An opportunity to assist some precious pachyderms in peril.

by Emma Claire Goodman

There are so many things to love about elephants. These creatures are docile, cry, play, laugh, have amazing memories (they never forget, after all), yet are incredibly strong, and play a vital role in improving the ecological system they inhabit. As much as 80 percent of what elephants consume is returned to the soil as barely digested highly fertile manure, in the savannah they convert their habitats from woodlands to grasslands, pave firebreaks and rain water conduits in their paths, and can provide water for other species by digging water holes in dry riverbeds. They do so much good for the world around them, so wouldn’t you like to give something back?

Pinnawala, Sri Lanka. This exotic location has everything – lush, abundant plantlife, beautiful beaches, rolling hills, and tea plantations. It is also home to one of the most noble service programs you can attend.

The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage seeks to assist these amazing animals in their time of need. Against the breathtaking backdrop of Sri Lanka, volunteers will be working closely with the orphaned elephants, washing, feeding, and mucking, as well as more behind-the-scenes work.

Volunteers can stay for as short as two weeks up to a full year, and are rewarded with an enormous sense of satisfaction that comes with watching the elephants grow and flourish, as well as come to understand them as the true individual characters that they are,  and even experience the rich culture Sri Lanka has to offer.

Our own elephant enthusiast, Emily Andrews, will be embarking on a journey to the Orphanage to offer her own assistance, and speaks very highly of it – the commitment that she and the programme have to helping to care for the beautiful pachyderms is incredibly inspiring.

It is definitely a different sort of “vacation,” in that there is a steady fee and a lot of hard work expected, but with an adventure to be had every day, and the chance to do incredible good by giving an elephant a happier, healthier life, it is definitely a worthwhile experience.

For more information on attending the program, please visit Travellers Worldwide

 Photos from Travellers Worldwide

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