Thailand Elephant Sanctuary

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1. In Brief

Thailand has continued to be one of the most tempting destinations for those who are seeking a combination of enchanting natural surroundings, alluring culture, and incredible biodiversity. Breathtaking silvery beaches lapped by warm, crystal clear waters are complemented by friendly locals, mouth-watering local delicacies, and an ancient and fascinating historical heritage rooted in Buddhist origins.

In its waters live a fantastic array of marine creatures and snorkelling or scuba diving in Thailand is a truly unforgettable experience. However, some of the countries most charming wildlife, elephants, is under threat. Join our elephant project to help contribute towards the care of retired working elephants and help make their remaining days as enjoyable as possible, whilst enjoying all the fun of a gap year or year out abroad!




  • Immerse yourself in true Thai culture
  • Help care for the magnificant elephant
  • Make lifelong friends


Location Thailand
Activities Exercising the elephants
Washing & feeding the elephants
Garden maintenance
Working directly with the people of the centre
Transport Airport pick-up
Accommodation Eco-sytle thatched huts


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


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.


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


According to estimates by the World Wildlife Fund, there are only between 2,000 and 3,000 wild elephants remaining in Thailand, and this number continues to decline. Much of this trend can be attributed to the competition for land between local communities and the elephants, while domesticated elephants continue to roam throughout Thailand with their mahouts and are seen begging for food by performing tricks for tourists.

This placement will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in Thai culture, learning about the role of elephants as you help the mahouts in the elephant camp that provides a sanctuary for retired working elephants. Your work may include a combination of exercising, washing and feeding the elephants, garden maintenance and working directly with the people of the centre. You will soon learn that the elephants have their own individual personalities and your experience and knowledge will go some way towards resolving the problem of human-elephant conflict. At the weekends you will have free time to explore the surrounding area and enjoy activities such as white water rafting.

Volunteers participating for longer than one week will also take part in an orientation and cultural immersion week.  Your introductory week will be the first step towards a successful stay in Thailand and is designed specifically to ensure that you get the most possible out of the trip as a whole. Your culture, language and cooking lessons will help you to settle and feel more at home, and the temple and museum visits will give you a taste of the history of Thailand and the influences on the development of its national identity.  

3. What to expect


You will be met at Bangkok airport by a friendly representative from Frontier-Thailand before being transferred to your accommodation in Singburi, where you will be based for your orientation week. You will then travel to your project site, around 380km north of Bangkok. Please aim to fly into Bangkok on the Saturday before your project begins. We recommend making your return flight/onward travel plans for the day after your project has finished (Sunday) to allow time to return to Bangkok in time for your flight. It's either an overnight bus back to Bangkok, or it also possible to fly.


Throughout your orientation week you will be staying in a shared volunteer house before being transferred to the sanctuary in the north of the country where you will be based for the remainder of your stay. During your time at the santuary you will be staying in the jungle hut centre and will have access to all basic amenities, including cold water showers nice and refreshing in the heat of Thailand!

Facilities available in the nearby town include the internet, shops, a hospital, pharmacy, banks and restaurants, and it is possible to hire an affordable local taxi should you need to visit the town while on your placement.


All food is included during your placement, and you will find it to be typically Thai fare. Thai is one of the world's most exciting cuisines, and if you're willing to experiment, you'll be richly rewarded. Contrary to popular belief, not all Thai food is fiery hot and there are plenty of tasty dishes suited to the Western palate. This hybrid cuisine has been influenced by soups and noodle dishes from China, curries from India and satays from Indonesia. Most dishes incorporate four elements, sweet, sour, salty and hot flavours, and many of the dishes are rice or noodle based.

4. The reviews

I feel as a group we made an impression on the elephants, as we were able to wash and feed them e...

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I did 4 weeks on the Thailand elephant conservation program. Overall I had a great time. Singburi...

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Happy Asian elephants in a great rescue sanctuary!  | 23 Jul 2014
As an Animal Welfare and Behaviour graduate I was very keen to be able to see elephants in Thaila...

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JUNGLE FUN  | 12 Mar 2014
I had such an amazing 2 weeks away and I'm really glad I chose to participate in the Inductio...

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The project was great and really smoothly run out in Thailand, and because everyone is so laid ba...

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I feel the project was beneficial for me  | 8 Oct 2013
As I currently study Geography at University, I feel the project was beneficial for me as I learn...

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I absolutely loved it!  | 15 Aug 2013
The project was great and really smoothly run out in Thailand. And because everyone is so laid ba...

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I had such an amazing 2 weeks away and really wish I stayed at least another week! Week 1 was gre...

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Really experience Thai culture  | 8 Aug 2013
I had such an amazing 2 weeks away and I'm really glad I chose to participate in the Inductio...

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Immerse yourself into the experience!  | 6 Aug 2012
Excellent help and advice from Frontier.   We were able to change our schedule easil...

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5. Gallery

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6. Extras


In your spare time you can explore the local area and absorb Thailand's captivating culture. Explore golden temples, with their ancient Buddhist carvings and magical atmosphere. Try some more adventurous activities, such as mountain biking through the stunning landscape, white water rafting, diving, sailing or sea canoeing. Enjoy a Thai massage, which really will give you a new sense of serenity! As you can see, there will be no shortage of ways to occupy your time off.


7. Dates and Costs


1 week US$895

2 weeks US$1,495

3 weeks US$2,295

4 weeks US$2,945



Weekly.  Please aim to fly into Bangkok on the Saturday before your project begins.


From 1 week!

This project is available throughout the Christmas period


Before you go

  • Pre-departure support
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt


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


Nearest airport(s): Bangkok (BKK)



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 .


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.


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.

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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