This month we welcome the launch of our newest volunteer programme, our Northern Thailand Elephant sanctuary in Chiang Rai.
The sanctuary is dedicated to helping the working elephant population of Northern Thailand who are being rehabilitated after years of work and exploitation and volunteers are needed to help care for these magnificent animals. Volunteers will spend their days observing the elephants in their natural habitat, learning about the elephants and this unique sanctuary, participating in elephant research and care, harvesting food, planting fodder, participating in the weekly vet checks and general upkeep of the sanctuary and facilities.
The ethos at the project is simple - let the elephants just be elephants in a stress free natural habitat. Putting the elephants first means that the project doesn’t do many of the activities that you can find elsewhere (swimming, riding and elephants doing tricks) which underlines its aim - which is to be a true sanctuary for captive elephants.
This sanctuary is unlike any other elephant rescue – it is a family unit made up of mothers and juveniles. Volunteers will get the opportunity to observe the elephants living as family units in a variety of habitats.
Jen, Globalteer’s Southeast Asia Regional Manager said ‘It’s one of the coolest projects I’ve ever seen – a lush green haven made up of multiple micro-habitats, perfect for volunteers to experience and observe this family unit’. There’s a bamboo forest, beautiful river, different types of elephant grass, banana trees, fig trees, tropical pond – it’s an oasis. There is a perimeter path around the sanctuary for volunteers to observe from and there are plans to build raised platforms to view the magnificent beasts from above.
The sanctuary is accessible for all ages, fitness and abilities – and perfect for families. It is located a beautiful 15 minute drive out in to the countryside of Chiang Rai. Accommodation is currently situated in a comfortable hostel in the city, close to the culture, tourist attractions, amenities, and the various tours. Volunteers can choose between private and dorm rooms, and breakfast and lunch are included.
Placements - which include airport transfers, accommodation, daily transport to the project, two meals a day and a donation to the project - start from just £650 or US$775.
For more information on how to get involved in this amazing project, click here.