Work with Elephants and Teach English

High­lights Require­ments What's Included Dates & Fees Rev­iews
Non-profit
·
founded in 2015
Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary
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Coordinator | Kerri
Coordinator | Kerri

High­lights

Volunteer with elephants and bring them back into their natural habitat
Make a difference in the conservation efforts to save elephants living under dreadful conditions
Help teaching English to the communities and raise awareness about the captive elephant situation
Roam the forests and observe elephant's natural behaviours in their home environment
We need volunteers to come and help us keep the elephants in the forest while carrying out research and health checks, and educating our community by teaching English. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 14+
Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Our Sanctuary 

If you want to have a unique experience hiking in the forest to find the elephants and observing their natural behaviours in their home environment, then Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary is the right place for you. Come and join us for the experience of a lifetime. Volunteers must be physically fit to hike everyday up and down the mountains to get to the elephants. In our sanctuary, you can see exactly where your donations are going and how they are benefiting our sanctuary, our elephants and our community.

Our sanctuary has rescued 5 elephants from the tourism industry and we have now brought them home to live out their lives in the forest, in semi-wild conditions. We need volunteers to help us keep these elephants happy and healthy in their natural habitat. With volunteer support and donations, we hope to return more elephants to the forest soon. 

Our Village 

Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary is set amongst the rolling hills of Northern Thailand in a Karen hilltribe village. It is surrounded by a forest that is perfect for our elephants to roam and forage in. 

The Karen people are originally from Myanmar but they have migrated to Thailand in search of a better life during the wars over many generations. Due to this they have their own language and culture, which volunteers will have the opportunity to learn and experience. They are keen weavers and are well known in Thailand for their elephant keeping. They make an income from their elephants and working the fields, mainly growing rice and corn using rotational slash and burn. Volunteers will have the opportunity to learn more firsthand about their culture and even help out with the community when required.

Your Stay 

Our days begin with early morning hikes through the forest to find the elephants, staying with them while observing and taking data on their natural behaviours until lunch. Some days lunch is eaten with the elephants in the forest, a very unique experience! Hikes will usually return to the village around early afternoon but the day doesn’t end there. 

You will have the opportunity to participate in teaching English at the school, to the homestays and to the mahouts.  You will also learn about elephants in Asia and the local language and culture. We also have a number of add-ons you can choose from including relaxing with a Thai massage or learning how to basket weave. 

Volunteers can stay with us anywhere from 3 days to 3 months. However, we recommend at least a week to get the full experience of our sanctuary. Students who wish to carry out research for their studies are also welcome.

Your tasks

Volunteers must come with an open mind and be prepared to work with and experience another culture. 

You will have the chance to experience a diversity of tasks. Please be aware that tasks may vary depending on the time of your arrival and your own preferences.

Some of the tasks include: 

  • carrying out health checks
  • performing research on the natural elephant behaviors and on the surrounding forest
  • taking part in community projects such as teaching English at the school and to other locals
  • cutting grass for the elephants during dry season
  • helping out in the fields planting and harvesting crops 
  • educating both the locals and tourists on the captive elephant situation in Thailand to help combat illegal trade
Volunteers will also be expected to help us take care of any visitors and educate them on the real elephant situation in Thailand.

Typical day

Volunteers and visitors are expected to wake up early in the morning and be prepared for a long hike into the forest. Hikes will usually return to the village around early afternoon but the day doesn’t end there. Volunteers and visitors will have the opportunity to participate in teaching English at the school, to the homestays and to the mahouts as well as learn about elephants in Asia and the local language and culture. 

Free-time activities

We have many add-ons in the village that volunteers can take part in if they wish, such as: basket weaving, head band weaving, river tubing, Thai massage, night hikes, bamboo rafting, cooking class and forest sleep outs.

Water Sports
Swimming
Sightseeing
Hiking
Sports

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 14 years old on the program start date.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

What's Included

Services by Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary

Included in these fees are: transport to/from project/Chiang Mai on arrival and departure, food & accomodation and insurance.

Accommodation

We provide an income for our community by housing our guests, volunteers and interns in their own homestay provided by the local people.

All of our homestays are different from each other, some being a private room inside the family home, others being a wooden hut just outside the family home. Some homestays have a western toilet, others have a traditional squat toilet. Each one beautifully unique, just like their welcoming hosts.

The accommodation is basic but comfortable and provides all bedding, a mattress, mosquito net, extension cord to charge electronics, filtered water and usually a shared bathroom with cold showers and toilet paper provided. Hot shower may be provided at our base hut (depending on water pressure). Please be aware that during the dry season there might not be a lot of water available in the pipes for running water, but there will always be a bucket of water in your homestay toilet to be used for showering or flushing the toilet. Electricity can also come off and at different intervals during the dry and rainy seasons. 

Bedroom (Single)
Food & Beverages

Basic western breakfast and Thai lunch & dinner  and filtered water included. Homestays will provide a packed lunch and dinner in their home whereas breakfast will be provided at our communal base hut where our visitors/volunteers hang out during freetime.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
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.
Vaccines
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

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

Programs start on any Sunday and finish on any Friday.

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
1 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 days (min. stay)
$ 333
3 days
$ 380
1 week
$ 600
2 weeks
$ 1,200
3 weeks
$ 1,500
4 weeks
$ 1,800
5 weeks
$ 2,100
6 weeks
$ 2,400
7 weeks
$ 2,580
8 weeks
$ 2,760
9 weeks
$ 2,940
10 weeks
$ 3,120
11 weeks
$ 3,300
12 weeks (max. stay)
$ 3,480
Average fees
$ 728 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary 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 Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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We refund your fees if Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary cancels your trip
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All program fees are charged directly by Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary.

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  Asia South-Eastern Asia Thailand  Chiang Mai, Mae Chaem

Work with Elephants and Teach English

We need volunteers to come and help us keep the elephants in the forest while carrying out research and health checks, and educating our community by teaching English.

$728/week

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