Elephant conservation volunteering in Laos

“A seven day volunteering placement working in a rehabilitation center for rescued working elephants in Laos. Stay onsite in volunteer cabins, all meals provided. ”


Luang Prabang | Elephant conservation organisation in Laos | Laos jungle location | All meals provided | Onsite jungle accommodation | Airport transfer

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
We are committed to taking care of the environment, both in our office in the UK and on our projects around the world. We are proud to say that we are working hard to eliminate the use of single use plastics on our elephant volunteering project in Laos.
Staff are provided with large crates or cloth bags when shopping, to avoid them using shopping bags. Every steps are made to avoid purchasing any food which has single use plastic. Largely this is feasible as the food is all fresh vegetables and fruits, rice and noodles (bought in large re-useable sacks) and freshly baked bread.
Food available at the project is fresh, and designed to be eaten fresh. Any bar snacks are homemade and therefore do not have plastic packaging but Tupperware boxes are provided for storage when necessary.
No single use plastic projects are bought for volunteer use eg there are no shampoos, soaps or other such items in plastic bottles or sachets. Volunteers are made aware that we encourage as little single use plastic as possible on our projects, and we are currently writing a guide for how to travel with as little single use plastic as possible. This will be made available to all travelers.
We ask all volunteers to bring their own water bottles from home, to discourage the buying of bottled water on a daily basis. We request that volunteers do not buy single plastic water bottles. This is communicated pre-departure and once in-country. Clean drinking water is provided. Volunteers can fill their water bottles from the clean water tank before going out and about on the project. Glasses are provided for drinking water, and volunteers can buy re-useable bottles on site.
Bamboo straws are used in the bar. All bottled drinks for sale are in glass bottles.
As a result of this campaign led by Responsible Travel, we got in touch with the supplier who handles our t-shirt distribution to talk about packaging. They used to send out all our T-shirts in a plastic envelope - upon our suggestion they have agreed to stop putting the t-shirts in plastic wallets and now use paper envelopes instead.
US pricing:
The currency converter above works on todays exchange rate. We do take bookings in USD but the price is set at a rate confirmed months in advance and is typically above the current exchange rate. Please inquire for details.
Accessible overview:
There are challenges associated with volunteer travel, and these can make accessible travel difficult. However, we are very keen to chat with travelers with specific needs to see if we can make a trip possible.

Responsible tourism

Elephant conservation volunteering in Laos

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

For each participant that goes away with us, we plant a tree in Africa with our charity partners Tree Aid
Where food is provided, it is locally produced and sourced, reducing food miles, supporting local industry and minimising single-use plastic
As a traveler you will learn about the importance of reducing our carbon footprint, both pre-departure and through your volunteer project
Accommodation is on-site, reducing the reliance on transport. When volunteers wish to go off site, this is encouraged to be in groups using local drivers
Where possible, and without jeopardising safety or quality, transfers are done on a shared basis to reduce carbon emissions
Electric power sockets are switched off overnight to reduce energy waste


The importance of the project
Lao elephant numbers have been falling dramatically for the last 100 years. For every 10 elephants that die, only two are being born. Just 800 elephants are living in Laos, which is a tragedy for a country that used to be known as the "land of a million elephants". This project aims to increase the numbers of elephants in Laos, and hopefully to reverse this tragic trend.

Elephants are monitored daily by the on-site biology and vet team, as well as the volunteers. This includes their behaviour, social interaction, what they are eating, where they are going and how they are adapting to their new environment. This data allows further understanding of captive elephants that are being rehabilitated - as this is the first project of its kind in Laos, it is leading the way in this and is constantly learning from how the elephants are acting to ensure their best welfare. This information has been shared with other similar projects in Asia, and is enabling elephant welfare to be improved across the continent.

Volunteers are not allowed to ride elephants.

Protecting the world
We are passionate about encouraging our travelers to be kind to the environment as they travel. Each participant receives advice about how to care for the environment whilst they are away. This includes water usage, how to avoid single use plastic, and electricity usage.

We insist that all participants bring their own water bottles when they travel with us, and clean free water is always available. We have even created a water bottle that can be purchased before departure and encourage people to use it at all stages of their journey including at the airport, on flights and whilst on their project. We are striving for all of our projects to be free of single use plastic.

Energy and waste
The center is powered by solar panels. As much recycling as possible is done each day. All buildings are constructed from local materials and built by local people. Single use plastic is avoided as much as possible.


Meeting local needs
This project employs mainly local people. There are 400 privately owned elephants in the region, many in poor states of health. The center works with these elephants and their owners to try to help them to care for their elephants, and they welcome them to use the elephant hospital if care is needed.

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 Laos. Our policy is to send people to the developing world in small groups or individually. This minimises the environmental and social impact that the participants have on the destination and helps them to integrate into the local community.

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 Laos's forests and jungles. An education programme runs for locals, children and visiting tourists to make them aware of the importance of animal welfare.

1 Reviews of Elephant conservation volunteering in Laos

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 08 Apr 2019 by

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

It was very interesting observing and learning about the elephants. Following the elephants up into the forest was exciting, and I loved getting so close to the elephants and getting to touch them.

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

Make sure that you bring an old pair of pants, top, shoes and gloves if you end up doing some wall painting, as you will get paint all over your new clothes. But
it's so much fun doing work around the camp, no matter how dirty you get!

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

I feel that volunteering for the elephant sanctuary in Laos was one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences in my life, which I have no doubt had an impact and benefited, small or large, everyone and everything around us.

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

Everything was better and more enjoyable than I had anticipated. The surroundings were so peaceful, making you feel completely out of touch with the
problems going on around the world. The huts and bathroom facilities were basic yet clean. The food was excellent and healthy. All the staff, including the
mahouts, were so friendly and down to earth.

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