clean the elephant bed
get elephant food
visit the school
You can volunteer with us for 1, 2 or 3 weeks. When volunteering we aim to give you a special elephant experience which is unique in Sri Lanka. You will be warmly welcomed by the family & team and spend lots of time with the elephant Nilame, can do tours and spent a lot of time with the locals. We are not a place for partying, we offer so much more: A real insight in Sri Lanka culture.
This almost one on one experience with the elephant, the locals and the culture is truly special and rare to find!
feed the elephant
go on local tours
When you volunteer you will go far beyond the usual tourist experience!
Some of the tasks that we like your help with could be:
- Elephant food: Help prepare the food and feed the elephant
- Elephant exercise: Walk through the beautiful area alongside the elephant.
- Elephant care: Scoop elephant poo plus a variety of tasks concerned with elephant care.
- Sri Lankan cooking: Cook together with us as we show you how to create delicious Sri Lankan food.
- Project maintenance: Feeling like doing more? Help with maintaining the outside project area.
- Improving the project: Help to improve the project by building or brainstorming and acting on ideas to make things better for the elephant Nilame.
- English conversation with the local school children.
Please note that nothing is compulsory and the above list is not conclusive.
bringing the food
visit the neighborhood
You can stay 1, 2 or 3 weeks.
- 1 week 50,000 LKR
- 2 weeks 90,000 LKR
- 3 weeks 120,000 LKR
- A shared room at our home-stay with a warm and welcoming host family.
- First day - lunch & dinner and accommodation. Last day - breakfast and lunch. All the days in between - breakfast, lunch & dinner.
- All project related transport.
- Full induction on day one including safety rules when working with elephants.
- Onsite English speaking coordinator.
- Tour of the local elephant dung factory
in the enclosure
Everything was close to perfect. The warm family, the delicious food, the friendly mahoot, the amazing cook, the coordinators who are always going out of their way to cater to you and of course the playful Elephant, Nilame. I spent a week with the Elephant Freedom Project and I got to experience something different every day. This is the kind of elephant project that people should be involved in not the places that encourage riding and have chains over the elephants. It was such a joy seeing Nilame the elephant be at peace and being free. It was a privilege to be that close to him and be able to immerse myself in Sri Lankan culture as well.I will never forget the family, Mr Ananda, Ms Mali, daughter Shashini, the coordinator Kasun, the cook Lila and the mahoot who were always there to make this experience even more valuable and enjoyable than it already was. Thank you so much Elephant Freedom Project!
The Elephant Freedom Project housed me and two of my girlfriends when we came to Sri Lanka for a month. We spent 5 nights with the family and it really felt like home right away.
The program which isn't the elephant part consists of cooking classes (ask to see the recipe cards to take photos of after if you don't want to write it down as you go!), visit to the dung factory (really interesting) , tea factory, English conversation classes at a local school (very sweet kids eager to learn), we also went on a hike.
These were all activities on each seperate day between the elephant parts. These were all run by very keen and informative guides who always had genuine smiles on their faces. Thanks Kasun - we all miss you!
You'd wake up and walk the elephant chain free with the mahout (like an elephant keeper) who would use his words to direct the elephant around. He has to have a bull hook as safety precaution but never had to use it! You would also bathe the elephant daily and Nilame looked so relaxed having the water flow onto him.
The EFP included three amazing meals a day and we tried some wonderful Sri Lanka meals.
We ate with the family and found a real friendship within them and I would highly recommend staying with them! To be welcomed into a home in such a way and share stories with honest people is something not to be missed. You can tell that what they are doing with the elephants here is to give them a better life from those they have to rent them off.
Thank you for the whole experience! I hope I can come back one day!