Hands-Off 7 Day Elephant Sanctuary

A super rewarding and eye opening experience

Learn about the harm humans can do to elephants by so-called training them

Volunteer in an incredible local elephant sanctuary which allows elephants to BE elephants by providing them with a natural environment to forage, dust bath, roam, explore and socialise.

This is an insightful 7 day program, where you’ll immerse yourself in the lives of the elephants, with other volunteers and program organisers to help with the re-assimilation of the elephants back into their natural habitat after a lifetime of human servitude.

Your week has no set schedule as you remain fluid to the needs of the elephants, but general duties include monitoring of the elephants in the forest to ensure stress free environments, preparation of afternoon ‘treats’, maintaining and cleaning the elephants personal space, and if necessary, providing emergency care to both rescued & retired elephants and other animals such as rescued cats and dogs who live on the premises, or as outreach in the community.

Treat the elephants the right way, it’s about them!

This exceptional project in Mae Chaem, in Thailands northern region of Chiang Mai province, is about returning an elephant’s soul and dignity back to it and making small headway into undoing the wrongs humans have imposed on these magical creatures by helping the elephants to simply be elephants away from exploitation and abuse.

You have a very rare opportunity to travel responsibly and combine your explorations with making a direct impact on not only animal welfare but responsible tourism. Make no mistake, this is a 7-day‘ trip unexpected’ – Your job will be to assist with the foundations of re-educating elephants to be ‘wild and free’.

At a glance

From: $365

Free program - do what matters!

There is no set itinerary to your week. Over the course of the week, you’ll have many more chances to give back to the local communities who have supported elephant rights and welfare over the years since the establishment of the sanctuary. So it’s time to take action, roll up your sleeves and get stuck in! Of primary importance, you’ll be:

  • Observing and recording the elephants as they go about their business in their new forest environment.
  • You’ll help to prepare special treats for the elephants, that are delivered in the afternoons
  • Help keep the elephants areas clean and safe
  • Be part of the rescue program that’s extended to all animals in the vicinity.
Hands Off!

Sorry, not sorry!
This program is a 100% hands off program. You will NOT be touching any elephants while helping out throughout the week of your stay.

We’re trying to right by these gentle giants and save them. The best way to do this is to recreate their natural environment. Unfortunately that doesnt involve human hands on them. So no, you won’t be washing them and soaping them up (Elephants er supposed to har dirt on them, it keeps the bugs away); no, you won’t be patting them riding them or feeding them.
We give a shit about these majestic creatures and their natural way of life does not involve us humans!

This program is about the opportunity to help the elephants, not about us getting pictures for our Instagram’s. We’re doing this the right way and creating a sustainable and safe place for the Elephants.

You will however have the opportunity to help create a safe mental and physical space for the endangered colossals to flourish!

Be prepared to get dirty

On this program you are expected and will be asked to “roll up your sleeves” and get to work!

We suggest you bring durable clothes, something you wouldn’t mind getting dirty in! It’s way more fun when you’re not tiptoeing around trying not to get dirt on your white tee and fancy sneakers – it aint gon’ stay clean sweetie.

Also, you’ll be in the jungle.. the real jungle! So bring some (light) long sleeves and pants. There will be mosquitoes and the sun doesn’t go easy on you.

A good idea is to bring spray’s, repellants, mosquito nets. The best way to avoid getting bitten (and possibly getting Dengue fever) is to you prevention. Keep the bugs off, and you’ll be having tons of fun!

Lastly, do consider bringing earplugs or earphones if you’re a light sleeper. You’re in the jungle and there’s a lot of noises in the jungle – especially in the night!

Always included: 

  • Covered by the Travel Guarantee Fund in Denmark
  • 100% climate-neutral travel
  • Professional travel experts and local guides
  • We do all the planning for you
  • Personalized meetings before departure
  • 24/7 emergency telephone
  • Your own personal travel profile with program, add-ons, flight tickets etc.
  • Packing list and advice
  • Certification of participation
  • Advice and assistance with booking flights
  • Possibility of purchasing cancellation and travel insurance
  • All entrances and fees for experiences
  • All tour accommodation


Included on this trip: 

  • Accommodation in Thai styled shared rooms (floor bedding + mosquito nets)
  • An incredible genuine elephant experience
  • 3 meals p/day and drinking water
  • Breakfast:  Western style eggs, toast, cereal, fruit, coffee & tea
  • Lunch & Dinner: Thai cuisine (rice / noodles + vegetables)
  • Vegan + vegetarian options with notice
  • Washing Machines (with powder) are on a pay by use basis
  • A massive smile, warm heart, and real sense of achievement for your contribution to something that actually does matter!

Combine or upgrade your trip with some of these trips

Immerse yourself in real South East Asian culture while on this one month odyssey through the hearts of incredible Thailand and Vietnam.

Almost the perfect adventure tour of bali and thailand, experiencing culture, beaches, volcanoes, rainforests, amazing food, and even more amazing people!

Tropical beaches, lush rainforests, dense jungles, vibrant cities, spectacular cuisine and some of the most lovely people on the planet – this is Thailand!!!


Your expected footprint on this trip: 0.34 tons of CO2

(not including flights). Find out more about our commitment to net-zero travel and how you can lower your footprint.

Accommodation: 222kgs Approx. 6 nights at 37kgs per night Transport: 50kgs Approx. 210km at 24kgs per 100km Optional activities: 30kgs Approx. average (2 activities) Food & drinks: 5kgs Approx. 700g per day

Your local investment on this trip: ฿‎12,800

The average expected amount our U.Traveller’s spend that goes directly into the local economy.

Find out more about our love for supporting local businesses

Why Choose a U. Trip

  • The only tour company carbon calculating and offsetting every part of your U.Trip, as part of your cost! From the flights, to all carbon costs associated with your accommodation, activities, meals and transport.  This means you are choosing to travel responsibly with a company dedicated to putting People + Planet first!  U. have simplified the decision making so you can focus on just choosing the best trip for your adventures!
  • More inclusions, head to head, than other trips meaning you get more value for your spend, you see more and you experience more!
  • Invest in yourself and your future with a U.Trip that seamlessly combines the fun, excitement and adventure of gap year and backpacker travel with Impact Experiences that add value to your ‘self’ and your CV.
  • U. creates the opportunity for you to challenge your own understanding of the world with first hand experiences of local communities and the challenges facing them.
  • A team with over 100 years collective travel experience

Would you like one of our U.Team to give you a call?

Let us know when and we will make it happen.

We can help you!

Would you like one of our U.Team to give you a call?

Let us know when and we will make it happen.

We can help you!

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