THAILAND: Amazing Volunteer Project Caring for Elephants in Surin!

Company : Travellers Worldwide
Location : Surin
Duration: 1 week to 2 months
Approx Costs: 500 to 2500 £ Pound (UK)

Change the fate of elephants in Thailand! On this project, you'll work hands-on with elephants, giving them lots of care. 

You'll work closely with mahouts, helping to change the practice of using elephants for street begging and circus shows to providing an alternative for their elephants that is more natural, less stressful, and is sustainable. With provincial and local level support, we can build a new home and bring hope for a future to these elephants. 

There are over 300 elephants registered in the Surin province and the vast majority of them are trapped in the unfortunate trade of street begging. This is a terrible life for elephants. They require literally hundreds of kilos of fresh vegetables and clean water daily ... and street begging reduces an elephant’s life expectancy by at least 50%.

This project is helping to develop a sustainable elephant sanctuary. With your support, the goal is to establish sustainably managed alternatives to both street begging and to other forms of tourism, such as circuses and elephant rides. 

Each day that you are on this project supporting the elephants means that that the elephants have a brighter future. By being there, looking after it, caring for it, bathing it in the river and taking it out on walks, you have an enormous effect on the elephant's daily quality of life. You'll also help plant food for the elephants and work on various other projects that directly help the elephants.

The impact that this project will have for elephant conservation is huge. The goal is to have families of elephants freely roaming in natural habitat and for their Mahouts (carers) to be provided with a steady income that will replace the income they currently derive from using the elephants for street begging.

The Surin Government has already set aside over 2000 acres of land, enough to maintain a breeding population of 300 elephants, which is approximately 10% of the existing population of Asian elephants in captivity in Thailand. In Surin, we have a chance to change history – to save the Asian elephant from extinction and give them a life worth living for generations to come.

Start Dates

Projects start every Sunday, all year round - you choose your start and finish dates. Our placements are flexible and can be tailored to match your preferences. For availability please contact our office.

Costs / Benefits

Costs vary depending on length of placement, but starts at £695 for one week. You can participate for up to 8 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements.

Included is full support from the moment of booking and throughout your placement to your return home. There are support staff 24/7 in all our destinations worldwide and a 24 hour emergency international telephone line direct to the Head Office. All meals are provided, unless otherwise stated (except in on the overnight stay in Bangkok on arrival). Accommodation is provided (whether a rented house, a hotel/hostel, home stay, apartment or flat).

You’ll be met at the nearest airport on your arrival by our in-country manager who will take you to your accommodation and give you a full induction into the area. He/she will also be on call 24/7 and you’ll see them frequently.

Pre-departure you’ll receive comprehensive information about every aspect of your placement and necessary preparations, ranging from what to pack, to visa information, to what to do on your weekend travel in the country. Your safety, well being and happiness throughout your placement are our primary concerns and we will keep in touch with you throughout. International flights not included.


No qualifications needed, just a love of animals, a big heart and a desire to contribute to their conservation. Everyone is welcome on our programs, whether gap year, undergraduate, on a career break - or even retired! From 17 years old upwards, and all nationalities. This placement would suit anyone who wants to make a real difference, wants first-hand experience of a different culture and has initiative.

Booking / Enquiry

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