Volunteer with elephants in Cambodia

Highlights

Cambodia | Siem Reap | Volunteering | Community building | Phare Cambodian Circus | Angkor Wat | Tuk Tuk tour of Siem Reap | Elephant conservation | Bathing elephants | Monkey conservation | Market shopping | Khmer history and language lesson | Cambodian carnival

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Volunteer with elephants in Cambodia

Environment

Wildlife: We work with the elephant refuge to create a safe and loving environment for animals that have been severely mistreated since birth. Situated deep in the mountainous jungle, we focus on planting native food sources for the elephants both to feed them and to regenerate the area. Part of the ethos of the elephant refuge is to educate mahouts (elephant caretakers) on non-violent training methods. By employing local mahouts instead of foreigners, the refuge is able to teach these methods that are then passed on. By ensuring that the refuge is free from violence, the elephants are guaranteed a safe place to live.

Waste: As in most developing countries, there is little money available for waste disposal and garbage management. Education is the most effective way of combating Cambodia's pollution problem. By teaching school children and villagers about basic hygiene, housekeeping and waste disposal, the village becomes a safer and more pleasant living environment.

Buildings: With the help of local planners and builders, we construct new homes and classrooms for villagers most in need. Often they are widows and families with too many children to support. By suppling a safe shelter for these families, we take the stress out of their already difficult lives, allowing them to focus on working and getting an education.

Community

By giving up your time to help those in desperate situations, you will appreciate what it means to be part of a more connected and humanitarian world. Our mission is to change the world, one village at a time by improving the infrastructure, environment, and quality of life for communities in developing countries. We work through a three-fold approach, ensuring that our volunteers contribute to the environment, people and are immersed in the local culture.

Volunteers undertake hands-on work delivering valuable infrastructure in the areas of education, sanitation and water supply for the benefit of these communities.

Participation in our programs delivers a range of benefits to all participants. The villagers benefit from the new and refurbished infrastructure, the learning opportunities and the friendship and interactions with the volunteers. The volunteers take away a special sense of fulfillment in having made a contribution and a real difference to the lives of others.

In addition our volunteers often make lifelong friendships while involved in experiences that are invaluable in clarifying and assisting in future career goals.

Whenever possible we use local guides, labor and translators so as to add back to the community. We purchase all food and building supplies locally and as much as possible we use environmentally friendly materials.

We endeavour at all times to ensure that we work in as safe an environment as can possibly be arranged. All program venues and equipment are continually monitored to make sure that the highest possible levels of health and safety are met.

Reviews of Volunteer with elephants in Cambodia

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 22 Jan 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Getting so many life experiences and doing things I had never done before. It
was hard work during the day and lots of fun afterwards.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take lots of sunscreen and bug repellent. You will need it!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. We worked at the local community and ate at local restaurants.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was wonderful. Only thing is, the hotel in Siem Reap was really bad. This needs to be improved.

Read the operator's response here:

Thank you for the feedback on your program, due to a recent change in management at the hotel we use, service standards had dropped. We have listened to our participantís feedback, and have since changed hotel providers.

Regards

Ben Jowet

Reviewed on 25 Aug 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Working with the children in Siem Reap villages - feeding the Elephants - the cultural visits - seeing the "real Cambodia"

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Speak to someone who has done it before for tips on what to take/ expect.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes - all of these.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Amazing experience! We went as a whole family and it something we will never forget. My children well grown ups really - are so enthusiastic they want to return or do something similar next year.

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