Description of Family volunteering with elephants in Sri Lanka
Immerse yourself and your family in elephant conservation on the beautiful island of Sri Lanka. Volunteer with elephants , 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.
This is a fantastic trip for families of all ages, however we would recommend children over the age of 10 to gain a real appreciation. 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. Seeing elephants in the wild has become a joy for both parents and kids alike- and it never gets old!
Your days are spent out and about tracking the elephants, monitoring their activities in the wild and meeting the local communities who are affected by the presence of the elephants. In addition to this your children will meet local kids and gain a genuine appreciation for cultural and lifestyle differences. Some of the highlights have included monitoring elephant activity from tree houses, tracking elephant trails through the wild, bathing in the lakes dotted around the countryside and meeting local people.
Not only will you come away having done something important to help the survival of Asian elephants, but you will have experienced a lifestyle very different from your own.
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 basic yet comfortable. Rooms are on a sharing basis with your family.
Meals are provided and are varied and delicious. Vegetarians and vegans can be catered for.
Arrival to Colombo is on a Sunday. We can arrange for you to be collected from the airport and transferred to a hotel close to the city centre.
Transfer day is a Monday. You will be collected from your hotel and taken to Colombo train station for the train to Kandy. You will be met at Kandy and taken by bus transfer to the project site. Private transfers are also available at an extra cost.
Time to get stuck in to the project. You will be working at least 5 days of the week on the project, with at least one day off to relax and explore.
You will be transferred back to Colombo on your last day on the project. Alternatively you can head back to Kandy to enjoy the cultural capital of the country.
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: Family volunteering with elephants 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. Tracking takes place from a distance and volunteers are instructed on the safe and responsible ways of viewing/recording elephants in the wild.
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.