Elephant conservation holiday, Thailand

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Trips last for 1-6 weeks and start every week on a Sunday
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Responsible tourism

Elephant conservation holiday, Thailand

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

For over 10 years we have been providing volunteers to help at charitable projects around the world. A UK charity has now been launched to build on this success by providing financial assistance to overseas causes as well. The organisations we work with are often struggling to fund the work they are doing so every penny raised makes a real difference.

By volunteering at the Centre you will make a major contribution to elephants in Thailand. Your time and efforts will help to care for the elephants, and the majority of the programme cost will go direct to the Centre providing a critical source of funding for their future work. On a personal level you will have a unique opportunity to work alongside some incredible creatures and gain the satisfaction of helping to make a difference to their lives.

In addition to this direct benefit, we try to ensure:

Social responsibility - before volunteers depart we provide them with a detailed information pack on the area they will be visiting. We try to educate and encourage our volunteers to understand and respect the local cultures and customs and get involved with local communities.

Economic responsibility - the majority of the fee that volunteers pay goes directly to the Centre. The Centre provides employment for many local Thai staff. While volunteers are in-country, we encourage them to buy locally and support local businesses.

Environmental responsibility - While our volunteers and customers are overseas, we identify and encourage simple steps to minimise their impact on the local environment.

Community

Educational tours are organised for young school children at the centre, the team believe that the education of the next generation is critical to the survival of the endangered species, and conservation of wildlife as a whole. They also educate the local community on poaching which is a commonplace in rural areas.

The centre actively campaigns for better animal treatment in Thailand including issues with illegal pet trading, hunting and poaching and the use of animals within the tourist industry. They distribute educational materials to travel agents in Thailand to ask them to stop endorsing places where animals are used for entertainment, and in particular they have led campaigns against ‘Tiger Temple’; a formerly popular tourist activity, which has been exposed for its cases of animal cruelty. The centre often works in collaboration with local authorities including the Royal Forestry Department to confiscate animals from markets or illegal traders.

Elephant training is among the oldest jobs in the world. In the past and still today, a single mahout is assigned to each animal, forging a close bond that often lasts for life. In the past the job of a mahout was a hereditary profession often extending over several generations and bringing a certain social status with it. At present however, this is a lot less common and essentially the job of mahout is to earn a living from the elephant, which too often results in its exploitation.

By offering the mahouts full time employment and job security, the centre are able to show the mahouts that they do not need to exploit their elephant to earn a living. Changing the culture and mentality towards animal welfare in Thailand is a much longer process. If mahouts think that tourists will only pay to ride elephants then this will encourage abuse, if however local mahouts come learn that tourists will visit Thailand to simply see the animals and to help prevent wildlife from suffering, then gradually a change in mentality could possibly be achieved.

6 Reviews of Elephant conservation holiday, Thailand

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 23 Jul 2019 by

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


Walking elephants and meeting people from all over the world.

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


Bring a few extra shirts, shorts and shoes. Also, plan to get your hands dirty.

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


Yes to all three. The elephant sanctuary employs local people to help with production, the site is eco friendly, and the elephants are all saved from abusive situations.

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


Very high. It was a challenging and eye-opening experience.

Reviewed on 18 Jun 2018 by

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


It was great working with the elephants every day. All the volunteers were so committed to doing a great job...and the staff were as well. I can't recall every
working so hard in my life, but the experience is one I'll treasure for a lifetime. I would definitely book with the operator again!

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


Be prepared to work really hard every day!

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


Yes to all the above. It was great feeling that I was doing my little part to make a difference in these animals' lives. We owe them as much as we can give, as we
humans are the main cause for their dwindling numbers. We must do all we can to take responsibility for the mistreatment they have endured at the hands of
those who have done them harm in the name of entertainment, profit, and simple exploitation.

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


the experience was EXCELLENT!

Reviewed on 25 Aug 2018 by

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


Walking with elephants daily feeding them by hand with fruit along the way by hand to keep them moving! Showering and brushing down the elephants and watching them in the lake enjoying their baths.

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


Be prepared for early mornings, a full tiring day and to be in bed for 9pm.
Physically exhausting the days you have to harvest the banana trees and you should be fairly strong and fairly fit. Be prepared for very basic accommodation and food.

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


Yes, after the weeks volunteering we spoke to other holiday makers about not the touristy ride on elephants and the impact it has on them.

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


Wonderful unforgettable experience I feel privileged to have been on.

Reviewed on 11 May 2011 by

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


Being with the elephants and their handlers. Having the big bull elephants walk past you, just inches from your face, leaving you to feel completely small and vulnerable as these pre-historic like mammals move by with grace, softness, power and majesty!

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


Be open-minded and integrate yourself beyond your immediate circle of volunteers. Get out of your comfort zone!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, volunteers help the staff (locals) with their day to day job (ie mucking out elephant pens) plus it helps strengthen their knowledge of the world, English language and communications skills.

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


Excellent holiday. Best done by yourself, which definitely pushes you to be open and ready for anything.

Reviewed on 04 Jan 2010 by

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


Volunteering at the Wildlife Friends of Thailand Elephant Sanctuary, what a wonderful educational experience and to feel you are putting something back into the preservation of these magnificent creatures.

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


Learn the basic Thai Language like thank you, hello, goodbye etc. Visit the countryside and get out of the cities. Don't visit tourist places that force animals to perform tricks etc. For example the tiger temple and several other elephant safaries. When you delve deeper you find out how these animals are really treated and by visiting it's promoting the illegal trade and interbreeding of these animals in very poor, cruel conditions.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes certainly.

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


9/10. By assisting with the animals and donating (which covers your board and keep) volunteering with their native species was a very rewarding experience and hope to come back yearly. Would strongly recommend it. Beats sitting by a pool and shopping for fruitless items in large outlet stores.

Reviewed on 07 Apr 2010 by

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


2 things.
Interacting with the elephants was a great experience. Washing and scrubbing them is a thing I’ll never forget.
The people I have met, local people and the volunteers. I made some good friends.

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


Be prepared for the heat if you work on the elephant project. March/April is very humid. Drink plenty of water.

Pack plenty of plasters as bites can be a problem around legs and ankles. There is a pharmacist in the village.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Just by shopping in the village helped benefit the local people.

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


A great experience. I haven't travelled alone before but I soon made friends and the staff were great. I would recommend to anybody who wants to 'give something back' in our take all society. Good for personal development.
Just good fun!

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