Weekly Volunteer

1 Ratmakka Road, Phrasing, Chiang Mai, Thailand

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Elephant Nature Park – Weekly Volunteer

Location: Chiang Mai province – Northern Thailand

Nearest Airport: - Chiang Mai (CNX)

Please see the Availability Calendar Tab - Select your preferred date to Book Now!

Duration: Up to Two weeks (initial acceptance), Up to Four Weeks (initially for Student Vets) You must make separate bookings for each week.

We are offering you a life enhancing opportunity of direct hands on conservation work in an internationally celebrated conservationist in a unique programme to help protect a highly endangered species. Most volunteers leave with a proud sense of accomplishment and a deep satisfying feeling of having really done something positive.

Volunteer at Elephant Nature Park and help to improve the plight of the Asian elephant. Make a real contribution to conservation in Northern Thailand. The park provides sanctuary for disabled, blind, and orphaned elephants that have often been abused as working animals and for street begging. You will actively be helping improve their lives and the conditions in which they live 

Developed by Sangduen "Lek" Chailert this award winning project portrays aspects of culture, fauna and flora impossible to experience elsewhere.

We offer sanctuary to elephants, numerous dogs, cats, birds, buffalo and many other rescued animals.

Volunteering at the park offers visitors the opportunity to engage with the animals with no riding and, for many, it is an enriching and life-changing experience. Volunteers can feed and bathe the elephants regularly, as well as learn more about their care. During free time, there are many activities to enjoy such as cultural lessons and walks. Your volunteer experience includes six nights of lodging in private and shared rooms and three meals a day. 

Student Vets and Animal medial specialists. An adaptation of this program is available for training and qualified specialists to assist our park vets. Vet nurses and vets along with Student Vets can use this opportunity as part of coursework or professional studies. Study or professional qualification documents are required for these positions. More...

Getting there

You fly, bus or train into Chiang Mai city the day before (normally Sunday) before you start your position. Monday morning around 09:00am we will pick you up from your accommodation or you may make your own way to the Elephant Nature Park offices from where you register. You are then driven 60km north to the park with the other volunteers. If you cannot make it on this day then we can accept other starting days but please aim for a Monday start. Volunteers who arrive late go to the project on that day. Later arrivals will join the other volunteers at the site the following day after a night in Chiang Mai city at their own expense

What will I be doing?

Breakfast is at 7:00 am and dinner is at 6:00pm.

Each day you´ll help prepare the elephants food, have the satisfaction of feeding them and the moving experience of watching the delight they have bathing together in the river. This is all against a backdrop of witnessing how they behave in their natural habitat. During your stay you will see for yourself the challenges facing elephant conservation in Thailand and the part that this project plays in the preservation of their herd.

Other aspects that are involved can be preparing the elephant´s bathing sites, cutting food from the plantations and helping with any maintenance tasks around the park. This is a great way to understand and enjoy all parts of the conservation mission, whilst enjoying a place tucked away from the beaten track.

Elephant volunteers activities include some or all of the following;

  • Area Introduction and meeting with the staff and mahouts
  • Experience Elephant Families and how they choose friends
  • Find out about the problems facing elephant in Thailand today
  • Discover how Elephant Nature Park is helping
  • Feed and bathe elephants, Scooping elephant poo, a variety of tasks concerned with elephant care.
  • Cleaning and preparing elephant food
  • Construction, maintaining mud pits, helping in local villages, walking
  • Caring for dogs and more.
  • Meet volunteers, visitors and park staff from around the world.

In some cases volunteers may be required to look after our recent rescues and may be sent to different areas. All volunteers are required to help with park chores as necessary

Highlights

  • Bathing with the elephants- a must for any bucket list!
  • A fascinating insight to the life of the elephant and how these magnificent creatures think, live and react.
  • A chance to enjoy the elephants- and help future generations have this privilege too
  • Coming away with a real understanding of the issues and playing an active part in genuinely making a difference.
  • Delicious Thai cuisine served to you on-site. Certainly one of the highlights of the country, the food here is not to be missed!.
  • Great social life, from enjoying the bar on site, to exploring the local village to learning more about Thailand in the various presentations, talks and DVD sessions
  • Making friends for life in one of the world´s most beautiful countries

Accommodation and food

You will be living on site in comfortable accommodation sharing with at least two other volunteers. Here you will fall asleep to the sounds of elephants calling. The food is excellent, with a large buffet style lunch and dinner with many different dishes to choose from. Vegan and vegetarian food is always available and all dietary restrictions are catered to.

What is Provided?

  • Transport from Chiang Mai to Elephant Nature Park and back
  • Clean, convenient accommodation on site
  • Three delicious meals per day, served in buffet style with great amount of choice
  • Internet connection - generally available
  • A practical education on the challenges facing elephant conservation

What do I need?

  • A full passport valid for the duration of your stay.
  • Insurance (covering your placement time and any planned independent travel).
  • Transport to Chiang Mai city
  • Independent travel costs and return to the airport.
  • Any additional costs such as trips, snacks, entertainment (allow a few hundred Baht per day depending on lifestyle).
  • A visa is normally not necessary for under 30 days from most western European countries.
  • No compulsory inoculations are necessary although do check with your doctor to make sure polio, typhoid and Hepatitis A&B jabs are up to date

Extensions

The initial maximum week course may be extended depending on availability and suitability. Any decision of extensions will be made at the end of your stay with us.

Leaving the Park

When it comes time to leave us (many people want to stay forever) on Sunday the transport departs the park around 2:00 pm and you will be in the city by 3:30 pm . If you have to leave earlier please contact our volunteer coordinators to arrange this

Availability

Because Volunteering at Elephant Nature Park (our original and most popular project ) is often booked months in advance and spaces are hard to come by, we have created an unforgettable alternative for you.

Our Journey to Freedom Volunteer project is a unique alternative, which also features elephant care, learning about agriculture and community, developing local school children learning experiences and living in a cultural exchange at a tribal village in the mountains of Chiang Mai.

Journey to Freedom Volunteers also spend the final night at Elephant Nature Park.  More information here ...

All About Your Volunteering Position:

Starting From: our office at 9:00am. - Map Directions to Office or Pick up from your Chiang Mai city hotel 9:00am - 9:30am within the pickup area - Please Check Pickup Area Map.

If you are staying out of town(outside Middle ring-road) additional charges apply. Please advise on your reservation form.

What to Bring: Overnight bag with change of clothes for several days, hat, sunscreen, sandals/flip flops, clothing for river bathing (not bikini), towel, shoes for walking, camera, bug repellant, flashlight, gardening gloves, short wellies or similar in wet season (Student Vets only - Coursework materials).

Seasonal: rain gear (June - October), warm clothes (November - February)

Returning: around 15:00/30 (3:30pm )to Chiang Mai city on Sunday.

Baggage / Luggage allowance: One Standard Check-in Sized Rucksack/Suit Case/Bag AND one small day pack per person.

Volunteer Operational Months: All Year Round

Age Suitability: Adults or children over 12 accompanied by legal guardian

What is Included: Transport from Chiang Mai to Elephant Nature Park and back, Clean, convenient accommodation on site, Three delicious meals per day, served in buffet style with great amount of choice, Internet connection - generally available, A practical education on the challenges facing elephant conservation

Bookings close: Two Days before you are due to visit. A deposit is required to secure your place(s).

Volunteer Contribution: (per week or part of a week) Adult or accompanied Children over 12 years old: 12,000 Thai Baht

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