Volunteer Cambodia Elephant Sanctuary

Volunteers are needed to help care for the magnificent elephants of Cambodia.Join us to volunteer at this elephant sanctuary that is dedicated to helping the domestic elephant population and working on conservation efforts to protect Cambodia's wild elephant population. Read on to get the low down on how you can help these amazing animals...


Duration: 1 to 4 weeks

Hours: 5 days per week.

Activities: Observing the elephants in their natural habitat, participating in elephant research and care, conservation of protected jungle and upkeep of the sanctuary.

Location: Cambodia

City info: Based near the small town of Sen Monorom, in the Mondulkiri Province

Accommodation: Private hill tribe style house or shared dormitory rooms

Requirements: Aged 18+ Fitness Level: Good/Moderate. A moderate level of fitness is suggested as volunteers spend at least half of the day hiking mountainous terrain through the forest, which includes water crossings.

Volunteer Placement Fee: From £525 / US$680

How you will spend your time at the project

Volunteers work a 5 day week. You spend half of your time observing elephants in their natural habitat with a guide and the Mahouts, who look after the elephants. The other half of your time will be spent working to help improve the sanctuaries farms and facilities. Please note that activities are seasonal and will depend on weather conditions, availability of water, river levels and other factors.


 

  • Learning about the sanctuary and the elephants.
  • Observing elephants in their natural habitat.
  • Walking with the elephants into the forest to forage.
  • Watch elephants bathe themselves in the river, or help at a washing station (September to November) depending on the availability of water sources.
  • Participate in elephant feeding habit research or vet care checks.
  • Work to improve the living conditions of the elephants and to grow food for them.
  • Help to improve the elephant sanctuary by maintaining banana plantations, doing light construction work, planting seedlings and maintaining pathways.

Why the Sanctuary needs Volunteers

The elephants of Cambodia need help. There is little education on the care of captive elephants and few possibilities of veterinary assistance when required.

The sanctuary provides vital jobs to the local indigenous population that cares for their elephants. Mondulkiri is being rapidly deforested and the project protects an area of "elephant forest" for the local population and the creatures that inhabit the area. The basic fact is the more funding that can be raised, the more forest and wild

The Elephant Sanctuary is as much about people as it is about elephants. Without secure employment for an elephant's mahout, an elephant is essentially at risk.

Only a few years ago there was enough forest in Mondulkiri for a mahout to just let his elephant wander around, with little more than a leg binding or a drag chain, but this is not the case anymore. A mahout now has to tend to his elephant regularly to stop damage to a neighbour's crops or injury from a criminal or poacher. Without regular employment and income there is little incentive for proper and correct care in modern Cambodia.

Increasingly we are seeing human-elephant conflict within the small local population. The Elephant Sanctuary is a place where mahouts can go to work, earn an income and look after their elephants in a way that keeps the elephants best interests at heart.

To pay for this we take you on as a volunteer and show you an amazing time, letting you immerse yourself in the simple yet amazing daily routine of our elephants and mahouts. However after you leave, we are still here and thanks to your visit we can continue paying wages, buying rice and foodstuffs, fuel and bananas and letting our lovely elephants rest in forest that is dedicated solely to their use.

"I would definitely recommend this project! It’s a once in a lifetime experience."

Elise, Teacher, UK

More Information

Read more about the Cambodia Elephant Sanctuary including accommodation, location, extra activities, climate and what makes Globalteer different.

Read More about the Sanctuary

Duration

1 week

2 weeks

3 weeks

4 weeks

Extra week
Approx
Private room
£610 /
$785
£850 /
$1,095
£1,095 /
$1,405
£1,335 /
$1,715
£245 /
$310
Shared room
£525 /
$680
£725 /
$935
£930 /
$1,195
£1,130 /
$1,450
£210 /
$260

Volunteer Placement Fee

The volunteer placement fee includes: 
  • Airport pick up from Phnom Penh international airport.
  • First night accommodation and evening meal in the capital and then at the beautifully styled volunteer houses at the project or the shared dormitory rooms. Weekend accommodation in the local town.
  • Sunday transfer to the remote province of Mondulkiri.
  • All main meals except at weekends when volunteers are staying in the local town.
  • Onsite project orientation with introduction to the elephants, their behaviour and the protected forest
  • Full in country support from the project staff.
  • Comprehensive information brochure about the sanctuary.
  • Assistance and advice for travelling to Cambodia.
  • Saturday transfer back to the capital.

The placement fee does not include flights, visas or insurance although we can provide information as required.

Groups and families are welcome at this project. Returning volunteers and those doing multiple Globalteer projects will receive a discount of US$70 / GBP£50.

Reserve Your Place

Application process & requirements

The minimum age for volunteers is 18 years old. No previous experience or qualifications are necessary but we do require volunteers to be respectful and open minded to the cultural differences they will encounter in Cambodia. Insurance is highly recommended at this project.

Volunteers must be reasonably fit as the work can be demanding in the tropical heat. You must be able to speak English. Volunteers must have a similar ideology to the mission of the elephant sanctuary, wildlife trainers and those who exploit wildlife for the benefit of people are not suitable for this project.
  1. Click on the link below to fill out an application form.
  2. Add "@globalteer.org" to your E-mail safe list to ensure that you receive a response.
  3. Your application will be reviewed and if accepted you will be notified via E-mail within one week.
  4. Pay your deposit to secure your placement within one week of acceptance.
  5. Research your destination, book your flight, inoculations and ask us any questions you may have.
  6. Full amount is to be paid 10 weeks before the start of your placement.
  7. A comprehensive information folder will be sent to you with all information including a packing list, Cambodia cultural differences, Buddhist Monk etiquette, useful Khmer language phrases, elephant sanctuary rules, useful phone contacts and full project information.
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