A volunteer vacation in Thailand can cover an immense variety of experiences: slicing up fruit and vegetables for hungry elephants; hiding food to help...
3 Reviews of Community volunteering and elephant watching, Thailand
5 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on 14 Jul 2018 by Kelvin Simnett
I am so pleased I got to have this experience and I will remember the Karen villagers, the mahouts, the elephants and the foundation staff with the fondest of memories. Canít praise highly enough.
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Reviewed on 07 Dec 2017 by Sally Hillyer
The Elephant Conservation Project with Hill Tribes trip and walking with elephants was the most memorable. Just amazing, the best experience ever! The team are wonderful, passionate about their individual roles, the location is beautiful and the elephants are enjoying life to the full.Read full review
Reviewed on 17 May 2017 by Cindy Fung
Every moment was worth it. Unforgettable experience, just following the elephants every day as they forage and bathe and drink and eat in their natural home, the forests. Read full review
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
All passengers are educated about the fragility of the ecosystems that we visit and are asked to behave accordingly. Our experienced guides provide any necessary clarification of appropriate behaviour. Trekking passengers are told to bring plastic zip-lock bags in which to keep used toilet paper for disposal at an appropriate point. All our guides and mahouts are passionate about the forest they have grown up in and teach us so much about how to protect this valuable resource that they want to be home for their elephants and all the wildlife that lives here. As a Uk registered charity our mission is to return elephants back to their natural environment. The forest needs the elephants to survive and the elephants belong in this forest. We work not only to improve the lives of the elephants but also the community who care for them and the forest they all need to thrive. The more elephants we can return the greater area of forest we can protect. Full and comprehensive details of tours are available in paper-free form on our website, including a PDF version of the brochure. The UK office uses recycled and recyclable materials wherever possible. Biodegradable waste is composted in the company garden. We use, where available, biodegradable or reusable containers for packed lunches on all tours. Refillable bottles are used to transport water while trekking. Where water is a scarce commodity passengers are made aware of the need to be frugal with its consumption. We use as much from the forest as possible, making cups and cooking pots from bamboo.
Local agents carry out administrative tasks wherever practicable in Thailand. Tour leaders live in Thailand and contribute full time to the local economies. We use indigenous local agents; Thai and Karen 100% of the time for tour activities and chartered transport. Our tours are to a real Karen hill tribe village only; we follow a model of community-based tourism thus bringing economic benefit to the whole community. A percentage of the tourists payment is donated to the village Elephant Community Fund, this is vital if an elephant becomes sick and needs transporting to the hospital many hours away or for growing supplementary food for sick elephants. We are a UK registered charity, 100% not for profit and our pricing structure clearly represents this. We take a small percentage of the overall cost and this is to help us with the monthly wages for the mahouts to take care of the elephants in the forest. We are active in raising awareness for captive working elephants, working with tour operators to ensure welfare is always at the top of the agenda. Our project is leading the way in showing alternative models for elephant tourism. Where guests are encouraged to just sit back and watch the elephants in their natural habitat at a safe and respectful distance.