• Thailand
    • Hua Hin
2 to 16 weeks

Program Details

Age Min.
Year Round
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30)


Starting Price
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Airport Transfers Equipment Meals Transportation Travel Insurance Wifi
What's Not Included
Airfare SIM cards Visa
Feb 15, 2024
Jul 14, 2019
17 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Elephants are in trouble in Thailand. Not only is the wild elephant population decreasing due to habitat loss and poaching, but domestic elephants are also in danger. Domestic elephants were used in the logging industry in Thailand, a practice that helped to destroy the very habitat the elephants relied upon. After this logging activity was banned, most of these elephants have ended up on the streets of big cities where they are forced to work as begging tools and tourist attractions or roam dangerously.

Life on the streets is very unhealthy for the elephants and quite dangerous – many elephants are involved in horrific traffic accidents each year. And the elephants have no laws to protect them from abuse or mistreatment. The mission of this elephant rescue centre is to stop the suffering of these creatures.

Our volunteers care for the physical but also mental well being of the elephants. Making sure they are fed, they get exercise, socialization and above all: love

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Hands on work at a real elephant sanctuary- rescued elephants are not ridden or made to perform.
  • More than 20 elephants for you and the volunteers to walk, feed and wash everyday!
  • 2 hours from Bangkok, 1 hour from a national park and forest, 45 minutes to the beach!
  • Immersion volunteering. You live, eat and volunteer with your new elephant loving friends.
  • Start dates every week of the year- go on your schedule.

Program Impact

Our partner in Thailand aims to educate people, particularly children, to end cruelty to animals. Their focus is on stopping the illegal trade in wild animals for the pet industry, discouraging the use of animals for entertainment, preventing hunting and promoting conservation of Thailand’s natural resources. One of the most significant aspects of wildlife conservation is the education of local communities and raising awareness among tourists, who often inadvertently create a big demand for the exploitation of wildlife. Riding an elephant or having your photo taken with one may seem harmless to a tourist, but this exploitation has far reaching effects on the animals. Your work with the elephant sanctuary supports all of these efforts. By lending your help and spreading the message you become an important part of the campaign to end the suffering of elephants. You will learn about elephant conservation, the plight of “street elephants” in Thailand and the reasons behind the decline of the wild elephant population.

Related Programs

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 4 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 5
  • Support 5
  • Fun 4.5
  • Value 5
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Elephant Care at Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand

The elephant sanctuary was a lovely experience and I am so glad I got the chance to work closely with elephants in a place where the elephants were happy, well cared for, and where their well being was the number one priority.

The daily routine involved hand feeding banana balls to the elephants, chopping up fruit, making enrichments for the elephants, and cleaning the enclosures. Depending on the elephants you were with for the day you would also sometimes shower and scrub them with a hose and brush and take them on short - long walks. You also had daily special projects that varied and were mostly designed to help with the upkeep of the facility.

The accommodations were decent. The rooms varied from old to new. Most rooms were shared by at least four people, however, the older rooms slept two. The bathrooms also varied from old to new - all bathrooms had a shower and toilet - some toilets were flush and others you had to pour water into to get them to flush. All showers were cold but they weren't freezing and most days it was refreshing because it had been very hot. There was no air conditioning but all rooms had fans.

94 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

#1 Recommendation

I discovered AEI a couple years ago while doing research in preparation for my year abroad. I am a massive animal lover, and am extremely passionate about ecotourism, therefor when I came across this incredible organization it almost felt too good to be true. After speaking with Heather, I decided on 3 months in Australia working with sea turtles and 3 months in Thailand working with the Elephants and Wildlife. AEI was INCREDIBLY helpful in all aspects of planning. I had never traveled abroad alone before so I was quite nervous to be planning this massive trip. This 6 month adventure turned in to me spending 2 years abroad, and visiting more than 18 countries! I had no idea that this trip would change my life in the way it did.

This rescue center is truly one of a kind. The treatment of the animals, the diversity of the species, the hands on work with the elephants, and the incredible friends you make is an experience like none other. I was lucky enough that as a long term volunteer I was able to attend an elephant rescue, and witness with my own eyes taking her out of her life of torture and settling into her new free home. It was without a doubt the most breathtaking experience I have ever witnessed. I was lucky enough to be asked to return as a Tour and Educational guide where I lived there for another year, watching many amazing animals be rescued and I was able to education people on the horrors these animals face on a daily basis.

None of this would have been possible without the immense support of Heather and Nora, and I can not thank them enough for the life changing opportunities they have provided me with!!

99 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

An Experience of a Lifetime!

I was very lucky to find Animal Experience International and took a leap of faith and went to Thailand to work with Asian Elephants. This was easily one of the best experiences of my life. I volunteered for two months, and made a great number of friends and an incredible amount of life experience. The centre was huge! It was right in the forest by a big lake; the scenery was stunning. The staff were very friendly and helped with any concerns you had the best they could. My mother was very worried about safety while travelling, but it was VERY SAFE! AEI set up a driver to pick me up from the airport and drop me off right at the centre. The grounds that I stayed on was protected and always had precautionary security. Working with the animals was incredible. I got to bathe, walk, and feed the elephants, clean their enclosures, and collect the elephants' food in big banana fields. Some lucky volunteers even got to swim with the elephants! I also got to work with primates and bears. While you're there you learn a lot about the exploitation of these animals and how you, as an individual, can stop this type of cruelty. The centre is a sanctuary for animals who have been abused and exploited so they can live out the rest of their lives free from harm. These animals get huge enclosures and are treated with the upmost respect and tenderness. I am very glad I got to volunteer in Thailand with AEI and I will remember this experience for the rest of my life.

93 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Extremely rewarding!!

Working with the elephants in Thailand was way more than I had imagined, they are such an amazing species, gentle giants who have feelings just like us. Unfortunately their numbers are dropping significantly for many reasons. The good news is AEI has this wonderfull volunteer program in which they set you up to head over to Thailand to work hands on with elephants at a rescue center in which they are living the rest of their lives in peace. When I first showed up to the center I was greeted by so many lovely people, I felt really welcome. I received a tour of the center which is huge. They have other animals from monkeys to bears also. A tipical day with the elephants begins in the early morning. They receive food 3-4 times a day which we prepare. We bath them, walk them and clean their fenced area. My favorite part was defintely giving them a bath because you could tell they loved it so much! Of course we would take breaks in the day to eat lunch and rest a bit. The food was so tasty, thai food is so flavourful! I would say what made the experience even better was meeting new people from all over. Learning about them & where they are from. And of course connecting with them because they are at the center for the exact same reason you are. To help the elephants ! If You want a fun & exciting experience while making a positive impact then this is what you need to do!! I will never forget my time in Thailand & the people I met. And most certainly
Won't forget the elephants. I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to work so close with them. It was truly life changing, & most certainly thankful for AEI's help at getting me ready for this trip! & I'm looking forward to my next :)

What would you improve about this program?
The only downfall I found on this trip was because they're were so many volunteers at the center working with elephants, at times there wasn't enough work for everyone. For example 1 elephant would have 5 volunteers, I think 3 volunteers per elephant would be a good number to
Keep us busier during the day.
96 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

We get our volunteers to arrive to Bangkok International! We pick them up at 9am and take them to the centre so they arrive for a lunch time meet and greet!

Absolutely! We have had volunteers in their 70s at this centre! :)

It's in central Thailand, close to Cha-Am.