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“3 day Volunteering”

Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
Ranked #13 of 511 Tours in Phuket
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is the first ethical elephant sanctuary in Phuket. We put the welfare of our elephants first and do not offer bathing, rides, shows, mud bathing, trunk hugging, elephant kisses, sitting on or lying on the elephants, loud noisy groups, or people constantly crowding around the elephants. If you think of an elephant living life in the forest surrounded by the sounds of nature then this is what we offer. Our tours offer Education, Interaction, and Observation. Visitors enjoy an up-close encounter with our beautiful elephants during the feeding program, then we walk with the elephants, stand back and observe as they roam, bathe, play, and socialise naturally, free from human touch. We give our elephants back their lives and their dignity, and in doing so, our guests get to learn about how incredible the largest land mammal on earth truly is. We look forward to welcoming you. Morning and Afternoon visits, reservations required, transportation available.
Reviewed April 4, 2018 via mobile

Just completed 3 days of volunteering at PES and I'm missing the place like crazy already.

The sanctuary gives a home to elephants that have worked in tourism - circus, trekking - or logging and are sold as they are too sick or injured to carry on.
A couple are blind, some have leg problems and all have a history worth finding out about.

The volunteering gave me the opportunity to see behind the scenes and I can honestly say, everything is what they advertise themselves to be on the outside, with the elephants best interests at the heart of it. I got to know several of the staff and they are all passionate about their work.
The volunteering activity was a mixture of 5 star eco tourism and hard work. The daily schedule went something like this;
08:30 pickup and drop off at PES followed by breakfast
10-12:00 morning work
12-14:00 lunch and relaxation
14-16:00 afternoon work
16-17:30 dinner and relaxation
17:30 drop off at accommodation

Morning on first day is taking part in the tour. Other times, work included elephant food prep and feeding, cleaning elephant enclosure, cutting long grass/banana tree in jungle for elephant food and painting enclosures. Physical ability of volunteers varied and people worked as hard as they wanted to.

The accommodation is close to the office and has double bed, fridge, toilet/shower and wi-fi.

We had a group of 6 volunteers who socialised in the evening. Ages ranged from 25-60, men and women from US, France and U.K.
Also, some Thai staff were happy to meet up in the evening and could advise and assist with local activities e.g. Local gym (I didn't have the energy) or local beach walk.

I loved the time I had to observe and feed the elephants without the queues or people. I loved the ethos of the whole place. I loved the energy of the area.

If you are even slightly tempted to do this, book now, do it, I promise you will not regret it.

Thank Will C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed April 4, 2018 via mobile

The Elephant Sanctuary in Phuket is funded by tourism.
Please Book straight through the their website or front office, as all proceeds go to the Sanctuary this way and directly to helping care for these amazing creatures.

Now my review.
Transport from the front office through the park is by open air tuk type truck, which adds wonderful views as you travel through this scenic, amazing, almost other worldly type place.

You are the welcomed into the park with refreshments and snacks such as juices, water, tea, coffee and fizzy drink.
Snacks are widely varied from packet chips (crisps for non aussies) biscuits, sweet rice (try this) fruit and much more.
1 of the More gentle natured Elephants are Brought close to the refreshments area by her carer for you to take photos and videos of.

Next you hear a guide speak and watch a short video on how to act around the elephants, please pay attention to this as the guides tell you they are learning English, their native tongue is Thai.
So they won’t have to try to explain it to you again and it’s is for public safety and for the elephants.

Walking tour.
You start by getting to feed at least one elephant, we got to feed 2 elephants and take photos with each, also if you ask the guides nicely they can take photos for you on your device free of charge (if you do ask this though maybe a tip would be a nice gesture)

We had Golf as our guide, we saw elephants, fed them and even watch them bath just amazing.

Currently they only have female rescue Elephants and this is a new park just over a year old, please go and see it you won’t be

If you can give them a little tip at the end it all goes to a good cause and just may help rescue another Elephant to have a loving forever home,
If we want to see these beautiful creatures moving forward into the future let’s all band together and help this good cause.

I added some pics from my trip enjoy

1  Thank S L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 3, 2018

If you care about elephants and you want to support elephant recovery, this is the place to go. As far as I could tell, they really care about them here. They buy them off from other places where they've been put to work, or used for entertainment, and here they get to be elephants again. You get to feed them, you get to see them shower, and you hear their stories. There are no chains, no iron rods. Staff is very nice and carrying. It's a good cause and a good initiative, but it's not on the cheap. Elephants are large animals and care and food for them is expensive. The lunch and setting are really good.

1  Thank noiseshapes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 3, 2018 via mobile

I have mixed feelings about this.
I absolutely loved being this close and getting to admire the elephants. It's seemed like they had pretty strong bonds with their "keepers" and it's so nice to see that they aren't in circus acts, or being used for the logging industry.
The only thing that seemed off about this place, was that as soon as the tour ended, they led the elephants back to their sleeping areas.
I was hoping that they would be allowed to just walk around and, ya know, be free afterwords. It bugged me a little bit.
Beyond that, it was amazing to be so close to such amazing animals.

2  Thank Holly B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed April 2, 2018

Breathtaking experience!!!

Oh my gosh. Be prepared for the waterworks! Prior to our tour, we were shown a video of how these precious babies are treated before being rescued. It was HORRENDOUS. Literally sobbed!

After the video, we got to feed the elephants fruits and veggies and pet their trunks. They are so sweet and so beautiful! They are finally living the retirement that they so badly deserved. After feeding, we walked around and observed the elephants from a safe distance. The trainers were great in the sense that they would hang out with them and give them food, they never touched them or controlled them, but simply just let them be themselves. The tour guides were very informative and kind. They answered our questions, snapped our pictures, had great attitudes and were just a pleasure to be around.

After our hour or so walk, they had a thai buffet ready for us, as well as ice cold towels for us to wipe our faces, and cool off. The food was delicious! We were also able to purchase some souvenirs, which was nice. At least you know where your money is going when you buy at the sanctuary, it's going to help these sweet animals. Also, the souvenirs were all well priced, unlike places in the U.S. where they charge you a million dollars for a bottle of water. On that note, the sanctuary provides free water from the office, and throughout the entire experience. Don't ride elephants and contribute to their abuse, come to the sanctuary and observe them being the precious animals that they were meant to be the entire time. Also, there's pigs, a dog and cats around. How cool is that?! An animal lover's paradise!

1  Thank Zoe R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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