at a Glance (One-week commitment): 

Arrival Day, Sunday:
Arrive at Bangkok Airport (BKK) or Don Mueang Airport (DMK). You will be picked up at the airport and will spend the night in Singburi, getting to know your fellow volunteers.

Day 1, Monday: Following breakfast, volunteers will be transferred to the sanctuary, where they will participate in a short orientation and introduction. Volunteers will then get to observe the elephants, prepare balls of sticky rice and feed the elephants. Following lunch, volunteers will bathe the elephants with mud in the on-site river, followed by a half hour’s trek around the sanctuary. After a second round of bathing and feeding the elephants, volunteers will have dinner. 

Day 2, Tuesday: Volunteers will enjoy another day filled with feeding and bathing the elephants. Following dinner, volunteers will take a trip to a local market.

Day 3, Wednesday: Before breakfast, volunteers will make sticky rice balls and feed the elephants. Following breakfast, volunteers will head to Krasae Cave (The Death Railway) and collect elephant dung for the sanctuary. The afternoon brings another chance to bathe the elephants before dinner. 

Day 4, Thursday: Early this morning, volunteers will plant grass, bananas and other fruit as needed. Following lunch, volunteers will assist in cleaning the area where the elephants are fed each day, followed by another half-hour trek around the sanctuary. The evening brings the unique opportunity to learn to cook rice in bamboo leaves! 

Day 5, Friday: Following breakfast, volunteers will cut grass, feed and bathe the elephants and take part in a traditional Thai cooking lesson. Following the lesson, volunteers will observe the elephants eating the freshly=cut grass and have lunch. Volunteers will then clean the elephants’ sleeping area. The night brings a fun campfire! 

Day 6, Saturday: Volunteers will be taken to the local bus station for departure.

Location of the Project:  Western Thailand
Project length:  1 week
Arrival Airport:  Bangkok Airport (BKK) or Don Mueang Airport (DMK)
Volunteer Work:  Wildlife care
Age:  Min age of 18.
Number of Volunteers:  Up to 20 international volunteers. Please note that this sanctuary has 40-50 employees, whom you will be assisting.

What's Included

Accommodations:  Shared rooms in a dorm-style accommodation
Food:  Three meals per day are provided
Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup is provided upon arrival
Orientation:  Orientation and training are provided upon arrival
Support:  Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.

What's not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, personal expenses
This sanctuary is located in Western Thailand, approximately a four hours’ drive from the capital city of Bangkok. The sanctuary is in a rural forest location, and provides a natural habitat for the elephants. The surroundings consist of  bamboo-style buildings, stunning meandering rivers and unique temple caves.
As a volunteer on this project you will be volunteering at an ethical elephant refuge whose main goal is to allow rescued and injured elephants the opportunity to live in their natural habitat and live as free animals. Volunteers will be planting fruit trees, maintaining the refuge and feeding and bathing the elephants. Volunteers will only engage with the elephants in ethical ways.

Some of your tasks may include:
  • Observing elephant behavior in a natural habitat
  • Cutting elephant grass, fruit and banana trees
  • Feeding the elephants
  • Planting elephant grass, sugar cane, pineapple, corn and banana trees
  • Bathing the elephants
Please note: The elephants roam freely during the day, but at night are kept in safe living quarters in the forest. The project schedule is subject to change based on the project’s current needs.
Internet:  WiFi is available in public areas.
Laundry:  Laundry facilities are available for use at the accommodations. Washing powder can be purchased on-site.
Accommodations:  Volunteers will be staying onsite, in the middle of the sanctuary so elephants can be viewed and heard from the rooms. The rooms are single-gender, with up to two volunteers per room. The rooms are equipped with fans and mosquito protectors. There are private bathrooms on-site with hot showers and Western-style toilets.
Food:  Three meals per day are provided during the week. Meals are mostly rice, fish and vegetables. Vegetarian and vegan diets can be accommodated.
Please take note of this project's minimum requirements:
  • Basic level of English
  • Motivation to work with animals
The elephant sanctuary is located in a very rural area. Volunteers are encouraged, however, to explore Thailand before or after their program. 
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