Sri Lanka Elephant and Community Volunteers

From $1,379, 2 weeks, Sri Lanka Trip code: SLEV

  • Adventure 3 out of 5
  • Relaxation 2 out of 5
  • Culture 4 out of 5
Sri Lanka Elephant and Community VolunteersSri Lanka Elephant and Community VolunteersSri Lanka Elephant and Community Volunteers

Trip Highlights

Read Lisa's blog about her experience: Elephants and an unnecessary gecko!

 

  • Help care for Asian elephants
  • Get hands-on with the big fellas
  • Experience Sri Lankan culture, learn to cook a curry and get to know local people
  • Support local underprivileged children by teaching English
  • Help to maintain the garden where fruit for the elephants is grown
  • Slow your pace of life down - live the Sri Lankan way
  • Relax by the river after a hard day’s work and enjoy a cup of Sri Lankan tea

Trip Summary

See full itinerary

This project was started because the owners of the elephants there could no longer look after them. It aims to care for the elephants and their mahouts who rely entirely on their elephants for their own survival. The project works to slowly and continuously improve the wellbeing of the elephants by educating the tourists who come to visit and take a ride, the elephant keepers (mahouts) and the local community.

 

As well as a hands-on experience you will learn about what it takes to look after an elephant including health checks and finding out how to weigh an elephant without even attempting to move it! Two afternoons a week, you’ll support local underprivileged children by teaching English and other useful skills.

 

You will be working with domesticated Asian elephants, getting to know these majestic animals. You will work with the elephant keepers – locally known as mahouts - helping with the daily care that is essential to keeping these animals happy and healthy. You’ll also assist with tourist visits; bringing income to the project.

 

You will also support local underprivileged children by teaching English and other useful skills. You will be able to provide the children with not only English and Maths lessons but also to help with confidence, leadership and 'life' skills.

 

English is considered as a way of upward mobility especially for women and children from underprivileged backgrounds in Sri Lanka and the families we support cannot afford extra tuition for their children.


When do I want to go?

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Dates of Departures Duration Price (Land Only) Trip Status
3 August 20142 weeks$1,379Limited AvailabilityCall Us 1-800-985-4852
3 August 20143 weeks$1,639Limited AvailabilityCall Us 1-800-985-4852
3 August 20144 weeks$1,899Limited AvailabilityCall Us 1-800-985-4852
3 August 20145 weeks$2,159Limited AvailabilityCall Us 1-800-985-4852
3 August 20146 weeks$2,419Limited AvailabilityCall Us 1-800-985-4852
3 August 20147 weeks$2,679Limited AvailabilityCall Us 1-800-985-4852
3 August 20148 weeks$2,939Limited AvailabilityCall Us 1-800-985-4852
3 August 20149 weeks$3,199Limited AvailabilityCall Us 1-800-985-4852
3 August 201410 weeks$3,459Limited AvailabilityCall Us 1-800-985-4852
3 August 201411 weeks$3,719Limited AvailabilityCall Us 1-800-985-4852
3 August 201412 weeks$3,979Limited AvailabilityCall Us 1-800-985-4852
17 August 20142 weeks$1,379AvailableBook now
17 August 20143 weeks$1,639AvailableBook now
17 August 20144 weeks$1,899AvailableBook now
17 August 20145 weeks$2,159AvailableBook now
17 August 20146 weeks$2,419AvailableBook now
17 August 20147 weeks$2,679AvailableBook now
17 August 20148 weeks$2,939AvailableBook now
17 August 20149 weeks$3,199AvailableBook now
17 August 201410 weeks$3,459AvailableBook now
17 August 201411 weeks$3,719AvailableBook now
17 August 201412 weeks$3,979AvailableBook now
7 September 20142 weeks$1,379AvailableBook now
7 September 20143 weeks$1,639AvailableBook now
7 September 20144 weeks$1,899AvailableBook now
7 September 20145 weeks$2,159AvailableBook now
7 September 20146 weeks$2,419AvailableBook now
7 September 20147 weeks$2,679AvailableBook now
7 September 20148 weeks$2,939AvailableBook now
7 September 20149 weeks$3,199AvailableBook now
7 September 201410 weeks$3,459AvailableBook now
7 September 201411 weeks$3,719AvailableBook now
7 September 201412 weeks$3,979AvailableBook now
21 September 20142 weeks$1,379AvailableBook now
21 September 20143 weeks$1,639AvailableBook now
21 September 20144 weeks$1,899AvailableBook now
21 September 20145 weeks$2,159AvailableBook now
21 September 20146 weeks$2,419AvailableBook now
21 September 20147 weeks$2,679AvailableBook now
21 September 20148 weeks$2,939AvailableBook now
21 September 20149 weeks$3,199AvailableBook now
21 September 201410 weeks$3,459AvailableBook now
21 September 201411 weeks$3,719AvailableBook now
21 September 201412 weeks$3,979AvailableBook now
5 October 20142 weeks$1,379AvailableBook now
5 October 20143 weeks$1,639AvailableBook now
5 October 20144 weeks$1,899AvailableBook now
5 October 20145 weeks$2,159AvailableBook now
5 October 20146 weeks$2,419AvailableBook now
5 October 20147 weeks$2,679AvailableBook now
5 October 20148 weeks$2,939AvailableBook now
5 October 20149 weeks$3,199AvailableBook now
5 October 201410 weeks$3,459AvailableBook now
5 October 201411 weeks$3,719AvailableBook now
5 October 201412 weeks$3,979AvailableBook now
19 October 20142 weeks$1,379AvailableBook now
19 October 20143 weeks$1,639AvailableBook now
19 October 20144 weeks$1,899AvailableBook now
19 October 20145 weeks$2,159AvailableBook now
19 October 20146 weeks$2,419AvailableBook now
19 October 20147 weeks$2,679AvailableBook now
19 October 20148 weeks$2,939AvailableBook now
19 October 20149 weeks$3,199AvailableBook now
19 October 201410 weeks$3,459AvailableBook now
19 October 201411 weeks$3,719AvailableBook now
19 October 201412 weeks$3,979AvailableBook now
2 November 20142 weeks$1,379AvailableBook now
2 November 20143 weeks$1,639AvailableBook now
2 November 20144 weeks$1,899AvailableBook now
2 November 20145 weeks$2,159AvailableBook now
2 November 20146 weeks$2,419AvailableBook now
2 November 20147 weeks$2,679AvailableBook now
2 November 20148 weeks$2,939AvailableBook now
2 November 20149 weeks$3,199AvailableBook now
2 November 201410 weeks$3,459AvailableBook now
2 November 201411 weeks$3,719AvailableBook now
2 November 201412 weeks$3,979AvailableBook now
16 November 20142 weeks$1,379AvailableBook now
16 November 20143 weeks$1,639AvailableBook now
16 November 20144 weeks$1,899AvailableBook now
16 November 20145 weeks$2,159AvailableBook now
16 November 20146 weeks$2,419AvailableBook now
16 November 20147 weeks$2,679AvailableBook now
16 November 20148 weeks$2,939AvailableBook now
16 November 20149 weeks$3,199AvailableBook now
16 November 201410 weeks$3,459AvailableBook now
16 November 201411 weeks$3,719AvailableBook now
16 November 201412 weeks$3,979AvailableBook now
7 December 20142 weeks$1,379AvailableBook now
7 December 20143 weeks$1,639AvailableBook now
7 December 20144 weeks$1,899AvailableBook now
7 December 20145 weeks$2,159AvailableBook now
7 December 20146 weeks$2,419AvailableBook now
7 December 20147 weeks$2,679AvailableBook now
7 December 20148 weeks$2,939AvailableBook now
7 December 20149 weeks$3,199AvailableBook now
7 December 201410 weeks$3,459AvailableBook now
7 December 201411 weeks$3,719AvailableBook now
7 December 201412 weeks$3,979AvailableBook now
21 December 20142 weeks$1,379AvailableBook now
21 December 20143 weeks$1,639AvailableBook now
21 December 20144 weeks$1,899AvailableBook now
21 December 20145 weeks$2,159AvailableBook now
21 December 20146 weeks$2,419AvailableBook now
21 December 20147 weeks$2,679AvailableBook now
21 December 20148 weeks$2,939AvailableBook now
21 December 20149 weeks$3,199AvailableBook now
21 December 201410 weeks$3,459AvailableBook now
21 December 201411 weeks$3,719AvailableBook now
21 December 201412 weeks$3,979AvailableBook now
4 January 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
4 January 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
4 January 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
4 January 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
4 January 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
4 January 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
4 January 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
4 January 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
4 January 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
4 January 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
4 January 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
18 January 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
18 January 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
18 January 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
18 January 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
18 January 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
18 January 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
18 January 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
18 January 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
18 January 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
18 January 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
18 January 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
1 February 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
1 February 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
1 February 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
1 February 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
1 February 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
1 February 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
1 February 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
1 February 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
1 February 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
1 February 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
1 February 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
15 February 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
15 February 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
15 February 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
15 February 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
15 February 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
15 February 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
15 February 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
15 February 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
15 February 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
15 February 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
15 February 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
1 March 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
1 March 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
1 March 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
1 March 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
1 March 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
1 March 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
1 March 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
1 March 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
1 March 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
1 March 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
1 March 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
15 March 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
15 March 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
15 March 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
15 March 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
15 March 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
15 March 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
15 March 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
15 March 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
15 March 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
15 March 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
15 March 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
5 April 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
5 April 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
5 April 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
5 April 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
5 April 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
5 April 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
5 April 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
5 April 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
5 April 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
5 April 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
5 April 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
19 April 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
19 April 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
19 April 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
19 April 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
19 April 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
19 April 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
19 April 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
19 April 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
19 April 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
19 April 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
19 April 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
3 May 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
3 May 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
3 May 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
3 May 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
3 May 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
3 May 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
3 May 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
3 May 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
3 May 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
3 May 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
3 May 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
17 May 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
17 May 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
17 May 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
17 May 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
17 May 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
17 May 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
17 May 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
17 May 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
17 May 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
17 May 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
17 May 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
7 June 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
7 June 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
7 June 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
7 June 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
7 June 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
7 June 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
7 June 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
7 June 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
7 June 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
7 June 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
7 June 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
21 June 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
21 June 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
21 June 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
21 June 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
21 June 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
21 June 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
21 June 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
21 June 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
21 June 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
21 June 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
21 June 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
5 July 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
5 July 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
5 July 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
5 July 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
5 July 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
5 July 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
5 July 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
5 July 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
5 July 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
5 July 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
5 July 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
19 July 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
19 July 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
19 July 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
19 July 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
19 July 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
19 July 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
19 July 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
19 July 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
19 July 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
19 July 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
19 July 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
2 August 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
2 August 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
2 August 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
2 August 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
2 August 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
2 August 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
2 August 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
2 August 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
2 August 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
2 August 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
2 August 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
16 August 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
16 August 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
16 August 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
16 August 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
16 August 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
16 August 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
16 August 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
16 August 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
16 August 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
16 August 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
16 August 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
6 September 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
6 September 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
6 September 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
6 September 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
6 September 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
6 September 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
6 September 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
6 September 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
6 September 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
6 September 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
6 September 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
20 September 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
20 September 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
20 September 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
20 September 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
20 September 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
20 September 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
20 September 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
20 September 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
20 September 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
20 September 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
20 September 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
4 October 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
4 October 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
4 October 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
4 October 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
4 October 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
4 October 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
4 October 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
4 October 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
4 October 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
4 October 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
4 October 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
18 October 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
18 October 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
18 October 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
18 October 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
18 October 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
18 October 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
18 October 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
18 October 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
18 October 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
18 October 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
18 October 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
1 November 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
1 November 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
1 November 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
1 November 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
1 November 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
1 November 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
1 November 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
1 November 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
1 November 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
1 November 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
1 November 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
15 November 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
15 November 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
15 November 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
15 November 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
15 November 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
15 November 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
15 November 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
15 November 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
15 November 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
15 November 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
15 November 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
6 December 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
6 December 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
6 December 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
6 December 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
6 December 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
6 December 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
6 December 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
6 December 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
6 December 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
6 December 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
6 December 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now
20 December 20152 weeks$1,429AvailableBook now
20 December 20153 weeks$1,699AvailableBook now
20 December 20154 weeks$1,969AvailableBook now
20 December 20155 weeks$2,249AvailableBook now
20 December 20156 weeks$2,499AvailableBook now
20 December 20157 weeks$2,769AvailableBook now
20 December 20158 weeks$3,049AvailableBook now
20 December 20159 weeks$3,229AvailableBook now
20 December 201510 weeks$3,485AvailableBook now
20 December 201511 weeks$3,739AvailableBook now
20 December 201512 weeks$3,995AvailableBook now

What will I be doing?

  • Your First week (1 Week)

  • The Elephant project

    The Elephant project (3 to 7 Weeks)

  • Other volunteer activities

    Other volunteer activities (3 to 7 Weeks)

Your First week: 1 Week

Next Leg

Destination info

This great project is on the outskirts of Kegalle, a busy little town with lots of shops and eating establishments. If you plan to explore further afield in your free time, Kegalle is a good place to catch a cheap local bus to places like Kandy, with its world famous Temple of the Tooth. Kegalle is known for its large rubber plantations, and crops such as coffee, cocoa, and spices. The local train station offers connections to some of the island's best sites as well as the fast train to Colombo.

 

You'll love the slower pace of life round here and if you enjoy birdwatching don't forget your binoculars!

  • Location: Kegalle, Sri Lanka

When you arrive into Colombo you will be met by a member of the in-country team and taken straight to your home near Kegalle for your time at the project. Depending on what time you arrive you will either go straight to your room for a sleep or be briefly shown around and have introductions at the project.

 

The next day will start with a detailed orientation, explaining the project, an introduction to Sri Lanka, the teaching and also the other trips we have scheduled. You will have the chance to meet the other volunteers and the in-country team is always on hand if you need anything else.

 

You will have the chance to visit Pinnawala - just down the road - to spend 3 - 4 hours walking around the elephant centre and watching the elephants bathe in the river, if you're lucky. There is also the chance for you to do a bit of souvenir shopping. Please note that you will not be volunteering at the elephant centre.

 

The following morning you will head for Kandy, the cultural capital of Sri Lanka where you will visit the Temple of the Tooth, Buddha on the hill, Kandy Lake and in the evening watch a traditional Kandy dancing show.

 

Now that you have seen some of Sri Lanka’s cultural elements you will have a day trekking into the local jungles for a chance to see some of the country's abundant wildlife such as monkeys, bird and insect species, many of which you won’t find anywhere else.

 

Not only will you have the great activities over these past few days but you will also be given lots of information about Sri Lanka and the basics of the language as you go.

 

The first Friday of your stay will be your first chance to start working with the mahouts and elephants, starting with the basics like cleaning up after and cleaning the elephants. Your weekends are free to either relax or explore more of this amazing country.

 

Please note: that excursions depend on the weather conditions and may be rescheduled if need be. 

The Elephant project: 3 to 7 Weeks

Next Leg

Destination info

This great project is on the outskirts of Kegalle, a busy little town with lots of shops and eating establishments. If you plan to explore further afield in your free time, Kegalle is a good place to catch a cheap local bus to places like Kandy, with its world famous Temple of the Tooth. Kegalle is known for its large rubber plantations, and crops such as coffee, cocoa, and spices. The local train station offers connections to some of the island's best sites as well as the fast train to Colombo.

 

You'll love the slower pace of life round here and if you enjoy birdwatching don't forget your binoculars!

  • Location: Kegalle, Sri Lanka

From now on you can truly immerse yourself in the project. You will rise early to meet the mahouts and assist with any elephant health checks that are required before leading the elephants to the water for a quick bath. After breakfast you will help out in the garden as well as planting and weeding (this is season dependent).

 

After a well earned tea break you’ll help to clean the elephant beds and make them a nice fresh bed for the night. You’ll then stop for lunch before assisting the mahouts with the tourists. During the afternoon you will have a chance to bathe the elephants and help feed them. You’ll help the mahouts with further care of the elephants and tourist activities before tucking the elephants in for the day and going on to learn Singhalese or teach English to kids in the afternoons.

 

Elephants cost a lot of money to keep. Most elephant safaris actually rent the elephants including mahouts and food supplies. To pay for keeping the elephants substantial funding is required. Traditionally this income is generated from offering elephant encounters to tourists which can include riding the great giant. 

 

As the project receives paying tourists your role will be to help the staff, assisting with the work of the mahouts when required. By the time you have finished your time at the project you should have a good understanding of the life of mahouts and elephants in Sri Lanka, plus some basic elephant communication skills too. 

Other volunteer activities: 3 to 7 Weeks

Destination info

This great project is on the outskirts of Kegalle, a busy little town with lots of shops and eating establishments. If you plan to explore further afield in your free time, Kegalle is a good place to catch a cheap local bus to places like Kandy, with its world famous Temple of the Tooth. Kegalle is known for its large rubber plantations, and crops such as coffee, cocoa, and spices. The local train station offers connections to some of the island's best sites as well as the fast train to Colombo.

 

You'll love the slower pace of life round here and if you enjoy birdwatching don't forget your binoculars!

  • Location: Kegalle, Sri Lanka
  • On Mondays from 4pm you can learn Singhalese (Sri Lankan language).
  • At 4pm on Tuesday and Thursday you’ll support local underprivileged children by helping to teach English and other useful skills. There are some very poor families in the local area and they cannot afford to provide the additional tuition that will really help their child’s future. You may also be able to teach adults whom greatly appreciate the chance to improve their English. The children are generally from ages 5 to 18 and will be divided into groups of three
  • On Wednesdays from 10.30 to 12.00 you will have Sinhala cooking classes where you will be able to eat your delicious self cooked food. From 16.00 you can help teaching the local children and adults English and enjoy a variety of games.
  • On Fridays you will stop early to give you a bit more time for the weekend.

 

Excluded:
To the girls home (orphanage) costs 500 LKR return by tuktuk
To the disabled home costs 800 LKR return by tuktuk. A bus also goes for much less.
 

Please note: The aim is to keep you busy and entertained but please bear in mind that plans can change as they often have to when working outdoors and with animals! Remember, the more flexible you are, the more you will get out of the project. 

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To get a detailed PDF of information for this trip including full itinerary, country guides and travel advice on visas, money, insurance and the local weather, download our trip notes. By doing so you’ll also be kept updated on all the latest news, offers and stories on this particular trip. Happy reading!

What's included?

  • Project experience as described
  • Airport transfers in Sri Lanka
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner - Monday to Friday
  • Accommodation throughout your programme
  • Detailed orientation
  • On site project coordinator

What's not included?

  • Flights
  • Visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals at weekends
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Local transport to afternoon community projects
  • Any excursions other than those listed in the itinerary

Additional Information & FAQs

Minimum age

The minimum age for this project is 18 years old.

 

Minimum numbers required on this trip

There are no minimum numbers on the trip.

Please note: you may be the only volunteer at your chosen project at any one time. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact us

 

Accommodation

During your time at the project you will be staying in a volunteer house on the elephant safari site.The accommodation is purpose-built with a nice balcony to chill out on. You will be sharing a room with other volunteers in bunk beds (maximum of 4 to a room) with access to shared bathrooms and shower facilities.

 

There is an open living area at the volunteer home which overlooks the river. Your accommodation has a washing machine and internet facilities (although connection can be sporadic) with Wi-Fi for your own equipment. In rural areas such as this there can often be power cuts so you should be prepared for this; there is emergency lighting at the house so you’ll still be able to see! 

 

Meals

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included from Monday to Friday. The menu will be both local and western-style meals.

 

Is this trip for you?

A love for animals and willingness to work and learn is needed for you to make the most out of this volunteering project.

 

The community element of this programme does involve speaking English, therefore you will need to be able to speak the English language fluently.

 

Volunteers must be able to work independently within the guidelines of the project. Patience and perseverance are essential, although above all enthusiasm and a willingness to accept another culture will mean you get the most from your volunteering experience. After all, what you put into the project will be what you get in return. Each volunteer brings different ideas and skills to the project that can make a real impact towards furthering initiatives.

 

You may be the only volunteer at your chosen project at any one time. However, you will still have the full support of your in-country team and those at the project. If you are looking for a group volunteering experience we have plenty of options for you to consider.

 

Advice & Safety

Throughout your programmes you will have the support and guidance of the programme co-ordinator and team. You will be provided with competent assistance and help with any questions or advice you may need during your stay.

 

In addition, you will have access to a 24 hour emergency contact number so you can contact one of our UK staff at any time should you need to.

 

DBS

This trip requires a Police Check to be carried out - please contact us for further information on how to do this. 

What will I see in Sri Lanka?

22 photos

What other travelers thought

I've done this trip

Write review
Overall rating: (8/10) (4 reviews)
Sri Lanka Elephant and Community Volunteers

Emily Kearns - April 2014

How would you rate your overall experience?
(8/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Beautiful country, amazing elephants and an eye opener to home life.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(10/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(8/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(8/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

I very much enjoyed the trip and what went on. It was a great experience don't get me wrong, however I felt it was less elephant orientated than the programme suggested. We also never got a sri lanka lesson and i felt we had to ask for rides and wash the elephants than encouraged to do so.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

bring toilet role- they do not provide any be careful with your money- my money got stolen at the orphanage be very very careful. someone got super super burnt when here- don't be silly put SUN CREAM ON

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

that the food is just sri lanka you do not get a western chose.

Any other comments?

It Was An Amazing Experience And I Have Done Nothing But Praise The Experience However I Few Things In The Programme Were Not Correct. Like I Said Above I Felt Like We Had To Ask To See The Elephants More And There Was A Lot Of Lying Around. We Were Able To Go Away Which Made The Trip So Much Better As We Could See Sri Lanka More Which Was Amazing. My Money Unfortunately Got Stolen At The Girls Orphanage With £20 Worth Taken From My Purse. It Was My Mistake As I Had Left It On The Side In My Camera Bag, But Still, Straight Away After We Left I Told Our Organiser And When I Asked Were The Girls Confronted I Got A 'we Can't Ask, We Will Just Get Told You Shouldn't Leave Your Things Around'. It Wasn't The Amount Of Money That Went Missing That Bothered Me It Was Just The Principle. But Then Again It Was An Experience And I Do Understand That. I Also Feel That The Elephants Where We Were Staying Are Bored And Not Stimulated Enough. When I Asked Why Do The Elephant Sway (almost Like Dancing) I Was Told They Just Do It Because They Are Happy. When Returning Home I Realised That Is Not The Case And Elephants Do That When Not Stimulated And Bored. It Just Felt Like The Elephants Were Very Much Used For Money And Not Necessarily Having The 'best Life' Possible. I Understand They Need Tourists I Do, It Was Just An Observation. The Food Was Also Not Western At All, Which If Told Before Wouldn't Have Bothered Me So Much But It Was Very Spicy For Me. Breakfast Everyday Was Omlet Until We Begged Could We Just Have Fruit Or Something A Little Different. Personally I Also Didn't Like When We Went Out On Our Day Trips We Went To A Certain Restaurant That Rosie Picked (fine Fair Enough), But Instead Of Letting Us Look At The Menu We Got A 'do You Want Rice Or Noodles' And That Was It. Just A Bit Of Choice Would Be Nice. I Also Didn't Like The Fact We Were Not Allowed To Socialise With The Mahoots (i Can't Spell Sorry), Not That I Wanted Too Just Thought It Was A Bit Strange We Were Told We Can Talk To Them During The Day, But It Is Band To Socialise To Them At Night Time. Honestly I Did Love It, Just Some Improvement Is All.

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

8

Sri Lanka Elephant and Community Volunteers2014-04-04

Emma Le Sauvage - September 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(8/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Met some amazing people, loved looking after the elephants and enjoyed being part of the local community.

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(8/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(4/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(6/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(6/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(9/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

Getting to look after and ride an elephant, being part of the community and getting to know the locals. Feeding a baby elephant at Pinnwela elephant orphanage.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Take an old pair of closed in shoes to wear when cleaning the elephant beds. You get the most out of this project if you are pro active and look for ways to improve the safari. Take old clothes for working as they get wet daily.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

I thought that the itinerary was very cleverly worded. I was expecting there to be more than 3 elephants and I hadn't realised I would be volunteering for a money making tourist attraction. As for the word conservation am not sure where you get that from as wasn't sure how I was conserving anything! I also thought you took the pictures of the accommodation very cleverly considering the building was being worked on and wasn't finished!

Any other comments?

I Really Enjoyed The Trips Which Were All Part Of The Cost. They Were Definitely Well Worth While. I Though Rosiee Our Coordinator Was Very Helpful And Friendly. I Was There For Four Weeks And She Didn't Have 1 Day Off And Could Be Contacted 24 Hrs A Day. What A Star!

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Sri Lanka Elephant and Community Volunteers2013-09-17

Laura Schwarzer - September 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(7/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

awesome experience, very friendly people, amezing staff, made new friends, unforgettable, hot, elephant showers, miss them, funny mahouts, Sri lanka

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(8/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(7/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(9/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(5/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(7/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

riding the elephants and bath them, trips to the disabled home talking with the mahouts.

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

just be open minded, smile and start talking with everybody. They LOVE it. pack some insect repelent spray.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

overall experience is great, but be proactive. If you want to do something you have to start it by your own. There should be a schedule for each day with some work ideas listed. e.g: monday --> elephants bed, cleaning of the whole hause, sinhala lessons, eco garden,... tuesday--> elephants bed, bathing elephant, grils home,... wednesday--> elephants bed, do some information gathering about mahouts, elephants... and do posters for the tourists, cooking class, disabled home, ... thursday--> elephants bed, lesson about elephant commands from the mahouts, eco garden,... .... AND the first day there should be a good orientation about the whole camp, the surroundings, names of the whole staff and mahouts, eating times, .... but otherwise it was awesome. great staff, there always friendly and try to help if there is a problem. P.S.: Rossie, Dissa and Amarasiri are awesome peaple. without them it would not have been the same.

Would you travel with our company again?

no

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Sri Lanka Elephant and Community Volunteers2013-09-02

Caroline Brett - June 2013

How would you rate your overall experience?
(8/10)
Give us up to 10 words that sum up your experience: for example - "Great experience, made new friends, totally unforgettable!"

Unforgettable, hot, sweaty, fun, eye-opening, mouth-tingling, magical

Please rate the service received from our team before departure
(8/10)
Please rate the accuracy of your pre-departure information
(8/10)
Please rate the service provided by the team in country
(10/10)
Please rate the accommodation during your stay
(8/10)
Please rate the worthwhileness of any volunteering in your trip if applicable.
(10/10)
Please rate your airport pickup (where applicable)
(10/10)
Please rate your in-country orientation
(8/10)
What were the highlights of your trip?

The highlight was being in Sri Lanka and being so close to such fantastic, gentle, beautiful animals! Nona was my favourite - although you're not supposed to have favourites are you!? The surroundings were great and it was just a lovely place to relax in between duties. Rosiee - the in-country coordinator helped make the trip for me. She was both like a mother, looking out for me and the other volunteers but also a friend!

Do you have 3 top tips for future travellers?

Forget the pace of life in the UK and embrace Sri Lankan style. Things go slow here - which is a good thing! Try everything offered for dinner - most of it is YUM! Don't bring much with you clothes-wise. you won't need half the stuff you pack!

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

No

Would you travel with our company again?

yes

Would you recommend us?

Yes

Sri Lanka Elephant and Community Volunteers2013-06-28

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