Elephant conservation vacation, Thailand

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Trips last for 1-6 weeks and start every week on a Sunday
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
For over 10 years we have been providing volunteers to help at charitable projects around the world. A UK charity has now been launched to build on this success by providing financial assistance to overseas causes as well. The organisations we work with are often struggling to fund the work they are doing so every penny raised makes a real difference.

By volunteering at the Centre you will make a major contribution to elephants in Thailand. Your time and efforts will help to care for the elephants, and the majority of the programme cost will go direct to the Centre providing a critical source of funding for their future work. On a personal level you will have a unique opportunity to work alongside some incredible creatures and gain the satisfaction of helping to make a difference to their lives.

In addition to this direct benefit, we try to ensure:

Social responsibility - before volunteers depart we provide them with a detailed information pack on the area they will be visiting. We try to educate and encourage our volunteers to understand and respect the local cultures and customs and get involved with local communities.

Economic responsibility - the majority of the fee that volunteers pay goes directly to the Centre. The Centre provides employment for many local Thai staff. While volunteers are in-country, we encourage them to buy locally and support local businesses.

Environmental responsibility - While our volunteers and customers are overseas, we identify and encourage simple steps to minimise their impact on the local environment.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Educational tours are organised for young school children at the center, the team believe that the education of the next generation is critical to the survival of the endangered species, and conservation of wildlife as a whole. They also educate the local community on poaching which is a commonplace in rural areas.

The center actively campaigns for better animal treatment in Thailand including issues with illegal pet trading, hunting and poaching and the use of animals within the tourist industry. They distribute educational materials to travel agents in Thailand to ask them to stop endorsing places where animals are used for entertainment, and in particular they have led campaigns against ‘Tiger Temple’; a formerly popular tourist activity, which has been exposed for its cases of animal cruelty. The center often works in collaboration with local authorities including the Royal Forestry Department to confiscate animals from markets or illegal traders.

Elephant training is among the oldest jobs in the world. In the past and still today, a single mahout is assigned to each animal, forging a close bond that often lasts for life. In the past the job of a mahout was a hereditary profession often extending over several generations and bringing a certain social status with it. At present however, this is a lot less common and essentially the job of mahout is to earn a living from the elephant, which too often results in its exploitation.

By offering the mahouts full time employment and job security, the center are able to show the mahouts that they do not need to exploit their elephant to earn a living. Changing the culture and mentality towards animal welfare in Thailand is a much longer process. If mahouts think that tourists will only pay to ride elephants then this will encourage abuse, if however local mahouts come learn that tourists will visit Thailand to simply see the animals and to help prevent wildlife from suffering, then gradually a change in mentality could possibly be achieved.

Climate

3 Reviews of Elephant conservation vacation, Thailand

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Reviewed on 23 Jul 2019 by

It was a challenging and eye-opening experience. Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Jun 2018 by

The experience was EXCELLENT! Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Aug 2018 by

Wonderful unforgettable experience I feel privileged to have been on. Read full review

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