Trip Details

Take the opportunity of a lifetime working closely with majestic elephants in the beautiful setting of Sri Lanka! Such a privilege to spend time during your gap year volunteering to assist in the care of the beautiful creatures. Elephant conservation is a priority of the Sri Lankan authorities due to their natural and cultural significance within the country. They are dedicated to promoting the health and survival of all elephants whether domesticated or living in the wild.

As a volunteer on the project, you will contribute to the work of the mahouts (elephant handlers) as they strive to ensure that the elephants live as natural a life as possible. The sense of well being you will have from ensuring these animals are well looked after will be immeasurable. You will gain a wealth of experience from assisting the mahouts with their daily routines of care and interaction. You will take part in feeding the elephants, cleaning them at the river and ensuring their enclosures are kept clean. It is also likely that you will assist with finding foods in the forest and helping veterinary practitioners to treat the elephants if they fall ill.

Aims & Objectives
The enormous satisfaction of directly helping to improve the quality of life of elephants by working hands-on with them, and knowing that you made a difference to them.

Trip Itinerary

You can expect your days to be active and varied, consisting of tasks that meet the elephants’ needs. Each day will begin early and you will carry out essential but enjoyable feeding and cleaning activities with the elephants, including cleaning the elephant enclosures.

Before the elephants eat, you need to prepare their meal of Kithul logs and other types of branches which you’ll help to cut. Weighing between 3 and 4 tons, elephants are capable of eating around 250 to 350 kilograms of food each day. While they’re satisfying their hunger, you’ll have time to relax and find refreshments for yourself. In the afternoon and late evening, you’ll have a chance to bond with individual elephants as they are cared for by their specifically assigned mahout. During your free time you will have the opportunity to go on excursions to local attractions.

Monday

  • Breakfast
  • Volunteer on the project
  • Lunch
  • Volunteer on the project
  • Dinner
  • Free Time

Tuesday

  • Breakfast
  • Volunteer on the project
  • Lunch
  • Volunteer on the project
  • Dinner
  • Free Time

Wednesday

  • Breakfast
  • Volunteer on the project
  • Lunch
  • Volunteer on the project
  • Dinner
  • Free Time

Thursday

  • Breakfast
  • Volunteer on the project
  • Lunch
  • Volunteer on the project
  • Dinner
  • Free Time

Friday

  • Breakfast
  • Volunteer project
  • Lunch
  • Volunteer project
  • Dinner
  • Free Time

Saturday & Sunday

The weekend is yours to relax or explore beautiful Sri Lanka 🙂

This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Trip Accommodation

Mawanella, which is located along the Colombo – Kandy road, is a town that belongs to Kegalle district. While the town area of Mawanella has some modern characteristics, the inner areas still depict rural nature. The locals living in the inner areas of Mawanella lead simple lifestyles. Mawanella is also a town with historical significance. Thus, it consists of many temples that are visited by the locals throughout the year.

Accommodation & Food

You will be accommodated in local houses (homestay), which are located closer to the project location. Under homestay, the available rooms can allocate 4-10 people on a single-gender basis. You will also have access to a shared bathroom with your roommates.

Food Arrangements
You will be provided with three meals a day on weekdays and two meals per day on weekends. The meals are mainly Sri Lankan food, consisting mainly of vegetarian dishes including rice and vegetables. You can also eat out at any of the local restaurants.

Facilities
The homestays will be in a village closer to the Mawanella town, where you can find the basic items you may need.

When you travel to the Mawanella town, which will take approximately one hour, you will have access to both ATM and supermarket facilities.

Sights & Surroundings
The places to visit during your weekends would be;

-Aluth Nuwara Dedimunda Devalaya which is an ancient temple visited by the locals islandwide

-Saradiel village, a location which is built to depict the traditional setup of a village. This is located in the birth village of a person who was known as the Robin Hood of Ceylon.

Trip Country Info

Sri Lanka

Population: approx. 20 million
Capital: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte and Colombo
Language: Sinhalese, Tamil
Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
Time zone: UTC +5:30

Sri Lanka’s over 2000 years of history and culture can still be seen in every corner of its cities and the details of its ever-beautiful ancient temples. With eight UNESCO World Heritage sites and its short distances between the main sights, Sri Lanka is a country that, despite often being overlooked in itineraries, has left travelers filled with awe.

Visit the sacred home of the world’s oldest living tree in Anuradhapura, wander around the colonial architecture of Colombo, get sun-kissed at the untouched beaches that inclose the territory, snorkel in the crystal-clear waters, head to the hills for a cooler temperature and get surrounded by lush natural, visit two thousand year-old temples or get overawed at the sight of hundreds of elephants in Minneriya.

While traveling through Sri Lanka you will experience adventures from the highest and chilliest mountains like the famous Adam’s Peak – a stairway mountain considered sacred in three different religions, thru the elephant shelters, to the most peaceful beaches up north near Trincomalee and their tiny- one floor- hostels facing the calm sea.

Tru Experience Travel welcome people from all over the world to join ongoing Sri Lankan programs and you can even compose your schedule the way you like it. With this flexibility it enables you to say when you are on site and when you spend time with the new friends you have made from all over the world.

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

No requirements have been provided.

Additional Requirements

No requirements have been provided.

What's included

  • 24/7 support in case of emergencies
  • Accommodation
  • Airport Pick up
  • English speaking coordinator
  • Meals
  • Orientation

What's not included

  • Airport drop off
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Vaccination
  • Visa