Oyster Worldwide: Volunteer with elephants in Thailand

Video and Photos

Walk with your elephants to give them the taste of freedom that they deserve
Walk with your elephants to give them the taste of freedom that they deserve
Elephant sanctuary volunteering in Thailand
Elephant sanctuary volunteering in Thailand
Volunteer with bears in Thailand
Volunteer with bears in Thailand
Wildlife sanctuary volunteering in Thailand
Wildlife sanctuary volunteering in Thailand
Elephant conservation in Thailand
Elephant conservation in Thailand
Animal conservation volunteering
Animal conservation volunteering

About

Become part of an important mission to rescue, rehabilitate and care for abused and orphaned elephants in Thailand. Work hands-on with these rescued elephants, preparing their food, feeding them, bathing them and even walking with them through the rainforest. These elephants have all been misused by the tourist industry, and this is the first time that they can fully appreciate a life of freedom.

Alongside the elephant sanctuary is a rescue centre for up to 300 other animals, including monkeys, gibbons, macaques, otters, birds, bears and other animals. You can choose to work with these animals too if you wish.

Volunteers live in the heart of the sanctuary, going to sleep to the calls of the wild. You will be working 6 days per week, with one day off to relax and explore the stunning local area. You will be located about 3 hours south of Bangkok, close to the golden sand beaches of Hua Hin and Cha Am.

Highlights
  • Work closely with rescued elephants, helping to give them a life as close to the wild.
  • Bathe the elephants before walking them through the rain forest, allowing them to roam and graze as they would in the wild.
  • Explore the beaches and national parks located close to the sanctuary.
  • Work with bears, orangutans, monkeys, gibbons, macaques and birds at the neighbouring wildlife sanctuary.
  • Meet volunteers from around the world and make fast friends.

Questions & Answers

The sanctuary I worked at in Thailand is run by an amazing guy called Edwin Weik. I believe he does take vet volunteers both at the elephant refuge and animal sanctuary in Thailand and also his other project in Laos. Both are brilliant experiences. Wildlife friends foundations Thailand https://www.wfft.org/ Hope this helps, good luck and have a fantastic time.

Reviews

97%
based on 3 reviews
  • Impact 9.3
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 3 of 3
Default avatar
Molly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Molly’s experience of a lifetime in Thailand!

What an absolutely remarkable time I had at WFFT in Thailand. It was truly life changing, from the friends I made to the fond love I grew for elephants. Not only was it hands on and physically demanding, the intellectual staff educated us on the laws surrounding animal cruelty and the awful trauma that elephants go through when used for tourism, of which I was ignorant of prior to my trip.

Daily tasks were assigned to us, and we worked with different elephants each day which was really exciting, as all of them are so different. They all have great personalities, from sassy to gentle. The day started at 6.30am, finishing at 5pm with a breakfast and lunch break in between lasting an hour each. Although the work was tough it was so amazing to be surrounded by the beautiful elephants, and it was truly surreal, especially when walking and showering them. We had one day off per week, which was lovely to relax (as it was well needed) and also it gave us a chance to visit the local town or get a taxi out a little further to explore Thailand even more. WFFT also organised evening trips such as evening markets or bat caves for after dinner, which was also lovely.

It was truly so wonderful! The other volunteers were lovely and the staff always were enthusiastic and happy to help. I would recommend this trip to everyone, as it is really worth doing! I came to WFFT mainly for my Gold duke of Edinburgh award, and the staff sign the paperwork for you on site which was super handy. I was also lucky enough to go with my sister, but it would also be a great experience alone, as many other volunteers came alone. You meet people so easily and quickly.

Thank you Georgie from oyster worldwide for guiding me every step of the way. You were amazing and so helpful, a true asset to the oyster worldwide team! Also, thank you WFFT, what an amazing sanctuary, I will be back!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Make sure you bring lots of clothes you are happy to get dirty and potentially leave out there! I would defiantly advise good quality flip flops and sturdy trainers (preferably breathable, as it is super hot)

Also, be careful as the sanctuary is on temple grounds so no crop tops, or short shorts. It’s important to follow the rules, out of respect for the culture.
Default avatar
Julir
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Sitting with a fishing cat

In the evening I would treat myself to a quiet walk through the forest before it went dark. Each time I was treated to the company of a fishing cat a few inches away on the other side of the fence licking its paws and having a general clean up after his fish supper. Pure magic
During my time with the elephants I enjoyed giving them a scrub using a broom to ensure they were clean behind the ears. They loved the fact I am tall as I was able to reach their back

What would you improve about this program?
Perhaps offer some education about animals and enrichment programs two evenings a week. So many skilled people volunteering we could have learned so much
Default avatar
Maxine
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great time in Thailand!!

In the summer of 2013, I spent an entire month volunteering both with the wildlife and with the elephants. Everything was simply wonderful. From waking up to the shouts of gibbons to going to sleep to the sounds of geckos. We were completely submerged in this wonderland. Taking elephants on walks and showering them was one of my favorite part of this trip! Even thought I loved my time spent here, I wouldn't recommend this trip to everyone. Simply because not everyone is suited for the lifestyle we experience on this trip. For instance, the shower head in my bathroom had broken off, so I basically showered with a hose my whole time there. And you can forget about hot water, on a typical day when it's 40 degrees Celsius out that's not an issue. But after a cold and heavy rain fall when you are out feeding the monkeys in the forest, you can bet you'd wish you had some hot water. The social aspect of this trip was also amazing! When I was there, we were at the very least 35 volunteers from all over the world! And there was never a dull moment! From looking threw night markets, to hiking a national park on the look out for wild elephants, we were always entertained by one another! And our nights out to the bars were also nights to remember!