Elephant Orphanage Experience

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Elephant Orphanage Experience

from £895
Duration: from 1 week to 12 weeks
Countries: Sri Lanka
Work with over 80 elephants that have been rescued from various awful situations and help rehabilitate them on this project. You’ll get to know them and get up close and personal!

Elephant Orphanage Experience

The Elephant Orphanage is a sanctuary for rescued, injured or abused elephants and attracts visitors from all over the world to view these magnificent animals. Around 70 elephants have found homes at Pinnawala, including some small babies who have been born into the herd.

You'll have a marvelous experience working with these regal animals and the daily highlight is the walk from the Orphanage down to the river to bathe the elephants. It's amazing to watch an entire herd splashing around and rolling in the river ... just feet in front of you!

Project Overview

Working hours on this project are quite short and you certainly won't be overloaded with work, so you'll have plenty of time to sightsee and explore. You'll have hands-on contact with some of the elephants, but there are some others who are overly large or have not been tamed or trained to a satisfactory level, so you won't be able to safely have full hands-on contact with those.

This is not a conservation project. Rather, the majority of volunteer work deals more with the day-to-day aspects of running the elephant orphanage than more specialised research or veterinary based work, although you will have the opportunity to do some hands-on work. Part of your duties will include:

  • Walking with the elephants down to the river every day and supervising their bathing - this takes place twice daily.
  • Participating in bathing some of the smaller elephants.
  • Mucking out the elephant enclosures in the morning.
  • Elephants are very intelligent and need a lot of mental stimulation. You can contribute a lot in this area, thus improving their mental wellbeing.
  • You may be asked to help with possible construction or maintenance projects.

Other Work Resposibilities (Subject to availability & experience)

  • Washing and feeding the baby elephants.
  • On one or two afternoons a week, you will be able to assist and observe the vets in their daily duties.
  • Some work, such as the mental stimulation of the elephants, is normally left to the initiative of the volunteers. The Mahouts (dedicated elephant trainers) may assist the individual volunteer in this, but you will need to initiate this work yourself.

What you'll gain from doing this Project:

  • An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into the exotic island of Sri Lanka.
  • 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
  • The enormous satisfaction of helping to contribute to the well-being of previously abused or orphaned elephants
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!

Additional activities you can do while on this project:

All our volunteers use their weekends and free time to do a lot of travelling around the southern part of the island. There are many, many attractive tourist sights to see, ranging from gloriious beaches to impressive temples. Thw towns and villages are fascinating and so different to what we're used to in the Western world.

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.

Interested in this; ready to enquire?

Find out more by filling out the form below and clicking send. Travellers Worldwide should then be in touch shortly to help with your enquiry.


Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:

from £895 to £1,995

Duration Details:

This placement can be extended for any length of time (many of our volunteers do!), subject to availability and any visa restrictions that may apply

Cost Details:

You can extend your stay on this project, but it is a very popular project so early booking is advised.


You’ll live in a lovely house with other Travellers volunteers in the nearby town of Kegalle. The house is typical of the Sri Lankan style and you will have all necessary facilities and a comfortable communal living area to socialise in. A live-in chef will cook all your meals for you and current volunteers say that the food is delicious!!


All the time

This placement would suit:

Animal lovers who want a fascinating experience that goes beyond mere tourism with 70+ elephants in the famous Pinawala Elephant Orphanage

Do you accept non UK citizens?


User Comments:

“Just wanted to drop you a line as my project in Sri Lanka comes to end to tell you that I have had the best time of my life and the project has been amazing, both the teaching and the elephant orphanage. It has been a truly amazing experience.” David Constable

“I wanted to end this year by thanking you, and all at Travellers, for making this year so special. As you know, my passion for elephants runs very deep and has done for as long as I can remember, and you were able to help me make my lifelong dream come true, and for that I am so eternally grateful.

~ by Jo Harris

About Travellers Worldwide

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.

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Photo Gallery

Elephant Orphanage Experience at Pinawala

Elephant Orphanage Experience at Pinawala

Elephant Orphanage Experience at Pinawala

Elephant Orphanage Experience at Pinawala

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Email Enquiry

Interested in this; ready to enquire?

Find out more by filling out the form below and clicking send. Travellers Worldwide should then be in touch shortly to help with your enquiry.

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