Save Endangered Elephants from Extinction: Volunteer + Adventure

Help save the Asian elephant from extinction and give domesticated elephants a life worth living, free from abuse!

International Student Volunteers (a non-profit organization) offers you the opportunity to learn about the elephant tourism industry, interact with the elephants, and also work with the villagers to help address community needs. After giving back, you will then reward yourself by participating in an incredible two week adventure tour, where you will snorkel the tropical waters, rock climb and rappel in Chiang Mai and so much more!

The wild elephants in Thailand are facing a severe population crash, with as low as 500 to 1,000 individuals left. Ironically, over 3,000 elephants are working in the tourist industry. Without serious efforts to save and reforest native habitat, there is little hope of a future for Thailand’s wild elephants. Therefore, many experts rest hopes of the survival of this species on the domestic population. However, elephants do not breed well in captivity, and, their adult lives are shortened by overwork in tourist camps, logging, and street begging. There are no laws regulating the elephant industry, and incidences of abuse are common. As an ISV volunteer, you will be helping native elephants in a relatively natural setting and teaching others how humans can better interact with these wonderful creatures.

Pre-Apply Now

What to Expect?

Volunteer Project:
While on project, you will learn about the elephant tourism industry and will be part of the organization’s strategy for positive change. During your first week, you will have ample time to interact with elephants directly, and also to take part in running the camp. Your second week will take you farther into the jungle, to live in a Karen village. There, you will work with the villagers to help address their community’s needs. Expect to get physical! Daily tasks can include building/maintaining enclosures and fences, weeding and tree planting, constructing water towers, feeding/bathing animals, data surveying and animal husbandry. Projects may also include outreach and education with local schools and communities, English education and promoting conservation awareness initiatives. All of these tasks are essential to improving the quality of life of these amazing species—your efforts will make a huge difference!

*note: if you are a volunteer with pre-vet education and training or more advanced veterinary skills we have group trips available that will allow you closer, more hands-on access to the elephants (this must be arranged before hand—contact our office for more information)

Adventure Tour:
On the Adventure Tour, participants will travel throughout Thailand’s northern and southern regions, exploring the cultural capital of the North in Chiang Mai, historic and enchanting temples, hill tribe communities, primary forests, wild rivers, limestone caves and islands, stunning beaches, an elephant sanctuary and national parks. The tour includes a minimum of five activities which may include snorkeling the tropical waters around Koh Phi Phi, rock climbing and rappelling at Tam Mae On in Chiang Mai, Thai cultural dinner and dance performance, Northern overnight hill-tribe trek and 2 day sea kayaking in Ao Phang Nga.

There is also an opportunity for an additional, one-week excursion in Cambodia.


About our organization:

International Student Volunteers is committed to impacting our world by providing life-changing volunteer experiences abroad. ISV has been operating student programs since 1983, but has focused on Volunteer and Adventure Travel since 2002. Since then, more than 20,000 participants have contributed to ISV’s global volunteer efforts, making a significant impact across six continents. ISV programs offer unparalleled opportunities to get involved in the front lines of sustainable community development and conservation initiatives internationally, in addition to exploration, adventure and cultural exchange, while traveling through one or more countries.


This program is open to everyone, not just students. We are not a sending agent –we run our own programs with our own trained staff to ensure you have the most amazing experience possible. ISV sets the industry standards for best practices, safety, opportunities to learn, and of course fun!

International Student Volunteers, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation in the U.S. organized under the Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation Law for charitable and educational purposes.

  • Program ID: # 1933
  • duration:
    2 Weeks to 1 Month
  • location:
    Chang Mai
    18° 47' 49.6248" N, 98° 57' 23.7744" E
  • Fitness level:
    Light Impact
  • Closest Airport:
  • Costs From:
    $1500 to $3000
    Over $3000
  • Program Type:
    Community Development Projects
    Environmental & Wildlife Programs
  • Click Here for More Info

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