Family volunteering with elephants in Sri Lanka

“Ten days contributing to invaluable and incredible elephant conservation project in the wilds of Sri Lanka. Recommended minimum age ten. Stay in mountain house. ”

Highlights

Elephant tracking in the wild| Working with award winning conservation charity in Sri Lanka | Monitoring and identifying elephants | Central Highlands | Tree house observation stations | All meals included

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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.
Vouchers
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Responsible tourism

Family volunteering with elephants in Sri Lanka

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

Environment

The importance of the project
Asian elephant numbers have been falling dramatically for the last 100 years, in part due to human-elephant conflict. This project is the first participatory, community-based, elephant research and conflict resolution project in the world. Tracking takes place from a distance and volunteers are instructed on the safe and responsible ways of viewing/recording elephants in the wild.

Caring for the environment:
We send out comprehensive pre-departure briefing, which includes a section on protecting the local environment. In particular we advise participants to take care with water, which is scarce in many of our destinations. We recommend they avoid unnecessary washing, using hand wash gel where they can. We also instruct them on how to dispose of waste properly, not to litter and, where possible, to avoid using plastic water bottles which are not easy to dispose of environmentally. Those going trekking are advised to keep to marked footpaths so as to prevent further erosion of the landscape.

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.

Community

Meeting local needs

As well as helping to protect elephants and other animals, this project is mainly focused on helping to improve human - elephant conflict issues. Elephants, traditionally able to roam where they pleased through the wild, are now having to forage for food in fields and homes. Locals find this hard to live alongside, and this project strives to understand more about the elephants' behaviour so that more farms will be protected. Projects to put elephants off going into farmland are completed, such as planting orange trees around field boundaries to protect crops- elephants hate oranges!

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 Sri Lanka. Our policy is to send people overseas 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.

Understanding and respecting the host community is paramount to the success of any project as long term commitment, support and adoption of sound environment, economic and social practices. This project employs as many local people possible, making it sustainable socially as well as environmentally.

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