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Volunteer with Elephants in Thailand

Huay Pakoot, Thailand

enquire / book
Volunteer with Elephants in Thailand how would you like us to contact you?
via phone
Full Name*
Email*
Phone Number
*Required

Help to rehabilitate elephants rescued from working in the tourist industry in the mountain forests of northern Thailand, while assisting traditional elephant keepers and other villagers to find alternative, sustainable sources of income. There are currently less than 1 000 Asian elephants left in the wild in Thailand, with around three times as many in captivity. The industry of elephant tourism deprives these highly sophisticated animals of the mental, emotional and physical stimulation they need. The community we work in, called Huay Pakoot, owns over 60 elephants in various tourist camps. As a volunteer, you will be playing an important part in returning these elephants to forage in Huay Pakoot’s forest, while providing incentives for the villagers who relied on them for income. If you love elephants and have a passion for wildlife conservation and community development, this is the volunteer project for you!

Hikes into the bush

As a volunteer, you’ll get to:

  • Spend hours observing these gentle giants in their natural habitat.
  • Learn about elephant biology, history, training, social structures and habits as you observe them in the forest and monitor their foraging and other behaviors.
  • Gain knowledge about elephants from the local villagers and traditional elephant keepers, who draw on a long history of living alongside and working with these intelligent animals.
  • Find working alternatives for villagers so that they do not need to rely on domesticated elephants for their livelihoods.
  • Do occasional health-checks on the elephants, giving you a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with them.
  • Live authentically in a traditional Karen village in the forests in the Chiang Mai province of northern Thailand.
  • Have the unique opportunity of learning about Karen culture first hand.
  • Stay in shape by going on daily hikes through the mountain forests, where you will not only observe elephant populations but also collect data on the area’s biodiversity.
  • Eat lunch in the forest with the villagers during your hikes, sometimes assisting them with preparing traditional Thai and Karen dishes made from all-natural ingredients and equipment.
  • Spend time with local community members as you teach them English, play football with them, learn how to cook their traditional food and watch them weave baskets and do other customary, centuries-old craft activities.
  • Contribute to having semi-wild herds of previously domesticated elephants living in the forests that are their natural habitat, supervised by the traditional elephant keepers of the nearby villages.

 

Quick Facts Quick Facts
Minimum Stay 1 Week
Impacts Animal Sanctuary
Priced From Priced From
US$ 1840 |
Back to Top

Dates & rates

Priced From
US$ 1840 |

Detailed Project Pricing
1 Week USD 1840
2 Weeks USD 2090
4 Weeks USD 2590
6 Weeks USD 3090
8 Weeks USD 3590
10 Weeks USD 4090
12 Weeks USD 4590

Project Start Dates

This project begins every second Saturday throughout the year - please enquire for specific start dates and availability.

Back to Top

Work & Impacts

Observe elephants in the forest

OBSERVE ELEPHANTS IN THE FOREST

Every morning, traditional elephant keepers (mahouts) lead a group of staff and volunteers on a hike out into the forest to the area where the elephants spent the night. If necessary, you might assist with giving the elephants a quick health-check, though human contact with the elephants is limited as far as possible. You will then follow them through the forest for the rest of the morning, gathering data on their interactions and feeding patterns.

Collecting data on other wildlife

COLLECTING DATA ON OTHER WILDLIFE

While on your daily hikes, you will also be expected to gather information on other wildlife in this incredibly biologically diverse slice of Nature. Expect to see a variety of gibbons, birds, snakes, insects and spiders.

Community involvement

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

In the afternoons, you will spend time with the local villagers – assisting with English classes at a local school, organizing games of football, learning how to prepare their traditional meals and weave baskets, and generally observing and participating in their daily life.

Back to Top

Fun & Travel

Things to do in your spare time

Because of the remote location of this project, most of the relaxation activities take place in the village itself during the week, but the following trips and activities can be arranged for weekends or at the end of your volunteer experience.

Thailands highest peak

THAILAND'S HIGHEST PEAK

Your first side trip will be on your way into the village from the city of Chiang Mai. We stop along the way at the Doi Inthanon National Park, which is home to Thailand’s highest peaks, and take a beautiful walk to one of the park’s incredible waterfalls.

Neighboring villages

NEIGHBORING VILLAGES

If you are feeling a little “cabin-feverish” in Huay Pakoot and want to get out for a bit, weekend trips to neighboring towns Mae Chaem and Mae Hong Son can be arranged. You can get a traditional Thai massage and explore temples during your visit.

Adventure activities

ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES

There are plenty of opportunities in this location to go bamboo river-rafting, rock-climbing, and, of course, hiking. Excursions like these can be organized for a group of keen volunteers.

Travel further afield

TRAVEL FURTHER AFIELD

There is no shortage of exciting trips to be taken within Thailand – including to the beaches of Ko Tao and Phuket; the spectacular waterfalls of the Khao Yai National Park; the temples, markets and nightlife in Bangkok; and the “golden kingdom” of Ayuthaya. 

Back to Top

ABOUT HUAY PAKOOT

About huay pakoot

About the Destination

You will be living in Huay Pakoot, a quiet, rural Thai village, where you will learn about Karen culture from the local villagers and community members. It is in a remote location – about five hours away from the city of Chiang Mai. You will need to be able to adjust to a way of life that is devoid of many modern conveniences – a simpler, slower lifestyle that will teach about what is really important. This is the perfect opportunity for you to really get involved with the community and to participate enthusiastically in all local activities.

English-speaking staff on the ground will always be available should you need any help, but you are encouraged to immerse yourself in the local community’s daily life and to enjoy the breath-taking forest setting during this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Back to Top

Feedback from our volunteers

CLAIRE WIGHAM, UK

“I have had the opportunity to observe and work closely with these social and complex animals, which would be impossible with elephants in the wild. Staying in a traditional Karen community has been a million miles away from life in England. I have been made to feel really welcome here and I feel privileged to be part of a project that is helping both the elephants and the community in which they live.”

Back to Top

Brochures

Back to Top

Volunteer with Elephants in Thailand

Huay Pakoot, Thailand

how would you like us to contact you?
via phone
Full Name*
Email*
Phone Number
*Required

Help to rehabilitate elephants rescued from working in the tourist industry in the mountain forests of northern Thailand, while assisting traditional elephant keepers and other villagers to find alternative, sustainable sources of income. There are currently less than 1 000 Asian elephants left in the wild in Thailand, with around three times as many in captivity. The industry of elephant tourism deprives these highly sophisticated animals of the mental, emotional and physical stimulation they need. The community we work in, called Huay Pakoot, owns over 60 elephants in various tourist camps. As a volunteer, you will be playing an important part in returning these elephants to forage in Huay Pakoot’s forest, while providing incentives for the villagers who relied on them for income. If you love elephants and have a passion for wildlife conservation and community development, this is the volunteer project for you!

Hikes into the bush

As a volunteer, you’ll get to:

  • Spend hours observing these gentle giants in their natural habitat.
  • Learn about elephant biology, history, training, social structures and habits as you observe them in the forest and monitor their foraging and other behaviors.
  • Gain knowledge about elephants from the local villagers and traditional elephant keepers, who draw on a long history of living alongside and working with these intelligent animals.
  • Find working alternatives for villagers so that they do not need to rely on domesticated elephants for their livelihoods.
  • Do occasional health-checks on the elephants, giving you a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with them.
  • Live authentically in a traditional Karen village in the forests in the Chiang Mai province of northern Thailand.
  • Have the unique opportunity of learning about Karen culture first hand.
  • Stay in shape by going on daily hikes through the mountain forests, where you will not only observe elephant populations but also collect data on the area’s biodiversity.
  • Eat lunch in the forest with the villagers during your hikes, sometimes assisting them with preparing traditional Thai and Karen dishes made from all-natural ingredients and equipment.
  • Spend time with local community members as you teach them English, play football with them, learn how to cook their traditional food and watch them weave baskets and do other customary, centuries-old craft activities.
  • Contribute to having semi-wild herds of previously domesticated elephants living in the forests that are their natural habitat, supervised by the traditional elephant keepers of the nearby villages.

 

Quick Facts Quick Facts
Minimum Stay 1 Week
Impacts Animal Sanctuary
Priced From Priced From
US$ 1840 |
Back to Top

Dates & rates

Priced From
US$ 1840 |

Detailed Project Pricing
1 Week USD 1840
2 Weeks USD 2090
4 Weeks USD 2590
6 Weeks USD 3090
8 Weeks USD 3590
10 Weeks USD 4090
12 Weeks USD 4590

Project Start Dates

This project begins every second Saturday throughout the year - please enquire for specific start dates and availability.

Back to Top

Work & Impacts

Observe elephants in the forest

OBSERVE ELEPHANTS IN THE FOREST

Every morning, traditional elephant keepers (mahouts) lead a group of staff and volunteers on a hike out into the forest to the area where the elephants spent the night. If necessary, you might assist with giving the elephants a quick health-check, though human contact with the elephants is limited as far as possible. You will then follow them through the forest for the rest of the morning, gathering data on their interactions and feeding patterns.

Collecting data on other wildlife

COLLECTING DATA ON OTHER WILDLIFE

While on your daily hikes, you will also be expected to gather information on other wildlife in this incredibly biologically diverse slice of Nature. Expect to see a variety of gibbons, birds, snakes, insects and spiders.

Community involvement

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

In the afternoons, you will spend time with the local villagers – assisting with English classes at a local school, organizing games of football, learning how to prepare their traditional meals and weave baskets, and generally observing and participating in their daily life.

Back to Top

Fun & Travel

Things to do in your spare time

Because of the remote location of this project, most of the relaxation activities take place in the village itself during the week, but the following trips and activities can be arranged for weekends or at the end of your volunteer experience.

Thailands highest peak

THAILAND'S HIGHEST PEAK

Your first side trip will be on your way into the village from the city of Chiang Mai. We stop along the way at the Doi Inthanon National Park, which is home to Thailand’s highest peaks, and take a beautiful walk to one of the park’s incredible waterfalls.

Neighboring villages

NEIGHBORING VILLAGES

If you are feeling a little “cabin-feverish” in Huay Pakoot and want to get out for a bit, weekend trips to neighboring towns Mae Chaem and Mae Hong Son can be arranged. You can get a traditional Thai massage and explore temples during your visit.

Adventure activities

ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES

There are plenty of opportunities in this location to go bamboo river-rafting, rock-climbing, and, of course, hiking. Excursions like these can be organized for a group of keen volunteers.

Travel further afield

TRAVEL FURTHER AFIELD

There is no shortage of exciting trips to be taken within Thailand – including to the beaches of Ko Tao and Phuket; the spectacular waterfalls of the Khao Yai National Park; the temples, markets and nightlife in Bangkok; and the “golden kingdom” of Ayuthaya. 

Back to Top

ABOUT HUAY PAKOOT

About huay pakoot

About the Destination

You will be living in Huay Pakoot, a quiet, rural Thai village, where you will learn about Karen culture from the local villagers and community members. It is in a remote location – about five hours away from the city of Chiang Mai. You will need to be able to adjust to a way of life that is devoid of many modern conveniences – a simpler, slower lifestyle that will teach about what is really important. This is the perfect opportunity for you to really get involved with the community and to participate enthusiastically in all local activities.

English-speaking staff on the ground will always be available should you need any help, but you are encouraged to immerse yourself in the local community’s daily life and to enjoy the breath-taking forest setting during this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Back to Top

Feedback from our volunteers

CLAIRE WIGHAM, UK

“I have had the opportunity to observe and work closely with these social and complex animals, which would be impossible with elephants in the wild. Staying in a traditional Karen community has been a million miles away from life in England. I have been made to feel really welcome here and I feel privileged to be part of a project that is helping both the elephants and the community in which they live.”

Back to Top

Brochures

Back to Top

ENQUIRY FORM

how would you like us to contact you?
via phone
Full Name*
Email*
Phone Number
*Required
how would you like us to contact you?
via phone
Full Name*
Email*
Phone Number
*Required