sri lanka
intermediate English
From 2 to 12 weeks
18 years old
Saving the elephants in Sri Lanka

Saving the elephants in Sri Lanka

In partnership with the “Wildlife Society Sri Lanka,” this project within a sustainable tourism NGO provides volunteers with a unique opportunity to work alongside local researchers, educators, community partners, and village residents in the heart of a nature reserve in Sri Lanka. Wasgamuwa is one of the protected regions in Sri Lanka where large herds of elephants and a variety of birds can be observed, making it an ideal destination for sustainable tourism.

This project focuses on authentic conservation efforts, observing elephants in their natural habitat. It involves genuine research activities such as tracking, observation, and raising awareness among local communities through prevention campaigns.

Highlights of the project within a sustainable tourism NGO:

  • Experience the incredible opportunity to observe elephants in their natural habitat.
  • Learn from local researchers about elephants and their behavior.
  • Witness elephants in a more natural setting, interacting with their environment.
  • Explore Sri Lanka during your free time.
  • Raise awareness among the local population about the importance of elephant conservation.

The Human-Elephant Conflict in Sri Lanka:

The challenge of overpopulation is a tangible issue in Sri Lanka, especially with the expansion of human settlements encroaching on the territory of wild elephants. This leads to a decrease in space for elephants, diseases transmitted between domestic and wild animals, difficult coexistence with villagers, and destruction of infrastructure and homes.

There is an urgent need for strategic action to resolve the conflict between humans and elephants, aiming to protect Sri Lanka’s wild elephants and improve the welfare of captive elephants.

Volunteer Roles in Sri Lanka:

  • Gather information on elephants and other species within the ecosystem of the nature reserve.
  • Collect environmental and socio-economic data to support community-based conservation projects.
  • Engage in dialogue with local villagers to identify practical solutions to the human-elephant conflict.
  • Observe, evaluate, and document the conflict, as well as educate local populations in schools.
  • Build and repair fences to protect agricultural fields and homes from wild elephants.

Logistics of the Project:

Upon arrival, volunteers are welcomed at Colombo airport and transferred to Polonnaruwa, near Wasgamuwa National Park, where they will meet the local team of researchers. The project site is approximately a 4-5 hour drive from Polonnaruwa (230km by car).

Upon arrival, the local team will provide an orientation session for all volunteers, and depending on the arrival time, the group may visit the field to observe elephants.

Work hours will vary based on activities, but generally start early in the morning and end in the early evening, with breakfast and lunch provided during the day and dinner served in the evening in this sustainable tourism NGO project.

Join a sustainable tourism NGO in Sri Lanka to actively contribute to the conservation of elephants.



All Meals
Accommodation in mixed multiple rooms
Orientation session
Training on the project
Management and supervision

Not included

Flight tickets
Travel and repatriation insurance
ETA Visa
Private airport transfer (240 euros round trip)
Wifi (possible contribution)

Dates and prices

Arrivals every Saturday before noon
Duration in weeks
Registration fees
2 weeks
1300 €
3 weeks
1575 €
4 weeks
1850 €
5 weeks
2125 €
6 weeks
2400 €
7 weeks
2675 €
8 weeks
2950 €
9 weeks
3225 €
10 weeks
3500 €
11 weeks
3775 €
12 weeks
4050 €


Your Accommodation

Volunteers stay in a countryside house located on a picturesque hill overlooking a lake and a mountain range. The house is situated 15 minutes away from Wasgamuwa National Park. The accommodation is basic, with dormitory-style beds (equipped with mosquito nets) and shared bathrooms.

Single Room in Volunteer House (weekly rate): 250 EUR

Additional Information

The majority of the work takes place in the field, so it is recommended to wear comfortable and casual clothing (t-shirts, shorts, loose pants, sneakers, sandals, flip-flops, hats, etc.) as participants will be outdoors for extended periods. It is strongly advised to use sunscreen, as the sun can be intense during the day, and it is also recommended to bring mosquito/insect repellent.

Requirements to Participate

– Minimum age of 18.

– Fluent in English (understanding instructions and ability to communicate).

– Copy of passport.

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