Food, Lodging and Travel
There are 3 accommodation options for volunteers; Private Bungalow (for 1 week or less), Family Lodge (for 3 days or less), or Shared Dorm (for 1 week or longer).
The elephant sanctuary accommodation is similar to an eco-resort. Our environment is precious and our philosophy is to be low impact. It is set in a remote location, and facilities are simple, however, you will get exceptional views of the lake from your private veranda, friendly staff and natural outdoor conditions. Currently, there are 13 private bungalows; 6 twin beds and 7 double beds. For families, we have one lodge with a thin bamboo wall separating the two rooms. Bathrooms, showers and toilets are outside of the bungalows and on a shared basis. We do have several locations, as well as toilets outside the dining room, so facilities are convenient and suitably available when needed. Volunteers coming for 1 week or longer stay in a traditional Lao rosewood stilt house dormitory with independent rooms (each one containing between 4 and 8 bunk beds) and shared washing facilities.
There is a staff bungalow amongst the guest bungalows, so there are English-speaking staff on call 24 hours if needed. All visitors eat together in the dining room, this has a great atmosphere, and you can purchase drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, as well as snacks and it is also one of the places you can relax between activities. Food is local and tasty and cooked on site with fresh ingredients from either our vegetable gardens or the market. For vegetarians and vegans, or anyone with food restrictions, we can adapt meals on request. However, we are in quite a traditional rural location and ingredients for vegetarians and vegans are quite limited, so you may wish to bring some breakfast spreads or extra snacks. The sanctuary is powered with solar energy. On a typical day, electricity in the main communal facilities is available until 9 pm. You will be able to charge your electronic devices during the evening, but there is no wifi on site.
Please see below for a video highlighting the accommodation facilities at the sanctuary:
Travel in Laos
We advise volunteers to fly into Luang Prabang, arriving the night before your project start date (we can advise you on suitable places to stay). You will then need to travel to our pickup location by 8 AM, where you will be transferred by minivan to the town of Sayaboury. From there you will take a boat to the sanctuary. When you finish your programme, we will drop you back to Luang Prabang at about 5 PM. The journey between the two towns takes about 2 hours.
We do not require participants to have any previous experience or qualifications, as long as you are interested in learning about elephant conservation and welfare. However, you should be flexible, willing to experience a new culture and capable of working in a hot climate in basic conditions. Individual volunteers should be aged 17+, but we can accept families with children of any age.