Cambodia Elephant Sanctuary

Volunteer with amazing Elephants at the Cambodia Elephant Sanctuary

Volunteer with Elephants in Cambodia at a sanctuary that is dedicated to helping rescued elephants. Work alongside the staff and make a difference to these incredible animals! Experience the natural habitat of the elephants in the amazing Cambodian jungle.

Talk to Candice who knows the project well. Email me directly at or use the contact form:

Project Overview

Experience the beautiful Cambodian culture while volunteering with magnificent elephants in the Mondulkiri Jungle!

Trek into the jungle to observe the elephants in their natural habitat and participate in elephant research and care, while also assisting in the conservation of protected jungle and upkeep of the sanctuary. Volunteer and stay in a private traditional style bungalow or shared dormitory room in rural Sen Monorom, Eastern Cambodia, for a life changing experience!

This programme provides an unforgettable rural experience for volunteers who wish to help rescued elephants that are recuperating from their previous work lives of exploitation in logging and tourism elephant rides.

This is done by taking a hands-off approach to the elephants and a hands-on approach to education and welfare improvement, working as much with the local community as with the elephants.

Join us at one of our most popular and adventurous volunteer programmes!

Project Summary

The Project: The Elephant Sanctuary is 650 hectares of mountainous, forested terrain and provides a safe haven where elephants come out of work to rest and recuperate. This is done by taking a hands off approach to the elephants and a hands-on approach to education and welfare improvement, working as much with the local community as with the magnificent elephants.

Project Location: The elephant sanctuary is based near the town of Sen Monorom in Mondulkiri province, eastern Cambodia, near the border of Vietnam. The elephant conservation project is located a few kilometres from the town in a protected area of forest.

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

Hours: Volunteers work from Mon to Fri, with weekends free for relaxing or sightseeing in this undiscovered corner of Cambodia.

Duration: Volunteer placements are year-round and for 1 to 12 weeks.

Accommodation: Private traditional style bungalow or shared dormitory rooms.

Volunteer Requirements: Volunteers at this project must be aged 18+ and have reasonable English. A moderate level of fitness is required as volunteers spend at least half of the day hiking mountainous terrain through the forest, which includes water crossings.

Volunteer Placement Fee: From UK£525/ US$680

Project History

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 elephant population can be protected.

The community

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.

This inspirational project also works to provide the families of mahouts and the local community with a stable future through assisting them with education and medical care.

How the project is helping
The project works to protect elephants, give them a safe place to live as elephants should and to provide secure employment for local mahouts. With this aim always in mind, the project is a series of interlaced rented farms and community forest that simulates the same environs that mahouts (elephant keepers) traditionally look after and care for their elephants in, while providing a large area of forest to allow elephants to escape human activity for the longest period of time possible. The location also includes a rest and recuperation centre, elephant house and feeding ground as well as accommodation for employees and villagers that live on site.
Why the project need volunteers

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 help pay for this the project welcomes volunteers who can immerse themselves in the simple yet amazing daily routine of the elephants and mahouts. Long after volunteers have left, thanks to your visit the project can continue paying wages, buying rice and foodstuffs, fuel and bananas and letting the lovely elephants rest in forest that is dedicated solely to their use.

Typical Volunteer Duties

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 sanctuary's farms and facilities.

There is always a range of tasks to be carried out by volunteers and you will work with our local staff on some or all of the following:

  • 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.

Taking the elephants to the river to bathe and watching them enjoy being elephants has to be one of the most enjoyable parts of the volunteering experience.

Volunteers cut the banana plants, a favourite food of the elephants!

Volunteer helping measure an elephant for their regular medical checks.

Please note that activities are seasonal and will depend on weather conditions, availability of water, river levels and other factors.


The first night’s accommodation is in Phnom Penh on Saturday night where you will be able to meet other volunteers. The rooms are clean and comfortable with private bathroom.

At the project, volunteers stay in large individual lodges constructed in the traditional Bunong style with western style furniture, including toilet and shower. Volunteers who want a cheaper option can choose shared dormitory accommodation on their application form.

Each lodge contains a large double bed with mosquito net provided, clothes storage, seating, mirror, laundry basket and bedside tables.

The lodges are located on the slopes of the elephant valley affording stunning views over the surrounding forest where many varieties of birds can be seen from eagles to hornbills. The main project buildings are made from mostly recycled and salvaged materials.

Three meals per day are provided for this project. The chef provides high quality local and international meals. Vegetarians and vegans can be catered for and the variety and quality of food will suit all tastes. Volunteers dine in the main complex overlooking the elephant valley.

Volunteer with Elephants in Cambodia to work with these amazing animals and receive quality accommodation and support from the local staff.

Free Time in Mondulkiri

Mondulkiri is renowned for its village visits and some of the largest waterfalls in Cambodia.

Trekking forms the backbone of tourist activities in Sen Monorom, with incredible waterfalls, valleys and views all within easy reach of the town.



Mondulkiri province is home to the Bunong People, the largest indigenous highland ethnic group in Cambodia 

Backpacker Dorm
The most affordable way to volunteer and experience the elephants! A perfect option for groups and families that want to volunteer together, or if you’re traveling alone, a great way to meet people and make new friends from around the world!
Weeks GBP£ USD$
1 £565 $735
2 £840 $1,095
3 £1,090 $1,415
4 £1,310 $1,705
Extra weeks £220 $285

Private Bungalow
Want a rural experience but with more privacy? We have you covered with the option of your own private bungalow! End the day relaxing in your own bungalow with the option of hanging out in the common areas with the other volunteers!
Weeks GBP£ USD$
1 £595 $775
2 £910 $1,185
3 £1,190 $1,550
4 £1,440 $1,875
Extra weeks £250 $325

What’s Included:

Included in your volunteering trip in addition to 5 nights of accommodation at the sanctuary is 1 Full Day with elephants and then the other 4 days split between volunteer activities and elephant visits. Volunteers also receive all meals beginning with dinner on Sunday until lunch on Friday.

You will receive return transportation from Sen Monorom to the Elephant Sanctuary as well as all the necessary project equipment, training, induction and in-country support from experienced English speaking project staff. 

Value additions:

As a UK charity, Globalteer only works with ethical and responsible partners. These value additions are part of our social enterprise efforts to support our projects and charitable objectives.

Want to enjoy your trip and be stress free before volunteering? Leave the planning to us and let us arrange your travels to the sanctuary from Phnom Penh!

Additions at no extra cost:

        √  Free airport pick-up arranged
        √  One night in a guest house in Phnom Penh
        √  Road transfer from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri
        √  Accommodation at a guest house in Sen Monorom during the weekends for volunteers that stay longer than 1 week.
        √  Transfer back to Phnom Penh
        √  Cambodia orientation guide

If you need to arrange additional nights in Phnom Penh before or after your volunteering then please ask our knowledgeable staff to assist you with the arrangements!

Family and Group Pricing 

Looking to volunteer with elephants in Cambodia as a family? We love for children and families to visit the elephants as well as learn about the sanctuary’s conservation efforts!  Children 15 years and under receive a 50% discount! Please let us know if you have any questions regarding volunteering with your family and we will gladly assist you and your planning!

Do you have a group of friends or work colleagues that you would love to volunteer with? We enjoy assisting groups in volunteering with elephants and can make arrangements for group accommodations! Please let us know if you have any questions or inquiries regarding group volunteering and we will happily assist with the group discount prices!  

Financial Transparency

As a UK registered Charity, Globalteer is required to be financially transparent to our donors. You can therefore see a full breakdown of where your money goes and our independently audited accounts by clicking below:

Where Your Money Goes

To discover why you should consider choosing Globalteer, please visit the following page:

About Globalteer

Why do we charge a fee for volunteering?

Globalteer requests a donation from volunteers to allow us to achieve our charitable objectives and support our partner programmes. In return, Globalteer provides volunteers with an amazing, responsible and ethical volunteer experience. Ensuring that your placement is responsible as well as rewarding, safe and enjoyable takes a good deal of work.

A summary of Globalteer’s total expenditure for the last financial year is shown below:

Donations and Grants 60% – This includes a share of volunteer placement fees, grants we have secured for our projects and donations managed by Globalteer that are made by individuals and groups to our projects and partner projects.

Support Costs 29% – This includes volunteer accommodation, volunteer transport, support staff costs, travel costs and some volunteer meals.

Operational Costs 11% – Costs of running Globalteer.

What’s not included
  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
What do everyday items cost?

The official currency of Cambodia is the Riel, however, all shops and market stalls accept US$ and you may be given small change in local currency ($1 = 4000 Riels). Be aware that dollar bills with any tears or markings are generally not accepted. ATMs dispense cash in US$. The cost of living in Cambodia is very low compared to most countries in the developed world. The costs of some typical items are:

  • Short journey by tuk-tuk - $1 to $2
  • Meal in a market - $1
  • Bottle of soft drink - $0.50 to $1
  • Draft beer - $0.50 to $2
  • Meal in a restaurant - $4 to $25
“I would definitely recommend this project - it's a once in a lifetime experience!”

Elise, Teacher, UK

Volunteer rated at
(5 / 5)

Cambodia Elephant Sanctuary Photo Gallery

« 1 of 10 »

You may also be interested in Similar Projects

  • Hope Wilson Avatar

    I had the best time volunteering, especially with a background in childcare I found this an amazing experience and highly... read more

    Hope Wilson 1/16/2018
    Robert Bisson Avatar

    I began volunteering with Globalteer on the Clean Water project in Cambodia for 2 weeks. This experience was one of... read more

    Robert Bisson 1/12/2018
    AJ Rodney Avatar

    I had a great experience with Globalteer in Peru. The staff really made me feel welcome and Cusco is such... read more

    AJ Rodney 11/05/2017
  • Ann Quinlivan Avatar

    I absolutely loved my time volunteering in Cambodia with Globalteer! I worked at Helping Hands School in a rural... read more

    Ann Quinlivan 5/31/2018
    Eva Deix Avatar

    Coming from a country with very few organisations that offer international volunteering jobs (Austria), I had to trust online reviews... read more

    Eva Deix 1/14/2018
    Crystal Moniz Avatar

    Perfect mix of authenticity and safety. Stayed with the best children and teachers and always felt so welcome. ... read more

    Crystal Moniz 2/13/2018
  • Elisabete Lourenco Avatar

    Elisabete Lourenco 11/22/2017
    Crystal Moniz Avatar

    Learnt so much in an authentic and safe environment. Accomdation was also perfectly chosen and I made friends for... read more

    Crystal Moniz 2/13/2018
    Lauren Franklin Avatar

    I volunteered with the Peru Community Project out of Cuzco for 5 weeks. I was so impressed with the amazing... read more

    Lauren Franklin 6/30/2017
  • Fiona Mehmet Avatar

    I volunteered with Globalteer in Cambodia last year and I had an amazing experience. Every member of the team there... read more

    Fiona Mehmet 1/16/2018
    Peter DiFrancesca Avatar

    Spent 2 weeks at a dog rescue in Cusco, Peru. Such a rewarding experience. Candice and Globalteer were there every... read more

    Peter DiFrancesca 7/10/2017
    Anna Von Foerster Avatar

    One of the best experiences I've ever had! The Globalteer staff was extremely friendly, helpful, and made me feel right... read more

    Anna Von Foerster 6/30/2017
  • Jessica Robinson Avatar

    I had an amazing experience volunteering with Globalteer earlier this year. Well organised, really helpful and welcoming staff and a... read more

    Jessica Robinson 1/12/2018
    Nick James Avatar

    Great organisation making a real difference in Peru.

    Nick James 12/20/2017
    A.N. Barry Avatar

    My experience with Globalteer was amazing and I've volunteered with them two years in a row now in Siem Reap.... read more

    A.N. Barry 1/14/2018
  • Jessica Robinson Avatar

    I had an AMAZING experience volunteering on two different projects with Globalteer. You really get to experience life in... read more

    Jessica Robinson 1/12/2018
    Sally Bateman Avatar

    I have volunteered with the Globalteer Cambodia Community Project in 2014 and twice in 2017 and will be returning this... read more

    Sally Bateman 1/17/2018
    Katrina Baxter Avatar

    I had the pleasure of volunteering with Globalteer at Picaflor House. From the

    Moment I arrived I was collected by... read more

    Katrina Baxter 7/04/2017
  • Nathan Crook Avatar

    Having chosen to spend three-weeks volunteering on a Cambodia Community Project in Siem Reap, a perfect school placement was found,... read more

    Nathan Crook 1/25/2018
    Hercules Moriarty Avatar

    What an amazing experience!

    We spent a week with this incredible sanctuary in August 2018.

    The passion for the animals... read more

    Hercules Moriarty 9/22/2018
    Kayla Lynne Kiteley Avatar

    I had the amazing opportunity to volunteer with Globalteer at the Northern Thailand Elephant Sanctuary! It was amazing being at... read more

    Kayla Lynne Kiteley 1/25/2018
  • Mark Catling Avatar

    Great experience in Peru, couldn't fault the hard work these people put in to support people less fortunate than myself.... read more

    Mark Catling 6/30/2017
    Hannah Verity Stone Avatar

    Volunteering with Globalteer at Picaflor House was an incredible experience - everything was well organised from day one and any... read more

    Hannah Verity Stone 6/30/2017
    Katharine Hughes Avatar

    I first volunteered at Picaflor House Children's Community Project in Peru in 2014, as a solo traveller, staying in Cusco... read more

    Katharine Hughes 2/28/2018
  • Colin Elkington Avatar

    My time spent volunteering in Siem Reap, Cambodia, with Globalteer was one of the most eye-opening and inspiring experiences I've... read more

    Colin Elkington 1/13/2018
    Amy Barry Avatar

    Amy Barry 12/14/2017
    Holly Bygrave Avatar

    I spent a couple of weeks volunteering at the Helping Hands School just outside Siem Reap. The whole experience was... read more

    Holly Bygrave 7/26/2018
  • Geraldine Parkin Avatar

    Mid-life crisis? Mid-life adventure? It could have been either.....or even a break from the husband! Following retirement from... read more

    Geraldine Parkin 2/06/2018
    Jeff Bartlett Avatar

    Working with Globalteer and Picaflor house is amazing. They're great in every way. I've worked with them during two extended... read more

    Jeff Bartlett 6/30/2017
    Lorrel Walker Avatar

    Lorrel Walker 7/01/2017
  • burcu eren Avatar

    I volunteered with Picaflor House in November 2018 for couple of weeks

    Globalteer team put children into their heart and they... read more

    burcu eren 1/10/2019
    Casey Scholl Avatar

    Amazing! They matched me with the perfect project and went out of their way to make sure I had everything... read more

    Casey Scholl 1/12/2018