Run by: The Great Projects
Reference number: The Great Elephant Project
Start Dates are every Monday all year round.
This elephant conservation project, based on the outskirts of the wild Wasgamuwa National Park, is one of Sri Lanka's most exciting offerings. The ultimate aim is to assess and subsequently reduce the conflict between humans and elephants, so both can coexist in harmony within one habitat.
The project offers an opportunity to partake in true elephant conservation, using GPS, camera/sound traps and remote sensors hand in hand with more traditional methods (such as tracking trails and hide observation) to develop strategies in the conservation of both animal habitat and the local wildlife.
The moment you see an elephant in the wild is truly indescribable, so get on board to experience it for yourself today!
On this project, you will get the chance to take part in a wide variety of exciting activities. Below are some examples of some of those included in this project.
Elephant Observation And Data Logging:
Volunteers will spend their afternoons and an evening in a tree hut located within an elephant corridor. The purpose of this is to collect data on the spatial and temporal distribution of passing wild elephants and to observe how villagers and elephants interact, as both factions use the area.
Human-Elephant Conflict Resolutions:
You will assist in the various initiatives that have been put in place by the project to help alleviate the human-elephant conflict in the area. Each year, it is estimated that 200 elephants and 80 humans die as a direct result of this conflict so this part of the project makes an invaluable difference to both human and elephant communities.
Wasgamuwa National Park:
Included in the price of the project is a trip to Wasgamuwa National Park where you will take a safari through the forest on the lookout for all manner of species. Here you can encounter even more wild elephants, sloth bears, deer, buffalo and even the elusive leopard if you’re lucky!
The team will spend a session walking along a trail and recording dung found alongside the trail. The aim of the trail transect is to investigate Sri Lankan elephant abundance outside the park, seasonal variation of abundance and habitat preference.
Electric Fence Monitoring:
Each team will check the state of the solar-powered electric fences, which have been erected to stop elephants from entering villages. Once checked, the status of their conditions will then be relayed to the local fence committees, who maintain and operate the fences.
Species Observation and Data Logging:
You will take part in jungle treks where you will collect data on elephants, carnivores and other species through the use of camera traps, sand traps and remote GPS. The purpose of this is to identify the overall health of the jungle, and from there appropriate conservation decisions can be made.
Teaching English At The Local Schools:
For a community orientated wildlife conservation project, it’s no surprise that volunteers will assist with teaching English at the local schools to help the children with their exams. This is also an excellent chance to impart knowledge to them about the importance of preserving elephants!
This project truly is a life-changing experience, so why not get involved today?
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
Sign up to our weekly Trip Finder email and get a selection of the best trips to feed your Wanderlust