We need volunteers to come and help us keep the elephants in the forest, carry out health checks whilst educating our community by teaching English.
If you want to have a unique experience of hiking in the forest to find the elephants and observe their natural behaviours in their home environment, the 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 just rescued 4 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.
The Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary is set amongst the rolling hills of Northern Thailand in a Karen Hill Tribe village. It is surrounded by a forest that is perfect for our elephants to forage in.
The Karen Hill Tribe are originally from Myanmar but they migrated to Thailand in search of a better life during the wars many generations ago. 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 first-hand about their culture and even help out with the community when required.
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 as well receiving education about elephants in Asia and learning the local tribal language and culture. We also have a number of add-ons you can choose such as relaxing with a Thai massage or learning how to basket weave.
Volunteers can stay with us for anything 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.
Volunteers must come with an open mind & 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.
Among others you will:
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 receiving education about elephants in Asia and learning the local tribal language and culture.
We have many add-ons in the village that volunteers can take part in if they wish, such as: Muay Thai lessons, basket weaving, head band weaving, river tubing, Thai massage, night hikes, cooking class & forest sleep outs.
You will be picked up in Chiang Mai, brought to a hostel from which you leave to the sanctuary the next morning.
Our accommodation is very simple, volunteers will be staying with a host family in a homestay where you will be provided with your own room that will consist of a mattress on the floor, a mosquito net and a bathroom with a cold bucket shower (perfect for after a hike!). All homestays vary in shapes and sizes depending on the homestay allocated. 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.
Basic western breakfast and Thai lunch & dinner included.