• Thailand
    • Hua Hin
    • Krabi
    • Koh Tao
1 to 12 weeks

Program Details

Year Round
Apartment Guesthouse Host Family Hostel
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30) Large Group (31+)
Travel Type
Budget Family Older Travelers Solo Women


Starting Price
What's Included
Accommodation Equipment Meals
What's Not Included
Airfare Travel Insurance Visa
Jan 20, 2021
Jun 08, 2018
33 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Thailand is a magnet for travellers from around the world due to its glorious beaches, tropical climate, great food and fascinating culture.

Award winning Pod Volunteer has fantastic opportunities for volunteers to care for rescued animals and assist in marine research.

There are opportunities to join the following projects:
- Elephant Care: Care for retired elephants rescued from logging and tourism industries in a tropical wildlife sanctuary
- Marine Conservation: Live on the amazing island of Koh Tao and explore its world famous dive sites whilst contributing to research and protecting the reefs
- Wildlife Rescue: Care for monkeys, bears and other wild animals living onsite at a tropical wildlife sanctuary
- Dog and Cat Rescue: Set on a stunning tropical island, support the vital work being done by the local team by caring for dogs and cats in need

This program is currently not being promoted on Go Overseas by its provider. Check with Pod Volunteer for the most up-to-date information regarding the status of this program.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • Support a Dog and Cat Rescue Centre on a tropical island
  • Care for elephants rescued from a harsh working life at a tropical wildlife sanctuary home to over 400 animals
  • Contribute to the research, protection and restoration of reefs in Koh Tao, open to all dive levels and experience, conservation certificates included
  • Work with rescued bears, monkeys, otters, gibbons and other exotic animals
  • Thailand, known as ‘the land of smiles’, is a magnet for travellers from around the world due to its glorious beaches, tropical climate, great food and fascinating culture

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Program Reviews

4.71 Rating
based on 7 reviews
  • 5 rating 71.43%
  • 4 rating 28.57%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Impact 4.85
  • Support 4.85
  • Fun 4.75
  • Value 4.75
  • Safety 4.75
Showing 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Thailand Volunteering

Arriving at a remote wildlife sanctuary in a country so far away from my own was certainly daunting in the beginning; the people were new, the food different and the working hours long. Yet over the course of a month, I established a rhythm. Adapting to the change in environment, my days became easier. I began to feel fulfilled by the work as the connection I cultivated with the centre deepened. Making improvements to the place that provided for me, whilst looking after the animals, I found to be deeply satisfying. Close friendships with the people around me were also developed, adding a welcome pillar of support. Undertaking an experience such as this definitely shouldn't be underestimated, but the rewards to be had are many. This has undoubtedly been a life-changing event that will continue to shape me throughout the future.

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

Elephant care in thailand

I went to Thailand for an unforgettable week at the elephant care facility. All of the staff were super helpful and made the experience memorable. I was given the opportunity to be hands on with the elephants, walking feeding and washing them! What made it so unique is the local Thai staff that helped us learn more about the culture as well as care for the elephants, I was even made a bracelet by one of the workers who was called som! Overall, the experience is one I’ll never forget and shows that these animals are getting the care they need in such a fragile time for them. I highly recommend the trip even if it’s just for a week like I did.

What would you improve about this program?
Make payments easier so people who may not be able to afford it can go for longer
35 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Elephant Care sep 2017

It was an amazing experience the staff are really friendly and will cater to whatever you want to do. Really easy to get to know everyone else who is volunteering as you are in a different group each day. The accommodation is comforable and the facilities are really nice. It is a once in a lifetime experience that everyone should experience and I am going back this summer with my family as I want to show them what the project is like

What would you improve about this program?
30 people found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Dream Come True

I grew up with a love of elephants (animals in general -- but specifically elephants) and a love to travel. I have traveled all of Europe and have always had a dream to go to Asia to (ethically) spend time and care for elephants. A friend of mine told me about Pod Volunteer so I did a little research and asked the Pod Volunteer team questions that they promptly and happily answered. From there, I planned my trip. I explained that I was travelling alone ( I am a female in my early 30s) and I had just a couple concerns. They directed me to any resource about solo travelers, forums with fellow Pod Volunteers and a packet on EVERYTHING that I would need to know. Their communication with me was one of the only reasons I followed through with such a bold (for me) trip. Being at the elephant refuge was an experience I will never forget. When people ask me about my time there, I find myself at a loss for words. The only thing I can really convey is that it was incredible. I have amazing photos to look back on and I keep in touch with some amazing people I have met there. It was a lot of work, volunteering at the refuge, but getting to be near an animal that means so much to me was an experience I will never forget.

What would you improve about this program?
I honestly can't think of anything.
38 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Thai English Summer Camp... 10/10.

I first chose PoD in 2012 because I wanted to find a charity that believed in what they were offering, there were many websites and company's out there that seemed as if their main goal was to make profit rather than offering a personal, ethical, responsible volunteer experience. After such a fantastic first experience in 2012 I signed up again, in 2014 to help support the new volunteers with their experience.

From the onset of signing up for the placement Gemma and the staff at PoD were there for support. Wether it was a question as silly as "how many trousers should we bring?" They replied quickly and efficiently to reassure us that all would be ok.

The first time I volunteered with PoD I went with my friend, and although it was great to have someone from home, Gemma made it very warm and welcoming and we all quickly made friends with each other. People in the same resort were surprised when they found out we had only known each other for a couple of hours, rather than for a couple of years!

Everyday was meticulously planned so that we got the best we could out of the experience. Wether it would be snorkeling, visiting temples, working in schools, going to the night market, traditional cooking class, staying with local families, dolphin watching, island hopping... it was all quite exhausting but it helped to create a fantastic life-changing experience.

The volunteering side was inspirational, when I first volunteered with PoD I was the youngest and many of the volunteers were full time teachers with some years of experience. Hoping to do Primary Education at university myself, I feel it really challenged me to develop my own teaching style which was engaging and fun for the children whilst not relying on the interactive whiteboards and other resources you may find in a typical english classroom. It is really quite interesting how many activities you can come up with, with just a few paper plates!

The thai children really value education and are excited to learn, their enthusiasm has kept me motivated to carry on with my teaching placements in an inner-city school where, its safe to say, some children would rather be anywhere else. Whenever I am having a tough day here, I watch my video I created which documented the trip, to keep me going through all the planning, appraisals and reflections I have to do. All that I can think is 'take me back!'.

I cannot speak more highly of this experience. To me, there is no other way I would like to spend my break, than to volunteer overseas with PoD. I wish to continue volunteering with PoD as I know they have my best interest at heart and that I can always rely on them for an amazing time.

What would you improve about this program?
Make it longer, it goes by so quickly! I would recommend everyone to write down their day in a diary or video it so that they could remember as much detail as they could... trust me... you blink and its gone!
34 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Working with elephants in Thailand.

We would be up and out the door by 6:30 am every day, with one day off during the week. Be prepared to walk a lot, work hard, and sweat every day. Don't expect it to be a typical "vacation," however this type of trip is so much more than that! You get to work alongside these beautiful animals and learn about them. The hard work and simple living is nothing compared to what you get out of an experience like this.

What would you improve about this program?
Understanding more about mahouts before going, and realizing that we work with different elephants throughout the experience, not assigned to one elephant for the trip.
32 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience!

My time volunteering in Koh Phangan, Thailand with PoD was exciting, enriching, and absolutely beautiful. I was constantly pleasantly surprised by PoD's support throughout the entire project. Amazing!

31 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers