Cambodia | Elephant Adventure


Trek through the rainforest and work closely with the Elephant Project Team to give these Asian Elephants the care and help needed to ensure that they live a life as close as possible to their wild relatives.


Many of the elephants come from abused or neglected backgrounds and often have noticeable physical & psychological scars as a result of past traumas. As such, these elephants require daily care to ensure full rehabilitation is achieved. The help you provide will go a long way in ensuring these animals have a brighter future.


If you are passionate about animal conservation, have always wanted to work with animals or you just plain love elephants – lets face it, who doesn’t! Then this is the perfect Adventure for you!

The Project

Elephant conservation in Cambodia is a complicated issue. We don’t support the capture of wild elephants and the Bunong people who are native to this region of Cambodia don’t support the breeding of elephants. Therefore the current captive elephant population will probably be the last Mondulkiri has. The aim of this project is to ensure that this last generation is able to live out its life with as much dignity as possible.


The wild population of elephants in Cambodia is hugely threatened by loss of habitat. The sanctuary protects an area of forest from destruction to ensure the conservation of the traditional habitat for the Bunong people, elephants and the huge variety of other creatures in the forest.


This Volunteer Adventure will see you working closely with professional mahouts (elephant keepers) to give these beautiful creatures the care and help needed to ensure that they live a life as close as possible to their wild relatives. Most of the elephants come from abused or neglected backgrounds, so the care that you provide will help these animals live out their lives as elephants should.


Based in eastern Cambodia in the Mondulkiri province, 370 km from the capital Phnom Penh, the Elephant Adventure is located just a few kilometres from the town of Sen Monorom in a protected area of forest. The location of this project will give you a unique insight into the life of rural Cambodian people, as the area is one of the least impacted from tourism anywhere in Cambodia.



Role of the Volunteer

  • Assisting in weekly health checks
  • Farm, plantation & landscape maintenance work around the projects
  • Undertaking fieldwork research on elephant behaviour & eating patterns
  • Assisting with reforestation & conservation projects around the project
  • Observing the elephants & their behaviour as they interact with each other
  • Various construction, repair & maintenance work
  • Learning about the elephant’s histories, the local people & the role they play in protecting them

There will be plenty of time during your adventure to take some great photos so make sure you have plenty of space on your camera to catch them enjoying bath time, interacting with each other & just generally posing.


Typical Day

  • 7:00 AM – 7:40 AM – Breakfast (Included)
  • 7:40 AM – 8:00 AM – Transfer from Sen Monorom to Project Base Camp in Mondulkiri
  • 8:00 AM – 11:30 PM – Morning Projects: This varies each day depending on which tasks are required for the day
  • 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM – Generous break for lunch to rest those weary muscles, have lunch & socialise with other volunteers. After lunch (included) enjoy some much needed relaxation time; chill out in the lounge area, swing in a hammock and enjoy the beautiful view of the Elephant Valley or have a nap to refresh yourself ready for the afternoon
  • 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM – Afternoon Projects: Again this varies from day to day depending on which tasks are required that day
  • 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM – Head back to base camp and transfer back to accommodation in Sen Monorom
  • 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM – Free time to shower, freshen up and relax before dinner
  • 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Dinner (Included). After dinner you have free time to enjoy as you please. Socialise out with fellow volunteers, enjoy a cocktail or go for a wander around town.


The work is physically hard and you will get sweaty and dirty; but the lunch breaks are long, the food is excellent, and it’s not hard to find a balance between hard work and relaxation time. And at the end of the day if the feeling of personal achievement doesn’t satisfy you, remember that everything you do benefits the elephants and contribute to the conservation of these magnificent animals.

Need to Know

Age & Required Experience

  • At least 16 years of age
  • Keen interest in animal conservations & a desire to learn
  • Good for students studying or interested in studying animal conservation



Accommodation is included for the duration of the project, including your first nights accommodation on arrival in Phnom Penh. Volunteers stay on-site in beautiful lodges constructed in the traditional Bunong style with western style furniture, including toilet and shower. MyGapYear volunteers have the option to choose between backpacker dorms or private bungalows at additional cost.


Volunteers staying for more than one week will spend weekends in a guesthouse located in Sen Monorom, a short drive from the project base in Mondulkiri. All trasnfers to and from the project are included, as is your transfer to Sen Monorom and back to Phnom Penh at the completion of the project.



Three meals a day is provided at the Elephant Project with the chef extraordinaire providing a great mix of local & international meals. Volunteers dine together in the main complex overlooking the elephant valley, and wake up to the sounds of the jungle with a fresh coffee or tea & a hearty omelet or pancake. As the project only runs from Sunday to Thursday weekends are spent in a local town where the cost of meals is NOT included in the price. All meals consumed during the weekend are at the expense of the volunteer. Average meal price is $3-$5.


Orientation & Support

MyGapYear offers unlimited support prior to departure. Upon receipt of your deposit you will receive your MGY Handbook, which includes comprehensive information on Cambodian customs, culture, what to wear, traditional Khmer meals and important Khmer language words.  We can also help you find the right travel insurance & book the correct flights.


The Elephant Project staff will be with you at all times during your placement at Base Camp. All volunteers have 24/7 in-country support should any problems arise when not at the Project Base Camp.


Level of fitness & special skills

Although all levels of fitness are certainly welcome, we recommend that MyGapYear Adventurers be moderately fit for this project as your days are often filled with physical labour & considerable time spent walking through dense jungle & over uneven surfaces. Another request we make is for you to notify MyGapYear of any special skills or trades that you may have in advance, including plumbers, carpenters, irrigation specialists, electricians, etc. This will allow us organise your skill set to be put to good use directly where it is needed.

MyGapYear has partnerships with other like-minded organisations across the globe. This particular Adventure is operated in partnership with EVP. We guarantee that all of our partners offer the best value, exciting & safe Adventures you have come to expect from MyGapYear. For more information on who our partners are and how we handle your trip please contact us at


    • Share a backpacker dorm with fellow adventurers and utilise the common areas for plenty of fun outside of volunteering. It’s also the most affordable option, and perfect for solo Adventurers seeking to meet people and forge new friendships!
    • Weeks                                                                              USD$
    •        1                                                                                             $795
    •          2                                                                                             $1,195
    •           3                                                                                             $1,565
    •           4                                                                                             $1,935
    •  Extra Weeks                                                                               $370

    • Wake up in your own private bungalow to the sounds of the jungle! Bungalows are the perfect choice for those seeking a little more privacy. Of course, you’re still able to make use of the common areas and hang out with fellow volunteers.
    • Weeks                                                                                             USD$
    •        1                                                                                             $885
    •           2                                                                                             $1,345
    •           3                                                                                             $1,780
    •           4                                                                                             $2,215
    •  Extra Weeks                                                                               $435


GAIN an intimate working knowledge of Asian elephants and the factors influencing their long-term survival.

WORK daily with elephants under the guidance of professional handlers and trained mahouts.

SLEEP deep in the jungle of Cambodia and project base camp and wake up to the calls of wild.

TREK through the rainforest and work up close & personal with nature’s gentle giants.

Adventure Details

LENGTH: 1+ Weeks

START DATES: All year round

PRICE: From $795 USD

MEALS: Some included 

FLIGHTS: Not included


Pre-departure pack

24/7 in-country support

Unlimited pre-departure support

Airport transfers

All accommodation

Breakfast & lunch Monday - Friday

Dinner Sunday - Thursday

Return transport to project

One night accommodation in Phnom Penh on arrival

MyGapYear placement t-shirt

Legitimate, sustainable & safe elephant conservation project in Sen Monorom, Cambodia

Not Included


Visa requirements


Travel insurance

Spending money

Meals unless otherwise indicated

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