The elephants of Cambodia need help. There is little education on the care of domesticated elephants and few possibilities of veterinary assistance when required. The Elephant Valley Project is as much about people as it is about elephants. Without secure employment for an elephant’s mahout (caretaker), an elephant is essentially at risk.
The sanctuary provides an alternative lifestyle for the domesticated working elephants closer to their natural living conditions in the forest. The elephant keepers are provided with an alternative income and the rescued elephants are provided a sanctuary with veterinary care and no longer work long hours.
Volunteers work a 5 day week, spending half the time observing elephants in their natural habitat with a guide and the Mahouts, who look after the elephants. The other half is spent working to help improve the sanctuary farms and facilities. Please note that activities are seasonal and will depend on weather conditions, availability of water, river levels and other factors. Some volunteer work may include improving living conditions for the elephants, maintaining banana plantations, light construction work, planting seedlings and helping bathe the elephants.
Long-term volunteering starts at 1 week, but can go as long as you’d like. The average is 2 – 4 weeks. Volunteer coordination is handled through globalteer.org, a UK-registered charity providing volunteer placements working in Wildlife Rescue and Conservation in Asia.
For shorter durations, check out their day visits which range from 1-5 days.
1 week volunteering is $750-shared room/$960-private room. Donation fees include:
- Airport pick up from Phnom Penh
- Accommodation in Sen Monorom
- All main meals
- Onsite orientation
- Transport back to Phnom Penh
Other ways you can help
You can also visit for the day without volunteering. Fees support the organization and more information can be found here.
For more information about volunteering with Elephant Valley Project, visit them online:Support the business associated with this volunteer opportunity.