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Elephant Sanctuary Volunteer Project, Cambodia

1-8 Weeks from

minimum age

  • Observe elephants in their natural habitat
  • Assist with the daily work of an Elephant sanctuary
  • Live and work in a vast tropical forest
  • Meet people from around the World

About the Elephant Sanctuary Project

Volunteers observing elephants in forest

This Elephant sanctuary was created to make a home for injured and overworked elephants in Mondulkiri, Cambodia. It currently looks after and cares for ten elephants that are retired from working, and now roam free within the 1,500 hectares of natural jungle habitat. The vast amount of space allows the elephants to roam and escape from human activity during most of the day. In exchange for retiring their elephants, the owners receive a monthly compensation. This way, the project supports the freedom and care of elephants, and also the local communities in providing work and protecting their natural resources.

It is a vast eco-tourism site surrounded by protected forest and local farms. This sanctuary has been developed in close partnership with the local indigenous Bunong community of Pu Trom, and sits within their community forest. Regular tourists also come to visit the site during the year. No riding, feeding or swimming with elephants are taking place, and you will mainly be watching and learning about the elephants from a distance.

A typical week at the Elephant Volunteer Project

Volunteers will be staying at the project site for five days, of which the first day is a full day introduction with elephants, while the remaining four days will be split equally between visits with elephants and volunteer activities in and around the site and forest, helping to develop the site for elephant care. Volunteer activities can include the reforestation projects, planting seeds and looking after the nursery, farming or construction work.

Volunteers cutting grassA typical day at the project begins at 7 AM with breakfast, and around 8 AM volunteers will either head out to visit the elephants or get into some volunteer work. The structure of the days can vary depending on staffing and short-term visitor numbers. Lunch is served daily and the lunch breaks are long with plenty of time to read or have a nap in a hammock. Following lunch, volunteers will either go out to see elephants or do volunteer activities depending on the schedule. The days end in the late afternoon from which time volunteers are free, with dinner served around 6:30 PM.

Please note this is a dynamic project and this schedule may change. Sometimes there are opportunities to attend cultural festivals with the village, or work projects off-site. However, we cannot guarantee that any of these events will occur during your time volunteering. For those who stay for more than one week, the weekend is free time spent in Sen Monorom.

Elephant Sanctuary Volunteer Project, Cambodia

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