Trip Details

PLEASE NOTE: Check that there is availability on this project before booking.

Embark on an unforgettable adventure as you volunteer to help care for rescued elephants! Located at Kanchanaburi, the elephant sanctuary rescues injured and sick elephants. At the sanctuary they are free to roam in the natural surroundings and the work carried out is purely in their interests. For that reason there will not be any riding of the elephants. However, you will be able to bond with these wonderful animals by bathing them, swimming with them, and giving them their feeds. Working closely with the Mahouts, you will develop an acute understanding of elephant behaviour and how to care for these rescued elephants who may be old, have suffered abuse, or have been ill. In the evenings, the elephants are taken back to the forest where they will spend the night. Kanchanaburi boasts a balance between tradition and tourism. You will fall in love with its beautiful landscape dotted with bamboo-style buildings, incredible temple caves and gorgeous meandering rivers. Truly one of Thailand’s jewels, it is the perfect place to absorb nature while gaining experience working with elephants.

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

Trip Itinerary


After breakfast, you’ll take part in an introductory meeting. This is designed to help you settle into the location and the project. You’ll then have some hands-on experience with the elephants as you feed them and walk with them along the river. Before lunch there’s a chance to test your cooking skills in a sticky rice cooking lesson. In the afternoon session there’ll be lots to do with bathing the elephants in a mud bath, preparing and giving food to the elephants and taking them home to the forest for the night. Although your work with the elephants finishes there, your day continues with a welcome Thai ceremony followed by a Thai culture class and Thai elephant documentary after dinner.


Beginning your day, you’re first task will be to bring the elephants down from the forest to the sanctuary. After this, you’ll have breakfast, clean the sanctuary and prepare food for the elephants. This will involve planting new Bana grass as well as picking them for the feeds. In the afternoon, you’ll enjoy a boat ride over the Kwai River and have to relax. Another Thai elephant documentary will give you more information about these wonderful animals after dinner.


Once again, your morning will involve returning the elephants to the sanctuary, cleaning the areas and preparing and serving food. An added extra today, is a hike to the top of a mountain where you can take in the spectacular views. An afternoon excursion to Erawan National Park will allow you to enjoy inspirational emerald green ponds and spectacular waterfalls.


Beginning your day with an exploratory bike ride around the village, you’ll work up an excellent appetite for your breakfast. The morning session at the sanctuary will be spent planting elephant food, and the afternoon cleaning the bathing area. There will be a bonfire, nature tour around the forest and you will take part in setting up a campsite and fire before dinner. After dinner, a campfire party will give you the chance to exchange stories of your experiences with other participants.


A relaxing, yet early, morning of bird watching and creating mineral lick for wild animals awaits you today. As part of the forestry effort, you will learn why the essential nutrients contained in the licks are important for the animals. Back at the sanctuary, you’ll have breakfast and follow the routine of feeding and bathing the elephants at the river. During the afternoon, you’ll be cutting sugarcane and grass for feeds before taking a boat ride to Kwai River. Once here, you’ll have free time to unwind in the peaceful surroundings. Dinner will be taken in the evening, followed by a farewell party where you can demonstrate your karaoke skills and have a certificate for your work.


After breakfast you will leave the elephant sanctuary either to return home or to participate in another project.

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


Trip Accommodation

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

No requirements have been provided.

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