Elephant Care & Community Support

Get up close with the elephants and learn about these incredible animals.

About Baan Tha-Thit

Until the mid-1980's elephants were used as machinery in the very lucrative logging industry across Thailand. These incredible animals dragged tonnes of felled tree's from the forests and jungles to the trucks that ferried them to the mills. But in the mid 1980's logging was outlawed across Thailand and these elephants became redundant.

As a 3 tonne elephant is an extremely expensive 'pet' many of their owners, known as 'Ma-hoot's' were forced to sell their elephants to street-hawkers, tourist resorts and circus's as just putting food on the family table was difficult enough.

However there are some communities who insisted on keeping their 'pets' as they had become 'one of the family' and their owners couldn't bare to part with them, doing what they could to forage enough food to keep their elephant healthy and strong.

One such community is Baan Tha-Thit in northern Surin province. Home to over 30 elephants, all of whom eat upwards of 250kgs of food each day, these guys can only keep their animals safe, healthy and loved with the help of organisations such as ours.

Volunteer Experience

Volunteers who join this program are in for the most amazing experience. You'll be submerged in  the 'real' Thailand, have a new unforgettable experience every day, help out on any number of micro-development projects in the village, make paper and jewelry from elephant dung, go kayaking, learn to cook traditional food, plant and harvest rice, cut and plant sugar cane, trek through rural farmlands, entertain the local community kids, all whilst being watched by your new best friends, the elephants!

Our volunteers here aren't just hanging out with elephants. You'll get the full Thailand experience. You'll live 4 nights each week in a rural farming community who have an elephant living in their back garden. You'll get to really understand what it's like living and working in a community like this and take part in many different projects.

Each day you'll be visited by the elephants, feed them play with them, hug them then take them for a walk to the river for a swim and a good scrub!


Your work as a volunteer on this project is more than just helping out the community. Your money goes a very long way. Not only does it include all of your accommodation, transport, meals and more, it also ensures that these elephants stay where they are, that they aren't sold to street-hawkers to walk the streets of the big cities selling photo opportunities to tourists. Your money ensures that these elephants receive the best in the way of healthcare and love.

Simply by offering physical and financial support to this community we're making a huge difference. Families are able to farm more freely and invest in better equipment and means. They are able to support their child going to school. The community is a happier place to live and thrive and even the most basic of amenities is being improved. All through the help of our organisation and our volunteers.

Please Note

Due to overwhelming support this project is currently full throughout the month of June. In addition, we have very few places available for the month of July.

Suitable for


Typical day

It's impossible to give details of a typical day as it changes frequently depending on many factors. Needless to say our elephant village volunteers are kept extremely busy through the day on any number of projects. These include, but are not limited too, cutting and planting elephant feed, working with, feeding, cleaning, swimming with the elephants, making paper from elephant dung that's sold to raise funds to care for the elephants, various local community activities, helping to redevelop the local school and much more.

Our award-winning team of volunteer coordinators are with our volunteers throughout the stay and are there to make sure that everybody understands everything that's happening, why it's happening and what's happening next.

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in Thailand? Volunteer World directly connects you with The Bamboo Project powered by GVN

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Free-time activities

Surin has lots to keep you occupied but it's also very easy to head off to other places, cities, national parks and even islands where you have a long list of activities waiting for you to sign up to. Just speak to our project coordinators about what you're looking to do and they'll advise you on the best activities available.

Water Sports


What's included?
In-depth pre-departure information
- Weekend in Bangkok on arrival
- All accommodation and transport
- All meals whilst at the elephant village
- Daily work with the elephants and the community
- Donation towards the ongoing health, welfare and support of the elephants
- All materials for any local community projects
- Kayaking, Thai cooking
- 24 hour support from our very own coordinators
- Homestay accommodation in the village
- Volunteer house accommodation at weekends
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Airport Pickup

Please enquire about our specific arrival dates. For this program we ask that volunteers arrive in to Bangkok on either the first or third Friday of the month. If your flight arrives in to Bangkok on either of those days the we'll have one of our team collect you at the airport and transfer you to our guesthouse in Bangkok where you'll spend your first two nights.


On arrival in Bangkok volunteers stay for 2 nights in a lovely guesthouse close to the world famous Khao San Road. In Surin volunteers live in a shared house when not at the project. During the week volunteers live with a host family. The accommodation in Surin is basic but comfortable.

Guest Family Bedroom (Single)
Food & Beverages

In Bangkok your breakfasts are included as is a lovely Thai meal at a popular local restaurant. The volunteer house is self-catering but with many wonderful and very cheap restaurants close by chances are you'll be eating out, a lot! During your time at the elephant village, all meals are included and you can even learn to cook some basic Thai dishes.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
1 week (min. stay)
2 weeks
3 weeks
4 weeks (max. stay)

You can volunteer at the project site in Surin/Thailand between 1 weeks and 4 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. The Bamboo Project powered by GVN will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
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 The Bamboo Project powered by GVN during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Thailand

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Thailand. Please check the visa regulations for Thailand.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in Thailand and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in Thailand.
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Thailand.

What's next?

The nearest airport is Suvarnabhumi International (BKK) in Bangkok. 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.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Thailand you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Thailand.
What can you do in leisure-time in Thailand while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Packing List
Packing our bags is important to prepare your trip, but often turns into a last minute horror. Make sure you don't forget the essentials by creating a personalised packing list for your volunteer program in Thailand upfront.
Bamboo House, Baan Tha-Thit, Surin, Thailand