Trip Details

Meet elephants in the incredible mountain-lined habitat of Thailand. Spend time feeding and bathing and trekking alongside them and more!

This adventure is situated in Umphang, one of the most spectacular natural environments surrounded by limestone cliffs. Here you will get to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat and participate in the day to day routines of their care. You will be hands on, up close and fully engaged during this amazing experience.

Take part in the incredible opportunity to spend time volunteering with majestic elephants during your gap year or holiday ! Located in the spectacular mountain-lined setting of Umphang, the project will bring you close to the elephants as you take part in bathing, feeding, trekking and even riding routines! Privileged to see elephants in their natural habitat, you will also be in awe of the surrounding landscape with its impressive limescale cliffs that encircle the town of Umphang.

Under the supervision of the experienced mahouts, you will be allowed to prepare and administer feeds to these magnificent animals, and learn how to give them the best care possible. A lake onsite, where the elephants are bathed, will also give you the chance to try out some rafting. Also, you will visit two stunning waterfalls, Nam Tok Tharark and Nam Tok Pha Charoen, where you will be able to unwind and cool down.

Aims & Objectives

  • Improve and maintain the natural environment that the Asian Elephants live in while taking care of them
  • Give you a unique, unforgettable experience of Thailand’s culture
  • Assist the local staff by providing an extra hand

Please Note: Projects start on a Monday, however you should arrive over the weekend on either Saturday or Sunday.

Trip Itinerary

The program allows you to simultaneously interact with elephants, while discovering one of Thailand’s most breathtaking landscapes. You will have the experience of spending time, bonding and fully engaging with these incredible elephants as they roam in their natural habitat. You will be able to observe, walk with, swim with, and even bathe the elephants on a daily basis, because there is a beautiful lake on the property. If you like you can also choose to go rafting on the lake as well.

Additionally, you will help with the preparation of food for the elephants. Typically, this comes in the form of Bana grass, sugarcane and banana plants. You will also assist with the health check-ups of these “gentle giants” when required. You will be spending time alongside experienced mahouts, who have spent their entire lives gaining an understanding of the elephants and how best to care for them.

Please remember that we are here to take care of these graceful creatures and there will be no exploitation of the animals occurring at this project.

There are two beautiful waterfalls nearby, the Nam Tok Tharark and Nam Tok Pha Charoen. They offer a perfect place to visit and cool down for the day and both of these will be visited during your project.

You will be transferred from Singburi to the project site by bus in the evening (around 20:00)

Pick up from Mae sot bus station to head to Umphang by local truck (4 hours)
Time to rest and relax
Visit the elephants to feed them

Cut banana trees to feed the elephants
Feed the elephants
Washing and swimming with the elephants
Kayaking or canoeing (depending on weather)

Cut banana trees to feed the the elephants
Feed the elephants
Washing & swimming with the elephants
Visit a nearby Karen Tribe village

Cut banana trees to feed the the elephants
Feed the elephants
Washing & swimming with the elephants
Head to the mountain to see the sunset (possibility for camping if weather is good)

A short trek to reach a gorgeous waterfall where we can swim and relax
Back to the guest house
Time to relax

Transfer back to Singburi if you are continuing further programs with us. For those whose this week is their last, we will transfer you to Mae Sot bus station, which has excellent connections to the rest of Thailand.

This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Accommodation

Umphang is the southernmost district of Tak Province in Thailand and is well known not only for its elephants, but also for its incredible landscapes and natural sceneries.

Set amid numerous national parks, mountains and lakes, you will find yourself surrounded by nature and beauty at its finest. It offers a peaceful environment and a perfect setting to see the elephants enjoy their natural habitat.

Accommodation & Food
About the Accommodation
Our accommodation here is at a wooden cabin guest house. There is even a bar to enjoy in the evenings!

Available Room Types

  • Standard rooms 2-4 people sharing
  • Private rooms 1-4 people

Food Arrangements
Three healthy and delicious meals will be provided each day, carefully balancing Thai food for the Western tongue.  Meals will include Rices,Vegetables and sometimes meat.

Three meals on weekdays and two on the weekend

There are Thai restaurants, bars, and shops located within walking distance from the accommodation as it’s in the middle of a small yet lively village.

There is an ATM machine nearby at a 7/11.

Sights & Surroundings
Since our Umphang accommodation is set in such a beautiful and unspoilt natural environment, you can go for a trek and be in awe at the Thi Lo Su waterfall (you visit this on the program schedule), which is supposedly the largest waterfall in Thailand. While trekking in the area, you might also stumble across Karen hill tribe villages, originally Burmese people who have since spread across the Thai-Karen border.

Umphang village is home to 3 temples and you can always catch the monks and provide alms in the morning (around 6 am).

From this location we provide free transport to your next program at the following location(s):

  • Akha Village Chiang Rai
  • Hua Hin
  • Kaeng Krachan
  • Kanchanaburi
  • Mae Sot
  • Singburi
  • Suphan Buri
  • Train Track Northern Thailand
  • Trunk to the South
  • Udon Thani
  • Wang Nam Khiao

Trip Country Info


Population: Approx. 67 million
Capital: Bangkok
Language: Thai
Currency: Baht (THB)
Time zone: ICT (UTC +7)

From trekking in the beautiful mountains of the north to enjoying the glorious beaches in the south and experiencing the hustle and bustle of the metropolis that is Bangkok, Thailand is certainly not a country that lacks variety.

Whilst it really is at the heart of Southeast Asia, bordered by Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia, its cultural identity remains very unique. As the only country in Southeast Asia to avoid European powers, the Thai are proud to refer to themselves as ‘The Land of the Free’ and many tourists might also know it as ‘The Land of Smiles’ due to its friendly people.

Thailand is not only a famous holiday and gap year travel destination, but one of the most exciting countries in the world. Gap year travel to Thailand enables you to experience the excitement of city life as well as the serenity of some of the most spectacular remote islands and countryside areas.  By booking your gap year holiday to Thailand with TRU, you will be able to get a unique view of this amazing country that is difficult to replicate on your own.  We have a fabulous selection of gap year adventures in Thailand from Gibbon encounters and Elephant Sanctuary work to Clayhouse building and volunteering programs.

With our range of ongoing programs, you can even compose your schedule the way you like it. With this flexibility it enables you to say when you are on site and when you spend time with the new friends you have made from all over the world.  Have a look at our latest volunteering and gap year travel to Thailand below or give us a call to find out more about our exciting gap year programs in Thailand.

You can take this opportunity to mix and match projects tailor to your preference. Why pick one when you can pick several.

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

Warm Clothes
Walking shoes

Additional Requirements

No requirements have been provided.

What's included

  • 24/7 support in case of emergencies
  • Accommodation
  • Airport Pick up
  • English speaking coordinator
  • Meals
  • Orientation

What's not included

  • Airport drop off
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Vaccination
  • Visa