ElephantsWorld

Franklin Heijnen

More and more people are becoming aware of the institutional cruelty inflicted on elephants in "elephant shows" and other elephant tourist activities in Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Much of this cruelty has cultural and practical origins from when elephants were used in the workforce for their strength, but attitudes are changing slowly. Created in 2008 by Kanchanaburi veterinary officer, Dr Samart Prasitthiphon, ElephantsWord in Kanchanaburi is a non-profit, volunteer-run sanctuary for old, sick, abused, retired or rescued elephants - often from illegal street begging. Most of the elephants here have lived very hard lives and they came to retire in peace. The sanctuary offers the unique opportunity for "volunteers for a day" (or longer) to interact with these gentle animals while learning about them. At ElephantsWorld their motto is “We work for the elephants; the elephants do not work for us!” The most popular tourist activity at the centre is for volunteers to come for a one-day visit and 'muck in' and help care for the elephants, while learning about them and also having a lot of fun with them. You will be picked up at your guesthouse in Kanchanaburi city at 9:00am and will get to spend your day feeding the elephants, preparing and planting their food crops and joining them for a bath and scrub in the river, everybody’s favourite bit! Including the elephants! The day program ends at 4:00pm and you will be taken back to your lodgings. Book at least one day in advance and you should take with you some sunscreen, a hat, camera, mosquito repellent and a change of clothes. Women are requested to swim in shorts. If you bring some yellow bananas, you will soon make a lot of friends. Overnight stays of one night and two days are available. Accommodation consists of traditional Thai style cottages by the river and the mountains. They are all equipped with a bathroom and hot shower, mosquito nets and a comfortable terrace for relaxing. There is also a 1-4 week mahout programme. Please note you can only visit the sanctuary on one of the organised visitor programmes and cannot wander around by yourself. Rates: One day programme 2500B/1500B (Adults/children 4-11), Two day program 4500B/ 3200B Tel: +66 863355332 Email: info@elephantsworld.org Address: 90/9 Moo 4, Baan Nong Hoi, A. Mueang, T. Wang Dong, Kanchanaburi Website: http://www.elephantsworld.org/ Getting Here: From Kanchanaburi to ElephantsWorld: follow the 3199 road and turn at the intersection 38/1 leading to Nijiko Resort and Country Club and follow the ElephantsWorld signs.

Map of Central Thailand

Central Thailand-Map