Elephant Conservation Adventure

Spend some time deep in the jungle clad mountains of Western Thailand enjoying the natural environment while you assist in the care of elephants in their natural habitat. We are stricly against the exploitation of Elephants and this is a responsable placement where you will help in bathing and feeding the elephants and enjoy, swimming and trekking alongside with them.

Elephant Conservation Adventure Thailand

Project Type

Specialty Placement | Volunteer Center shared rooms 2-4 people p/room.  Unique & remote, jungle mountain scenic treking and responsible elephant care.   There is no exploitation of Elephants in this program.  Highly recommended program!


1 week +

Start Dates

All year round


Western Thailand Mountains

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Program Fees

Whats Included

  • Arrival  airport transfer
  • 3 Meals p/day weekdays, 2 meals p/day weekends
  • Accommodation (Volunteer Centers – shared dorm style rooms)
  • Daily ground transportation (to/from project)
  • Training & supervision as required
  • Use of necessary equipment incl program materials
  • 24/7 emergency assistance, volunteer support, local guiding and advice
  • Touring & excursions as per itinerary
  • Certificate of Completion 

Whats Not Included

  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Airfares & visa fees
  • Additional tours, souvenirs, spending money
  • Some daily local transport (depending on program eg. $2 p/day)

Project Objectives

Our aim of this project is to bring elephants back into their natural habitat by working with the local communities to not only provide a safe haven for the elephants, but also an alternative livelihood for their mahouts and owners.

The elephants have been taken from a life of poor health care, exhaustion, inadequate diet, and entertaining tourists where they were unable to just be elephants. These wonderful creatures are bought back to their natural environment where they are living in semi-wild conditions, free to roam as much as possible and live their lives how they choose by foraging and interacting. In order to bring the elephants home to their natural habitat we need your help.

There are more than 4,000 captive elephants in Thailand, most of whom are living in poor conditions with inadequate care and lack of freedom. IVI recognises that this is inhumane and a reason we work with local partners to help bring as many elephants back to their natural environment as well as raise awareness about the captive elephant situation. We work alongside the elephant owners, local community and other organisations to raise awareness about a brighter future for all captive elephants.

We need volunteers on the ground to help carry out support in the areas of; 

  • Maintaining the natural habitat of Asian Elephants 
  • Carry out research on the Elephants natural behaviours
  • Prepare food, baths and assist in health checks of the elephants
  • Provide assistance to the local mahouts
  • Provide a unique, unforgettable experience of Thailand’s culture


Umphang is one of the most hidden and beautiful places in Thailand. The area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and here you work with the majestic elephants feeding and bathing them completely on their terms.  Close to the border of Burma, this placement is deep in the mountains and well off the beaten path.   Set amid numerous national parks, mountains and lakes, you are surrounded by nature and beauty. It offers a peaceful environment and a perfect setting to see the elephants enjoy their natural habitat.  Here the elephants exist in their natural habitat with no tourist exploitation.

Project Tasks

The job of the volunteers is often varried and depends on local conditions but mainly involves collecting food such as sugar cane and banana trees and feeding the animals among with many other important tasks which provide genuine assistance to the local community.  

Who Can Participate

Anyone interested in animal conservation and off the beaten path Thailand adventure.   This project has a cap on the number of volunteers so it’s recommended to book well in advance to ensure availability.  Joining this project will provide valuable in-field research experience and the opportunity to live abroad immersed in another culture with no previous experience required.

Indicative Schedule

  • Sunday – You will be transferred from Singburi to the project site by bus in the evening (around 20:00)
  • Monday – Pick up from Mae sot bus station to head to Umphang by local truck (4 hours)
    Breakfast, Time to rest and relax, Lunch, Visit the elephants to feed them, Dinner
  • Tuesday –Breakfast, Cut banana trees to feed the elephants, Feed the elephants, Lunch, Washing and swimming with the elephants, Kayaking or canoeing (depending on weather), Dinner
  • Wednesday – Breakfast, Cut banana trees to feed the the elephants, Feed the elephants, Lunch, Washing & swimming with the elephants, Visit a nearby Karen Tribe village, Dinner
  • Thursday – Breakfast, Cut banana trees to feed the the elephants, Feed the elephants, Lunch, Washing & swimming with the elephants, Head to the mountain see the sunset (possibility for camping if weather is good), Dinner
  • Friday, Breakfast, A short trek to reach a gorgeous waterfall where we can swim and relax, Lunch, Back to the guesthouse, Time to relax, Dinner
  • Saturday – Transfer back to Singburi if you are continuing further programs or for those completing the program, transfer to Mai Sot bus station which has many connections to the rest of Thailand.

Volunteer Accommodation

The volunteer center is a safe, clean and comfortable wooden cabin guest house. There is even a bar to enjoy in the evenings, free WIFI in public areas, lockable rooms, hot showers, purified water, private western style bathroom shared between 2-4 volunteers, bed linen, mosquito protection and fans (no air con).    Laundry facilities are available nearby for a small cost.   

There are Thai restaurants, bars, and shops located within walking distance from the accommodation as it’s in the middle of a small yet lively village.  There is an ATM machine nearby at a 7/11.

Private rooms are available at an extra cost of US$150 p/week (p/room).  Must be booked in advance.


Three healthy & traditional Thai meals are provided each day.   Filtered water is available.

Sights & Surroundings

Since the placment is set in an unspoilt natural environment, scnenic treking is the main draw card with a trek to Thi Lo Su waterfall a must as it’s the largest waterfall in Thailand.  Here you may also witness local Karen Hill Tribe villages who originally came from Burma.  There are 3 temples in Umphang where you can see monks.

Visa Requirements

It is the responsibility of all participants to obtain any necessary visas.


Authentic Thai Cultural Experience

Low Program Fees - Starting from $235

Various Destinations - Central, East, North East & South Thailand

Non Profit Org - 30 Years Experience

Over 12 Amazing Program Options!

1 Application Fee - Multiple Countries/Placements!

Off the Beaten Track Destinations - genuine needs

Volunteer Center Accommodation (Social Experiences)

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