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Kandy - Wild Elephant Experience

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The Wild Elephant Experience program is a 4-week program where you will spend 3 weeks observing and documenting the activities of wild elephants in Sri Lanka and the fourth week will be at a turtle conservation project, looking after endangered sea turtles that are unable to survive in the wild due to illness, injuries etc. and on your fourth week you will have an opportunity live by the blue ocean and take part in turtle rehabilitation.

The Wild Elephant Experience program works together with the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society. You will spend 3 weeks in Wasgamuwa National Park observing and researching the behavior of wild elephants, assessing human - elephant conflicts, biodiversity mapping using surveying techniques, community integrated human elephant conflict resolution, monitoring electric fences and early alert systems and sustainable rural livelihood development. Participants also learn about using GPS, remote sensing and GIS techniques to develop conservation strategies to help conserve elephants, leopards, other wildlife and their habitats in the Central and North Central Provinces of Sri Lanka. The 4th week of the project will be spent at our Turtle Conservation project at Ambalangoda. This project rescues and rehabilitates endangered sea turtles and also aids nesting and carries out other conservation related activities.
  • Aims & Objectives

    This project is aimed at developing strategies to help conserve elephants, leopards and other wildlife in their natural habitats in the surrounding area and also to be actively involved in helping the local community.

  • Typical Day

    This place is an awarding winning conservation project which has done great work in dealing with elephant/human conflict. As a volunteer you are involved in a variety of different conservation activities and get to stay in a beautiful location in the central hill country. Early mornings can be spent bird watching, recording the different species in the area. You will also be tracking the routes and movements of wild elephant herds, searching for signs of leopards and sloth bears, as well as other mammals and recording your findings so the project can add the information to its database.
    In the afternoons you will spend time up a tree house waiting for the elephants to come out of the forest and watching them head to their favourite lake. The project also does some great community work with some of the local schools. This project is making a real change and helping to preserve Sri Lanka's rich biodiversity.

  • Weeks 1-3: Wild Elephant Sanctuary

    If you arrive on Sunday on time, you will be transferred to Wasgamuwa on the same day. If not, you will arrive at our accommodation in Kandy from the airport and relax.

    Monday (Week 1 only):
    This day is mainly occupied with traveling from Kandy to Wild Elephant Sanctuary at Wasgamuwa.
    You will be leaving to the Wild Elephant Sanctuary early morning using the public transport (bus). One of the coordinators in Kandy will be accompany you to the bus station and will give necessary information to the bus conductor regarding the drop off. Even though you will be traveling alone by bus or with other participants who are leaving for the same project, a coordinator from the Sanctuary will be there at the other end to pick you up from the bus station.
    Please note that you are transferred to the project only on Monday early morning as there is only one bus leaving to this area per day. The journey takes approximately five hours.

    Tuesday to Friday (also Mondays during Weeks 2 and 3):

    Your daily activities at the wild elephant sanctuary at Wasgamuwa will be:
    - Assisting with elephant research
    - Biodiversity mapping using various surveying techniques
    - Assessing human and elephant interaction which often includes involvement with conflict resolution
    - Monitoring electric fences which are erected to stop elephants from raiding crops and village homes, and also the early alert systems
    - Observe human-elephant conflict resolution project
    - Meet and discuss the issues and challenges with community leaders and villagers all aimed at sustainable rural development

    Free time for you to relax.

  • Week 4: Turtle Conservation - Ambalangoda

    Depart from Kandy to Ambalangoda by train at 16:30. A coordinator will be at the Ambalangoda railway station to pick you up.

    Monday to Friday:
    At the turtle conservation center in Ambalangoda, the following activities may change according to the beach weather conditions and the number of participants but the time spent with this marvelous creatures is the main aim of our participants involvement. This program requires hard working and willing volunteers to support in the cleaning of the turtles, the tanks and the turtle conservation centre. It is vital to have a clean and hygienic centre for these animals. Typical activities during the week will include:
    - Feeding the turtles (every other day)
    - Maintenance of the turtle tanks
    - Cleaning the turtles
    - Cleaning and maintaining the beach
    - Helping with the release of new-born turtles into the ocean.

    Please note that the schedule is subject to change depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

    A contribution to the project is included in the price.

  • Public Holidays

    The project is closed on these public holidays:

    05 & 18 October
    03 November
    01 & 25 December

    15 & 31 January
    13 February
    01 & 30 March
    13 & 14 April
    01 & 10-11 May
    08 & 26 June
    07 August
    01 & 05 September
    05 & 18 October
    03 November
    01 & 25 December

    Se fullständig resplan


Weekends are free to relax and to explore the local area.
During their weekends off, volunteers often visit; Veddha Village, Sorabora Lake, Mahiyangana Temple, Knuckles Mountain Range, the anciet cities of Anuradhapura, Sigirjya (considered the 8th wonder of the world), hiking or even visit a nearby beach to relax or go on a Whale watching tour.


Accommodation is in shared rooms (2-4 people per room) with electricity/power outlets and modern bathrooms with showers. Although there is only cold water for showering & washing. The rooms are very basic and rustic but have comfortable beds. Electric fans, pillows and clean bedsheets are provided, but please remember to bring your own towel. Safe bottled drinking water is also provided and volunteers help with cleaning and chores. There isn't Wi-Fi at the camp.

Your accommodation at the Turtle Conservation project is at our center which is located a few meters from the ocean. The basic, dorm style rooms are shared by 4-6 people on a single-gender basis. Bathroom and toilet facilities are shared, please note that only cold water is available. There is a refrigerator which you are welcome to use to store food and beverages. Safety lockers are available to store your belongings. There is also a beautiful garden to relax in and dining and lounge areas where you can hang out with your fellow volunteers. Wi-Fi is not available (internet cafes are available closer to the volunteer house and in the city). Laundry facilities are available at an additional fee. Mosquito nets, toilet paper, washing powder will not be provided by us.


If your flight arrives anytime Saturday or Sunday, we will pick you up from the relevant airport. Look out for the coordinators holding a signboard with the Green Lion Logo on it. If you arrive any other a day, a transfer can be requested and will cost EUR 50, which is paid directly to the person picking you up. Accommodation is not included if arriving on a Saturday, an additional night costs EUR 25 per person (to be paid locally). If we are not picking you up at the airport, you must contact us when you are in the country at the latest on the Friday before your arrival to arrange your pick-up accordingly.

Transfer Coordinator: Ivomi (she speaks English)
Mobile: 0094-71-0656505
If you are lost or have any major concerns regarding the transfer, please try to contact the coordinator at the airport first.

Tourist Police: Dial 011-2421052
The Tourist Police of Sri Lanka are trained to assist you in English. Direct any safety concerns to them.


Meals at the Elephant Camp
Three fresh meals per day are prepared for you at the volunteer house. Food is prepared in the local style, with milder spices if preferred. Most meals will be vegetarian, with egg, fish and soy for protein.

Meals at the Turtle Camp
You will be provided with three meals a day on weekdays and two meals per day on weekends (we are not responsible for meals if applicants are traveling on their own during weekdays or weekends). The meals are a mix of Western and Sri Lankan food, consisting mainly of vegetarian dishes including rice and vegetables. You can also eat out at any of the local restaurants.

Breakfast menu: toast, jam, butter, eggs, two choices of fruits, tea and coffee (oat meal, cereal, yogurt, etc… will not be provided by us).

Ytterligare information

What to bring:
Toilet paper, towels, toiletries, mosquito nets, mosquito repellant and flashlight are NOT provided so you will have to bring these along with you. Please also take care of malaria precautions. Suitable shoes for hiking.

Please remember to take care of the visa arrangements on time.

SIM card:
We highly recommend buying a cheap local SIM card for your whole time in Sri Lanka, not only for your own personal safety, but also for easier and cheaper communication with the other volunteers, staff and family back home, and especially if you are traveling to us by yourself. You can usually get one at the airport for free or at a low cost.