If you want to have a unique experience hiking in the forest to find the elephants and observe their natural behaviours in their home environment, Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary is the right place for you. Come and join us for the experience of a lifetime. Volunteers must be physically fit to hike everyday up and down the mountains to get to the elephants. In our sanctuary, you can see exactly where your donations are going and how they are benefiting our sanctuary, our elephants and our community.
Our sanctuary has just rescued 4 elephants from the tourism industry and we have now brought them home to live out their lives in the forest, in semi-wild conditions. We need volunteers to help us keep these elephants happy and healthy in their natural habitat. With volunteer support and donations, we hope to return more elephants to the forest soon.
Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary is set amongst the rolling hills of Northern Thailand in a Karen hilltribe village. It is surrounded by a forest that is perfect for our elephants to forage in.
The Karen people are originally from Myanmar but they have migrated to Thailand in search of a better life during the many wars over generations. Volunteers will have the opportunity to learn and experience their language and culture. They are keen weavers and are well known in Thailand for their elephant keeping. They make an income from their elephants and working the fields, mainly growing rice and corn using rotational slash and burn techniques. Volunteers will have the opportunity to learn more first-hand about their culture and even help out with the community when required.
Our days begin with early morning hikes through the forest to find the elephants, staying with them while observing and taking data on their natural behaviours until lunch. Some days lunch is eaten with the elephants in the forest, a very unique experience! Hikes will usually return to the village around early afternoon but the day doesn’t end there.
You will have the opportunity to participate in teaching English at the school, to the homestays and to the mahouts as well receiving education about elephants in Asia and learning the local tribal language and culture. We also have a number of add-ons you can choose such as relaxing with a Thai massage or learning how to basket weave.
Volunteers can stay with us for 3 days to 3 months. However, we recommend at least a week to get the full experience of our sanctuary. Students who wish to carry out research for their studies are also welcome.
Volunteers must come with an open mind and be prepared to work with and experience another culture.
You will have the chance to experience a diversity of tasks. Please be aware that tasks may vary depending on the time of your arrival and your own preferences.
Among others you will:
- carry out health checks on the elephants
- perform research on the natural elephant behaviors and on the surrounding forest
- take part in community projects such as teaching English at the school and to other locals
- cutting grass for the elephants during dry season
- helping out in the fields planting and harvesting crops
- educating both the locals and tourists on the captive elephant situation in Thailand to help combat illegal trade
Volunteers will also be expected to help us take care of any visitors and educate them on the real elephant situation in Thailand.
1 week - 4 weeks: 15,000thb per week (approx. $440/£326/570AUD).
5 weeks - 8 weeks: an added 10,000thb per week (approx. $292/£220/380AUD)
9 weeks - 12 weeks: an added 5,000thb per week (approx. $150/£110/192AUD)
FOR EXAMPLE: the cost of 9 weeks stay would be 15,000x4 + 10,000x4 + 5,000 = 105,000thb
This price inculdes all transport, accomodation and food in the village as well as 1 night accomodation in Chiang Mai on arrival.
- Animal Care / Handling
- Habitat Restoration
- English as a Secondary Language (ESL)
- Environmental Science
Good Match For
Teens People 55+ Group
Requirements & Commitment
- Volunteers can stay with us for 3 days to 3 months