Elephant Volunteering in Cambodia
Part of our daily routine at our boutique resort in Siem Reap is to speak with our guests and to check how their holiday in Cambodia is going. Yesterday, we came across a couple who happily shared an interesting story about their life-changing experiences in Cambodia. Dan and Helen who hail from the North of England shared their elephant volunteering in Cambodia which according to them, one of the best experiences they have ever had.
Dan and Helen had their elephant volunteering with Elephant Nature Park for a week. Elephant Nature Park is a unique project that provides a sanctuary and rescue center for injured and abused elephants from all over Thailand. In partnership with Save Elephant Foundation, these two organizations are also working within the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary to protect and conserve 1 million acres of jungle habitat, approximately one hour north of Angkor Wat. The project spans 25,000 acres and aims to protect the land and all of the native species, flora and fauna, that call it home, including tigers, monkeys, buffalos, and the Asian elephants.
Initially, the project will focus on tree planting and restoring the region’s forest and combatting the illegal logging that has taken place. The goals for the Elephant Sanctuary Cambodia are plant and wildlife identification, seed collecting, trail-making and educational outreach.
Q: How did you know about the elephant volunteering in Cambodia?
A: Well, we have a friend who also had an elephant volunteering in Chiang Mai, Thailand and told us about the amazing experience at the rehabilitation and rescue center which we got really excited about. Our friend mentioned Elephant Nature Park which also has a project in Cambodia that provides a sanctuary and rescue center for distressed elephants.
Q: So what were the activities you did at the Elephant Sanctuary?
A: We actually stayed at the center for a week. We slept there and had our meals provided by the center. As volunteers, we collected seeds, planted trees and worked with the local community to establish educational outreach programs for children as well. Helen: Dan actually taught English and he enjoyed teaching the children who were really eager to learn the language. Dan: We also helped in taking good care of the elephants, prepared food (bananas) and fed them up. We also helped in protecting the trees from logging by wrapping blessed sheets round the trees.
Q: Why did you decide to do an elephant volunteering in Cambodia?
A: We love Cambodia. The people are just so nice and this country is just amazing. Helen: I’m actually a vegetarian and I support this kind of activity. In addition to that, Dan and I also want to help in protecting and preserving the nature through volunteering.
Q: How was the over-all experience at the Elephant Sanctuary?
A: Dan: The over-all experience at the Elephant Sanctuary was really amazing. It was a life-changing experience for us.
Q: Your elephant volunteering has just finished, what is your next plan?
A: One of the main reasons why we decided to head over Southeast Asia, especially here in Siem Reap is to experience the ancient beauty of Angkor Temples which has always been our plan. Dan: Tomorrow, we will be visiting the temples of Angkor especially the famed Angkor Wat.
We appreciate you sharing your life-changing experiences in Cambodia, Dan and Helen. We really enjoyed listening to your stories and we hope that more and more people will be engaged in this kind of activity as it helps in the conservation of nature. Enjoy the rest of your Southeast Asia holiday! – Your friends at Navutu Dreams Resort & Wellness Retreat