Thailand Elephant conservation volunteering

“A unique week, spending time with a Karen tribe community, working on a vital elephant conservation project, bringing captive elephants back to the wild. Homestay accommodation. ”


Chiang Mai | Ecolodge in Chiang Mai | Jungle treks | Elephant monitoring | Thai wildlife surveys | Base camp activities | Learn about Karen tribal traditions | Homestay accommodation with Karen tribal community

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Thailand Elephant conservation volunteering


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. This project is working to reduce the number of elephants living in captivity, and to slowly be able to reduce them back to the wild. The project means that elephants are no longer having to trek or perform, but can live in the jungle in a peaceful manner for the rest of their lives. Because of this, there is limited interaction with the elephants to allow them to live their lives as close to the wild as possible.

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 Uneasy no settle 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:
This project provides a sustainable alternative for elephant owners in Thailand. It allows owners to have the choice to bring their elephants home to the jungle, rather than having to send them to work in a tourist camp or in trekking. The community benefits financially from the volunteer project, and they benefit from having volunteers in their village. Volunteers love to help their host families with English, and the families love having them to stay. Volunteers are helped to learn the Karen language too.

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.

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