- 3-5 hour hike with the elephants each day. During hikes we collect data on elephant behaviors, their interactions with each other, how they spend their time etc.
- Biodiversity hikes where we gather data on birds, butterflies, frogs, camera trap surveys, bat surveys, night hikes and medicinal hikes.
- Health checks on the elephants during hikes to look for physical signs of ill-health.
- Community work and options to teach English 2 days a week at the local primary school, homestays, mahouts, women’s groups, local kindergarten and nursery.
- Awareness presentations regarding issues such as elephant biology, welfare and biodiversity in the area.
- Village and cultural activities such as basket weaving, rice picking, tree planting, bamboo cup making, sling shot making and language lessons.
- Social activities – quiz nights, movies, games at communal base hut.
A typical Elephant Research Experience:
- Village life takes its own pace, rising with the sun in the morning and relaxing later in the day. After a shared breakfast, the mahouts lead us out to where the elephants have stayed overnight in the forest.
- Occasionally we will have the opportunity to assist with a quick but thorough health inspection of the elephants. This provides a few minutes of close contact time to truly appreciate the beauty and size of the elephants.
- The rest of the hike involves following the elephants as they move through the forest, socialising and foraging as they would naturally. During our time observing the elephants, we collect data on their social interactions with one another and their food-plants preferences.
- We may also have the opportunity to survey forest biodiversity such as gibbons, deer, snakes, birds, a variety of insects, spiders and plant species diversity.
- We will occasionally share packed lunches in the forest and encourage everyone to assist the Mahouts in cooking traditional food in the field using natural materials.
- After adequate time to observe the elephants and eat lunch, we then hike back to the village for the rest of the day’s activities.
- Afternoons in the village vary every day of the week. We will have opportunities to get involved in the community and build relationships among the villagers and the team.
- Explorers are highly encouraged to help teach English at the local school, weave baskets with a local community member, play football with the Mahouts, cook with their homestay families, and make the most of such an amazing project in such a remote and beautiful area.
- Weekends can be spent in a variety of ways. Guests are free to arrange trips and travel back to Chiang Mai or other nearby cities. The team generally relaxes around the village.