More Information

Situated in the forests of Northern Thailand the sanctuary provides a natural home for elephants. The sanctuary is just that, a sanctuary, a place where the elephants are free to roam around, play and are cared for by their dedicated mahutes and volunteers like you. We promise you they will melt your heart.

We offer several options:

  • Day Visitor
  • Visit for 2 days and 1 night (See Pricing section for itinerary)
  • Visit for 3 days and 2 nights
  • Volunteer
  • Volunteer for 1 week-3 months

  • Internships
  • We also offer three internships (Minimum of 8 weeks - See 'Interships' tab for more details)

    • TEACHING INTERNSHIP: Teaching grades 1-6 both basic and intermediate English skills
    • ELEPHANT RESEARCH INTERNSHIP: Collecting data on their natural behaviour
    • PHOTOGRAPHY/MARKETING INTERNSHIP: Hiking with the elephants or in the village taking high resolution photos

We aim to be as competitive as possible. Pricing is flexible and influenced by your itinerary as a whole. As a guide please find indicative pricing below and then contact us for more information.

Pricing:

  • Visitor: 2 days and 1 night

    1 person = 9600THB (approx. $282/£224/AUD 371)
    2+ persons = 6000THB per person (approx. $176/£140/AUD 232)

    This price inculdes all transport, accomodation and food in the village. Schedule is below: ​

    Day 1: Pickup from Chiang Mai at 9am. Travel through a national park and stunning mountains inhabited by local hill tribes until you arrive in our unique village. Meet your homestay family, our friendly staff and the other volunteers, immerse yourself in hilltribe culture by cooking with your homestay and learning how to basket weave from one of the elders in the village.

    Day 2: Wake up early to hike in the forest and find our elephants. Feed them fruit and carry out a health check. Spend all morning/afternoon observing and learning about them and their natural behaviours. Have lunch in the forest with the elephants and return to Chiang Mai in the afternoon.

    Once paid, all deposits and fees are non-refundable.

  • Visitor: 3 days and 2 nights

    1 person = 12,500THB (approx. $367/£291/AUD 483)
    2+ persons = 8750THB per person (approx. $257/£204/AUD 338)

    This price inculdes all transport, accomodation and food in the village. Schedule is below: ​

    Day 1: Pickup from Chiang Mai at 9am. Travel through a national park and stunning mountains inhabited by local hill tribes until you arrive in our unique village. Meet your homestay family, our friendly staff and the other volunteers, immerse yourself in hilltribe culture by cooking with your homestay and learning how to basket weave from one of the elders in the village.

    Day 2: Wake up early to hike in the forest and find our elephants. Feed them fruit and carry out a health check. Spend all morning/afternoon observing and learning about them and their natural behaviours. Have lunch in the forest with the elephants and return to Chiang Mai in the afternoon.

    ​Day 3: Another early start to hike to our elephants one last time. Return to Chiang Mai in the afternoon.

    Once paid, all deposits and fees are non-refundable.

  • Volunteer: 1 week-3 months

    1 week - 4 weeks: 18,000THB per week (approx. $528/£419/AUD 696)
    5 weeks - 8 weeks: 12,000THB per week (approx. $352/£279/AUD 464)
    9 weeks - 12 weeks: 6,000THB per week (approx. $176/£140/AUD 232)

    FOR EXAMPLE: the cost of 9 weeks stay would be 18,000 x 4 + 12,000 x 4 + 6,000 = 126,000THB

    This price inculdes all transport, accomodation and food in the village as well as 1 night accomodation in Chiang Mai on arrival. Schedule is below:

    Saturday: You will arrive in Chiang Mai and meet one of our staff at the hostel (address provided before arrival) at 6pm. Your accommodation will be provided and you will be given a short presentation on our project at the meeting.

    Sunday: You will leave Chiang Mai at 9am to begin the journey to the village, stopping off for lunch on the way. After arrival, you will be introduced to your homestay, taken on a village tour and given introductory talks.

    Monday-Thursday: Here you will be working on the project, breakfast is served at 7:30am, hikes to the elephants begin at 8am and distance will vary depending on were the elephants choose to roam. The morning will be spent watching our elephants and carrying out some much needed research on their natural behaviour. Afternoons will be spent teaching English, completing project work or immursing yourself in hill-tribe culture.

    Friday: Spend the morning hiking to the elephants and in the afternoon you will return to Chiang Mai
    For volunteers wishing to stay longer than 1 week, weekends will be free to explore the surrounding area, relax in the village or take a trip to Chiang Mai.

    Not included in this price:

    • Flights
    • Travel insurance
    • Visa costs
    • Dinner in Chiang Mai on days 1 & 7
    • Accommodation in Chiang Mai on Day 7

    Once paid, all deposits and fees are non-refundable.

  • Internship

    Fee to cover all expenses: 67,500 THB (approx. $1,980/£1,572/AUD 2,609 ) (For min 8 - max 12 weeks inclusive)

    • Expenses include: All food and accommodation on site as well as your in-country transport from/to project on arrival and departure
    • Please see the 'Internship' tab for full details.
    • Once paid, all deposits and fees are non-refundable.


Excluded from all packages:

  • Flights
  • Insurance
  • Accomodation before the start date and on the end date unless explicitly stated. Contact us for hotel recommendations if required.

Please be aware that the itineraries and activities may vary without notice.

This project is suitable for everyone including families with young children.

The pace of work in the heat of the day is relaxed and responsibilities tend to be shared. There is a small amount of physical labour and optional lifting involved when making and moving food around. You work from early in the morning to late afternoon Monday to Friday with Saturday and Sunday off. You are mostly on your feet.

As parents you need to decide if this would be suitable for your children, young children are welcome but will need to be supervised at all times. The walking can be quite long at times,although it is optional based on ability. Staff on the ground will be happy to help and advise.

Most of our placements are remote and several hours away from medical assistance. Please consult your doctor before booking if you are in any doubt concering your ability. Depostis and Fees are non refundable.

This project is open all year round.

If you want to have a unique experience of hiking in the forest to find the elephants and observe their behaviour in their home environment then you have found the right placement.

Come and join us for the experience of a lifetime. Volunteers and visitors must be relatively fit to hike up and down mountains to get to the elephants. In the sanctuary, you can see exactly where your funds and going and how they are benefiting the sanctuary, the elephants and the local community.

Volunteers and visitors are expected to wake up early in the morning and be prepared for a long hike into the forest. Hikes will usually return to the village around early afternoon but the day doesn’t end there. Volunteers and visitors will have the opportunity to participate in teaching English at the school, to the homestays and to the mahouts as well receiving education about elephants in Asia and learning the local tribal language and amqazing culture. We also have a number of add-ons you can choose such as relaxing with a thai massage or learning how to basket weave.

Visitors and Volunteers can stay with us for anything from 3 days to 3 months. Although we recommend at least a week to get the full experience of our sanctuary. Students who wish to carry out research for their studies are also welcome.

Our Village & Accommodation

Our project is set amongst the rolling hills of Nothern Thailand in a Karen Hill Tribe village. It is surrounded by forest that is perfect for our elephants to forage in.

The Karen Hill Tribe are originally from Myanmar but they migrated to Thailand during the civil wars many generations ago in search of a better life. Due to this they have their own language and culture, which volunteers will have the opportunity to learn and experience. They are keen weavers and are well known in Thailand for their elephant keeping. They make an income from their elephants and working the fields, mainly growing rice and corn using rotational slash and burn. Volunteers will have the opportunity to learn more first hand about their culture and even help out with the community when required.

Our accommodation is very simple, volunteers will be staying with a host family in a homestay where you will be provided with your own room that will consist of a mattress on the floor, a mosquito net and a bathroom with a cold bucket shower (perfect for after a hike!). All homestays vary in shapes and sizes depending on the homestay allocated. Homestays will provide a packed lunch and dinner in their home whereas breakfast will be provided at our communal base hut where our visitors/volunteers hang out during freetime.

This project is open all year round.

We currently run three internship programs; teaching, elephant research and photography/marketing. Places on our internships are continuous throughout the year but are subject to availability, find out how to apply about what's expected below.

TEACHING INTERNSHIP

Teaching interns are expected to work Monday-Friday with the weekends free to explore. Three times a week, our teaching interns will be spending their mornings and afternoons at the local hilltribe primary school, teaching grades 1-6 both basic and intermediate English skills and preparing the oldest grade for their end-of-year exam. Twice a week, the interns have the chance to join our elephant hikes and spend the afternoons teaching very basic English at the local nursery. Some evenings will be spent running an after-schools club and tutoring members of the community.

WHO SHOULD APPLY? This internship is perfect for any teaching/university students who need more work experience, anyone with a TEFL certificate or anyone thinking of getting a TEFL and would like to help out a small hilltribe community. Applicants must have at least some previous teaching experience, but a small amount of training will be provided on arrival.

ELEPHANT RESEARCH INTERNSHIP

Elephant Research interns are also expected to work Monday-Friday with the weekends free to explore. Every morning will be spent hiking to our elephants, collecting data on their natural behaviour as well as assisting the staff with any visitors or volunteers. The afternoons will consist of data entry and completing project work with some evenings being spent giving talks and presentations on elephant research or conservation to create awareness and educate our guests.

WHO SHOULD APPLY? This internship is an exciting opportunity for any current or recently graduated science university students who want more work experience or anyone with an interest in research or collecting data in the field. Applicants must have at least some previous data collection experience, but a small amount of training will be provided on arrival.

PHOTOGRAPHY/MARKETING INTERNSHIP

A photography intern's days will be varied, mostly you will be hiking with the elephants, taking high resolution photos to help us with our social media but will sometimes be needed to go to the school or stay in the village to get some community shots. You will also be given a project to work on during your stay as well as helping the staff with any visitors or volunteers.

WHO SHOULD APPLY? This is a great experience for any photography or marketing students or graduates who need more experience in the field or anyone with an interest in or experience of photography. All interns must provide their own equipment to bring with them.

HOW TO APPLY? Please send a CV/resume and cover letter stating your requested internship and start date to: info@intrepidturtle.com



Testimonials

  • An amazing week at the Sanctuary. I have never been up close and working with elephants before. I think amazing doesn't do it justice. Thank you to everyone at Intrepid Miranda Flyn - Sunbury

  • The 2 days was fantastic for us and the kids, can't believe how close and how much contact we had with the elephants. My kids faces when feeding them will stay with me for a long time. The McCardles - Fareham

  • Unbelievable, Unbelievable, Unbelievable - Everything was well organised, great food, great host and most of all the elephants were superb. Even if it is the 2 day experience I would make the effort to go. Lucy - Chichester