Mom and baby elephant feeding in the national park in Sri Lanka.

Volunteer with Elephants in Sri Lanka as a Group

Learn about elephant conservation as you discover Sri Lanka on a group trip abroad

At a glance

  • Learn from expert conservationists as you work as an elephant rehabilitation volunteer in the Wasgamuwa National Park.
  • Assist with problem-solving and the implementation of conservation strategies to limit human-elephant conflict.
  • Discover the beauty of Sri Lanka during planned social activities with your group trip abroad.

Start Dates: 

Fixed dates throughout the year

See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

Two Weeks

Requirements: 

Anyone aged 16 or over can join


Is volunteering in Sri Lanka with elephants right for me?

If you have a passion for the environment and a deep love of animals, then volunteer work with elephants in Sri Lanka is for you. You’ll get to spend every day in awe at majestic Asian elephants while you come up with conservation solutions to help them alongside trained local staff.

You’ll receive all the training you need from local staff and workshops as you learn how to work with elephants and assist with various conservation activities. Our staff will be by your side if you have questions during your group volunteer opportunity abroad. You’ll also learn from experts in the elephant and wildlife conservation field. They might even inspire you to study or go into a career in conservation. Working as an elephant rehabilitation volunteer looks great on any resume.

Your supervisors will have planned more than just elephant conservation volunteer work. They’ll make sure you get the time to time to explore Sri Lanka with your group trip abroad. This includes a few planned social activities and weekend trips where you can discover more of the culture and cities.

Volunteers observe elephants in their natural habitat in the national park, Sri Lanka.

You’ll focus on the following tasks:

Monitor and record data on the elephant and other wildlife populations

You and your group will be tasked with the monitoring of elephant herds and other wildlife in the Wasgamuwa National Park. You’ll collect data on their movements and behaviors while working with the elephants. This will help improve conservation policies moving forward and contribute to Asian elephant protection.

Help identify practical solutions to human-elephant conflicts

One of the reasons behind dipping elephant populations in Sri Lanka is human-elephant conflict. This conflict arises due to issues like habitat loss. This leads elephants to raid crops, damage property, and the potential of human injury or death by elephant’s increases. Because of this, many communities see elephants as a nuisance and kill them off as a result.

In order to limit this conflict, you and the rest of your group trip abroad will observe and document the human-elephant conflicts in the area. You’ll then participate in discussions with the local community to help identify practical solutions to these issues. Through this work, you can help the community, elephants and other wildlife co-exist peacefully.

Assist with environmental education in the community

An important part of volunteering with elephants in Sri Lanka is the education of local communities. By teaching the locals about the importance of elephant conservation and how they can reduce human-elephant conflict, you’ll help stop elephant populations from decreasing. You’ll also talk to children at a local school so that they can learn about wildlife conservation from a young age.

Discover Sri Lanka with a group of like-minded volunteers

No group volunteer opportunity abroad is complete without a few exploration activities in the country you’re based. And you’ll be sure not to miss out on Sri Lanka! You and your group will visit Kandy, tea farms and other famous tourist attractions. Let’s not forget the plentiful temples and mouthwatering food. This is only the tip of what our staff have planned for you during your time in Sri Lanka.

Our partners in Sri Lanka

The objective of this elephant volunteer work project is to provide assistance to the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society (SLWCS) in and around the Wasgamuwa National Park.

Their aim is to empower local communities and provide them with the tools they need to protect Sri Lanka’s most endangered wildlife. Their conservation strategy provides practical solutions to help eliminate wildlife-human conflict, environmental and climate change, and biodiversity loss. It also addresses sustainable living, land use, and rural poverty issues. All of which are intertwined and need to be addressed simultaneously to achieve lasting and meaningful conservation.


Where will I work in Sri Lanka?

Wasgamuwa National Park

This project is based in the Wasgamuwa National Park, situated in the Matale and Polonnaruwa Districts of Sri Lanka. You’ll work with elephants in the national park and get to see an incredibly diverse group of mammals and reptiles. The highlight being the majestic herd of over 150 wild Asian elephants who can be seen roaming and feeding in their most natural state.

Among the elephants, you might see sloth bears, leopards, and many other endangered wildlife species living in this protected area of Sri Lanka.

During your stay, you’ll stay in shared accommodation with your group trip abroad. This is a great opportunity to get to know volunteers from all over the world over meals and during down time.

Airport pickup, flights and visas

When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our Sri Lanka Arrival Procedures page.


What are the aims and impacts of this project?

The main aim of this project is to assist the SLWCS with sustainable elephant conservation efforts that will help people, elephants and other wildlife co-exist peacefully.

One-hundred years ago, more than 20,000 wild Asian elephants inhabited Sri Lanka. Today, the population numbers are sitting around 5,000. This is due to wildlife-human conflict, environmental and climate change, and biodiversity loss. By educating the locals on sustainable living and the importance of conservation, you can help them mitigate these issues.

You and your group trip abroad will also learn important skills in the conservation field. You’ll learn all about strategy, how to conduct field work and the importance of community education for sustainable development.

Make an impact with your group as you protect Asian elephants and other wildlife living in Sri Lanka.

Volunteer observes an elephant herd from a Jeep in Sri Lanka.

Measuring our impact

Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.


Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.


Food and accommodation

You'll stay in shared accommodation during your project in the Wasgamuwa National Park. The accommodation staff will welcome you into their home, eager to share their customs and have you teach them about your own culture. 

We'll always try to have you share a room with at least one volunteer or intern of the same sex and approximate age. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe.

Your program fee includes three meals a day.

Find out more about our accommodation.


Safety and staff support

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.


Find out more about safety and backup.

Meet the team in Sri Lanka

When you apply you only pay $295, which comes off the total price. Flexible payment options, fundraising advice, and scholarships available.

Looking to do more than one project? Call us on (+1) 619 320 2424 to see if we can offer a discount.

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