Asian Elephant Conservation In Sri Lanka

Company : The Great Projects
Location : Sri Lanka
Duration: < 1 week to 3 months
Approx Costs: 1000 to 3000+ £ Pound (UK)

Join efforts to reduce human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka by volunteering on this unique and inspiring elephant conservation project!

Throughout the last century, Sri Lanka’s wild elephants have come into conflict with local communities over competition for available habitat and resources. This conflict has therefore resulted in a reduction of Asian elephants, with some 90% of the country’s population disappearing. This volunteer project aims to aid the conservation of wild elephants by soothing the strained relationship between animal and man, with research and solutions being carried out in the hopes of restoring harmony between both parties.

Through the use of camera traps, sand traps, trail transects and more, you’ll help to collect ecological data which can then be used to determine the distribution of wild elephants around the Wasgamuwa region. You will also work alongside the local community on various projects designed to relieve the human-elephant conflict in the area. What’s more, you will have the opportunity to witness elephants in their natural habitats, as you sit atop tree huts along an ‘elephant corridor’.

If you have ever wanted to make a difference to elephant conservation and to local communities, this volunteer project offers the perfect opportunity to do so. Become a part of a lasting effort to reduce conflicts within the country, and leave with memories to last a lifetime.


Day 1

Your journey will begin at your chosen Colombo hotel (costs are not included in the volunteer fee). A driver will collect you at around 6am to transfer you to the Fort Railway Station, where you will catch a train to the cultural centre of Kandy. A project representative will meet you there and will then transfer you to the volunteer field house in the Wasgamuwa region. You will arrive in time to spend the afternoon up in the tree huts looking out for wild elephants below, before enjoying an orientation and a meal with your fellow volunteers.

Days 2-14

Your project days will be spent conducting an array of activities (examples listed below). Mornings will be spent either monitoring electric fences, collecting data, assisting agricultural measures, or working with the local community to repair damage made to properties by elephants. Your afternoons will be spent in tree huts located along an ‘elephant corridor’, through which wild elephants regularly pass. Keep your eyes peeled: some volunteers have spotted herds of 5-30 elephants gathering at one time!

Day 15
After saying goodbye to the project staff and your fellow volunteers, you will be transferred back to Kandy. From there, you will board the train back to Colombo for your return flight home, or may begin your onward and independent travel plans. 


Project Activities

Elephant Observation
Spend time observing wild elephants and collecting information on their age, sex and size. You may even get to witness the strongest maternal bond in the animal kingdom as you see a mother elephant interact with her calf! You will spend each afternoon in a tree hut on the lookout for these beautiful animals.

Species Monitoring & Data Gathering
You will collect data on various inhabitants of the forest using a number of different measures, such as the use of sand traps and camera traps. You will help to establish these traps within the forest. You will also take part in trail transects in the jungle looking out for dung, which is a good indication of species composition in the region.

Community Projects
Volunteers will assist with the multiple community projects in place which aim to directly reduce human-elephant conflict in the area. Efforts can range from sustainable agricultural practices to small construction tasks where you will repair damage to property made by elephants, or maintaining the electric fences which protect communities from elephant raids.

Start Dates

Start dates for this project are every Monday throughout the year.

Costs / Benefits

What's included in the price of the project?
• Airport Transfer to the project site
• Airport transfer back to Kandy
• Accommodation
• 3 meals per day
• Drinking water
• A trip to Wasgamuwa National Park
• Conservation donation

What's not included?
• Flights
• Travel insurance
• Visas
• Extra excursions taken during your free time
• The first night's accommodation in a Colombo hotel


There are no specific requirements for this project although we do recommend volunteers have a moderate level of fitness due to the active nature of the activities. No qualifications are required to take part but we do ask all volunteers to have a positive attitude, an open mind and to be willing to work with others.

Booking / Enquiry

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