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.


The Place and The People

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. Tucked in the lush tropical rainforest of Phuket Island lies this sanctuary.

Spend part of the time caring for elephants alongside the elephant caretakers and experience first hand what it takes to care for these gentle creatures. Venture around Phuket including the region’s bustling markets, palm-fringed offshore islands and traditional village communities. Discover how the colorful Thai culture intermingles with age-old traditions and elephant conservation.


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. Take a boat out into the clear waters of Phang Nga Bay to an island where traditional village life thrives. Meet local fisherman, savor fresh coconut juice, try batik painting and have lunch with a family in the village.

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

Itinerary Overview

Arrive in Phuket and settle in to your boutique hotel accommodations walking distance to Karon Beach. The next two days will be reserved for exploring the area. From traditional fishing villages to majestic Thai temples, experience the many sides of Phuket Island. After that, head to the interior of the island for three days to lend a hand

at an elephant sanctuary. Learn what it takes to care for elephants from their caretakers and return to a charming coastal resort in the evenings. End the trip with two nights in a 4.5 star oceanfront resort on the Phi Phi Islands. These days are free to explore everything the islands have to offer.

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*

2018 Dates

Oct 14-22, 2018

Nov 18-26, 2018

Dec 23-31, 2018

2019 Dates

Jan 13-21, 2019

Feb 3-11, 2019 (W)

Feb 24-Mar 4, 2019

Mar 3-11, 2019

Mar 24-Apr 1, 2019

Apr 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

 

  • * 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

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