Volunteer with Elephants in Thailand

Company : GVI
Location : Chiang Mai
Duration: 1 week to 3 months
Approx Costs: 1500 to 3000+ £ Pound (UK)

Support community efforts to help reintegrate elephants into their natural habitat, from their previous lives in the tourism industry.


  • Have a unique opportunity to observe the elephants in their natural habitat
  • Gain new knowledge about elephants from the local Karen community, who have worked alongside elephants for hundreds of years;
  • Experience the elephants in a more natural setting, interacting with the forest, the mahouts and each other as a semi wild herd.
  • Living in a small, secluded community really encourages you to forge a unique relationship with your homestay family and mahouts as well as other volunteers and interns from all around the world
  • Have the opportunity to teach English at the local school and participate in community activities which improves your own confidence 
  • Become culturally aware living among an ethnic minority village and learn the local language Pakinyaw to assist you in your immersion into a different culture

Discover the unique culture of the Karen community, and the dense mountain forests of Northern Thailand. Volunteer with elephants relieved fom working in the tourism industry and assist Mahouts (traditional elephant keepers) in monitoring elephants behaviour as they reintegrate int the forests.

This is a hands-off ethical elephant and community project which is aimed at monitoring Asian elephants in a more natural living environment. Work closely with the community and Mahouts while learning about elephant behaviour and contributing directly to the elephants wellbeing. 

The project was started by the village to find sustainable ways to keep their elephants in the forest under semi-wild management. By allowing the elephants to live in the forest it provides working alternatives for the elephant owners, mahouts and locals 

Volunteer work includes collecting behavioural data during daily hikes, teaching English to local community members and women's groups and other cultural activities. 

All of our projects have short, mid & long-term objectives which are directly linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world as well as help out local communities and partners measure and visualise their contributions to the UN SDGs.

This program includes an optional Wildlife Conservation Online course which must be completed in order to obtain a certificate offered in partnership with the University of Richmond in the United States.

Get in touch for more information!

Costs / Benefits

Since we opened our doors in 1998, we have spent over 65% of all funds directly on our projects. It is our mission to support field operations in the long term. Rather than abandon programs that recruit fewer volunteers we strategically invest from our fully staffed sites to help maintain our presence across the globe. The remaining 35% that is not directly invested in our programs covers the cost of volunteer recruitment, the operations of our head office.

Cost for the program by duration:
• 1 week £1,695
• 2 weeks £1,945
• 3 weeks £2,195
• 4 weeks £2,445
• 5 weeks £2,695
• 6 weeks £2,995
• 7 weeks £3,195
• 8 weeks £3,395
• 9 weeks £3,645
• 10 weeks £3,945
• 11 weeks £4,145
• 12 weeks £4,395

* Flights and medical insurance are not included in the program fees


• 18+
• English
• Criminal Background check
• Medical History
• Good physical fitness

Booking / Enquiry

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