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Elephant Sanctuary Volunteer Sri Lanka (Kegalle)!

Do you have a passion for animals, especially elephants, and want to contribute to their happiness and well-being?Then you should consider becoming a volunteer with this elephant conservation program in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is a gorgeous country filled with friendly people, amazing scenery and rich and diverse wildlife.

The country’s sparkling beaches lined by clear blue waters attract thousands of travelers every year, and amazing animals

like the elephant can be observed while also visiting age-old ruins and temples from the country’s rich culture and history.

Sadly, many wild elephants are killed every year due to expansion of human territory and landmines left over from the country’s brutal civil war. While poaching is not as prevalent as in other countries with elephants, these problems are nonetheless pushing the Sri Lankan elephant towards extinction, and local elephant sanctuaries badly need volunteer to help these magnificent creatures.

By working at this Elephant Sanctuary Volunteer program in Sri Lanka, you will get to contribute to the well-being of the elephant you are assigned to, as well as work towards the overall conservation of the entire species. You will also get to ensure the sustainability of the project by helping out at the eco-farm.

Are you looking for a life changing experience working closely with elephants, some of the most amazing and thoughtful animals on the planet? Then contact Global Crossroad today for more information!

Volunteer Responsibilities & Impacts

Your primary responsibility as a volunteer with elephant in Sri Lanka will be to work closely with your mahout and elephant, assisting with feeding, bathing, and walking the animal.

However, volunteers might be expected to work in other projects such as eco-farm, teaching English, mobile veterinary unit ect.

Elephant Project—The daily maintenance and treatment of your assigned elephant, as well as assisting with the project's administrative tasks, fundraising, researching resources and general maintenance necessary to assist the project's many projects benefiting elephants and the lives of local people.

Eco-farm—when you join elephant volunteering program in Sri Lanka, you will work in the eco-farm every day to help gardeners grow fresh and healthy fruits, vegetables and medicinal herbs. These products are used as a part of the enrichment program and are used as treats for the elephants as well as food for the onsite restaurant. Many of the ingredients used in volunteer meals will be consist of produce grown by the volunteers themselves.

This is a great opportunity to learn about traditional farming methods and non-chemical fertilizers. Volunteers also have the opportunity to learn about fruits and vegetables native to Sri Lanka. In the future, the project hopes to provide poor farmers with elephant-dung fertilizer, which is a great way for farmers to non-chemically protect their crops and conserve the environment.

Mobile Veterinary Unit (MVU)—As volunteer in Sri lanka elephant project, you are also invited to help local veterinarians visit sick elephants and supervise religious parades. The MVU uses a vehicle to transport vets and medicine to elephants in need of care; the MVU may even travel hundreds of miles a day. The MVU efficiently treats elephants without having to set up multiple clinics through Sri Lanka and is capable of treating multiple animals at the same time.

Veterinary care can be very expensive and elephant ownership can create a financial burden. For this reason, the MVU care is free so that more elephant owners will seek out medical assistance for their elephants before it is too late. This is a great way for volunteers to meet elephant owners and travel the country.

English Teaching to Children—The project has organized local after school clubs to teach Sri Lankan children English. Strong English skills instantly open doors for Sri Lankan students, promising them a more prosperous future and greater job opportunities. Each after school club lesson is on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for one hour and our volunteers run the lessons. Teachers do not need prior experience, just creativity and a positive attitude. Ages vary widely in the lessons, anywhere from young toddlers to late twenties.

The project tries to make every lesson interactive and fun by incorporating interactive activities such as songs and games. In the future, they hope to open a learning center with computers, educational resources and a classroom-like environment.

All four projects related to elephant volunteering in Sri lanka will very rewarding. You will have at least two days off a week to explore all Sri Lanka has to offer. You will be able to learn from locals and surround yourself in Sri Lanka's beauty, both in its people and its nature.

Through this work you will be providing the elephants with much appreciated love and care, as well as raise awareness of the plight of elephants and a better way to experience them through ethical and sustainable interactions. This will directly contribute to ending the exploitation of these creatures and provide a happier life for the elephant you’re placed with.

Skills and Qualifications

The only required qualification for this project is a love and passion for animals and conservation work. You should also be a hardworking, kind and patient person willing to go outside your comfort zone. We also recommend enrolling in our one-week language and cultural immersion program to let you communicate with the local staff and mahouts more easily.

Every day of this Sri Lanka elephant volunteer project will be a deeply rewarding experience as you work closely with elephants and get to know them on a level that most people never even dream of.

On arrival in Sri Lanka you will be collected at the airport and brought to the elephant village and given the day to get settled in with your accommodation and prepare for the upcoming project.

  • First Day: - On your first day of volunteering in this elephant project in Sri Lanka, you will be given a briefing about your responsibilities and work duties and given the day to prepare and familiarize yourself with the facilities.
  • Weekdays: - Your work begins in earnest on the second day of the project and a typical day looks something like this:
  • 7.00 AM - 7.30 AM – The day starts with a delicious Sri Lankan breakfast enjoyed together with your fellow volunteers and the mahouts.
  • 7.45 AM – Around this time your work will begin, and you will spend the rest of the morning and afternoon taking care of your elephant and working in the eco farm.
  • 12.00 PM –At noon you will get a break for lunch, which is a great time to get to know the staff on a more personal level.
  • 3.00 PM – Your work will usually end around this time, and the rest of the day is yours to explore the amazing wildlife and scenery around the village, or simply relax and socialize with your fellow volunteers.
  • 4.45 PM – At the end of the day you will be served an amazing Sri Lankan dinner, rounding out a day filled with rewarding experiences.

Volunteer Sri Lanka: Dates and Prices

Start Dates:

All Volunteer programs in Sri Lanka start every Monday. However, Global Crossroad is very flexible and understands that various travel constraints that you might face.


Global Crossroad is committed to offering the most affordable and highest quality Sri Lanka Volunteer trips. We strive to keep our costs low. The humanitarian side of the business is our passion.

Global Crossroad's Volunteer opportunity in Sri Lanka application and registration fee cost US $299. The application fee covers the cost of advertising, program promotion, and office expenses (rent, utilities, and staff salaries in USA office).

In addition to the application fee, you are required to pay a weekly program fee. You will pay your weekly fee directly to your host family and project. This way, the fees that you pay will benefit those who rightfully deserve them, and not for company profit.

Duration Kegalle Elephant
  1 Week   $300
  2 Weeks   $565
  3 Weeks   $815
  4 Weeks   $1,040

Airport Pickup and Transfer to Galle (2 hours)- $100/per person
Airport Pickup and Transfer to Kegalle (80 KM) - $100/per person
Airport pick up & transfer to Pinnawala (80 km) - $100/per person
Language and Culture - $250
Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.49/day ( below 28 years) and $4.49/day ( above 28 years) »
How your fee is allocated?

Program Fees Cover:

  • Accommodation (volunteers house)
  • Food (local food 3 times a day)
  • In-country support
  • Program Orientation
  • Personalized project
  • Pre-departure information
  • Certificate of completion
  • Fundraising ideas and letters
  • Discount for returning volunteers

Program Fees Exclude:

  • Visas
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
  • Daily transportation
  • Airport return transfer

The Volunteering programs in Sri Lanka fees will cover expenses that will begin on the first day of the program (usually the first or third Monday of the month) to the last day of the program. If you arrive before the first day of the program or you decide you stay beyond your program’s last day, you will be responsible for the additional expenses, which would typically be around $30 a day for room and meals at a hostel.

Accommodation and Meal

Global Crossroad’s Sri Lanka elephant volunteering program’s weekly fee includes management of your accommodation and supervision. You are accommodated either in a volunteer bungalow or in a volunteer jungle house throughout the project.

Our volunteers in this Sri Lanka elephant project will stay in safe, secure and comfortable bungalows built specifically to house international volunteers. The bungalow is enclosed by captivating palm trees and overlooking green meadows.

There are multiple bedrooms furnished with several single beds, bedding materials, fan and other necessary amenities. The bedrooms are shared with volunteers of the same gender and mosquito nets, clean linens and towels are provided.

As an Elephant conservation volunteer in Sri Lanka you also get to use clean and comfortable bathroom facilities with western style toilets with running tap water. There are also two refreshing outdoor showers.

Furthermore, there is a kitchen area with a sink, refrigerator, water filter, washing bowls as well as a lounge area with free Wi-Fi and books available.

Staying in the volunteer bungalow and sharing a room with other like-minded volunteers will be an experience of a lifetime as you get to exchange your unique experiences with other volunteers while making a difference for endangered elephants.

The environment is very relaxed and social and is a great place to unwind after a busy day. All the necessary amenities such as Internet cafes, grocery stores, restaurants, healthcare clinics are located nearby.

Facilities: Multiple shared rooms (same gender), comfortable beds, electricity, Wi-Fi, western toilets, regular supply of water, safe and sound living environment, outdoor showers, mosquito nets.

Jungle Cabins:

Another accommodation option for volunteering in Kegalle, Sri Lanka in an elephant project is staying in a jungle cabin. There are five cabins set aside to house international volunteers and house three volunteers per cabin. Each of the cabins has an attached bathroom with regular supply of water.

There is also easy access to the bungalow from the cabins. However, we suggest that you prepare for occasional power cuts and water shortages. As a volunteer, you are expected to be flexible and should adopt living a rustic life, leaving your comfort zone behind.

Our Cabin accommodation in this Sri Lanka elephant volunteer program is extremely affordable and perfect for solo and group travellers. You get to learn and share experiences with other volunteers and most importantly, you get to enjoy camp life and observe the wildlife all day long.

Facilities: Multiple shared rooms (same gender), comfortable beds, electricity, Wi-Fi, western toilets, regular supply of water, safe and sound living environment, outdoor showers, mosquito nets,

Find detailed information about your accommodation and meals in Sri Lanka.

Free Time and Weekend Exploration

You will have plenty of free time to enjoy your stay in Sri Lanka outside of your volunteering hours. During the week you will have the evenings free to relax or enjoy the surrounding scenery of the elephant village, and your weekends (Saturday and Sunday) are totally free for you to go on longer tours throughout Sri Lanka.

Read more about how to spend your free time and weekends while volunteering in Sri Lanka.

Safety and In Country Support

Global Crossroad takes your safety and comfort seriously, and our elephant project in Kegalle has been carefully vetted to ensure these qualities. We also regularly inspect the facilities and accommodation in the elephant village to ensure its ongoing satisfaction of our standards, and your local coordinator will be available at all times to assist you should you need help.

Read more about our safety and in-country support.

Elephant Sanctuary Volunteer Sri Lanka: FAQs

Arrival and Departure

You need to fly into Bandaranaike International Airport for our Elephant Conservation volunteer project in Sri Lanka. We suggest you fly into Sri Lanka one day prior to the start date of your volunteer project.

Global Crossroad organizes airport pickups for its volunteers after their arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport. Our local representative will be waiting for you at the arrival terminal. But please know that we do not offer any kind of airport drop-off service.

In case of flight delays and cancellation, please inform us immediately so that airport pick up can be arranged in time before the start date of our volunteer programs in Sri Lanka.


You need to obtain a tourist visa to work on our Elephant Conservation volunteer program. You can obtain a tourist visa by going online and applying for Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).

You can always choose to extend your visa if you wish to continue working in our volunteer work programs by visiting the Immigration Office. A single entry Sri Lankan tourist visa can be extended for another 60 days.

Check out this link for more information.


If you want to work in our teaching elephant conservation volunteering program in Sri Lanka then it is necessary to get vaccines for Tetanus, Yellow Fever, Poliomyelitis, Measles, Rubella, Mumps, Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Japanese Encephalitis, and Rabies.

We suggest consulting with your local doctor before taking these vaccinations. Click here to learn more about these vaccinations before you travel to Sri Lanka.

Why volunteer with elephants?

Volunteering in this Elephant conservation project is a rewarding experience as you work closely with an elephant and form a deep connection and bond with them.

You will develop cultural sensitivity:

As an elephant conservation volunteer in Sri Lanka, you will live directly in the elephant village and immerse yourself in the culture there. Through participating in daily life you will develop a deep understanding and sensitivity to the culture of Sri Lanka.

You will make a difference:

Your work with the elephants will make a huge difference not just in their lives, but also in the lives of Sri Lankan elephants in general as you provide an ethical and humane way for humans to live and work alongside these amazing animals.

You will gain professional training

Working in our elephant conservation project will allow you to extensively learn about what an elephant requires to be safe, healthy and happy. This experience and training will greatly benefit you should you be interested in working with elephants and animals in the future.

You will have fun while doing something good

By joining this Elephant conservation volunteering program in Sri Lanka, you will get to work closely with both elephants and like-minded volunteers, which is sure to provide you with a good time and lots of fun as you are making the world a better place.

Other Volunteering Opportunities in Sri Lanka

Global Crossroad offers many different volunteering experiences in Sri Lanka. You can
work in an Orphanage,
teach English,
teaching buddhist monks,
medical volunteer program
elephant conservation(pinnawala),

The possibilities are endless!

Other Elephant Volunteering Opportunities Worldwide

Elephant populations are sadly threatened in many different countries. Due to this, Global Crossroad arranges elephant conservation and orphanage programs in a wide range of countries across Asia and Africa. Have a look at the list below for some of our most popular elephant projects: