Thailand - Elephants & Islands Expedition – Volunteer Vacations | Discover Corps

Thailand – Elephants & Islands Expedition

Tucked in the lush green mountains of Phuket Island lies a sanctuary for elephants rescued from abuse & neglect. Work with elephants and their caretakers, explore traditional island villages & swim in the turquoise waters of Southern Thailand.


Our Purpose

Like many creatures, elephants are under threat from a variety of forces, including deforestation, illegal trade & logging. This inspired a local group to create a place where elephants can thrive in their natural habitat. This sanctuary promotes the highest of standards in elephant welfare, retiring, re-homing and rehabilitating elephants that have formerly worked in the logging and trekking industries, and mimics their native habitat, with the elephants roaming free over acres of rainforest and cool bathing pools. To achieve our purpose, feed and bathe these gentle giants, clean their living areas, learn basic elephant commands, and watch them thrive in their natural habitat as you learn first-hand how elephant conservation and tourism intertwine in present day Thailand.

 

 

 

 


What You'll Do

The first days will be spent exploring the cultural melting pot of Phuket and the islands sprinkled in the bay just offshore. Then travel to a sanctuary set amongst the lush rainforests of Phuket where rescued elephants are free to roam, graze and swim in their natural surroundings. Volunteer alongside elephant caretakers, known as mahouts, and staff at the sanctuary to learn exactly what it takes to care for an elephant. From morning walks through the jungle gathering food to feeding the elephants and bathing them, you’ll directly contribute to the well-being of these amazing creatures.

You’ll also learn about the issues facing these gentle giants in modern-day Thailand and the ins and outs of elephant behavior and training. Each day we’ll take some time to go on walks and observe elephants bathing, socializing, foraging and roaming free in their natural surroundings.


What You'll See

Phuket is the perfect jumping off point to explore some of Thailand’s most treasured sites. Spend an afternoon in the bustling markets and shimmering temples of Phuket Town. You’ll also see the Big Buddha, a peaceful Buddha that sits atop a mountain, offering the best 360-degree views of the island with sweeping views of the town, Chalong Bay, and more.

You’ll also venture out to the majestic Phi Phi Islands for two days of relaxation amongst swaying palms and white sand beaches. There is no better way to end a trip to Thailand than taking in ocean breezes from a beachfront resort.

 

 

 

Email Me a Detailed Itinerary

or call us now at 1-619-758-3030

Optional Post-Trip Extension

For those who want to extend their journey, we offer two post-trip extensions to Bangkok or Chiang Mai (please contact us after booking if you are interested in both!). On the Bangkok extension, experience exuberance and energy like never before. We dig deep into the local culture, getting to know the people and history. Enjoy an evening cruise up the Chao Phraya River and dine whilst gazing upon the Wat Arun temple. Whizz through the city on an iconic tuk-tuk, visit family-run workshops, and take to the water to experience the hubbub of the Damnoen Sadauk Floating Market. A boutique four-star hotel in the city center is the perfect oasis of tranquility in the midst of the hustle and bustle. Learn more about this 3 Day/2 Night extension here. On the Chiang Mai extension, experience the beauty of Northern Thailand, from the people to the temples to the rolling hills in the

distance. Experience a city tour to learn about the history of the city, including local temples at sunset where you can join the locals in lighting incense and candles, offerings of good luck and health. Enjoy a dinner on the river before a week of visiting colorful markets, a trip to Wat Chiang Man, a tour of the majestic Wat Chedi Luang, and a Thai cooking class. Travel high into the hills for a day away from the city for sweeping views and a trip to a coffee research project as you explore the White Hmong hilltribe village. Learn more about this 4 Day/3 Night extension here.

Email Me a Detailed Itinerary

or call us now at 1-619-758-3030

Where You'll Stay

The journey begins at a charming hotel just steps to the tropical beaches of Phuket Island. Relax after your long flight by the hotel’s pool, venture into the nearby beachside markets or simply take in the stunning seaside views. The next three nights will be spent at a 4-star boutique resort a short drive from the elephant sanctuary where we’ll be lending a hand. The apartment-style rooms, lake-front pools and beach access provide a calm oasis during our time with the elephants.  End the journey with two nights on the world famous Koh Phi Phi Island. From the 4.5 star resort located on the turquoise waters of Phi Phi, explore the best of Southern Thailand or simply relax by the resort’s pool and spa.

Tim J.

Boston, MA

Traveler's Journal

“Working alongside these gentle giants truly blew me and my family away. I was amazed at the approach the community took toward their preservation and the commitment the locals have to their health and well-being.  On top of that, Thailand is a land of contrasting landscapes, beautiful people and amazing cuisine. This trip is a fun, all-encompassing experience through Southern Thailand.”

Dates and Fees

We offer several Family Friendly dates, to help families book travel around common school vacation times

Reserve a Trip

or call us now at 1-619-758-3030

9 days / 8 nights

Program Cost: $3,395 Adult* / $2,795 Child*

These are our 2018 prices. Book now to lock them in before our annual price increase.

2018 Dates

Nov 18-26, 2018

December 23-31, 2018

2019 Dates

January 13-21, 2019

February 3-11, 2019 (W)

February 24-Mar 4, 2019

March 3-11, 2019

March 24-April 1, 2019

April 14-22, 2019

May 19-27, 2019

June 9-17, 2019

June 30-July 8, 2019

July 21-29, 2019

August 4-12, 2019

August 18-26, 2019

September 8-16, 2019

October 27-November 4, 2019 (W)

November 24-December 2, 2019

December 22-30, 2019

2020 Dates

January 12-20, 2020

February 2-10, 2020 (W)

February 16-24, 2020

March 15-23, 2020

March 29-April 6, 2020

 

  • * Double Occupancy Price. Children’s pricing applies to travelers 16 years old and younger sharing a room with an adult
  • Single Room Supplement = $595
  • Although unlikely, prices, dates, and accommodations subject to change with a 60 day notice from Discover Corps
  • All dates are Family Friendly
  • W = Women-Only Dates
See What's Included
  • Most meals throughout the trip: 9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
  • 3 nights lodging at boutique hotel in Karon Beach
  • 3 nights lodging at a coastal resort near the elephant sanctuary
  • 2 nights lodging at 4.5 star Koh Phi Phi Island resort
  • Expert local guides that are there to support, inform and guide you throughout the trip
  • Reliable in-country transportation with experienced drivers
  • Admissions and entrance fees to national parks, historic sites and other scheduled events throughout the trip
  • An active daily itinerary including lectures, day trips and an interactive volunteer assignment alongside a local elephant sanctuary
  • All gratuities for hotels, meals, baggage & transportation
  • $50,000 emergency medical evacuation insurance
  • Turnkey customer support from preparing for your trip to arrival back home

What's Included?

Our trips are inclusive of all activities, lodging, transport and most meals to make your experience hassle-free.  Here’s a sample of what’s included:

  • All meals included: 9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
  • 3 nights lodging at boutique hotel in Karon Beach
  • 3 nights lodging at a coastal resort near the elephant sanctuary
  • 2 nights lodging at 4.5 star Koh Phi Phi Island resort
  • Expert local guides that are there to support, inform and guide you throughout the trip
  • Reliable in-country transportation with experienced drivers
  • Admissions and entrance fees to national parks, historic sites and other scheduled events throughout the trip
  • An active daily itinerary including lectures, day trips and an interactive volunteer assignment alongside a local elephant sanctuary
  • All gratuities for hotels, meals, baggage & transportation
  • $50,000 emergency medical evacuation insurance
  • Trip Literature & turnkey customer support from preparing for your trip to arrival back home

What’s Not Included

  • International airfare
  • One dinner and one lunch on your own
  • Tips for your guide and driver
  • Optional activities during time on Koh Phi Phi Island (snorkeling, long-tail boat tours, sea canoeing, cooking classes, hiking on the island & more). Your guide can help you book these adventures!

Alumni & Family Discounts

Repeat travelers and groups are eligible for discounts and special deals.

Customized Private Trips

Let us create a custom trip for your group. Learn more about custom group travel.

This is trip is based entirely in Southern Thailand. Extend your trip with our 4 Day / 3 Night Chiang Mai Extension or our 3 Day / 2 Night extension to Bangkok. Want to add both extensions on to your trip? Contact us and we would be happy to accommodate.

For full trips in Northern Thailand, check out Thailand: Cultural Kaleidoscope & Thailand: Elephant Conservation Expedition.

 


As Seen In

Los Angeles Times USA Today Road Warrior Blog International Business Times

Request a Catalog

Your adventure awaits! Use the form below to get a FREE catalog by mail or email. Or call us now at 1-619-758-3030

Call Us
Text Us
Prices increase December 15th! Learn more here.