Elephant Experience

Book now for £49

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Group Size: Varies

Trip code: THEE

Duration: 2-4 weeks

Volunteer with elephants in Thailand
Help with hands on care
Stay in the local community

Enjoy an incredible elephant experience in stunning rural Thailand. Enjoy a cultural adventure and get up close to these majestic creatures as you stay at an 'elephant village' and live alongside local people in a Thai village off the beaten track. Help out with hands-on care of these amazing animals and live with the locals at a homestay in a rural Thai village. Spend weekends in sunny Surin and explore more of Thailand or hop across the border into Cambodia in your free time!

Trip highlights

  • Spend two days in the buzz of Bangkok
  • Stay in stunning scenery off the beaten track in rural Thailand
  • Elephants never forget: Bond with these incredible creatures and make a difference as you help enrich the life of up to 35 elephants in a hands-on role, feeding and bathing the elephants
  • Spend 3 nights per week in a homestay with local villagers for a true cultural experience and spend the rest of the week in Surin with loads of time off to explore
  • Enjoy cultural activities such as Thai cookery and kayaking on the river and as you are close to the Cambodian border you can hop across at your leisure and explore! 
Further trip information

Get ready for an amazing and authentic elephant experience in the heart of rural Thailand, as you head off the beaten track and immerse yourself on this unique elephant experience at an elephant village hidden in an idyllic Thai hideaway. Get to know the local villagers and get hands-on with these mighty creatures for an unbelievable, up-close elephant experience!

About the Elephant Project

Elephants were traditionally used in Thailand either in the Army or to help with logging, but once logging was outlawed the elephants lost their purpose and their handlers, known as 'mahouts', are often forced to find other ways to make enough money to feed and keep the elephants, such as begging on the city streets. The elephant project was set up to provide a safe home for the elephants, taking them away from a life of begging and hardship.

Your Elephant Volunteer Experience

The elephant village is set in stunning rural surroundings near Surin, and is home to around 35 elephants, which live alongside the local villagers. Set among some of Thailand’s most breathtaking and beautiful scenery far off the beaten tourist track, this experience offers not just a unique elephant interaction, but also an amazing cultural exchange in authentic rural Thailand where you will live among the friendly locals in a real Thai village.

Elephant Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok. You’ll be met at the airport and taken to your hostel.

Day 2: Orientation and optional city tour of Bangkok’s temples and the Grand Palace.

Day 3: Transfer by train or public bus to Surin, in the heart of rural Thailand. Welcome meeting and a guided orientation tour of Surin.

Day 4: Transfer by bus to the rural elephant village (45mins-1hr from Surin)

You’ll spend Monday-Thursday every week living at the elephant village and helping out with the care of the elephants. On Friday, Saturday & Sunday you’ll stay in a volunteer house in Surin, with plenty of free time to explore Thailand or hop across the border into Cambodia. All transfers to and from the elephant village and Surin are included.

Your Volunteer Role

From Monday -Thursday, you’ll get stuck in with the day-to-day care of the elephants by providing food and water, mucking out the elephants and helping to bathe them twice a week. You will learn how to cut and harvest the bamboo which provides the elephants' diet. You can take a walk with the elephants, a wonderful natural experience, as you lead them down to the river to bathe. You will also help out with valuable community work, helping to plant crops and vegetable gardens to provide food for the elephants, and carrying out maintenance and repairs such as building or painting work in the community. You can expect to help out between 9am and 3pm.

Booking options

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There may be some start dates with restricted placement lengths. Please note there may be some days when the project will not run due to religious and public holidays for example the project will close for 5-7 days for Songkran festival each year. There is also closure over the Christmas and New Year period.