Plan My Gap Year - Wildlife Conservation Projects from $270

Video and Photos

Feeding elephants
Feeding elephants
Feeding elephants
Feeding elephants
Feeding one of the elephants (Khurmari)
Feeding one of the elephants (Khurmari)
Wildlife Conservation with Plan My Gap Year
Wildlife Conservation with Plan My Gap Year


PMGY offer some of the most amazing wildlife conservation volunteer projects in gorgeous, exotic locations abroad from 1-week to 6-months in Bali, Madagascar, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

There are turtles, elephants and the Big 5 to look after, all desperately in need to protection and nurturing. It’s a great opportunity to get real hands on experience with the planets most majestic and wild animals.

Our programs run throughout the year. We have two start dates in each country, every month so you decide when you go and how long you go for

Questions & Answers


based on 5 reviews
  • Impact 9.4
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.6
  • Value 9.6
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
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Yes, I recommend this program

Elephant Experience

I was incredibly excited to go to Sri Lanka after my first year of uni! It was the first time I had travelled alone, so I was not only nervous about making it there, but also ensuring that PMGY were actually there to pick me up from the airport. Naturally, both were completely fine, and as soon as I walked out of arrivals there was a PMGY representative waiting!

The drive from the airport to Ambalamgoda is long and it was a culture shock experiencing Sri Lankan driving, especially at night! There are no rules of the road there, so prepare yourself!

Accommodation at London House was great and Ashika and his family are some of the loveliest people I have ever met- they will make you feel so welcome!

The project itself I had mixed feeling about. I was so excited to work with elephants before I left and the first few times I went to project I was amazed about being up and close with them. However, after a few trips I became more aware of the fact that the elephants were chained at the feet. This is nothing to do with PMGY, but an unfortunate law that exists in Sri Lanka which Ashika himself has campaigned against!! The experience is once in a lifetime and the ability to clean and feed the elephants was amazing, but it was a shame that for me personally it was clouded slightly by the existing regulations.

Overall my experience was amazing. The people that I met out there were fab and my absolute highlight was the Maldives Chill Out Wekend. It was the most amazing place I have ever been and would go again immediately! It is SUCH great value for money!!!

What would you improve about this program?
Organisation of some of the projects was variable and communication about project changes could improve
Yes, I recommend this program

Sri Lanka Experience

Amazing trip! Such a welcoming and genuine group of staff and other volunteers that made the month zoom by with unforgettable experiences, from the baby turtle release and elephant bathing to hanging out with everyone at the house! It really did become home away from home. I would also highly recommend doing the real experience as well as volunteering, it is 2 extra weeks and you see so much of the country and learn a lot about the culture! Definitely not something to be missed.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Sri Lanka

This trip was amazing, I was in Sri lanka for a month. I started with the real experience(which was incredible) I did that for two weeks, during those two weeks I learnt so much about Buddhism and there culture and how they live in this life. We traveled all over Sri Lanka, stayed in hotels which had unbelievable views and I got to make connections with the other volunteers that I would had never got the chance to make anywhere else. We climbed Sigiriya which was so rewarding when I got to the top, and the view, you could see for miles. The first two weeks were life changing in a different sense than being in Ambalangoda which is were you start your volunteering. Once you get to the volunteer house you have so many options to choose from to start volunteering, either with elephants, sea turtles, teaching in the orphanage, some monk teaching, and great opportunities with medical. Everything is great opportunity and the staff here are wonderful. They are so supportive in everything you do; you can really tell that they love their job, they will do everything in their power to make your stay there the most spectacular. The volunteers are all so welcoming, you get to make all these new connections with different people from all around the world. The culture in Sri Lanka is breathtaking, you can truly tell that you are in a different world when you go to Sri Lanka. The food! It was amazing, the Sisters(women who take care of the house) were absolutely wonderful, they make the best food and they work their butts off to make it. We went to at least ten temples throughout my stay there and each open was more amazing than the last. I felt so safe at all times during the trip, and if I didn't it was super easy to get in touch with one of the wonderful coordinators and they would reassure you and make sure you felt safe. Once a week you have the chance to release baby sea turtles into the ocean, we have a turtle race, go, go and do it they are so cute and those little guys move fast. This trip has changed my life forever, I wouldn't have had imagined Sri Lanka to be like this. I would definitely go back to Sri Lanka in a heartbeat. I wish that they do well and this will be the start of something stupendous, you can feel the love that all the staff have for their jobs and for all the volunteers who come and go into their house. My absolute favourite part of the whole month was just chillin out at the house with all the volunteers and singing and dancing and just enjoying each others company with no judgement from any of them. One tip I can give to future volunteers, just do it, don't think about it, don't have any expectations for the trip because you can't imagine what you'll be doing or seeing. Huge thank you to PMGY for this spectacular trip and experience.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Sri Lanka experience!

After recently arriving back from 2 weeks of the elephant project, I have grown as a person more than I can imagine well with PMGY in Sri Lanka, creating some of the best memories of life. This was my first experience away from home so naturally I was apprehensive however this soon went with the overwhelming help and support provided by the team before I flew out to Sri Lanka, which was unmatched by any other company offering similar experiences, answering all my questions (which was a lot) I had quickly and clearly!
On arrival to 'London house' which is the accommodation I stayed in well on my project, my nerves were settled with how welcoming not only all the staff were but all the other volunteers currently staying in the house. The friendly environment made the house feel like home with in no time and the great atmosphere allowed me to make so many close friends with in a short period of time.
My project was focused around looking after elephants who were freed by PMGY on mini holidays from there normally hard working days, which involved ;cleaning there bedding area; taking them for a walk; giving them a bath and feeding them. Within the 2 weeks I also got an insight on the turtle project after doing it as a day pass inspired from the turtle release which is open to all volunteers and a very fulfilling experience seeing the baby turtles scuttle into the sea. With the Elephant project we also visited Udawalawe Wildlife Park, this was amazing seeing numerous wild Elephants close up as well as many other animals with in there natural habitat.
In addition the Staff and coordinators do exceptional job of providing you with things to do well not on your project such as putting on events or recommending locations to explore with in the Sri Lanka.
After having such a fantastic time in Sri Lanka, wishing I could of stayed longer, I am already planning my next trip with them PMGY with in the near future.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience in southern Sri Lanka

I have recently completed 4 weeks with PMGY in Sri Lanka (2 weeks elephant, 2 weeks turtles)
The online handbook and correspondence prior to arrival were very helpful in answering most questions and queries that I had and the staff in Sri Lanka itself were all incredibly helpful, friendly and hospitable.
The newly built volunteers accommodation 'London House' is a safe and comfortable place to stay, with delicious traditional Sri Lankan food provided. The inexpensive tuktuks take you from the property to town and the beach and are a fun way if getting around.

I had originally gone to Sri Lanka to just do the elephant project, but having seen a turtle release, I liked the look of the turtle project and thought that it would be a great idea to have another experience in caring for the turtles.
As well as caring for elderly elephants, I was able to visit Udawalawe Wildlife Park where we viewed many wild elephants amongst birds, buffalo and crocodiles. This was a real highlight for me.
The tasks at the turtle project were varied. As well as preparing the fish and feeding it to the turtles, I administered medicine to those needing it, buried eggs, released babies into the wild, cleaned the beach area and helped with maintenance of the property. I loved spotting the massive Water Monitor Lizard that hangs around by the beach.

Aside from the projects, the southern coast of Sri Lanka is a beautiful region and I enjoyed trips out to neighbouring towns (such as Hikkaduwa, Galle and Mirissi) after project and on weekends.

Furthermore the PMGY do a brilliant job of arranging group events. During my stay we played Badminton and Cricket, and watched traditional dancing, with many of the dances originating in the local area.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience, met some wonderful people (volunteers and staff) and explored a beautiful country.

About Plan My Gap Year

Plan My Gap Year is an award-winning volunteer travel organisation, offering life-changing experiences across 17 countries in Africa, Asia & South America. PMGY provide a safe, structured and social platform with volunteer, travel and immersion...