FAQs Cambodia Elephant Sanctuary

Cambodia Elephant Sanctuary FAQs

Cambodia has four seasons. 1. November to February, cool and dry. 2. March to May, hot and dry. 3. June to August, hot and wet. 4. September to October, cool and wet. The hot season rarely reaches above 35C and the cool season may go as low as 20C. The monsoon rains follow a regular pattern of 1 to 3 hours of rain in the afternoon making them easy to plan around. Dry season can be dusty and in the wet season the countryside becomes spectacularly green. Mondulkiri has a cooler climate than the rest of Cambodia. For more information on when to visit Cambodia please see When is the best time of year to volunteer in Cambodia blog?
Yes, in fact we actively encourage it! Cambodia is a beautiful country and we wish you to experience its culture, history and people. The local staff will give advice and help arrange trips for you. You will have the weekends away from the project.
The Elephant Project began as an initiative to improve the health and well being of Mondulkiri's captive elephant population. This meant visiting surrounding villages to document and assess elephants, as well as to encourage owners to rest and re cooperate sick elephants. After two years on the road, the project has realized that very few working elephants are healthy. Most have broken spirits and broken bodies, and many are covered in abscesses as well as being chronically underfed. The project does not offer elephant riding, or any other form of elephant labour. Elephants at the project have the freedom to socialize in family groups, play in mud pits, and spray water around in the river. Elephants that are very sick will now be able to receive medical treatment in the elephant hospital.
You will be volunteering for approximately 4 - 6 hours per day, 5 days per week. We can be flexible with your time as required. This is a very varied project with lots to be done so self motivated volunteers can be kept busy.
You need to be able to speak English as this will be the common language at the project. English does not need to be your first language but you will need to be proficient in English to be able to understand instructions on how to care for the elephants.
This project attracts volunteers looking for an experience in pristine wilderness whilst still contributing to elephant welfare and forest conservation. The majority of volunteers are from the UK, United States, Canada and Australia. We also place volunteers from Holland, Germany, Ireland, Japan and New Zealand although all nationalities are welcome. The majority of volunteers travel alone to the projects, although we also accommodate couples and groups. The project averages 4 volunteers at any one time of all ages and nationalities.
The project location is remote and therefore has very random access for mobile phones. A walk to higher areas or a visit to the local town will allow the use of mobile phones. The local town of Sen Monoron has internet access but it is probably not as quick as you may be used to!
At the project volunteers stay in large individual lodges constructed in the traditional Bunong style with high quality western interiors, including toilet and solar heated shower. Each lodge contains a large double bed with mosquito net provided, seating, mirror 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. Volunteers who want a cheaper option can choose shared dormitory accommodation on their application form. The main project buildings are made from mostly recycled and salvaged materials. Sunset can be spent unwinding in the open air lounge, enjoying the amazing sounds of the nocturnal forest creatures and the gibbons calling as they prepare to sleep.
Three meals per day are provided for this project. Vegans can be accommodated and the variety and quality of food will suit all tastes. Volunteers dine in the main complex overlooking the elephant valley. Sunset can be spent unwinding in the lounge and at the bar in front of an open fire enjoying the amazing sounds of the nocturnal forest creatures and the gibbons calling as they prepare to sleep. All main meals except at weekends when volunteers are staying in the local town.
Of course, but we request that you use common sense. If you want to drink soft drinks, beer or other alcohol you will need to bring it with you from the local town. There is a bar at the project location for volunteers and staff.
The currency in Cambodia is the Cambodian Riel although US dollars are widely used. In Cambodia you will use a mixture of US dollars and Cambodian Riel. ATMs are available in Sen Monoron for all major credit cards. US dollars have to be in good condition to use in Cambodia, no ripped notes!
Mondulkiri is a very safe and friendly province but, as always when traveling you must take the usual precautions to make sure you stay safe. Common sense and knowledge is the key phrase, and on arrival you will have an orientation meeting to advise you of any precautions you need to take. Visitors to the area should be aware that UXOs exist in Mondulkiri. It is believed that the area will never be fully cleared in the same way as UXOs are still being found in Europe from the 1940's. There are virtually no land mines in this area of Cambodia. Most visits to Cambodia are completely trouble free. For more information, visit our International Travel Advice Page
We recommend that you let your health professional know that you will be volunteering in remote Cambodia and discuss the various vaccination options. For more information, visit our International Travel Advice Page
Finding the right insurance to cover your travels can be daunting, confusing and time-consuming, however – travel insurance is a must. You never know what could happen, and if you are unlucky enough to get ill or find yourself in a sticky situation, being uninsured can be really expensive and downright dangerous. This is why we strongly recommend that all our volunteers take out suitable travel insurance. We also recommend that your purchase your insurance and soon as you book your trip to cover you for all up-front costs in the event of cancellation due to any unforeseen circumstances. Globalteer has formed a partnership with a leading travel insurance provider to help you through this process.
Please visit our page about visas for information about entry visas.
Yes, Cambodia is a conservative country and we ask that you respect them by dressing accordingly. The basic rule is to cover your knees and shoulders. T-shirts, sandals and anything that covers the knees are all acceptable.
Cambodians are very friendly and a smile will go a long way. Be respectful to elders. Shouting, or public displays of over emotion are impolite. Remove shoes before entering a temple or someone's home. Dress respectfully, especially when visiting temples. Do not point at someone with your finger or naked foot, do not touch peoples heads. For women, it is forbidden to touch a monk or even brush past his clothes. A woman may not directly pass anything to a monk, she must place it on a table for him to pick up.
No, you will be given guidance and training and will work with experienced staff.
Yes, on arrival you will receive orientation from our project coordinator, giving local information and advice. Training will be given to teach volunteers how to work with the elephants.
Volunteers arrive at Phnom Penh international airport where they will be collected and taken to a hotel for the night. The volunteer is then transferred to Mondulkiri by road.
Globalteer is fully committed to ensuring that your volunteer placement is responsible. More information can be found on our Responsible Volunteering Page.
As a UK registered Charity, Globalteer is financially transparent, our accounts are independently audited and posted online. You can read a full report on where your money goes here.
We understand what motivates volunteers and what makes a memorable volunteer experience. We have been placing volunteers at our projects since 2006 and have built up a wealth of knowledge in those years about what makes volunteering rewarding for volunteers as well as impactful for the fantastic projects we work with. You can read here why we think you should choose Globalteer.