Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary

Photography Internship

Chiang Mai, Thailand show on map

This is a great experience for any photography/art students or graduates who need more experience in the field or anyone with an interest or experience in photography.

Our Sanctuary 

If you want to have a unique experience hiking in the forest to find the elephants everyday, observing and recording 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 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. 

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 in 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.


Typical day

Your Stay & Tasks

A photography intern's tasks vary from day-to-day. Our days begin with early morning hikes through the forest to find the elephants, staying with them while observing and taking high-resolution photos to help us with our social media. 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. 

Sometimes you will be needed to go to the school or stay in the village to get some community shots. You will also be given a project to work on during your stay as well as helping the staff with any visitors or volunteers. 


Free-time activities

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

Water Sports
Swimming
Sightseeing
Hiking
Sports

Program Requirements

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)
Health Declaration
required
Required Documents
CV/resume and Cover Letter
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
All interns must provide their own photography equipment to bring with them.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups
50+

Included Services

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
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Refund Guarantee
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Resolution Support
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary

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

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 and dinner and filtered water included.

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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
8 weeks (min. stay)
$1,840.00
9 weeks
$1,955.00
10 weeks
$2,070.00
11 weeks
$2,185.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$2,300.00
Average fees
$211.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Chiang Mai/Thailand between 8 weeks and 12 weeks. 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.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Thailand.
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 {project.name} during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Asia South-Eastern Asia Thailand  Chiang Mai, Mae Chaem

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