Welcome to Thailand - Elephant Rehabilitation

Thailand

Elephant Rehabilitation

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Introduction

Surrounded by a beautiful environment, you have the opportunity to work with one of the most magnificent creatures in the world, the elephant. Elephants are decreasing, not only in Thailand but all over the globe. It is not only the wild elephants that face dangers of poaching and habitat loss, but it is also the "domesticated" elephants. There is a lot that can be done to stop the suffering of these wonderful creatures.

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Project fee from EUR 800

Your role as a volunteer

This project does not support elephant riding - many of the project's rescued elephants have endured decades of backbreaking work as elephant trekking for tourists and have been used for other tourist attractions. The rehabilitation centre is a place for elephants, were they no longer need to perform any work or other tasks that are unnatural to them.

Tasks you might be involved in as a volunteer include

  • Wash the elephants
  • Collect food and feed the elephants
  • Take the elephants for a walk
  • Maintaining existing enclosures

About twice a week the volunteers harvest food for the elephants, usually banana trees and pineapples. Volunteers should be prepared for physical hard work. As a volunteer you will be asked to assist in the maintenance of fences and fields around centre and help with the development of the centre. There are also other animals that have been rescued at the centre which will need to be looked after by the volunteers.

The Project’s Mission

The purpose of this project is to take care of the animals, helping them to recover in the most natural environment possible. Instead of going up and down the streets carrying tourists on their backs the elephants now spend their days in nature and stands on soil or grass instead of concrete or asphalt. They breathe in fresh air instead of exhaust fumes, eat as much as they like together with the other elephants and get nurtured by experienced personnel and veterinary staff.

Local partners

The project started in 2001 with the vision of improving the lives of both animals and humans in the area. The project is run in cooperation with our local partner, who has a long experience in receiving volunteers. Thanks to this partnership Volunteer Travels can offer you a well-organized and safe volunteer experience.

How do I book a trip?

You can book your trip with Volunteer Travels by calling us on (+46) 08-23 93 00 or by booking through our website www.volunteertravels.com by clicking on “Book a trip”. You can also email us on info@volunteertravels.com. When you have registered yourself we will send you an invoice with a registration fee of £200.00. The registration fee is later incorporated into the trip price and the amount is then deducted from your final invoice. When you have paid the registration fee you are formally registered. You will then receive preparatory information from us in good time to plan your trip.

Your everyday life

Introduction

You will fly to Bangkok International Airport where staff from our local partner organization will meet you. The trip from the airport to the project will take about 2-4 hours depending on traffic. The program starts with an introduction about the Thai manners and general tips that will prepare you for your time on the project. Food, accommodation and local transport are included in your stay; you only need extra cash for any tours before and after the project period.

Accommodation and food

All volunteers live in small bungalows. There are simple rooms shared by two people, and also 3-4 bedded rooms. All bungalows have a bathroom with one western toilet and shower in each with cold water. All rooms have a fan. You will be offered three meals a day. Lunch and dinner cooked by Thai chefs, mostly Thai dishes and sometimes with a European touch. They can arrange vegetarian/vegan and other special diets. This has to be notified before departure!

Leisure

When you are not working you are free to explore Thailand on your own. If you want to have an extra day off, then you need to make this known in advance at your place of work by letting them know that you need to take off the days you plan to be away. Your project coordinator can help you with tips on destinations and activities during weekends. For those who want to enjoy the sun, sea and sand there are Hua Hin and Cha Am which are about an hour's ride from the project. You can visit Thailand’s biggest national park, Kaeng Krashan, its located just 40 km from the project. The nearest village from the project is a 10-minute walk away, in the village there are some shops where you can buy snacks and drinks. There are three internet cafes with good connection. Every Sunday there is a "night market" where you can buy food, clothes and other small items. If you want to relax and stay near the project, there is a cummunal living room in the main building where you can hang out with the other volunteers.

A few of the trips that the project will offer (as requested) include 5 weekly excursions on set days to the local area (so long as 6 or more people sign up):
- A trip to Tesco, a local supermarket which sells food, clothing and other essential items.
- A gourmet, all-you-can-eat buffet dinner at a hotel in Cha Am.
- To see several million bats exit their cave at sunset, before heading to the night market in Cha Am.
- The new Bluport shopping mall in Hua Hin.
- Watching the sunset at Kaeng Krachan National Park whilst eating dinner at one of their restaurants.
The project also offer a full day trip to Kuiburi National Park, which contains around 230 wild elephants. Volunteers traverse the park in trucks with park rangers to try and spot wild elephants. Most of the time volunteers have been able to see large herds of elephants in their natural habitat which makes for a truly amazing experience. Volunteers are taken to the Hua Hin night market after leaving Kuiburi, returning home usually around 9-10PM.

About Thailand

Friendly and fun-loving, exotic and tropical, cultured and historic; Thailand beams with a lustrous hue from its gaudy temples and golden beaches, to the ever-comforting Thai smile. Beyond the beaches, there is a fascinating country with a great culture and tremendous hospitality. The celestial world is a close confidant in this Buddhist nation, where religious devotion is a colourful and ubiquitous spectacle. Gleaming temples and golden Buddha’s frame both the rural and modern landscape with exuberance. With Thailand’s exotic beaches and tropical forests there is no time for being bored, with too much to explore and discover.

Practical Information

Flight

Your flight ticket is not included in the tour price and you will need to book it through a travel agency of your choice. Book your ticket so that you land in Bangkok on a Sunday, the day before your project time starts between 05:30-14:00. If you will arrive after 14:00, you have to spend a night in Bangkok – this you need to arrange yourself.  Your last day will be on a Saturday, following the number of weeks you booked at the project. You need to book your return flight, if you are not staying longer, for the Sunday. Please be sure that your ticket dates correspond with your time at the project accurately.

Visas

Please be sure to check if you need a pre-arranged visa according to your nationality with your local travel agency or Thai Embassy. Nationalities from 41 countries do not need to prearrange visa’s before arrival and can be granted a 30 day visa on arrival at the airport. However, if you are staying longer than 30 days you will need to prearrange a visa from a Thai consulate or embassy. Please note that Volunteer Travels is not responsible for your visa and this is something that you need to arrange yourself.

Insurance

It is your responsibility to make sure that your insurance covers illness, injury and theft whilst you are volunteering. Most travel agency’s sell a travel insurance that is valid for volunteer work, so be sure to enquire about it when booking your flight tickets. Volunteer Travels does however, supply liability insurance and is included in the price. Liability insurance applies to instances when compensation for damages is demanded of you, as a private person, for unintentionally hurting someone or for unintentionally damaging someone else’s property.

Vaccinations

You should contact your nearest vaccination centre for any questions regarding vaccinations for travel to Thailand. Volunteer Travels always recommends vaccinating against Hepatitis A and B when travelling abroad. Vaccinations for  diphteria, tetanus and polio (DTP) are mandatory. 

 

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