Elephant refuge volunteering in Thailand

“Spend a week working with rescued elephants at a sanctuary in Thailand vetted by our expert partners in wildlife volunteering. Your role will help emulate their life in the wild with daily forest walks, dietary-planning and pool-bathing. ”


Volunteer with established Thailand elephant sanctuary | Malay Peninsula in Thailand | Working with rescued elephants | Feeding and bathing elephants | Walking elephants through forest | Sanctuary maintenance work | Accommodation on site | All food included | Cha Am and Hua Hin seaside resorts

Description of Elephant refuge volunteering in Thailand

Help to provide a safe haven to rescued elephants , volunteering in this beautiful Thailand elephant sanctuary on the Malay Peninsula. You will be working with previous dancing and performing elephants, liberated from former lives begging in the streets of Bangkok. Now rescued, these elephants need volunteers to help with their feeding, care and bathing.

Each day you will be enjoying spending time with these gentle giants, helping to care for them and ensure their welfare. A lot of emphasis is placed on ensuring that they have a good diet, and so you will be involved in harvesting and preparing their food - and then helping to feed them.

In addition to this, volunteers get stuck in and mucky bathing the elephants in the pools or with the hose pipe. The ellies love the attention, and playing in the water. Prepare to get soaked!

Other aspects that are involved can be helping with any maintenance tasks around the sanctuary and also helping to graze the elephants. Traditionally roaming creatures, moving from one food source to another, the sanctuary has tried to emulate life in the wild through elephant walks. Volunteers will take the elephants into the forest so that they can enjoy the freedom and grazing area provided here. This is a magical experience as you can witness the elephants enjoying the wilderness surrounding them.

All of this is set in the wonderful backdrop of the Malay Peninsula, close to the seaside resorts of Cha Am and Hua Hin. The area is beautiful and gets you off the beaten track.

Accommodation and food
You should expect to share a room with one other volunteer in the grounds of the sanctuary, with a basic en-suite bathroom. The project is also home to a wildlife sanctuary, and the main accommodation is located within these grounds. You will fall asleep to the sounds of the chattering monkeys and the singing gibbons.

Three meals per day are provided. Breakfast is a DIY affair with fruit, bread and eggs provided. Lunch and dinner are hot, including both Thai and western food.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Arrival day is a Sunday. Flights should arrive before 14.00. Airport collection and transfer to the project.
Day 2:Time to get stuck into the project! Full project induction into life at the sanctuary provided.
Day 3+You will have one day off per week to relax and enjoy the local area.
Last day:You can take part in this project from 1 - 12 weeks. Your final day is a Sunday. Transfers back to Bangkok can be arranged.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Accessible overview:
There are challenges associated with volunteer travel, and these can make accessible travel difficult. However, we are very keen to chat with travellers with specific needs to see if we can make a trip possible.
We cater for both vegetarians and vegans.
Our partners behind this holiday promote inclusivity on all their trips and across their business and we are all committed to ensuring travellers face no discrimination on any part of the trip they control.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Wildlife :
On the same site as the elephant sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary, home to over 700 animals. We are committed to conserving, saving, protecting and, where possible, rehabilitating the animals brought under care. The centre will rescue any animal that is being neglected or maltreated, providing it with a large and comfortable enclosure, constructed as closely as possible to reflect the natural conditions these animals would be living in.

There is no elephant back riding on this project, and the elephants are not chained at night time.

Protecting the world :
We insist that all participants bring their own water bottles when they travel with us, and clean free water is always available. We have even created a water bottle that can be purchased before departure and encourage people to use it at all stages of their journey including at the airport, on flights and whilst on their project. We are striving for all of our projects to be free of single use plastic.

The Impacts of this Trip

Meeting local needs:
Volunteers live and work as a member of the local community. This is a small community, located off the traditionally trodden tourist trails, and so bringing volunteers to this area really benefits the local population. Food is bought from local markets and restaurants, trips are all sourced locally and local transport is used when needed.

Campaigning for change:
This project works to change the future for animals who have been subjected to harm and mistreatment. The aim is simple: to provide a home for mistreated animals in an environment as close to nature as possible. A programme actively runs to rescue, rehabilitate and release captive wild animals with this hope to repopulate Thailand's forests and jungles. Campaigns are regularly launched against all forms of animal abuse and exploitation in Thailand. An education programme runs for locals, children and visiting tourists to make them aware of the importance of animal welfare.

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 Thailand.

We send restricted numbers of people at any one time, which minimises the environmental and social impact that the participants have on the destination. Our participants become fully immersed and integrated into the community.

All of our participants receive comprehensive pre-departure briefing. This covers topics on how to be culturally sensitive, how to best look after the environment when in the country and how to stay safe as well as up to date information on the political situation. They are also briefed on how to dispose of waste properly and where possible, to avoid using plastic water bottles as these are not easy to dispose of environmentally.


1 Reviews of Elephant refuge volunteering in Thailand

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 05 Feb 2020 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Working with the elephants was amazing, hard work but so rewarding!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared for a change for your everyday life...embrace it!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes indeed.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


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