Forest Elephant Sanctuary

High­lights Require­ments What's Included Dates & Fees Rev­iews
founded in 2011
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Coordinator | Tracy
Coordinator | Tracy
The Elephant Sanctuary enables volunteers to make a tangible difference amid a backdrop of beauty, wonder and exploration This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
The Project

The Forest Thailand Elephant Sanctuary enables volunteers to make a tangible difference amid a backdrop of beauty, wonder and exploration. By assisting the conservation team and fellow volunteers, this project enables displaced and abused elephants to integrate back into their natural habitat. This life-changing experience will see you provide sanctuary for one of the world’s most endangered species alongside various buffalo, birds, cats and dogs that require rescuing. Here are a means of gaining a greater cultural appreciation within Asia whilst contributing to one of the great moral causes of our time.

The Sanctuary is located 60km north of Chiang Mai. Complete with comfortable accommodation, fantastic local cuisine and friendly company, you will be situated in the heart of Thailand’s thriving wildlife.

The Location

Thailand is widely considered to be Southeast Asia’s ultimate tropical paradise. Mixing modern architecture with ancient cultural landscapes and traditions, this luxurious part of the world continues to be one of the true tourist hotspots all year round. 

Chiang Mai is the largest city in the North and offers a range of sites and activities for explorers young and old. Rich with fragrances, local delicacies, gardens, ruins and museums, the 14 million annual visitors are treated to an array of splendour amid the revitalised Mae Ping River. 

Your Contribution

  • Feed and bathe elephants
  • Clearing elephant droppings
  • General elephant care
  • Cleaning and preparing elephant food
  • Constructing and maintaining mud pits
  • Helping local villages
  • Caring for dogs and other pets
  • Assisting staff with mahouts while undertaking various educational tasks with park staff
Volunteers will work parallel with our expert conservation team and fellow volunteers. From agricultural activities to community care and general maintenance and sustainability endeavours, your Chiang Mai experience will be a daily education through various hands-on tasks. Volunteers will be working closely with the elephants.

Conditions Onsite

Volunteers will work closely with elephants. 

Be wary that you will need rain gear between June to October and warm weather clothing between November and February. 

Please bring the following if you are able: Overnight bag with change of clothes for several days, hat, sunscreen, sandals/flip-flops, clothing for river bathing (not bikinis due tot eh Buddist culture, towel, shoes for walking, camera, bug repellent, flashlight, gardening gloves, short wellies or similar in wet season (Student Vets only - Coursework materials).

Thailand has rich, biological diversity. However, sadly increasingly, human pressures such as overexploitation, habitat loss and habitat degradation, are pushing many of Thailand creatures to the brink of extinction. In Thailand, as in every country in the world, animals are abused and exploited for profit and human gratification. There are many examples of animal exploitation for the tourist industry, such as animals performing in degrading shows and elephant riding camps. There is also a thriving illegal trade in wild animals for pets.  O2E ask that volunteers do not engage in activities that involve animal exploitation.  

Please Note 

The second instalment of your project fees is due within 1 week after you paid the deposit on Volunteer World. This is a total of $495 AUD and comes off your balance. The balance is due 90 days prior to travel. For all further information about the fees, please scroll down to the section "Program Fees“.

Typical day

After breakfast at 7am, you will prepare the elephants food before giving it to the animals. Volunteers can witness the herd bathe together in the river amid the surrounds of their natural habitat. You will participate in any number of activities, from assisting with the bathing site to cutting food and plantations to general maintenance tasks. No two days will be the same as volunteers gain an appreciation and a greater understanding of the animals and the challenges they face in Thailand. Dinner is served at 6pm as the day ends.

Free-time activities

Free time is provided before and after lunch and dinner. This personal time can be spent socialising, getting a Thai massage, walking dogs, river tubing, etc. Or more simply, watching elephants wander freely on the property. A village with a small convenience store and a food market is located just outside the front gate. 

It is very simple to arrange your own activities and travel. If you are staying on after your placement, your only problem will be deciding how much you can fit into your time. We recommend waiting until you arrive before trying to arrange trips or activities as there is so much choice and everything will be cheaper than arranging it from home.



In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Required Documents
Proof of travel Insurance docs and Proof of vaccinations
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Volunteers must be fluent in English, be willing to work and must be able to take direction staff.

Ability to work well and integrate within a team environment.

Social network skills is a major advantage.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 09:00 - 05:00

What's Included

Services by Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers

What's included in this project?

  • Pre-departure support
  • Project Information Pack
  • Project Orientation held 
  • Training
  • Field coordinator
  • Return transport from Chiang Mai to the project
  • International phone calls in case of emergency
  • Certificate of Participation, if requested
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • 24-hour O2E emergency phone
What's not included in this project?

  • Flights
  • Snacks
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal spending
  • Visa/Passport
  • Bangkok transfer (additional cost)
Airport Pickup at Chiang Mai International Airport
Fly to Bangkok, Thailand. O2E can book your transfer to the project at an additional cost.
Or fly to Chiang Mai, Thailand. From there we can arrange your complimentary transfer to the sanctuary or you can come to our office in Thailand on the morning of your placement.
You will be living on site in comfortable accommodation sharing with at least two other volunteers. Here you will fall asleep to the sounds of elephants calling. WiFi and phone service are also available with an operating laundry that charges a small fee per kg.
Food & Beverages
The food is excellent, with a large buffet style lunch and dinner with many different dishes to choose from. Vegan and vegetarian food is always available, and all dietary restrictions are catered to. There are three meals per day with a mix of delicious Thai cuisine.
Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) in Chiang Mai. We assist you to find cheap flights to Thailand.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Thailand provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Thailand you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Thailand.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

You can start every Monday, all through the year. The program is available up to 2 weeks for volunteers and up to 4 weeks for student vets.

To get there, fly to Chiang Mai, Thailand. From there we can arrange transport to the sanctuary or you can come to our office in Thailand on the morning of your placement.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 - 2 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
$ 805
2 weeks (max. stay)
$ 1,470
Average fees
$ 770 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or cash at arrival at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers cancels your trip
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We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers.

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  Asia South-Eastern Asia Thailand  Bangkok, Si Lanna National Park

Forest Elephant Sanctuary

The Elephant Sanctuary enables volunteers to make a tangible difference amid a backdrop of beauty, wonder and exploration


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