Volunteer at Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand

Video and Photos

About

This sanctuary has been set up to rescue wild animals from abuse and neglect. Over 700 animals live in this wildlife haven and, where possible, are rehabilitated into the wild. There are a variety of birds, monkeys, bears, orangutans, gibbons and macaques to name a few and also a separate elephant refuge on site.

Become part of this important mission to help look after these animals. You will be feeding, cleaning enclosures, providing enrichments, observing animals, rehabilitating, building and maintaining enclosures and conducting the ‘water run’. There is also the opportunity to help educational efforts by promoting animal welfare issues to visitors and local school groups.

You will be living in the heart of the sanctuary in comfortable shared accommodation. All meals are provided on site and internet access. The sanctuary is situated 3 hours south of Bangkok, close to the beach resort towns of Hua Hin and Cha Am. You are in a great location for exploring in your free time.

Highlights
  • Work with a huge number of animals each day, helping them to enjoy a new life without cruelty.
  • Meet volunteers from all around the world, and enjoy exploring together in your free time.
  • Bears, orangutans, monkeys, gibbons, birds, tigers, elephants - need we say more?!
  • Live in the middle of the sanctuary, hearing the calls of the animals as you wake and as you fall asleep.
  • Try delicious Thai food - yum!

Impact

Volunteers have helped to protect thousands of animals in the past few years at this inspirational sanctuary.

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

9.83 Rating
based on 6 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9.7
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.7
  • Value 9
  • Safety 9
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
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
Miranda
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand

Thanks to Oyster Worldwide for providing this beautiful project for me, I got to work closely with these amazing rescued animals from Thailand. Although their stories of what brought them to the sanctuary absolutely broke my heart, it filled me up knowing that they are at the sanctuary now and are being so well taken care of, and that I got to be a direct helping hand!
This experience was so rewarding and nothing like I have experienced before. I got to meet so many people from around the world and form lasting relationships with both the volunteers and the staff. I only went for 3 weeks, which was a good amount for a first time, but I was just getting used to the workload and getting comfortable as I was leaving so I say: go for it! Go for a few months if you have the time and money. I know many people who are there for 4 months and it’s completely life transforming. I miss everyone, including the animals, so much. I will definitely go back to both the country and the sanctuary.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Expect to work hard and get dirty! You are living in the jungle where it is hot and dirty but the work you do is extremely rewarding. Keep a positive attitude and have fun! You’re in Thailand working with elephants and other wildlife, it’s an amazing experience to say the least.
Default avatar
Cicely
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

One of the best experiences of my life!

Oyster Worldwide were fantastic in helping me set up one of the best experiences of my life! Had an amazing amount of fun and worked hard volunteering with rescued Indian elephants. These elephants had been rescued from the trekking/riding industry, many of whom had been used in these industries for decades, so it was great to see them getting the good care they deserved! Oyster were great in helping me know what to expect when I got to Thailand. One of the most helpful things was being given a selection of useful Thai phrases with the phonetic pronunciations. These really helped me to understand the culture and way of life in Thailand a little bit more, and were definitely great ice breakers! Working with the elephants was a lot of fun and a real confidence boost! I was humbled to be able to take part in some of the amazing work the charity do. If you want to experience feeding, walking and showering an elephant, and independent travel then I highly recommend going on Oyster Worldwide's elephant conservation program in Thailand!

What would you improve about this program?
More warning of just how filthy you will get, advertise more that you should bring old clothes that you do not mind getting ruined. Also make people aware of the dress code before arrival so they can pack accordingly. Due to the sanctuary being on temple grounds, clothes that show cleavage, midriff, or high thigh/buttocks are not permitted.
Response from Oyster Worldwide

Hi Cicely,
Sounds like you had a wonderful experience, so glad you got so much out of going to Thailand :)

Default avatar
Scott
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a lifetime

I had an excellent time on my trip to Thailand. Oyster helped me get there and set up everything to make it all possible. I would go back for sure and definitely consult Oyster worldwide for other trips as they come up!
Oyster was very helpful and always ready to answer any questions I had. They kept in touch while I was on the trip and made sure I was having a good time and finding everything alright.

What would you improve about this program?
This program was great. If it could find a way to incorporate flight prices into the cost it would make it easier.
Response from Oyster Worldwide

Hi Scott,

Great to read your review and lovely photos too,thanks ! :)

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!