Food, Lodging and Travel
Individual volunteers and small groups/families stay on site at the elephant sanctuary, whilst for larger groups, you may stay with a Thai family in a local homestay.
On-site, we have 7 private rooms for individuals/couples, plus a 4-person dorm style room for families or small groups to share. These lodgings include a mattress on the floor, a mosquito net and a fan. Volunteers will also have access to a western toilet and a cold shower head.
The homestays are shared dorms. They include a squat toilet and cold bucket showers. These houses are in the local village, a mere 3 minutes walk from the sanctuary. Staying in a homestay is a worthwhile way of bonding with the community and discovering the incredible culture of the region. You also help these families earn an income for the week as a percentage of your fee is paid directly to your hosts. When staying at a homestay all meals and activities are still taken onsite and enjoyed with the other volunteers at the sanctuary.
There is electricity and power sockets to charge your gadgets in all the accommodation. With no wifi, you will get the chance to really appreciate simplicity.
All food and bottled water is provided. Breakfast at the elephant sanctuary is simple: eggs, fruit, yogurt and bread (toaster provided). Lunch and Dinner, however, give you a taste of a delicious variety of Thai Cuisines – along with a side of fresh fruit (in season). Tea and coffee is also provided. For the food lovers, volunteers can help in the kitchen and learn to cook the Thai dishes served during mealtimes.
Volunteers should be 18 years or older (or 10+ if accompanied by an adult, 6+ only for the overnight programme), be reasonably physically fit (capable of walking several kilometres per day) and, speak English. Previous experience working with animals is useful but not required. Volunteers should be strongly motivated to contribute to community life, animal welfare and wildlife conservation. You should also be able to cope with living in hot climate, in basic conditions and being in close proximity to a range of different animals including lots of cats and dogs.
How to Get there
Volunteers should aim to fly to Chiang Mai airport (code CNX). From here you will be picked up by local staff and taken to the sanctuary. Pick up is on Monday mornings, between 8-9 AM, and drop off is on Sunday afternoons. If you arrive before the project start date we recommend you stay overnight in Chiang Mai and we can pick you up from your hotel on Monday morning. We can arrange pickup from any hotel in the main moat square of Chiang Mai (also known as the old city).