volunteering with elephants in Thailand

Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand.

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Elephants are in trouble in Thailand. Not only is the wild elephant population decreasing due to habitat loss and poaching, but domestic elephants are also in danger. Historically, domestic elephants were used in the logging industry in Thailand, a practice that helped to destroy the very habitat the elephants relied upon. After this logging activity was banned, most of these elephants have ended up on the streets of big cities where they are forced to work as begging tools and tourist attractions or roam dangerously. Life on the streets is very unhealthy for the elephants and quite dangerous – many elephants are involved in horrific traffic accidents each year. And the elephants have no laws to protect them from abuse or mistreatment. The mission of this elephant rescue centre is to stop the suffering of these magnificent creatures. They do this by providing a sanctuary for neglected and mistreated elephants that would otherwise be living on the streets of Bangkok or other large cities. The elephants are free to live and roam safely on a large plot of land that has been generously donated to the centre. The care and attention that they receive ensures that they can live healthy and natural lives, no longer having to perform or carry out back-breaking work for the pleasure of tourists.

Includes: Airport pick up and drop off (at closest airport), Accommodation, Meals, On-site training, Donation to Placement Partner, AEI Travel Manual, $10 Credit in our Zazzle store (towards the purchase of recycled water bottles, reusable bags, etc), American and Canadian clients get 50% off at the online AEI IceBreaker store, Emergency support while at Placement, Carbon credits to offset 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, Premium Individual Travel Insurance (up to $500, 000 USD in emergency medical coverage), Travel discounts (through automatic membership to a volunteer only travel discount program), 24/7 Travel and emergency assistance. Are you thinking of fundraising for a portion, or all your fees? Many of our clients have been very successful with their fundraising efforts. To learn more about their successful fundraising projects and see how you can fund raise for your experience, please visit our fundraising page!

Excludes: Flights, Entry visa costs, International and domestic airport taxes, Immunizations and medications. Note: The rabies vaccine is not required for this Experience however, if volunteers are interested in becoming rabies vaccinated, the average cost is $600- $1000 in North America.

Accommodation: You will be staying on-site in the organization’s volunteer housing. Lunch and dinner are provided by the Placement Partner. Are you nervous about travel and your safety? It's okay, travelling and volunteering can be overwhelming, that is why we exist! To help you travel safe, volunteer smartly and get back home in one piece. To read more about how we help you stay safe, please read our Guide to Safety.

Volunteer activities: Standard volunteer duties include working hands-on with the elephants, washing them, feeding them during the day, going out to collect food for them, walking with them into the beautiful lake to swim and cleaning their enclosure.

This is an ongoing program with operations every day of the year. There are no specific start or end dates however, the programs do start on Sundays. We work with you and your schedule so you can serve this community and help animals when you are available.

Classification of Placement: Medical: Entry. Standard: Entry, Advanced and Specialized.

All classifications of volunteers are needed by this Placement partner and we encourage you to apply no matter your skill or experience level. However, if you are looking for a Placement to use your specific skills, the professionals who would be most beneficial to this placement would be volunteers with experience in: veterinary medicine and construction.

Want to read reviews by our alumni? Check out Go OverseasFacebook and Volunteer Forever.

Want to see more pictures? Check out other client and alumni photos: social social social

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OAVTThis is an official pre-approved OAVT Partnership. All participants are eligible for a minimum of 5 Continuing Education credits.
Trip Cost
length of stay
Price (in canadian dollars)
2 weeks $ 1900
3 weeks $ 2190
4 weeks $ 2480
8 weeks $ 3650
Groups of 5 or more: 10% off individual fees.