Wildlife conservation and community volunteer projects and internships worldwide

Ethical Elephant Project, Thailand

2 Days - 1 week from

18+ individual - for families 10+
minimum age

  • Experience and observe elephants in an ethical way
  • Enjoy delicious Thai food every day and experience Thai culture
  • Learn about elephant welfare and the captive elephant situation in Thailand
  • Engage with the local community in environmental and education projects

"I felt deeply immersed in the nature and connected with the people there"

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I wanted to let you know that my stay at the Ethical Elephant Project sadly came to an end, but I appreciate every moment of it. Emily and Burm were super welcoming, doing a great job in introducing us to the life of elephants and challenges they experience in Thailand. I also got a chance to spend a few days with their entire Team, including rescue cats and dogs that are doing a great job as guardians of the sanctuary 🙂 the Ethical Elephant Project’s human Team is absolutely amazing, they accompanied us at every step and made us feel like a part of their crew. Spending just a few days at the Ethical Elephant Project, I felt deeply immersed in the nature and connected with the people there. I hope you can convince more people to spend time in the sanctuary; there is really diffcilt to find the words to desribe the experience, but it’s definitely worth it!

Emily and Burm are so dedicated to saving the elephants and making their life easier. Their Mission is an important one and I’d love for more people to learn about the elephant protection and responsible tourism. The Ethical Elephant Project definitely stands out because of their ”hands off policy” which is ultimately better for the elephants and makes you realize that you may feel as satisified watching these majestic animals from a distance.

I spent a truly magical time at the Ethical Elephant Project and just wanted to share my feedback, so that there’s a chance that more people can have a similar experience in in the future!

Thanks a lot for facilitating the process and thanks to Emily for hosting me! I wish for the Ethical Elephant Project to grow and become one of the main destinations for responsible tourism in Thailand!

"We will cherish our time and memories of Thailand for a very long time"

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Where do I begin?! Ella and I had the best experience ever. From the moment we were collected from our hotel in Chiang Mai to drop off 7 days later we were treated like family. The entire team welcomed us with open arms.

Emily and Burm run an incredible project, the love and respect they show for the retired elephants and compassion for all the stray cats and dogs is heartwarming.

No two days were the same at the sanctuary with volunteers coming and going. We were treated to day trips in the area (from local springs to traditional weaving villages… and a very wet excursion to the highest point in Thailand). A very special afternoon was had making banana bread and figuring out how to bake it without a traditional oven!!! Luckily it turned out perfectly in the end and enjoyed thoroughly by all! Card games and sing song (accompanied by someone on the guitar) always brought us together in the evenings when language was sometimes a barrier.

We will cherish our time and memories of Thailand for a very long time

"We had an amazing experience, met some wonderful people and we learned a lot as well!"

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I spent two weeks at the sanctuary with my girlfriend. If you want to help elephants an ethical way, explore a more local North Thailand and have lots of fun this project will not disappoint you. Emily, Burm and the whole crew are professional and do everything they can to help the elephants the best possible way. We will definitely come back!

"I particularly appreciated the hands off policy"

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My time at the sanctuary in Thailand was really amazing, maybe the highlight of my trip in the country (before I arrived there, I did the usual tourist trail). I loved the commitment of Emily and Burm, their story is really inspiring and you can see they really want the best for the creatures they take care of, either elephants, dogs or cats. I particularly appreciated the hands off policy, which in my opinion makes so that only people that are really interested in doing the best for the elephants’ welfare will participate in the project. The best part was the sense that with supporting the project, you actually support a whole community, either helping the students of the local school or financially sustaining local farmers through the sanctuary, and so on.

"I can honestly say it was the most beautiful experience I’ve ever had so far"

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I cannot put into words my feelings when I first saw the elephants, I almost cried. It was something I always wanted to do, get to know those beautiful creatures.

Our time at the sanctuary was amazing, animals all around. We hiked in the jungles, fed the elephants, cut corn for them and peeled bananas, bathed Thong Dee in the river. We also loved having dogs and cats around us all the time. They were so lovely, I already miss them so much. We met beautiful people. They were so friendly and very helpful with everything. The room was actually in very good condition. Very clean and neat. Bathrooms as well. Also the food they made for us was so good.

All in all my experience was amazing! It was the perfect jungle life I always wanted to experience. I wish I could’ve stayed longer. I miss every minute of it. I even got the perfect proposal that my fiancé had planned with Emily. It was just so beautiful.

My purpose in life is to give animals the best I can, because I believe they deserve so much more. I’m so glad I found your website and made my dream come true. To many more! Activities were very well organized and I had an amazing experience overall!

"I was very impressed about the dignified and respectful handling of the elephants"

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We were only for 1 week there and it was the best ever we did. Every day we did exciting jobs like cutting Banana trees or Corn with a machete, plant Bamboo, prepare Watermelon, Bananas and riceballs, prepared elephant salad. We walked into the forest. Burm and his team showed us many plants and animals in the forest and we observed the elephants. We had lunch in a hut next to a rice field. We were very impressed of all of them – it was so fine, unbelievable. Every day was eventful and very fulfilling. The Camp is in a wonderful landscape with great waterfalls and rivers. Burm showed us special places, like a spirit house with healing spring, a temple, local textile weaving and market, and he told us a lot about local culture and tradition. We miss the good food and the animals – cats and dogs. We enjoyed the fun and relaxing together with Burm (playing Guitar) and the team. I was very impressed about the dignified and respectful handling of the elephants.

"During the trip to Thailand, we have opened our eyes and developed many skills"

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No matter how big or small something is, one should always respect the other. During the trip to Thailand, we have opened our eyes and developed many skills ranging from how to treat animals fairly -meaning giving them the chance to live in the wild – to understanding and cherishing new culture. On our hike in the jungle, we learnt that elephants eat 10% of their body weight- around 250kg. That means that a whole bucket full of bananas is merely a snack. Planting bananas was therefore beneficial to the elephants and the sustainability of the sanctuary which we helped fund. By cutting, transporting, and planting the banana trees we learnt the hard work and effort put into producing even the most basic of products. Today and onward we need to be more mindful in our consumption of them.

"The elephant sanctuary project was one of the best things I have ever done"

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I stayed for two weeks which I consider the minimum time necessary in order to have a full experience. The staff was always nice and teach me a lot about their culture as well as the founders Emily and Burm. We used to do different activities such as cutting corn, picking up bananas, cleaning, learning Thai cuisine, bath and walk with the elephant. We were also able to visit some temples and they took us to a strawberry farm! The sanctuary was clean and nice. I strongly recommend this project and I wish I could do another one in the future. My experience with working abroad was very good as well, the staff answered all my questions. Thank you!

Ethical Elephant Project, Thailand

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