We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Save Elephant Foundation - Surin Project
Review Highlights
majestic animals

It is worth going. to be with elephants. touch one. It is an experience. There is plenty of... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Leelee C
the world
Two faces of Surin

I stayed for a week with Save the Elephants Surin Project. We fed the elephants, bathed them... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Sidcup, United Kingdom
via mobile
Read all 167 reviews
Reviews (167)
Filter reviews
167 results
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
Show reviews that mention
All reviews thai culture an amazing experience love elephants elephant owners baby elephants these magnificent creatures every morning week volunteering home stay elephant foundation understand why host family small gift riding elephants small village volunteer group volunteer trip
Updating list...
27 - 32 of 167 reviews
Reviewed 27 November 2016

We come late at about 4 pm on the day of the elefant round-up in Surin about 90 km away. But here we have seen only few elefant: very short chained. Can not imagine that this is project which support elefants.
Only the small museum has been quite nice

Date of experience: November 2016
2  Thank otrel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2016

Do you want to spend time with elephants and make a difference in their lives? Here you will find that plus much more. The elephants in this project are privately owned. The volunteers feed, walk ,bathe, care for and love the elephants in the Surin project. These elephants have previously lived a life of hardship in logging, treking, circus and forced breeding programs. No hooks, or riding in the project although you will see some confronting times for the elephants in the village who are not in the project. . Daily chores include cutting sugar cane, removing elephant poo, and cleaning out the shelters. The work was not fast or hard, and achievable for myself at 62years old.
The accommodation is very basic a mattress with mosquito net in a basic hut. The bathroom is in a separate building with toilet and cold water bucket shower. But who needs a hot shower in Thailand's heat?
Meals are lovely freshly prepared and my dietary needs were catered for.
Ocha and Joe were the most fabulous hosts and guides and made my time here an unforgettable, life changing experience. The mahouts show a genuine love and care for the elephants and are only too willing to share their knowledge and fun times with the volunteers.
The support of volunteers is needed to show other elephant owners alternate life choices/options which do not include cruelty to elephants.
I have only been gone 2 weeks and I am already planning when I can return next year.

Date of experience: November 2016
4  Thank Mungas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2016 via mobile

I joined the project for one week and immediately regretted not planning to spend more time here. First off, the program leaders were phenomenal. They went above and beyond to accommodate all the volunteers. From pick up to drop off they were there to ensure everything went smoothly.

As for the project itself, this is not a week spent playing with elephants. The point of the project is to educate local mahouts about alternative revenue sources. While you do spend a decent amount of time interacting with the elephants this should not be your primary purpose for coming.

This is an amazing opportunity to immerse yourself in a culture. You'll interact with the locals on a daily basis, form bonds despite language barriers, and witness both extremes when it comes to the living conditions of captive elephants. Be prepared to feel a wide array of emotions.

Date of experience: October 2016
4  Thank Nathan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2016 via mobile

The Surin Project was an amazing experience!! They treat all the elephants with such love and kindness, they rescue the elephants and they don't go through any awful treatment the way animals in other captivity do. The accommodation was good, we didn't stay in the basic accommodation so we had a double and single bed with an ensuite bathroom in our own private bungalow. The bathroom was lovely and after a long day out with the elephants provided you with such relaxation. An amazing experience and I would love to come back and volunteer for longer.

Date of experience: August 2016
1  Thank rachaelcoiley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2016 via mobile

Ive stayed here for two weeks and had the most amazing time! Joe and ocha who run the project are amazing, they go out of their way for you, the local tribe who you work with are all great fun and have such a beautiful bond with their elephants. Its a whole new world here where you can see just how much love and devotion they give their animals, although I must tell you that the project can be very misleading, we were told there was only 12 people housed at the project at one time, this may be true but a local camp called 'camp thailand' with about 20 members come and intrude on all the activities, you are left waiting at the back for your chance to feed and interact with the elephants as they hoard round taking selfies, my up close and personal experience became me practically queuing for a chance to say hi!although some weeks are different so make sure to query the schedule for the week you want to book! Also, there are many wild dogs round the campsite, while most of them are so friendly and protect you when you walk around the camp, this detail was left out of the information, luckily I love dogs and was smart enough to get my rabies jabs before hand, I trust the dogs that hang around here but dont forget they are wild animals! There are also a LOT of mosquitos (I am aware its rainy season so there are more than normal) I'm not a rural girl at heart at all! So this has been difficult for me, so I feel I must warn you that the mosquitos are relentless! All day and all night! Make sure you come prepared!! We were recommended malaria tablets and I am very glad I listened, because I'm also allergic to the strain of mosquitos over here. Fantastic news! The mosquito nets provided in our hut weren't in great condition, luckily the previous occupants had covered most of the holes with plasters. Still I was being bitten to death in the night even with bug spray on and a mosquito repellant incense for the room, which also brings me to the fact that you must be prepared to live a very basic lifestyle here! Our hut has gaps between the slats meaning it isn't bug proof in the slightest and we literally have a mattress on the floor, VERY basic. The toilet is in a separate building next to your hut which consists of a toilet and two barrels of water with a jug in each, you have to flush the toilet by pouring the water from the barrels into the toilet, and you shower with the jugs also, like I said I am not used to this way of life so I did struggle at first, this could be my own fault for maybe not doing enough research but it was a shock to the system when I arrived! The tasks and jobs given out are fun and hard work, you dont do them for long as they are very understanding that you wont be used to working manually in this heat for long, but the experience is amazing, to help care for the elephants by cleaning the shelters and collecting the food and chopping sugarcane is an experience I will treasure forever, and exactly what I wanted from this time at the project, overall I would say its been absolutely brilliant and breathtaking, to play with the baby elephants, to walk next to such beautiful creatures and watch their relationship with the mahouts is something else! A real worthwhile adventure and something I am proud to say ive done! The food is amazing and no hidden costs, unlike some of the other companies that advertise the same type of experience, this place cares for you fully, ive had some bad experiences with mosquito bites in my time here and they have gone out of their way to take me to the health clinic in the free time we get during the day. Apart from a few things that weren't fully clear, I am so happy with the time ive spent here, its been a real eye opener and something I will keep close to my heart for a long time, but if I do anything like this again I now know what to expect!

Date of experience: August 2016
8  Thank NoseyRosey94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
View more reviews