Samui Elephant Haven has recently introduced a volunteers, or ‘aides’ programme which is offered to a very limited group of visitors. Guests will live amongst the elephants for a week and experience a full immersion programme and learn everything there is to know about elephants and the local culture.
The elephants’ aides spend six nights and seven days at Samui Elephant Haven in simple bamboo cottages that boast incredible views across the park, elephant’s swimming pool, the jungle, Gulf of Siam and the island of Koh Phangan. Probably one of the most outstanding and humble views to wake up to each morning.
Being an aide requires stamina; the day is packed full of exciting and essential jobs which ensures the best environment in which the elephants live.
Each day starts with feeding the chickens that cluck around the park and collecting eggs for breakfast. The aides are joining the Samui Elephant Haven family, so will eat all meals with the founders, mahouts, the rest of the elephant team and tour visitors. Every morning, Maew presents guests with a list of responsibilities and activities that will take place throughout the day; and includes preparing food for the elephants, cleaning their swimming pools and enclosures, helping plant trees and grass throughout the park and of course collecting ele’ poop for the manure pile. It’s not all hard work, there is time for a traditional Thai massage, walks on the beach, a Muay Thai introduction, a cooking class, and exploring a local night walking market.
This extraordinary experience is available for a maximum of five guests each week. There is one single, and two twin bamboo bungalows available at the highest point of the Haven. The Elephant Aides programme is one of the most comprehensive in Thailand as it allows guests the opportunity to explore the local culture and people.