' I LOVE this experience in chitwan for though short period! '

Xue Ying Fiona Wang

Elephant Conservation Project

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Minimum stay 2 weeks

  • Location: Randeniya, Hiriwadunna, Kegalle - Sri Lanka
  • Start Point: Colombo
  • End Point: Colombo
  • Duration: 1-12 weeks
  • Hours: 30-40 hours per week
  • Accommodation: Host family or hostel
  • Meal: Local food (3 times a day)
  • Date: 2nd and 4th Monday of each month
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Do you love to work with animals in a lush surrounding? If you do, volunteer in the project and work as assistants for elephant handlers to provide daily care and maintenance for elephant.

The elephants, especially the sick and the young, need as much care and love as our children do. They need to be fed, cleaned and loved. These elephants were domesticated and used for carrying loads and tourist around the jungles of Sri Lanka. They were seldom cared well and when they were worn out or sick, they are often abandoned. The center is currently looking after 8 of these elephants and since the beginning has cared for over 60 elephants.
At Randeniya, Hiriwadunna, Kegalle in Sri Lanka, where the project is located, the elephants are raised in a lush environment. In the afternoon, the elephants are even allowed to roam freely in the jungle and permitted to form friendship with other elephants.

Around 7 am, they are washed, cleaned and bathed and tethered during the night. Their diet includes coconut and jackfruit leaves. When you volunteer in the project and become part of the team, you will develop a close relationship with the elephant with a help of an elephant handler. The project also includes eco farming work, where you will grow vegetables and fruits and you can also teach in a local school.

elephant project gallery

Your Responsibility as a Volunteer:

The project is divided into three parts and your responsibilities vary in each project. The projects are:

Elephant Conservation

Your major role as a volunteer in elephant project is to assist the Mahouts (elephant handlers) in caring for the elephants and providing them food. The majority of the volunteer work deals with day-to-day aspects of running the project. You will clean the elephant enclosure in the morning, bathe the elephants in the river, feed them, and assist in other construction and maintenance works. If you have some knowledge of veterinary science, you can also check up or treat the elephants with the help of local vet.

Eco Farming

Volunteers will grow vegetables, fruits and herbs, which are consumed either by the elephants or you during your stay. You can work in the project during your free time or in the afternoon.

Teaching Project

You will teach English or other subjects in a local resource poor school. You will enjoy teaching the children as they are often well behaved and extremely enthusiastic to learn from an international volunteer.

Skills Required:

You do not require any specific qualifications and experiences to work in this project but you must be fit and in good health. You should however have love and compassion for animals, especially for the elephants. You must also arrive with an open mind and with a passion to learn new things in a strange environment.

Project Location:

This is a very rural project located in Randeniya, Hiriwadunna, Kegalle, in central Sri Lanka. The project is situated in a lush 15 acre sanctuary. Since the beginning, the sanctuary has provided care to over 60 elephants. During your free time, you can visit ancient historical cities like Anuradhapua, the first capital city of Sri Lanka, and Polonnaruwa, where you can explore the ancient ruins of the temples built by the ancient Kings. You can hike to "SIGIRIYA ROCK" and witness spectacular scenery from there. You can also visit North East of Sri Lanka and visit famous beaches like Arugam Bay beach and monasteries, temples, parks, churches, museums, art galleries, etc.

Arrangement of room/food/supervision:

Volunteers will stay at an onsite accommodation (hostel) specifically built for volunteers. The hostel overlooks paddy fields and is surrounded by palm trees and has en-suit bathrooms, basic kitchen with sink, kettle, fridge, washing machine and a lounge area with a library. While in the project, volunteers will also be provided 3 local meals in a restaurant opposite of the project. The food will be fresh and nutritious. While in the project, our staffs will also regular call on you to see if you are facing any problems and we will try to tackle it immediately.