About the local hosting organizationGreen Lion
About the volunteer workJoin this program to work up-close with mahouts, the ancient elephant caretakers of Asia, and get up close to the elephants as well as contribute to their well-being through various activities like bathing, trekking and assisting them at the elephant nursery, hospital, museum and more! You will also share the life of the mahouts and learn more about the lifestyle of their centuries-old culture. Your program begins with our 3 days Â‘Exploration', then you will be asked to assist us in the Center's development by participating in the many activities on site such as: Helping the vets and mahouts prepare elephant food Produce elephant dung paper Create handicraft with the paper Help clean the breeding area Assist in the kitchen and receive Lao cooking lessons Help our staff learn some English Maintenance work Gardening Photography and artwork And any other activities depending on the Center's needs! You'll spend time with the Mahouts, who will be happy to share some of their secrets with you and offer you the chance to ride their elephant, bareback, to experience the creatures and feel the world from a mahout's viewpoint. Hold on and try to get used to their swaying steps! You will have the opportunity to take the elephants back to the forest where they spend the night grazing and sleeping. As you stroll together with these magnificent creatures into the dense forest of Nam Tien, remember to take a moment to appreciate your surroundings! This is the REAL land of elephants! Your guide will also give you an overview of the biodiversity of our protected forest. You'll have opportunities to attend the elephant”™s' daily bath and learn more about our giant guests' playful characters. Elephants are surprisingly good swimmers and love water. During bath time you will also get to witness the full display of the unique bond between the mahout and his elephant! After a short boat trip on the lake, you will then discover our nursery. It is located in the forest where the baby elephants are learning how to sustain themselves, closely watched by their mother. At sunset, board our boat for a relaxing cruise on the Nam Tien Lake. Enjoy fresh drinks and snacks, go for a swim or simply stare at the amazing environment around you. An unforgettable and entertaining experience with our friendly staff! Our veterinarians and biologists will take you into their world and they will explain the field and research work they undertake in Laos and the region. Through the visit of the only Elephant Hospital in Laos, you will uncover the conservation efforts being made by ElefantAsia NGO. You will have free time to walk the elephants back to the forest, visit the elephant museum, cruise on the lake on kayaks and go for a swim everyday. You can also choose to watch a movie on elephants or simply sit on a viewing platform and observe baby elephants as they graze and socialize!
Local accommodationAbout the Accommodation You will be housed in basic, yet scenic rooms that have been renovated using craftsmen from Viengkeo and traditional techniques. The bungalows are simple, traditional stilt bamboo huts with a private balcony and a view on the Nam Tien lake and it's location by this lake provides fresh air to the bungalows for most of the year. Food Arrangements The in-house kitchen deliver a variety of traditional Lao foods. The food is vegetarian-friendly and our cooks do not use MSG (monosodium glutamate). The dishes are prepared with fresh produce from the local market or the Center's gardens. Feel free to order drinks and snacks on-site and enjoy them by the lake! Everyone eats together in the dining room, this has a great atmosphere, and you can purchase drinks and snacks here anytime and relax between activities.
About the project locationThe historic town of Sayaboury is commonly referred to as the "Elephant Capital" of Laos. The Elephant Centre itself is located at the foot of a naturally forested peninsula dividing into the incredible Nam Tien Lake. Whilst at this reserve, you cannot help but bask in the stunning views over Phou Xang (a.k.a Elephant Mountain). The Elephant Conservation is deservedly Sayaboury's biggest attraction and it is most likely that you will be making the most of this by staying here on your free days and soaking in the beautiful surroundings and scenery. Otherwise, Sayaboury town hosts a morning market where you can find delicious local food for those who want to experience the nearby township!
Extra info about the projectOpen all year, starting on Mondays, every week, participation fee 560€ per week. Culture week mandatory: 280€ to start the programme