Description of Elephant conservation holiday in Sri Lanka
Volunteer with elephants on the stunning island of Sri Lanka, helping to promote their survival in the wild. Witness their intelligence and beauty first hand, all whilst working to conserve this dwindling species for future generations.
You will become part of the work of a multiple award-winning charity working alongside local scientists and conservationists. You will be helping with tracking where the elephants go and what they do, whilst also monitoring and identifying them.
There are a great variety of tasks to be getting involved in here. You will mainly be helping with monitoring ellies, taking photographs, assessing elephant presence in the jungle and taking surveys. This is an extremely worthwhile project conducted in a beautiful spot off Sri Lanka's beaten track - and what more could you want than seeing elephants grazing next to you as your day's work?
The setting of this project is almost as exciting as the elephants themselves. Each day you will be working in grasslands, forests, next to watering holes and in small village communities. This area is one of the most beautiful that we have been to in a while (and we all travel widely here!)
Accommodation and food You will be living in a beautiful mountain house located on the outskirts of a small village. The views from the house look out onto a striking mountain range and a large reservoir- not a bad vista to wake up to, especially when there are elephants bathing!
The house is rustic and comfortable. Rooms are comfortable and shared with 2 or 3 other volunteers.
Meals are provided and are varied and delicious. Vegetarians and vegans can be catered for.
Arrive to Colombo on a Sunday. First night in a guest house in Colombo (hotel recommended)
Monday. Early morning transfer with public transfer to the project site, located on the edge of Wasgamuwa National Park
Full project orientation before getting fully stuck in. You will have one day off per week to relax and explore the local area.
Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Responsible tourism: Elephant conservation holiday in Sri Lanka
Our placements are designed to immerse you in a different culture, living and working with local people. There’s plenty to gain personally from this. But we make sure that local people benefit too by choosing projects that bring tangible improvements to their lives.
The importance of the project: Asian elephant numbers have been falling dramatically for the last 100 years, in part due to human-elephant conflict. This project is the first participatory, community-based, elephant research and conflict resolution project in the world.
Caring for the environment: We send out comprehensive pre-departure briefing, which includes a section on protecting the local environment. In particular we advise participants to take care with water, which is scarce in many of our destinations. We recommend they avoid unnecessary washing, using hand wash gel where they can. We also instruct them on how to dispose of waste properly, not to litter and, where possible, to avoid using plastic water bottles which are not easy to dispose of environmentally. Those going trekking are advised to keep to marked footpaths so as to prevent further erosion of the landscape.
Our company is an environmentally responsible one that operates recycling and reusing of waste products. We also offset carbon emissions in our office (gas, electricity, business mileage) and encourage all participants to offset their flight emissions via a carbon offset scheme run in conjunction with Tree Aid. This project strives to adhere to the strict Responsible Travel policy, and has been developed so that it addresses actual local needs and has the community’s needs at its heart. Understanding and respecting the host community is paramount to the success of any project as long term commitment, support and adoption of sound environment, economic and social practices. This project employs as many local people possible, making it sustainable socially as well as environmentally.
Meeting local needs: As well as helping to protect elephants and other animals, this project is mainly focussed on helping to improve human - elephant conflict issues. Elephants, traditionally able to roam where they pleased through the wild, are now having to forage for food in fields and homes. Locals find this hard to live alongside, and this project strives to understand more about the elephants' behaviour so that more farms will be protected. Projects to put elephants off going into farmland are completed, such as planting orange trees around field boundaries to protect crops- elephants hate oranges!
Cultural sensitivity: We emphasise the importance of showing respect for local people and their customs in our briefing material. Participants will work alongside permanent staff, forming close bonds and getting an insight into real life in rural Sri Lanka. Our policy is to send people to the developing world in small groups or individually. This minimises the environmental and social impact that the participants have on the destination and helps them to integrate into the local community.