Wildlife We are commited to conserving, saving, protecting and, where possible, rehabilitating the animals brought under care at this rehailitation centre. The centre will rescue any animal that is being neglected or maltreated, providing it with a large and comfortable enclosure, constructed as closely as possible to reflect the natural conditions these animals would be living in. So far, over 400 animals have been rescued here, and many of the monkeys and baboons successfully rehabilitated.
Environment Our company is an environmentally responsible one that operates recycling and reusing of waste products. We also offset carbon emissions in our office (gas,electricity, business mileage) and encourage all participants to offset their flight emissions via a carbon offset scheme run in conjunction with Tree Aid.
Participants are advised to use hand wash gel that does not require water. We also advise, during our pre departure course, to take care with water. In many of our destinations, water is precious and expensive.
Meeting local needs Volunteers live and work as a member of the local community. This is a small community, located off the traditionally trodden tourist trails, and so bringing volunteers to this area really benefits the local population. Food is bought from local markets and restaurants, trips are all sourced locally and local transport is used when needed.
Campaigning for change This project works to change the future for animals who have been subjected to harm and mistreatment. The aim is simple: to provide a home for mistreated animals in an environment as close to nature as possible. A programme actively runs to rescue, rehabilitate and release captive wild animals with this hope to repopulate Thailand's forests and jungles. Campaigns are regularly launched against all forms of animal abuse and exploitation in Thailand. An education programme runs for locals, children and visiting tourists to make them aware of the importance of animal welfare.
Volunteering and charity Whilst the majority of the costs go towards paying for the project, a generous donation is given towards the improving the conservation effort.
Cultural sensitivity We emphasise the importance of showing respect for local people and their customs in our briefing material. Participants will work alongside permanent staff, forming close bonds and getting an insight into real life in rural Thailand.
We send restricted numbers of people at any one time, which minimises the environmental and social impact that the participants have on the destination. Our participants become fully immersed and integrated into the community.
All of our participants receive comprehensive pre-departure briefing. This covers topics on how to be culturally sensitive, how to best look after the environment when in the country and how to stay safe as well as up to date information on the political situation. They are also briefed on how to dispose of waste properly and where possible, to avoid using plastic water bottles as these are not easy to dispose of environmentally.
Reviews of Thailand wildlife sanctuary volunteering vacation
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
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 18 Apr 2016 by Colin Harvey
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
Working with the elephants was most rewarding, especially when taking them for walks with a bucket of chopped fruit treats to ensure they follow the volunteers and don't wander off into the forest. They are such lovely animals and we got to know them individually. The baby elephant called Pin was quite a character and quite mischievous. The wildlife part was very varied with so many wild animals (circa 450) and different species to look after. It was also great to meet so many interesting volunteers from many countries and there was a good social atmosphere around the centre. The meals provided by the centre were very tasty and plentiful.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
The Wildlife and elephant rescue centre is a large and well organised operation, with around 100 local staff and 65 volunteers. Volunteers are divided up daily into many small groups and assigned their specific animals to look after. Be prepared to spend a lot of time chopping fruit and vegetables for the animals, which mostly need to be fed and watered 3 times per day. Cleaning out the animal enclosures was the other main task, but the work was not arduous with many volunteers, though at times it was quite messy. So take some old clothes. Although the working days start early and are quite long, there are plenty of breaks during the day. Volunteers get one free day each week and the staff organise various trips to beaches, spas and parks in the region. The centre operates a general no-handling policy towards the animals (many of which have been mistreated before they were rescued), with the main exception of the elephants, pigs and the dogs. The volunteers food menu included Thai style meat and vegetarian dishes and also catered for celiacs. The vacation is suitable for all ages provided you are reasonably fit and active, though most volunteers are aged 18-30. It is a friendly environment.
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes. The centre employs around 100 local staff in many roles, including elephant mahoots, animal carers, cooking, cleaning and maintenance staff and a fully equipped veterinary hospital. It is located in a rural area of Thailand about 3 hours drive southwest of Bangkok, close to a village where many of the staff live with their families. The centre also treats domestic animals that are brought in by the local people.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
It was a very rewarding 2 weeks and I would recommend it to anyone who has a keen interest in animal welfare.