All of our elephant tours and projects put conservation front and centre, as we believe that all eco travel should. Globally, the elephant is listed as vulnerable at best and it’s in no small part thanks to the efforts of dedicated elephant lovers that the species is holding it’s own in some places. Sadly, elephants have been victims of poaching in many areas for their ivory and, despite international efforts to ban the ivory trade, elephants still fall victim to this fate more often than we know.
When picking our favourites elephant tours and projects, we wanted to focus solely on those that make a real difference. With that in mind, these trips are definitely for the traveller who likes to get their hands dirty – but we promise it’s all worth it. Nights will often be spent under canvas, camping as close as possible to the elephants you’ll be helping but you’ll always get a warm meal and amazing hospitality of the local people whose culture you’ll be immersed in.
So, without further ado, here’s our pick of some of the best elephant tours and projects you can find.
Travelling deep into the heart of the Sri Lankan jungle, you’ll spend your days helping ecological research on the Wasgamuwa region’s elephant population. This elephant tour is a great opportunity to get involved in real conservation work that benefits the elephants’ ongoing survival. The tour immerses you in Sri Lankan culture, you’ll experience the amazing food and hospitality on offer as you make friends for life (and that’s just the elephants!).
Check out the full details of The Great Elephant Project
You’ll travel to the sandy plains of Namibia for this elephant tour, where you’ll be tasked with helping the conservation efforts of two populations of African desert Elephants. What we really love about this trip is the chance you get to travel to local schools and help educate the children on the importance of the work being undertaken. The trip isn’t all work though, there’s plenty of time to relax with your fellow travellers and meet and spend time with the locals.
Get involved in the Desert Elephant Conservation
OK, so this is a bit of a two-for-one special! Not only do you get to travel to the Lower Kinabatangan Floodplain Rainforest in Sabah, Borneo and meet the pygmy elephants but you also get to help in the orangutan conservation too. Your help on this project is invaluable as it’s estimated there are only 1,500 pygmy elephants left in the wild. Whilst there you’ll also have plenty of time to explore the jungle, take boat trips and sample the local customs and food.
Discover more about The Great Orangutan and Pygmy Elephant Project
Help to protect some of Malaysia’s most threatened jungle species, including tigers, leopards and elephants, on this important and adventurous conservation project. During your first week, you’ll join a team working on the outskirts of one of the oldest rainforests on the planet; the ancient Taman Negara jungle is thought to be over 130 million years old and is home to leopards, sun bears, elephants and Malayan tigers.
For the second and third weeks of the project, you’ll head to the Perhentian Islands, named by CNN in 2013 as the ‘number one beach location in Malaysia’, where you’ll volunteer to help conserve turtles.
Discover more about Turtle and Jungle Wildlife Conservation
For those looking to pursue a career in the wildlife conservation industry, there can be no better place to train than a ‘Big Five’ reserve in South Africa. As a volunteer on the Wildlife Conservation Program, you’ll learn all about the daily running of various conservation projects on an important game reserve, giving you plenty of hands-on experience out in the field.
You’ll receive training on animal tracking, bush survival skills, wildlife ethics, and how to approach dangerous game safely. This project is focused on giving you practical experience of working on a wildlife reserve, whilst also giving you the chance to make a real difference to the futures of key African species.
Discover more about Wildlife Conservation Program
I hope this has given you a taste for some of the amazing elephant tours and projects we’re involved in. Not only are they a great chance to play an active role in elephant conservation, but you get the chance to visit some spectacular countries and meet a diverse range of cultures along the way. Speak to an Eco-Expert today and start planning your next adventure!
Speak to an Eco-Expert today and start planning your next adventure!