Volunteer with Elephants at a Sanctuary in Surin, Thailand

Surin Province, Thailand

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Country Roads’ Elephant Freedom Project

New Program
  • From $499 USD for 1 Week

  • 1 Weeks

  • Select Start Dates

  • 18 And Older

Description

Overview

Travel to Surin to learn about the work being done by an elephant sanctuary, and have the amazing opportunity to volunteer with the local mahouts that care for these elephants! Through your efforts and support, you can help the Country Roads’ Elephant Freedom Project explore ecologically sustainable and elephant-friendly tourism options.

This volunteer program will be a life-enriching experience for you as you help to provide a new way of life to mahouts, their elephants, and families. With a strong focus on sustainability and humane elephant treatment practices, you will learn new ways to help elephants while immersing yourself in the local community.

This elephant sanctuary provides mahouts and their elephants a natural, less stressful and sustainable alternative to street begging and other forms of tourism such as circuses and elephant rides. Mahouts are also taught ways they can treat their elephants more humanely with no chains or hooks. The project also provides free English language training to the mahout’s children. As a volunteer, you will help the program explore ecologically sustainable and elephant-friendly tourism options. A few activities you can take on include planting grass, sugarcane, and bamboo, helping to build shelters for the elephants, cutting bamboo, preparing food for the elephants, and helping out with chores at the homestay. You'll also provide elephants with daily walks to watering holes - walking the elephants to the river and helping to bathe them provides an excellent opportunity to witness these marvelous creatures in their natural environment.

Right now, the Country Roads’ Freedom Project works with 6 female elephants, including a baby male, and part-time male elephants that join the volunteers several times a week to walk to the river. This program hopes to one day provide better conditions for all the elephants in the center.

Arrival and Orientation

On your first day, the Elephant Freedom Project team will meet you at the Surin bus or train station, and take you to your accommodations for the week while also introducing you to what you will be accomplishing during your stay.

Accommodations

During your trip to Surin, you will live in a homestay at the project site. Private air conditioned rooms also are available for an additional fee. Private air rooms also are available for an additional fee. All rooms are air conditioned.

Field Conditions

During your stay in Thailand, you will have the chance to help care for the elephants and provide a healthy environment for them. A few of your tasks can include:

– Reforesting the elephant areas

– Planting grass, sugar cane, and bamboo

– Building shelters for the elephants

– Cutting bamboo and preparing food for the elephants

– Helping with chores, cleaning the homestay, and cleaning the elephant shelters

– Walking the elephants to watering holes for bathing

This program also is close to two rural schools, where you will be able to teach basic English skills to children through conversation and play.

Your Impact

This project provides enriching experiences to volunteers as well as a new way of life for mahouts, their elephants, and their families. With a strong focus on sustainability and humane elephant treatment practices, volunteers will learn new ways to help elephants and be of service to the community that relies on them.

Location

Surin Province, Thailand
  • Where you will be volunteering
    Baan Ta Klang Village, Surin Province, Thailand

    Volunteers will be working with elephants and maintaining their enclosures.

  • Where you'll be staying
    Surin Province, Thailand

    Volunteers will be staying in a homestay at the project site.

  • Nearest Airport
    Bangkok International Airport, Samut Prakan, Thailand

Cost

One week is $499.

1 Week

$499 USD

What’s Included

  • Lunch if on single day visit with no overnight stay

  • Lunch and dinner if volunteering on the one day, overnight stay program

  • Three meals per day if volunteering on weeklong program

  • Onsite accommodation

  • Transport to project site from Surin bus or train station

What’s Not Included

  • Side trips, snacks, and other entertainment expenses

  • Transport from airport to and from Surin bus or train station

  • Insurance

  • Visa fees

  • Airfare

Project Start Dates

Program starts Monday and ends the following Saturday (5 nights and 6 days), with longer stays available on a case-by-case basis. Intakes are available every Monday of the year.

Organization

Thailand’s Country Roads’ Elephant Freedom Project provides life enriching experiences to volunteers and a new way of life to mahouts, their elephants and families. With a strong focus on sustainability and humane elephant treatment practices, volunteers will learn new ways to help elephants and be of service to the community that relies on them.

Country Roads’ Elephant Freedom Project is a small elephant sanctuary created with support from the Surin Provincial Administrative Organization and the Elephant Study Center in Thailand, and is led by Khun Nang and Khun Kim. The project provides mahouts and their elephants a natural, less stressful and sustainable alternative to street begging and other forms of tourism such as circuses and elephant rides. Mahouts are taught ways they can treat their elephants more humanely with no chains or hooks. The project also provides free English language training to the mahouts’ children.

The Country Roads’ Freedom Project is currently working with 6 female elephants, including a baby male, and part-time male elephants that join the volunteers several times a week to walk to the river. The Project hopes to one day provide better conditions for all the elephants in the center.