Elephant Welfare and Community Development in Thailand

Elephant Welfare and Community Development in Thailand

Elephant Welfare and Community Development in Thailand

Trip Details:

Operator:   Kaya Volunteer
Price From: $1680
Ideal Age Range:  High School (15 to 18), 19 to 30, 31 to 50, Over 51
Fitness Needs:  Moderately Fit
Program duration: 1 week

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About this program

Based in Thailand’s Eastern province of Surin, this project works with the communities that have lived and worked with elephants for hundreds of years. Since the country’s ban on logging and prevalence of machinery, work for elephants is limited and with no other opportunities, the people of these communities and their elephants often starve.

The government has developed initiatives that aim to encourage communities to use elephants to help attract tourists to the area. This project works alongside these communities to encourage tourism development to be shaped by ethical and responsible eco-tourism approaches. Currently under-represented by Western tourists, the region’s tourism development focuses on entertainment shows, which see the elephants learn tricks and stay tied up for a lot of the day.

Through volunteer participation on this project, we work with a selected group of committed mahouts, their families, and their elephants to develop eco-tourism approaches that provide the elephants a better standard of life.


Volunteers bring an international perspective to the work of conservation and ecotourism, passing along their knowledge and enthusiasm to local residents who will benefit the most from this work. Within the elephant village help is needed with looking after the elephants (walking, bathing, feeding), maintaining and harvesting crops to feed the elephants (sugar cane and bamboo) and general maintenance in the village (building elephant shelters, repairs, etc).

Country Fast Facts


Flag Flag_of_Thailand.svg
Continent: Asia
Official Language(s) Thai
Capital: Bangkok
Population 67,959,000 (2015 estimate)
Climate(s) Tropical Savanna, Monsoon, Equatorial
Major Airport(s): Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK), Phuket International Airport (HKT), Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX)
Economic Driver(s): Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Manufacturing, Energy, Tourism, Banking/Finance

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