Find out what Oyster volunteers have said in these reviews of our project volunteering with elephants at the elephant sanctuary in Thailand:


Volunteers help to bathe the rescued elephants“I am having a wonderful time. The work with the elephants is quite hard but so enjoyable. I have had the chance to make food and feed them. Wash them and take for a walk. The harvesting (collecting Banana tree trunks) is very hard work and too much for me but I have been able to help in many other ways. This week I am with the wildlife. Making food and feeding various primate and many other animals. Some of the background stories as to why a lot of the animals have been rescued here is quite heartbreaking. Makes the work that we are doing feel so very worthwhile. The most memorable and exciting part of my holiday was working with the elephants and wildlife, and meeting an array of other people of all ages and cultures. Kind hearts were something that ran through the other volunteers. I really felt that the work the volunteers did, contributed to the welfare of all the animals and supported the local environment. Do not underestimate how hard the work is though, it is not a party place! Take old clothes that you would be happy to leave behind as your clothes will get dirty and stained! This was a flipping fantastic and fulfilling holiday. Made me feel proud of myself and my contribution.”

Tina, 2 weeks January 2024

An elephant at the elephant sanctuary enjoys playing in the reeds in the lake“Working with the elephants was so rewarding. The work was hard but every minute was worth it. My tips to other travellers would be take old clothes, you will get wet and dirty every day. Gloves are important! You’ll work hard but it is worth it. If you go for more than one week, I suggest you have a go at both sides of the WFFT volunteer program – Wildlife and Elephants. I absolutely felt that my holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts and supported conservation so I would highly highly recommend this trip!”

Fiona, 1 week September 2023

A volunteer in Thailand looks after a rescued elephant“Everything went very well, the staff were great and of course the elephant experience was second to none! Daily work was hard, especially “harvest” but very worthwhile. Transfer from Bangkok was faultless and driver v. friendly. Accommodation was fine: we were expecting basic, but had own bathroom which was great. Lots of v. useful info on My Oyster system, this helped us prepare properly. Katie was very welcoming and the tour on day 1 was fascinating, as was hearing from the founder (Edwin). Project staff were great and v approachable. Highlight has to be feeding/showing elephants! Preparing their “enrichments” was fun too. Waking up to the sound of birds and monkeys was unreal. Dogs that live on site were v sweet. Many of the volunteers are young, don’t worry about age gap…just throw yourselves into it…feeding elephants before breakfast is great, even if it is an early start! Take lots of mosquito repellant! Treat even small scratches with antiseptic cream to prevent infection …pharmacies can sell antibiotics over the counter if needed. The village has a couple of places selling nice coffee! Go on the trip to the bat cave + market: The bats are extraordinary. Take lots of photos! It’s given our daughter some gap year ideas…many of the volunteers are on a gap year travelling around SE Asia. And interesting to talk to about their experiences. Made us think about going back to that part of the world next year!”

James, 2 weeks August 2023

“I enjoyed my trip to Thailand a lot. It was hard work (and long hours), but with great people. I had a lot of fun caring for the elephants and the other animals at the sanctuary. The staff were very friendly and helpful. My room was comfortable (if basic) and I shared with three others. My advice to people thinking about this project would be to go for it, but to remember to bring decent footwear you don’t mind ruining (feet will be wet a lot of the time) and plenty of insect repellent!”

Lucy, 2 weeks July 2023

A rescued elephant enjoys playing“I had a great time, thank you!! Just settling back in, wish I could have stayed longer but I’m a student nurse so had to get back to placement!!”

Rosie, 2 weeks June 2023

“We had an amazing time in Thailand with the Elephant volunteer program. It was such an amazing experience. Be ready for physical work it is quite a busy day with hot conditions! But we definitely felt our trip helped with the rescue of animals. Thanks for all your help organizing the trip!”

Ant, 2 weeks June 2023


“Kate with Oyster has been tremendous as my guide to all things pre-departure! My questions were answered efficiently, and always politely, Kate checked in regularly and assured me of everything I needed along with time frames. She was so supportive of my reality in needing to renew my passport. Never critical, never condescending, despite my ridiculous mistake of letting it expire in the middle of Covid! I could not be more complementary of all that Kate did to make this trip come together. I am at the departure gate right now as I head off to Thailand and want to say thank you thank you thank you! ”

Amy, 4 weeks March 2023

An elephant grazes in the sanctuary in Thailand“My first week was really eventful, there is a lot to learn and everyday it’s something new. I am very happy here, the project is fun, the people are nice and it’s all very well organised. We are in hot season, which makes it hard for humans and animals, but fortunately we work a lot in the shade and make sure we stay hydrated. Waking up to the sounds of the animals and getting to know them is amazing. All in all exactly the type of thing I was looking for. Kind regards from Thailand! ”

Franzi, 4 weeks March 2023

Three elephants pose for the camera up close“Having a great time thanks. Day off today so stayed over in Ch Am last night. Meeting some lovely people. Mostly youngsters travelling. Accommodation is fine although I’ll never get used to cold showers! I would certainly recommend the experience ”

Hazel, 4 weeks January 2023


“Thank you for getting in touch, I had an absolutely amazing time out in Thailand and I was so sad when I had to leave. I’m not sure I have much feedback to give, the kit list Oyster provided was spot on and I was prepared for what Thailand would entail ”

Eve, 4 weeks September 2022


An elephant enjoys enrichment“My trip was absolutely amazing!! I enjoyed every second of it and would totally recommend it to people to go!! I complete this for my Gold Duke of Edinburgh and it was the best thing experience I could have chosen for this”

Lilly, 1 week August 2022


The feet of an adult elephant are huge“It was a memorable experience and I was glad to have participated. Although there are of course always ways that things might be improved a bit, I have tremendous respect for the organization and for those who work so tirelessly for such a good cause. Thank you for everything! ”

Nancy, 2 weeks December 2019

An elephant bathes in a pool in Thailand“Probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I met so many amazing people and of course, got to be up close and personal with the elephants. I do really miss it a lot. If I ever have the chance in the future I would definitely go back and volunteer again! Thank you so much for all your help for making this possible!”

Natasha, 2 weeks August 2019

An elephant enjoys a bath in Thailand“I had a wonderful time in Thailand, and really enjoyed working so closely with the animals. Thank you for being so communicative throughout this process, it makes the whole trip a lot less stressful. I would love to once again go through oyster for travelling in the future.”

Carter, 2 weeks July 2019

A mother and baby elephant at the sanctuary in Thailand“I had a really good time while working with elephants at. Met some very nice people and made some good memories. Thank you very much for you help leading up to and during our trip, it helped immensely.”

Sam, 2 weeks July 2019

A mother elephant with her baby “Our time in Thailand was amazing. We really had a fantastic time and would go back for sure. We loved it there—we loved the people, the elephants, and all the other animals! We are definitely missing it. We were sad to leave 🙁 we wanted to extend our trip, but unfortunately there is too much going on back home that we couldn’t miss. Thank you for everything! Your help was amazing, we would have been very unprepared without you!”

Jasmin, 1 week July 2019

An elephant grazes in the sanctuary in Thailand“The heat and humidity has been hard to get used to, but the work has been great fun. The staff have also been lovely and I’ve made loads of great friends.”

Holly, 3 weeks May 2019

A volunteer in Thailand looks after a rescued elephant“I am having a great time. It is very hard work, especially in the heat and humidity, but when everyone works together everything gets done. It is such a privilege to be so close to such magnificent creatures that have been so abused.”

Davina, 4 weeks May 2019

An elephant at the sanctuary“The elephant sanctuary was amazing-one if the most inspiring things I have ever done. The work was very hard and the hours long but after you get the hang of it it’s so incredible to see the positive impact you have on these magnificent animals. The staff was incredible too. They were there for absolutely anything you needed and the mahouts (each elephants’ personal trusted human) were so funny and friendly. If I didn’t have the rest of my trip planned out I would definitely have extended my stay!!”

Lily, 2 weeks March 2019

An elephant enjoys playing wtih a tyre enrichment at the elephant sanctuary“I can say it was two of the best weeks of my life. I enjoyed every single day there and it was very hard to leave. One highlight was meeting so many amazing people from so many different countries, it definitely made me grow as a person and have more of a stronger knowledge for different cultures across the world. I would say I became more independent by being outside of my comfort zone in doing something I’ve never done before and it was by far the best thing I’ve ever decided to do!!”

Olivia, 2 weeks August 2018

A volunteer enjoys meeting rescued elephants in Thailand“It’s been really good here. I wrote my second year dissertation on elephant riding and the impact of the education on people’s perceptions, so I have been able to share some of the things I’ve learnt with other volunteers and the staff. The coordinators have been really encouraging. I’ve been made team leader for a group of 5 volunteers- I’m loving the responsibility!”

Cicely, 4 weeks July 2018

A volunteer walks with an elephant in Thailand “It was really helpful to have Oyster help me find such a brilliant ethical way to travel and I feel richer as a person for the experience. Anne was very helpful, checking in by email, helping arrange transport to the sanctuary, and offering
enthusiastic support! Thank you!”

Joe, 1 week May 2018

 “It was such an incredible experience that I’ll look back on in years to come with so many memories from my time there. I felt very safe there, and I think a lot of that was from booking it through you, and knowing you were only an email away. Everything was smooth sailing from the minute we left our homes and we are so grateful for your team for making this work so well. It was a bit daunting travelling so far on our own at first but we really didn’t need to worry!”

Eva, 2 weeks April 2018

An elephant at the elephant sanctuary enjoys playing in the reeds in the lake“Authentic contact with the elephants and wildlife – we felt like we were making a genuine contribution. It was great to travel ethically, work together, make memories, learn and meet new people. Anne has been fantastic in her support, organisation and personal encouragement. Thank you so much”

Diane and James, 1 week December 2017

Thai elephant at a sanctuary“I really enjoyed my time in Thailand, not only because of the elephants and the sanctuary which was amazing but also because I had a chance to see some other places too. I expected the sanctuary to be hard work, which it definitely was, but the hospitality and helpfulness of the staff and Thai people was great. The contact from Oyster was also good as they kept me updated :)”

Charlotte, 2 weeks September 2017

Thailand wildlife sanctuary elephants trunks in the air“Thailand was absolutely amazing – had so much fun learning new things and meeting all sorts of different people! It’s definitely motivated me to do more voluntary work in the future. Thanks so much for all your help and the organising that came with it you were so helpful and gave me reassurance on my travels!”

Ella, 3 weeks July 2017

Female volunteer feeding an elephant in Thailand

“I arrived home yesterday and had an amazing time in Thailand. Enjoyed every bit of the project and it’s definitely something I’d like to do again! All the staff were great there and I had a really great experience and didn’t want to come home. Thanks for all your help!”

Hannah, 2 weeks June 2017

“Excellent, it far exceeded my expectations. Highlights included interacting with the elephants by washing and walking them, interacting with the volunteers and exploring the culture on days off”

Hannah, 3 weeks May 2017

Volunteer feeding an elephant in Thailand

“My favourite experience was was taking the elephant Pai Lin for a walk; she decided to go for a swim in the lake – I have never seen such a happy elephant! Despite travelling by myself, I made so many friends there especially in the evenings which were so sociable, for example doing house duty and doggy duty which helped you get to know so many more people. It was an amazing experience, one which I will never forget!”

Katrina, 3 weeks April 2017

volunteering with elephants in Thailand

“Getting to work closely with all the animals and look after them daily, giving them a better life, was amazing. The people at the Sanctuary were great too!”

Tia, 7 weeks January 2017

Thai elephant

“The highlights: Being with like minded people in a beautiful setting; having hands-on experience of caring for elephants; meeting people from all over the world. I felt supported and safe throughout, with knowledge of who to contact should anything have gone wrong – which it didn’t!”

Sandra, 1 week January 2017

web“It was extremely rewarding. I really felt like I was making a difference, and the sanctuary was run really well. You’re thrown together in a really unique environment where hardly anyone’s met before, and so it really made me more confident as I talked to so many new people from many different countries in such a short amount of time. The sense of reward is incredible, and I feel so proud that I spent some of my summer helping animals in need. I genuinely feel that it’s made me grow as a person.”

Katharine, 2 weeks July 2016

Calum Ward“I had a great time in Thailand with the elephants, and I am really going to miss them, along with the people I’ve met whilst out there. Life back home is calm for now. I’m still a little jet lagged, but at least the weather’s cooler! Thank you and Oyster Worldwide for helping me to accomplish this ambition.”

Calum, 3 weeks August 2015

Family volunteering“The highlights were so many! The main one has to be feeding an elephant and getting so close to them, but other highlights include the camaraderie of all the volunteers, of all nationalities, and some of the side splitting laughs we all had there. And jumping in the river fully clothed after a morning carrying banana trees was a highlight. is a brilliant place, and has a caring ethos towards the animals that have been abused. You will come away changed after a placement here.”

Pippa, 1 week July 2015

Volunteers help to bathe the rescued elephants“Thank you so much for making this a possibility. Thailand was amazing – it was such a great experience! I miss the elephants already! They were so amazing to work with – I still can’t believe that I got to feed, wash and walk with elephants! Thanks so much for everything that you did to help make this trip possible! It wouldn’t have happened without you, so a huge thank you!”

Emma , 2 weeks June 2015

Volunteer walks with an elephant at the sanctuary in Thailand“I’m missing Thailand so much! I loved every second of it and will definitely be going back for a longer period of time. I wouldn’t change the experience one bit – I learnt so much about myself, however cliché it may sound! It was so beautiful :)Thank you for helping me out, without you it wouldn’t have been possible and I’m so very grateful.”

Charlie, 2 weeks May 2015

Walking the elephants at the elephant sanctuary in Thailand“I had the most amazing time volunteering in Thailand. I made so many new friends and, knowing that my help there during my short stay made such a big difference, made me feel great inside. I would like to say a great big thank you for giving me the experience of a lifetime.”

Ruth, 2 weeks September 2014

Two volunteers wash down a rescued elephant at the sanctuary in Thailand“We just wanted to let you know we are having the most amazing time out here and I wanted to say a massive thank you for helping us to organise everything! I can’t even begin to describe how much I’m loving it out here – which I’m sure you hear all the time!”

Rosie, 8 weeks February 2014


For more information about volunteering with elephants in Thailand, have a look at our volunteering in Thailand web page.

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