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.
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
Harvest runs every other day, and it is always a banana tree harvest. 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.
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 [email protected]. 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
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 some 2-bed rooms for couples or friends who are traveling together, but the majority of the rooms have 3 or 4 beds. There are also a 6-bed dorm for groups of friends who are traveling together, and most housing blocks have separate bathrooms. 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. Vegeterian and vegan options are available in every meal.
When you are not working you are free to explore Thailand on your own. If you want to have an extra day off, you need to make this known in advance at your place of work. Your project coordinator can help you with tips on destinations and activities during the 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 is one internet café 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 communal living room in the main building where you can hang out with the other volunteers. They sometimes play movies in the evening as well as hosting quiz nights and other fun activities.
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.
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.
It is the volunteers responsibility to acquire the right visa for the trip. Different visa rules may apply depending on your nationality. Visit the embassy web page of your destination to find out what the visa terms are between your country and that destination.
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.
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.