One-hundred years ago, more than 20,000 wild Asian elephants inhabited Sri Lanka. Today, the population numbers about 5,000. Our Wild Elephant Conservation project offers volunteers a rare opportunity to work alongside local conservationists, educators, community partners and local villagers deep within the heart of Central Sri Lanka. This impactful conservation project is with wild elephants in their natural habitat. It is a purely research based project involving elephant tracking, monitoring, observations, and education to the local communities, running campaigns and awareness programs.
Living in a field house right outside Wasgamuwa National park will be an experience of a lifetime. Wasgamuwa is one of most ecologically diverse areas of Sri Lanka where Wild Elephants can be seen in large herds. This conservation program is an award winning animal conservation program conducted by the Sri Lankan Wildlife Conservation Society. The team has researchers and scientists who are in the forefront of Asian Elephant Conservation work.
The mission of our Wild Elephant Conservation Program is to enable communities to balance ecosystem protection and economic development for sustainable conservation. The focus is on helping people, elephants and other wildlife co-exist peacefully. We work with the local community to mitigate human-elephant conflict and provide sustainable, alternative livelihoods for farmers in rural Sri Lanka. Revenues generated through fees paid by our volunteers on this project are critical to support conservation research and community work.
Whether you're travelling alone or with a group, for a week or for several months we would love for you to join and experience this top notch conservation project. You'll be immersed in the local culture and ecology in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, home to wild Asian elephants, sloth bears, leopards and many other endangered wildlife in one of the most biodiverse areas in Sri Lanka. You'll work hand-in-hand with experts and volunteers from all around the globe to carry out essential conservation work required in Asia.
Wildlife volunteering Program Gallery
What is involved
This award winning wild elephant conservation volunteer program is truly an experience of a lifetime. You'll stay at our Pussellayaya Field House, just a short distance from Wasgamuwa National Park and work hand-in-hand with our local staff and volunteers from all around the globe to carry out essential conservation work, including:
Gathering information on elephants and other wildlife and tropical ecosystems
Collecting essential environmental and socio-economic data to help develop community-based conservation programs
Participating in discussions with local villagers to help identify practical solutions to human-elephant conflicts
Observing, assessing and documenting human-elephant conflicts
Teaching environmental education to local school children
Gathering information on Sri Lanka's big and small carnivores
You will get the chance to take part in animal identification and tracking through game drives as well as many other amazing activities. Not only will you learn an incredible amount about wildlife conservation in one of Sri Lanka’s most popular national parks, but you will get hands on work experience with real conservationists. Everyday you will be working for a minimum of 5 hours. In the evenings most volunteers relax in the volunteer house. There is always someone in the house so you are never alone!
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What your first week looks like
Volunteers arriving on Sunday have the option to go directly to the project site in Wasgamuwa or stay overnight in Colombo and get a pick up the next day on Monday by our field staff who will transport you to Wasgamuwa. We advise volunteers to take a Uber directly from the airport to our project site to minimize volunteers frequenting crowded public places with the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Those staying overnight in Colombo must ensure the hotel is in the city Zone 1,2,3,or 4.
Excursions around Sri Lanka
Iconic Train Rides
Choose an Inspiring Volunteering Destination
Cambodia will allow you to explore the heart of Southeast Asia, a nation replete with lush natural landscapes from dense forests to rice paddy fields, bustling cities, and the majestic architectural remnants of the great Khmer empire dotting every bit of the country.
The charming city of Phnom Penh is the capital and also serves as our base of volunteer operations. Volunteering Journeys Cambodia volunteer abroad projects include Teaching English, Working with NGO’s, helping Special Needs individuals, and Medical & Nursing Internships. Whether you are a gap year student, career breaker or a family or a mature volunteer, you can apply to any of our volunteer in Cambodia projects.
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To get an overview of all our destinations and programs you can download our latest brochure