Elephant & Wildlife Conservation In Wasgamuwa National Park
from £745 GBP
to £3095 GBP
The National Park of Wasgamuwa is a dedicated area of conservation, a stunning expanse of grasslands and hills described by locals as the most beautiful place in the whole of Sri Lanka. Elephants are synonymous with Sri Lanka, and have lived alongside the people of this incredible country as long as the civilisation has existed. Be a part of the conservation effort and get to know the real Sri Lanka!
The project, run by SLWCS, one of Sri Lanka's top Conservation Societies, is well structured and enormously beneficial to the local people and environment. In 2008, the SLWCS was selected by the United Nations Development Programme to be a recipient of the prestigious Equator Prize 2008. The Equator Prize is an international award that honours community-based projects that represent outstanding efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
The main aim of the project is to "save elephants, other biodiversity and their habitats by helping people". The activities undertaken on this project are vast, and you could find yourself involved in any number of things while working and living in Wasgamuwa.
If you want to go back to the very basics, in a stunningly beautiful part of the world, helping local people and the local wildlife this project is perfect for you. You’ll be doing work that is really valued and that makes a significant difference to people’s lives. The location is breathtaking with incredible scenery and wildlife set in the remote hinterland of the island, given the accolade, by natives, as the most beautiful place in Sri Lanka.
PROJECT DATES The start dates for 2011 are as follows:
Monday 3rd October 2011
Monday 7th November 2011
Monday 5th December 2011
The start dates for 2012 are as follows:
Monday 2nd January 2012 (TBC)
Monday 6th February 2012 (TBC)
Monday 5th March 2012 (TBC)
Monday 2nd April 2012 (TBC)
Monday 7th May 2012 (TBC)
Monday 4th June 2012 (TBC)
Monday 2nd July 2012 (TBC)
Monday 6th August 2012 (TBC)
Monday 3rd September 2012 (TBC)
Monday 1st October 2012 (TBC)
Monday 5th November 2012 (TBC)
Monday 3rd December 2012 (TBC)
Volunteers will be transferred back from Wasgamuwa to Ja-Ela 12 days after arrival (or on the last Friday of the month).
Departure or arrival on any other non-scheduled dates is also possible – however, there may be an additional charge for this. Please check with us for further details.
WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT:
An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into South East Asia and the Sri Lankan culture.
New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.
An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market
And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
The work you can get involved in is diverse and fascinating. It also covers a broad range of elements and activities. You’ll be conducting all the work yourself, but will, of course, have the supervision and guidance of either the project researcher or his assistant.
The work might not only be vigorous but can also be mentally challenging, due to the warm and humid climatic conditions (especially in summer) but the work is also extremely satisfying and rewarding! There can be a lot of physical activity involved in the project, you may be walking up to 10 kilometres a day and / or cycling up to 15 kilometres a day!
You’ll also be monitoring the ‘elealert’ electric fence that the SLWCS has developed. This greatly reduces the human-elephant conflict in the area as it protects the locals’ farmland, which is their livelihood. The elephants are kept out by the electric fences and in turn, protected themselves (as they are not ruining the local populations livelihood, the locals have no reason to attack and hurt the elephants.)
The project has a broad scope and volunteers will help out in any of the research projects and operational needs summarized below to accomplish the objectives of the Society. Not all these activities will be available at one time – you’ll likely be involved in several, or a selection, depending on the needs of the conservation society we work with. Below is a list of the current activities, but some of these can change depending on what is required at the you’re there and on other factors, such as the weather:
Tank (where the elephants bathe) monitoring
Trail transects (a hike to identify if elephants have been in the area) on the trails that range from 5-10 kilometres on undulating to steep terrain.
Road transects outside (buffer zone) of the national park.
Park ID - identification of elephants within the park
Fence monitoring - in both Pussellayaya and Weheragalagama
Observations of elephants from tree hut and at tanks.
Identification of trails which predators / prey species use
Analysis of GIS data from all other research projects
SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND AGRO/SOCIAL FORESTRY RESEARCH
Village Headman (GND) Surveys
HEC (Human-Elephant Conflict) assessment surveys
Project Orange Elephant (alternative crops project that is providing locals with oranges to farm as well as their usual crops. Elephants do not eat citrus fruits, so even if the farmland was destroyed by elephants the livelihood of the locals would not be ruined as they still have the oranges to sell.
FARMING & AGRICULTURE
Data on farming operations (such as number of eggs produced, milk production, health issues, paddy/fruit production)
OPERATIONS AND BASIC HOUSEKEEPING
Cleaning and maintenance of vehicles, bicycles and other equipment
Clearing / Cleaning of field bases and equipment
Packing / Storing and Stock taking of all equipment before departure of groups of volunteers / at least every two months.
WHAT THE PROJECT GAINS FROM YOUR VOLUNTEERING
“The volunteer program is an integral component of the sustainable initiatives we are implementing in Sri Lanka. There has been a completely new economic development at the local level just based on the volunteer program. You can observe this in the growth and development of so many of the local stakeholders who are directly and indirectly benefiting from the program. Even for the Wasgamuwa National Park we provide their biggest revenue. We hope to initiate a study just to assess the economic impact of the volunteer program at Wasgamuwa.” Ravi Corea, President and Founder of the Sri Lankan Wildlife Conservation Society
ABOUT WASGAMUWA NATIONAL PARK:
The location is amazing, with breathtaking scenery and wildlife set in the remote hinterland of the island, given the accolade – by natives – as the most beautiful part of Sri Lanka. This placement is ideal if you enjoy wildlife and the outdoors - there is plenty to keep you occupied in this beautiful region. The surrounding jungles and villages can be explored easily by foot or bike and trips to other parks in the region can be arranged.
This beautiful and untamed region is full of photo opportunities - outstanding rivers, lakes and wildlife that make for a photographer's paradise. There is no other entertainment, thus you'll enjoy serenity and spending time alone. The Maduru Oya National Park, which is about an hour away by jeep, is renowned for its Elephant population and Elephant sightings during an organised safari are very common - the amount of wildlife in this area of Sri Lanka is just incredible! This is a remote area with very basic facilities but will give you a true Sri Lankan experience.
The teaching project in Wasgamuwa was initiated by the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society (SLWCS) as a way of reducing the human-elephant conflict in the region. Through community participation the SLWCS aims to resolve this conflict over the coming years. The on-going goal is to increase the level of English amongst villagers.
REQUIREMENTS: CAN YOU DO THIS PROJECT?
You don't need any qualifications to participate in this project.
Please bear in mind that this project is only suitable for those people who enjoy reading and solitude as there is nothing to do in the evenings except socialise with the other volunteers!
BUT, if you want to gain an excellent cultural experience that is worthwhile and gives you much, much more than you'd get as a mere tourist, then this is an excellent placement.
Interesting interviewwith innovative thinkers in Sri Lanka today who are working towards creating a balance between human development and elephant survival with untraditional methods and sensitive thinking.
You will live in a remote village called Pusseleya on the outskirts of the National Park, located around 7 hours east of Colombo. The community that you will become a part of is mostly dependant on paddy farming for its livelihood and as such the way of life here is very simple - you will need to be prepared to 'get back to basics' and live like the villagers.
What to do next
Talk to us - We're there to help you. Most of our team are ex Travellers volunteers and are ideally qualified to offer advice and guidance because they know what you're looking for. They'll help you find your perfect project - and then make it all happen!
If you’d like to apply for this project. Visit our website and complete the application form. As soon as we receive it, we’ll liaise with you and then start making your travel adventure happen.
It’s as easy as that.
This placement can be extended for any length of time, subject to availability and any visa restrictions that may apply.
Costs vary depending on how long you want to stay for. Prices include food and accommodation, 24/7 support and backup before you go and throughout your placement, as well as meeting you at the nearest airport. When you’re on your placement, if you’d like to extend your time, you can do so at a minimal additional cost.
All the time
This placement would suit:
This placement would suit people who want to make a real difference, want first-hand experience of real Sri Lankan culture and who have initiative. No qualifications or previous experience are necessary, just a good dose of enthusiasm!
Do you accept non UK citizens?
Do you accept applicants with disabilities?
accommodation, food, airport pickup
YOUR ADVENTURE STARTS HERE! Help children, animals and conservation around the world. Gain valuable work experience and new skills. All ages & nationalities welcome. EXPLORE a new culture from the inside on worthwhile, well-structured projects.
FLEXIBLE: From two weeks to one year - you choose your dates and duration.