Elephant Community Refuge

opgericht in 2011
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Coördinator | Tracy
Coördinator | Tracy
Boek met de Flex-Optie! Kies nieuwe vertrekdata of wijzig je vrijwilligersproject zonder meerkost.


Meet our resident, animals and see how your project fee helps Elephants
You’ll meet loads of great people and we know you’ll have lots of fun, but the animals come first.
Undertake activities caring Elephants
Enjoy a working holiday and contribute to these animals who need us.
Enjoy living in Thailand eating beautiful food and meeting the locals.
Walk side by side with a herd of gentle giants as volunteers in Surin Province as we help the elephants be free from work.. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Leeftijd 18+
The Project

The Elephant Community Refuge is based in a small village, situated by the Cambodian Border approximately 7 hours drive (450km) from Bangkok. This is a location that enables the elephants to roam whilst giving volunteers warm and friendly accommodation complete with gorgeous scenery.

Walk side by side with a herd of gentle giants as volunteers in Surin Province as we help the elephants be free from work. Working in conjunction with mahout owners, your contribution will ensure economic sustainability through this tourism initiative, giving the local community and government the necessary tools to allow the elephants to stay at home with their mahouts instead of street begging.. Volunteers will be immersed in Thai culture, offering an experience of a lifetime.

The Location

Thailand is widely considered to be a jewel in the crown of Southeast Asia to be a true tropical paradise. Combining ancient cultural landscapes with modern architecture, this exotic corner of the globe continues to be one of the outstanding tourist hotspots annually. Surin is the capital of Surin Province, a region located a few hours drive northeast of Bangkok. Complete with ancient Buddhist temples, Jasmine Rice Festivals and the stunning Huai Saneng Reservoir, there is plenty to eat, drink, see and explore.

Your tasks as a volunteer

  • Walking the elephants through forest area or releasing them into an enclosure
  • Feed and bathe the elephants
  • General elephant care
  • Harvesting crops
  • Creating mud pits
  • Building fences (both figuratively and literally!)
  • Planting trees
  • Assisting park vets (for student vets and medical specialists only)
  • Cleaning and preparing elephant food
  • Helping local villages through English language education programs
  • Educating incoming volunteers and tourists on the issues facing elephants within Asia and overseas
  • Assisting staff with mahouts while undertaking various educational tasks with park staff
There are numerous challenges facing the elephant conservation effort in Thailand. As the site operates to help remove the animals from an environment of captivity and abuse, there is a confronting reality to their plight. By working with the volunteers, you are making a tangible impact to help break these wonderful creatures from a cruel and unnecessary cycle that is human-made. With anywhere between 150-200 elephants living at the Centre, the greatest challenge facing the project is the capacity to support only up to 12 elephants simultaneously, placing a strain on resources and human capital. Volunteers will be working closely with the elephants.

Your training and support will be varied but ensure that the conservation team will be on hand to give you an on the ground education that cannot be taught from a textbook. From first-hand experience, you will be given the necessary understanding as to the elephant's behaviour, mannerisms and relationship to the local ecosystem within Surin.

Will I be on my own or are there other volunteers at the same project?

The more the merrier we say! You will never be the only volunteer on a project. You will be amongst other like-minded volunteers from all over the world as well as local volunteers.

What should I pack?

Refer to the Travel Resources section for a general packing list. Your Project Information Pack will have specific items that are suggested for your placement.

We recommend you travel as light as physically possible, but take note of the following:

Essential items: Flashlight, Earplugs, Alarm clock/watch, Basic First Aid kit, personal medication, Towel, personal toiletries, sunscreen, Insect repellent, flip flops, closed shoes, long-sleeved shirts and trousers, extra socks.

Seasonal gear: (poncho/ waterproofs (Rainy season: June - October), warm clothing, long sleeves, sweatpants, jumper (Cold season: November - February; can get quite cold at night times).

Recommended but not essential: reading material, travel games, camera, small daypack, gardening gloves, wide-brimmed hat- we can provide gloves and hats on site if you do not have these items.

Important Note about clothing: Please remember to pack clothes that are respectful to the local culture - t-shirts that cover your shoulders, shorts that come down to your knees - No bikini´s, string vest tops or hot pants allowed. You will be asked to change if you are wearing any of these items.

Baggage / Luggage allowance: One Standard Check-in Sized Rucksack/Suit Case/Bag AND one small day pack per person.

Dagelijkse activiteiten

There is not really such a thing as a “typical day” for the Elephant Community Refuge, but there will be activities that are consistent and overlap with one and other. Following breakfast, staff will link up with fellow volunteers, conservation specialists and the local community members to walk the elephants through the forest or towards a monitored enclosure. This takes up approximately 2-3 hours of your day. 

Amid this up close and personal activity with the elephants, you will be helping with the conservation and maintenance of the park. Planting trees, building and repairing fences, preparing food, harvesting crops and creating mud pits are all part of the excursion and tasks are varied during the week.

The central goal of this project is not just to have boots on the ground for physical assistance, but to be a living advocate for elephant welfare. Combining language lessons for young Thai school children and outreach activities, volunteers will help push the program towards a time where these beautiful creatures spend less time in chains and more in their natural habitat.


It is very simple to arrange your own activities and travel. If you are staying on after your placement, there is a multitude of options. 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.

Only a flight away from Bangkok, there will be plenty of scope to see the sights and sounds of Thailand’s most glorious city. 

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."



Om deel te nemen aan het programma dien je tenminste 18 jaar oud te zijn op de startdatum van het programma. Er kunnen uitzonderingen gemaakt worden indien je een bewijs van toestemming kan aantonen van uw wettelijke voogd(en) of samen met je ouders deelneemt.
Je dient over volgende taalkennis te beschikken Engels (vloeiend)
Vereiste documenten
Proof of travel Insurance docs en Proof of vaccinations
Geen beperkingen. Helpende handen van over de hele wereld zijn welkom.
Andere vaardigheden
*Volunteers must be fluent in English, be willing to work and must be able to take direction staff.

*Ability to type in English and Thai with appropriate computer design and office application skills

*Ability to work well and integrate within a team environment

*A strong initiative, capacity to learn and dynamic personality
*Social network skills a major advantage
Uw helpende hand wordt verwacht op maandag, dinsdag, woensdag, donderdag en vrijdag van 09:00 - 05:00

Diensten ingesloten

Diensten door Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers
  • Pre-departure support
  • Project Information Pack
  • Project Orientation
  • Training
  • Field coordinator
  • Return transport from Buriram to the project
  • International phone calls in case of emergency
  • O2E T-shirt (For Australian volunteer only)
  • Certificate of Participation, if requested
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • 24-hour O2E emergency phone
  • Meals
  • Accommodation
Afhaal aan de luchthaven op Surin
Fly to Bangkok, Thailand. O2E can book your transfer to the project at an additional cost.
Fly to Surin, Thailand. From there we can arrange your complimentary transfer to the sanctuary from your hotel or you can come to our office in Thailand on the morning of your placement. 


You will be living on site in basic but comfortable accommodation. You can have a room to yourself or share with a partner or friend if that is your preference.

Slaapkamer (Dubbel)
Eten & Drank

Volunteers will eat together or at their homestay. The food is healthy and varied, with a buffet style breakfast, lunch and dinner with many different dishes to choose from. and vegetarian food is always available. All dietary restrictions are catered to. Local noodle shops and restaurants are the preference for lunch to help boost the local economy while sourcing some of the world’s best food in the region.

Internet toegang
Beperkte toegang op de project site
Wat is er NIET inbegrepen?
Visum, vluchten, reisverzekering en vaccinaties zijn NIET inbegrepen in de programmakosten.
Vlucht tickets
De dichtste luchthaven is Surin (PXR) in Surin. We assisteren u met het vinden van goedkope vluchten naar Thailand.
Naar het buitenland reizen is een avontuur en het is best om goed voorbereid te zijn. Plots ziek worden of gewond raken, annulaties of diefstal - een reisverzekering voor Thailand biedt zekerheid en is een meerwaarde.
Als je de intentie hebt om als vrijwilliger aan de slag te gaan in Thailand dien je eerst medisch advies in te winnen alvorens je eropuit trekt. Kijk de benodigde vaccinaties na voor Thailand.

Data & Kosten


Gegevens over jouw aankomst

Every Monday, every day of the year subject to availability. 

jan. feb. mrt. apr. mei jun. jul. aug. sep. okt. nov. dec.
1 - 2 weken


Kosten: Prijs in USD
1 week (min. verblijf)
2 weken (max. verblijf)
Gemiddelde kosten
$933 /week

Houd er rekening mee dat de hierboven getoonde kosten worden geschat. Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers zal je op de hoogte houden over de finale kostprijs gedurende uw aanmeldprocedure.
Waarborg (15%)
De waarborg dient om je plek als vrijwilliger te verzekeren. Betalingen worden door PayPal behandeld, onze betrouwbare betalingsprovider. Indien je niet over een PayPal account beschikt, kan je ook met een credit kaart betalen.
Finale betaling (85%)
Uw finale betaling zal worden goedgekeurd door Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers gedurende de aanmeld procedure. Veel voorkomende oplossingen zijn een banktransfer of contante betaling op de projectsite.

Waarom Volunteer World

Bijkomende zekerheid geboden door Volunteer World
Volunteer World is 's werelds leidende vergelijkingsplatform voor internationale vrijwilligerswerk projecten. Wij begeleiden jou door een betrouwbare aanmeldingsprocedure - inclusief de nodige betalingen. Plan jouw zinvolle reis met Volunteer World en krijg gratis toegang tot:
Hoge ethische standaarden & transparantie in de sociale impact
Wijzig jouw reservatie zonder extra meerkost
Garantie op terugbetaling
We betalen je kosten terug als Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers jouw reis annuleert
Ondersteuning & tussenkomst
Wij steunen je, wat er ook gebeurt, je kan altijd contact opnemen met ons
Onze diensten zijn gratis!
Alle programmakosten worden rechtstreeks gefactureerd door Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers

Wat vertellen de mensen over Volunteer World?

Elephant Community Refuge

Walk side by side with a herd of gentle giants as volunteers in Surin Province as we help the elephants be free from work..


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