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THAILAND: CARE FOR RESCUED ELEPHANTS IN AN ELEPHANT SANCTUARY IN KANCHANABURI

SUMMARY OVERVIEW

Help to take care of rescued and sick elephants. You'll work hands-on with them, including swimming with the elephants, preparing food and making sure the elephants are comfortable.

The rescued elephants are relocated to the Sanctuary. Many of them were injured, sick or unable to survive where they had been previously located, Instead they are now cared for in the Sanctuary, with your help.

Price:
Please see the Prices Page. Prices for all projects are listed and you can choose which currency you'd like to see them in. Prices exclude flights.
Duration:
This is a fixed-duration project of 1 week.
Start Dates:
Projects start every weekend and end on a Saturday, all year round - you choose your start and finish dates.
Requirements:
Minimum age 17, if travelling alone, but 13 upwards if accompanied by a parent or guardian. No qualifications or experience required, but you must have lots of enthusiasm and initiative, and a great love of elephants and their well-being.
What's included:
  • Arranging your Programme
  • Payment Protection insurance
  • Full pre-departure support and assistance
  • Personalised online project portal where you'll access all information your programme, health & safety and country advice.
  • Your own dedicated Project Co-ordinator to help you throughout the pre-departure process
  • Meeting you at the nearest Airport
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Daily transport to and from your project
  • Full safety, support and back up from our local in-country team.
  • Project orientation & induction on your arrival.
  • 24-hr emergency support.
What's not included: Flights, Travel Insurance, Cost of Visas, Return to the airport (but we can arrange this for you).
Who can do this Programme?
All projects are open to all nationalities. Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in animal welfare, animal care, wildlife, elephants, conservation.

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PROJECT CONTENT

You'll be transferred to Kanchanaburi early on Monday morning. The project is located on a beautiful lake and offers the unforgettable experience of being able to spend time and bond with the elephants whilst they’re in their natural habitat.

The aim of the sanctuary is to relocate elephants that are injured, ill, previously abused or illegally owned to a place where they are well looked after in an replica of their natural environment. You'll learn about the elephants of Thailand and truly experience Thai culture, while working closely with the mahouts who dedicate their lives to gaining an understanding of the elephants and how best to care for them.

You will help by planting food for them, spending a lot of hands on work with the elephants like joining them for their regular mud baths – what fun! The programme also allows for some exciting local activities and a typical schedule is as follows:

Monday
Introduction, feeding the elephants and taking them to the river, bathe with them (mud bath!), prepare their food, feed the elephants and then bring them back into the forest. In the evening there is a Thai welcome ceremony, followed by dinner and a Thai culture class & Thai elephant documentary.

Tuesday
You'll go to see the elephants then its time for mucking out and general cleaning. Afterwards you will prepare food for the elephants, help with bana grass or tree cutting, plant banana grass and then spend some time relaxing floating on the river Kwai. After dinner a Thai elephant documentary will be arranged.

Wednesday
A lovely hike to the top of a nearby mountain and a visit to the elephants will start your day before breakfast! Today you will be preparing fruit and cleaning the fruit shop and mud bath. An afternoon is planned at the stunning Erawan waterfall.

Thursday
Before breakfast a bike ride around the village is arranged and then its time to plant food for the elephants. After lunch you’ll help clean the bathing area, and take a bamboo raft and nature trail to a setting in the forest where you will set up camp for a wonderful evening with your fellow volunteers.

Friday
You start the day making salt lick for the wild animals, feed the elephants at the river and wash them! After lunch you will cut sugarcane or grass cutting for the elephants. In the evening there will be a farewell party followed by karaoke!

Weekends
If you are taking part in the cultural week, then before starting your project in Kanchanaburi, you will have the weekend to relax in Singburi or you can choose to expand your sightseeing and visit the many more sites in the central provinces or go into Bangkok. Our friendly staff are always there to make your choice easier with advice.

On the Saturday after your elephant project finishes, you will have breakfast and then depart from the elephant sanctuary. You will be taken to the bus station in Kanchanaburi and from there you will make your own way back to Bangkok, or on to your next destination!

Please note that this schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

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ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation at the Elephant Sanctuary is provided in a spacious, idyllic, bamboo bungalow which will be shared with up to 7 other volunteers of the same sex. Showers (cold), bathroom, mosquito nets, fan and a comfortable decking are all provided.

The centre is situated 32 kilometres north of the city of Kanchanaburi. The nearest town is Lad-Ya, which is approximately 15 kilometres from the centre and here you can find internet, ATMs, a post office, supermarkets, local markets and a hospital. Closer to your accommodation there are a couple of small shops where you can buy some food and drinks and also credit for your mobile phone.

FOOD:

Food is included during your stay. The meals will be of typical Thai origin, including plenty of rice dishes. Three healthy and delicious meals will be provided each day, carefully balancing Thai food for the Western tongue.

Vegetarians can also be catered for.

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REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK

Saskia Otte (Belgian):
"[My positive impact on the project?] I think contributing to the program financially and physically made a difference. I didn't really understand why the project was so expensive, but once you see what it takes to take care of the elephants you understand. The sanctuary needs the funds to survive, so it felt good to help them and I was glad my money got well spent.

Everything was great ... the staff was amazing. I didn't expect to meet such nice people. I wouldn't change anything about them.

Victoria Lamb (British):
"... The next two weeks at the elephant sanctuary was amazing. I enjoyed it so much working so closely with the elephants, being able to feed them, wash them and generally hang around them.

I loved elephants before I went away, however, I love them even more now. They are so calming and amazing animals, I didn't want to leave. The sanctuary was set up nicely, food was reasonable, buffet style, and the accommodation was good, too (no air con so did get hot).

Would definitely recommend going - I wanted to go back as soon as I left.

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