Be the Change You Wish to See
6 Days/5nights Volunteer Program
WHAT TO EXPECT
Thousands of tourists travel to Thailand every year to see elephants, but few will ever appreciate the amount of work that goes into providing elephants with the physical and emotional benefits of sanctuary life. As a week-long volunteer at Sappraiwan Elephant Sanctuary, you will be deeply involved in the operations of the sanctuary.
NATURAL OBSERVATION OVER FORCED INTERACTION
Sappraiwan Elephant Sanctuary is currently transforming its ethos and programs to prioritize elephant welfare. By developing new principles that encourage natural observation over forced interaction, the facility is trying to give its herd of elephants the respect and freedom it deserves.
Volunteers are an integral part of this journey because taking part in a program at Sappraiwan Elephant Sanctuary helps make such programs sustainable while setting a good example for other elephant facilities to create humane environments for elephants.
LEARNING FROM A MAHOUT
Just as the elephants at Sappraiwan are a family, their carers - mahouts - are too. You will immediately feel part of the family as you will begin your program by pairing with a mahout and his elephant. From then on, the work begins!
Though you will spend time with all the elephants at Sappraiwan, you will gain an intimate understanding of your designated elephant’s behavior, personality, closest companions, place in the family tree, identifying features and so much more.
WHAT YOUR SCHEDULE WILL BE
Your mornings will begin by venturing deep into the forest with your mahout, and then observing the herd grazing, swimming, socializing and roaming within the sanctuary’s 360 acres of lush forest. After a tranquil morning with the elephants, you’ll enjoy a vegetarian lunch, and set out on one of many afternoon activities offered by the sanctuary that benefits the elephants, mahouts, or our local community.
See just how big your elephant’s appetite is by collecting supplementary food like grass or pineapple leaves with your mahout, make elephant dung fertilizer to share with local farmers, or create enrichment in the sanctuary’s Elephant Playground by stashing tasty treats that will stimulate the elephants to use problem-solving and teamwork to get to the goodies.
At the end of the day, take advantage of the resort's amenities by going for a refreshing swim or relaxing massage. Enjoy the comfort of a resort in the depths of the jungle while creating a more compassionate world for elephants.
AGE AND OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
There are no age restrictions to the volunteer program, however, participants should be prepared for physical activity in a hot climate.Accommodations can be made for those who would like to reduce their physical activity, e.g. walking, or taking an afternoon off if needed. We recommend you consult with your physician if you have any pre-existing conditions which you think might be compromised.
ITEMS TO BRING
Close-toed shoes (If rainy season, shoes will get wet.)
Chemical free Insect repellent. (Elephants have sensitive noses)
Long pants & long sleeve shirts, above the ankle socks
Hat or sun visor
Reusable water bottle (to avoid the use of plastic bottles)
WHAT IS PROVIDED
Three vegetarian meals per day. (If you have special dietary needs please make a note when registering.)
Private accommodation (with hot water, Wifi, A/C, western toilets)
Drinking water when out in the field
Thai/English speaking group coordinator
Pick up/drop off at Phitsanulok bus station, train station or airport
The experience of a lifetime and the making of new friends