Thailand has continued to be one of the most tempting destinations for those who are seeking a combination of enchanting natural surroundings, alluring culture, and incredible biodiversity. Breathtaking silvery beaches lapped by warm, crystal clear waters are complemented by friendly locals, mouth-watering local delicacies, and an ancient and fascinating historical heritage rooted in Buddhist origins.
In its waters live a fantastic array of marine creatures and snorkelling or scuba diving in Thailand is a truly unforgettable experience. However, some of the countries most charming wildlife, elephants, is under threat. Join our elephant project to help contribute towards the care of retired working elephants and help make their remaining days as enjoyable as possible, whilst enjoying all the fun of a gap year or year out abroad!
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
According to estimates by the World Wildlife Fund, there are only between 2,000 and 3,000 wild elephants remaining in Thailand, and this number continues to decline. Much of this trend can be attributed to the competition for land between local communities and the elephants, while domesticated elephants continue to roam throughout Thailand with their mahouts and are seen begging for food by performing tricks for tourists.
This placement will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in Thai culture, learning about the role of elephants as you help the mahouts in the elephant camp that provides a sanctuary for retired working elephants. Your work may include a combination of exercising, washing and feeding the elephants, garden maintenance and working directly with the people of the centre. You will soon learn that the elephants have their own individual personalities and your experience and knowledge will go some way towards resolving the problem of human-elephant conflict. At the weekends you will have free time to explore the surrounding area and enjoy activities such as white water rafting.
Volunteers participating for longer than one week will also take part in an orientation and cultural immersion week. Your introductory week will be the first step towards a successful stay in Thailand and is designed specifically to ensure that you get the most possible out of the trip as a whole. Your culture, language and cooking lessons will help you to settle and feel more at home, and the temple and museum visits will give you a taste of the history of Thailand and the influences on the development of its national identity.