Living with Elephants in Thailand

Living with Elephants in Chiang Mai, Thailand


Do you love to travel? If you do, and if you have been thinking you want to change the world and you want the world to be changed, you might like to consider ‘voluntourism’.
Voluntourism is a term whereby it describes passionate people like you, whom like to volunteer their time in helping out in wildlife conservation. There are no job too big or too small,  as there are opportunities for us to be of service in small doses in wildlife conservation. Experience conservation in action!
Come with Wildlife Salvation on a conservation holiday volunteer work expedition to remote and interesting parts of the world to experience conservation and voluntourism in action to safeguard our wild animals and places. Simply spend your holiday time in a different way and help us to do more in wildlife conservation volunteering around the world. As Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”

Volunteer at an elephant camp in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand for a wonderful experience of volunteering, cultural activities and adventure.

This program also includes activities such as Thai cooking and adventure activities such as trekking and rafting.

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Tour Date: email to to find out!
Duration : 1 week
Arrival and Departure : Chiang Mai Airport on Sunday

About the program

Volunteers stay at a homestay with a lovely Thai family. All meals and activities as per the itinerary below are included in the program. You will stay in a single room with a private bathroom in a homestay in the village with a wonderful Thai family. Previous volunteers loved staying with our homestay family where they experienced an authentic Thai lifestyle. There is free wifi internet available at the homestay.

The minimum age for joining the program is 17 years. There are no specific qualifications needed to join the volunteer program in Thailand.


Ms Prachit Kasemrat, our Coordinator in Chiang Mai

About the elephant camp

All the logging was officially abandoned in Thailand from 1989 and so it also demands that the elephants that had been employed in the logging industry no longer have to work. Since it is very expensive to feed and care for an elephant in captivity, many elephants owners started using the elephants in the tourist industry. In the tourist industry there is a lot of abuse of elephants.

In response to save the elephants and to try to keep the elephants in their natural environments, we have partnership with the local villagers and a group of elephants owners, set up this elephant camp in Chiang Mai. This is however an elephant camp which is different with typical animal camps and the elephants will stay in their natural environment.

Each elephant owner is responsible for taking care of their own elephant. To make sure that no elephants is abused or overworked. All the elephants will stay in the forest at night in their natural environments.

Volunteers will go to the forest in the morning to wake up the elephants and give them a bath in the river. At the end of the day volunteers will ride the elephants back to the river to give them a bath. Then the elephants will go back to the forest to have a good night sleep.

 view1Weekly Itinerary (7 days/6 nights)

Day 1 

night market @ Chiang Mai

Airport pick up and transport to your hotel in Chiang Mai City. Relax from your trip, explore Chiang Mai and in the evening go to the famous Chiang Mai night market. Accommodation in a hotel in Chiang Mai.

 Day 2

day 2
You will start with the eco adventure activity of Jungle Flight. Jungle Flight takes you on an unforgettable adventure as you slide from one platform to the next along a series of steel cables set amongst magnificent natural surroundings. The scenery high up within the forest canopy is spectacular. The platforms are located in giant rainforest trees. The scenery and bird life is spectacular and professional guides provide interesting facts about the forest ecology. Accommodation in a hotel in Chiang Mai.

Day 3


First there is a Thai cooking class where you will learn how to prepare and cook a Thai meal while enjoying the relaxing non touristy countryside. You will be given the opportunity to pick some of the fresh ingredients that you will use while preparing your favorite dishes in one of our spacious well equipped kitchens. Each person will have his/her own cooking station. Finally, enjoy eating your meal on the terrace overlooking the fishpond where you will have a splendid view of the entire farm as well as the nearby mountains. In the afternoon you will leave for elephant camp which is about 2 hours drive from Chiang Mai City. Arrival and dinner at the homestay. All meals at the homestay are included. Accommodation at the homestay.

Day 4

You start by walking from the homestay to the forest and ride elephant to river. After that there is a basic mahout training. Then you will ride the elephant back to homestay in time for breakfast. Around 10 am you will go for a day of Trekking and Rafting. Packed lunch provided. In the evening there will be dinner at the homestay. Accommodation at the homestay.

Day 5

In the morning you will walk from the homestay to the forest and ride elephant to river. It is time to give the elephants a bath in the river. Then you will ride the elephant back to homestay in time for breakfast. You will learn how to make food for the elephant followed by lunch. Ride the elephant to a river for another bath, followed by a ride with the elephant to the forest to let the elephant stay overnight there. Walk back to the homestay for dinner. Accommodation at the homestay.

Day 6 

Start by walking from the homestay to the forest and ride elephant. Then you will ride the elephant back to homestay for breakfast. Prepare food for elephant followed by lunch.
In the afternoon ride the elephant to the river for a bath and in the evening ride the elephant to the forest to let the elephant stay overnight there. Walk back to homestay, Dinner and accommodation at the homestay.

Day 7 

You walk from the homestay to the forest and ride elephant to river. It is time to give the elephants a bath in the river. Ride the elephant back to the homestay for breakfast. At 10.00 am leave the homestay and transport back to Chiang Mai or Chiang Mai airport for your onwards journey.


Prices of the program: US$999

Our program includes these services:

• Volunteer placement and activities as per itinerary
• All accommodation and meals as per itinerary (no meals in Chiang Mai City)
• Airport pickup and transport to the elephant camp from Chiang Mai airport (or Chiang Mai City)
• Pickup from the camp at the end of your program and transport to Chiang Mai airport
• Support : From the very beginning to the end of the project your local tour Coordinator will coordinate your program
• Emergency Support : We provide volunteers with mobile phone of your local coordinator so that volunteers and their family members can contact our coordinator in the event of an emergency or crisis.
• Certificate of Completion : Upon completion of your respective service project, participants receive a certificate upon request illustrating their contributed time. Please request this after finishing the program if you would like to have a certificate.
• Pre-departure information : We help you with any questions that you have regarding your program before you leave.

The prices of our programs also cover the cost of researching, visiting the projects, advertising and promotion costs, office expenses and staff at our head office and local staff.

What’s not included : international flight, travel insurance, visa


How to book?

Participants are encouraged to email their interest to as far in advance as possible as places are limited. Late applications however are welcome and we will get back to you within 48 hours to let you know if you have been accepted to our program.