2 independent reviews for Thailand wildlife sanctuary volunteering holiday

Reviews for Thailand wildlife sanctuary volunteering holiday

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review 18 Jul 2017

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

The people with whom you're working with are terrific. From the other volunteers to the staff and those who stay for the long term there was a very good wibe within the WTTF community.

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

The work can be messy and labourous at times, so prepare to be sweaty and dirty! That said, you're with a great bunch of people who are also getting stuck in so it is fun at the same time and brings a lot of satisfaction when you're at the end of the day with a beer in hand.

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

The charity clearly cares for the well being of the animals which came through and I was lucky enough to have seen in my time there some animals being released back into the wild. The hands off approach WFFT has with the animals I think is a good one and works to give the animals in its care as natural a life as is possible - some of which have never seen. I know there are other projects around the same area which are involved with reforestation and regeneration of the site which was once a mango plantation, although I did not get to see this first hand. I would be keen to go back to see what other projects they are involved in.

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

I had a great time. The volunteer work could be tiring at times but if anything this added to the satifaction I took away from it. The fact that there were so many great volunteers and staff there with a similar mentality and motivation in life meant that, for me, there were always fun and interesting people to talk to. I'd love to be back there again - it was a wonderful experience.

review 18 Apr 2016

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.

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