India Elephant Sanctuary

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1. In Brief

A land of sensory overload, cultural extremes, and extraordinary beauty and mystery, India has become one of the most desirable destinations to travel and volunteer. Its sheer size, and dynamic, complex population combine with fascinating wildlife and a mystical and pervasive heritage filled with tales of ancient gods, kings and queens, to make it a place that will transform your perspectives and realign your priorities.

Work alongside traditional mahouts helping retired working elephants and make a difference to the future of these engaging mammals, some of the most recognisable inhabitants of the subcontinent, whilst enjoying this popular travellers' destination renowned for its luscious landscapes, dense palm groves, whitewashed churches and sandy beaches. In your time off spend your days relaxing or, if you have the energy, you can rent a bike and explore your surroundings in the company of your new friends, or simply read a book and laze your days away, bathing in the unique atmosphere of India.

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Work alongside Indian Elephants
  • Delve into the culture of India
  • Come away with unmatchable memories

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

  • Minimum age of 18 years

PLEASE CHECK AVAILABILITY WHEN APPLYING FOR THIS POPULAR PROGRAMME

FAST FACTS

Duration From 2 weeks
Costs £650 for 2 weeks, £299 per extra week
Location India
Activities Habitat plantation
Reforestation
Infrastructure building & repair
Teaching
Transport Airport pick-up
Journey to project site via public transport
Accommodation Shared volunteer house

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go Pre-departure support
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
In-country Food
Accommodation
Airport pick-up
Ground transfers & in-transit accommodation
Local orientation and training
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up

QUALIFICATIONS

A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.

PADI DIVE TRAINING

On the Frontier Marine Conservation Group Projects, we will train you to PADI Advanced Open Water before you begin undertaking important biological surveys. Depending on how long you spend on the project, you may also have the option to take further courses up to Divemaster!

Please see the "Dates and Costs" tab for dive qualification prices or ask your volunteer advisor for more information.

Find out more about PADI qualifications.

2. The project

WHAT WILL I BE DOING?

Introduction week

Your first week is designed to give you an opportunity to explore the history and culture of India, and of course Mysore, with visits to local sites of special interest, cooking lessons, and possibly your first taste of yoga and meditation, practices that are central to Indian philosophy and way of life. Following this wonderful opportunity to fully immerse yourself in your new surroundings, your briefings for the volunteer work will begin.

Volunteer work

You will work closely with the mahouts at an elephant camp famous for being the training location of the Mysore Dussehra elephants. Learn from the mahouts as you develop your own bonds with the individual animals through the work programme of feeding, habitat plantation and reforestation, and general ecological maintenance. Your work will also extend to the local community and you can assist with the ongoing community development projects, such as infrastructure building and repair and teaching activities.

With weekends spent near Mysore you will have the perfect opportunity to delve into the culture of India, exploring your surroundings even further and understanding what drives this wonderfully unique country forward. With a range of extra activities available to you, at additional cost, you will find your biggest problem is finding enough time to fit everything in!

Please note that this programme focuses more on spending time with elephants rather than actual wildlife conservation work.

3. What to expect

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?

Upon arrival at Bangalore Airport you will be greeted by a representative from Frontier-India and escorted on the journey to the accommodation near to the camp where you will be based for the duration of your stay. The journey of approximately 260km will provide you with the perfect opportunity to view your country through the eyes of a local.

WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?

You will find all of your accommodation to be basic, but of course clean and comfortable. The rooms will be single sex and shared, and participants are asked to be environmentally responsible and use resources with restraint, and to help by keeping the living areas clean and tidy. The doors and windows are not mosquito-proofed, so you may want to bring a mosquito net!

WHAT WILL I BE EATING?

All three meals during the day will generally be taken together and will be typical of the region. Breakfast will vary from rice to Indian breads, and lunch and dinner will include a range of Indian dishes, characterised by rice, vegetables and sauces. You should be prepared for some of the food to be spicy, it being India after all, but you will find that there are tastes to suit all palates.

4. The reviews

Elephants, monasteries and villages  | 4 Oct 2010
Every morning we met for breakfast at 7.30 and then got the bus to the elephant camp. At the elep...

Read more


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5. Gallery

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6. Extras

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

In your free time, or after your placement has finished, you may have the opportunity to engage in a number of cultural and adventure activities.  Attend Bollywood festivals and theatre performances, explore remote villages and visit magnificent ancient temples, test your nerve as you rock climb high above coffee and tea plantations and spot tigers and monkeys from the back of an elephant as you trek through the jungle.

7. Dates and Costs

COSTS

2 weeks US$1,495

Extra week US$695

 

DEPARTURE DATES

Twice monthly, starts Monday.

PLEASE CHECK AVAILABILITY WHEN APPLYING FOR THIS POPULAR PROGRAMME

DURATION

From 2 weeks

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go

  • Comprehensive pre-departure support
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Free Frontier t-shirt

In-country

  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Airport pick-up
  • Ground transfers & in-transit accommodation
  • Local orientation
  • Project training
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ back-up

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Flights

Flights are not included in our trip costs. However, we have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with us. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact our dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .

Visas

For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.

Insurance

You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.


LEGAL STATEMENT
Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

8. How to apply

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.


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