Elephant Experience

Mawanella - Sri Lanka

Only 660€ per week!

Visit to participate at this amazing elephant camp project which will get you as much closer as you could with these gentle giants.

The Elephant Experience enables you to spend time engaging yourself with domesticated working elephants and their handlers in their day to day activities. You would be contributing to the well being of these hardworking elephants when they are on this short holiday.

Culture
Learning
Leisure
Community Engagement
Physical Demand





Program Description

Sri Lanka plays host to a sizeable population of elephants whose importance is magnified by the fact that the native elephants comprise a wholly separate subspecies. The Sri Lankan authorities recognise the natural and cultural significance of elephants and are working diligently to ensure the survival and health of both wild and domesticated elephants on the island.

You will provide hands on assistance to the professional elephant keepers to ensure these beautiful animals live a life as close as possible to their wild relatives. You will bathe and wash the elephants daily, walk them through the forests to forage, clean their enclosure and learn all about these magnificent animals. Assist the veterinary doctor to treat whenever elephants fall sick.

You will also learn about elephants and learn some of the elephant commands the mahouts use on a regular basis. Depending on the period you arrive and the number of participants available for the placement, the number of elephants at the project may vary from one to many.

Your accommodation during this program is homestay where you will stay with a local family in a typical Sri Lankan village.

Aims & Objectives

The enormous satisfaction of directly helping to improve the quality of life of the elephants and knowing that you made a difference to them.

Schedule

Monday to Friday

Daily routines include:

  • Feeding the elephants.
  • Cleaning the elephants.
  • Cleaning the elephant enclosures.
  • Free excursions during your free time.

Morning comes early at this working elephant camp, and the animals need to be fed and bathed for the day. Bath time is in the river, and it’s pure joy for elephants to play in the water.

The mahouts are a fun-loving lot, and they’ll see to it that you have as much fun as the elephants do. Your duties will vary during the afternoon. Sometimes, you will have the opportunity to help children with their studies on request or to go for an excursion.

   Note:   This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

Minimum age:

Maximum age:

Minimum English level: Basic

CRB required: On Signup

Passport copy required: On Signup

Resume copy required: No

Required qualification: None

Additional Requirements

  • Participants below the age of 18 should have parental consent.
  • Participants above the age of 65 should have medical clearance.

Additional Equipment

There are no specific additional equipments.

Location

Mawanella, which is located along the Colombo – Kandy road, is a town that belongs to Kegalle district. While the town area of Mawanella has some modern characteristics, the inner areas still depict rural nature. The locals living in the inner areas of Mawanella lead simple lifestyles. Mawanella is also a town with historical significance. Thus, it consists of many temples that are visited by the locals throughout the year.

About the Accommodation

You will be accommodated in local houses (homestay), which are located closer to the project location. Under homestay, the available rooms can allocate 4-10 people on a single-gender basis. You will also have access to a shared bathroom with your roommates.

Food Arrangements

You will be provided with three meals a day on weekdays and two meals per day on weekends. The meals are mainly Sri Lankan food, consisting mainly of vegetarian dishes including rice and vegetables. You can also eat out at any of the local restaurants.

Facilities

The homestays will be in a village closer to the Mawanella town, where you can find the basic items you may need.

When you travel to the Mawanella town, which will take approximately one hour, you will have access to both ATM and supermarket facilities.

Activities & Events

No scheduled activities outside the program.

Sights & Surroundings

The places to visit during your weekends would be;

-Aluth Nuwara Dedimunda Devalaya which is an ancient temple visited by the locals islandwide

-Saradiel village, a location which is built to depict the traditional setup of a village. This is located in the birth village of a person who was known as the Robin Hood of Ceylon.

Transportation

From this location we do not provide free transport to other locations.

Quick Facts

Name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Population: 20 million

Capital: Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte and Colombo

Language: Sinhalese, Tamil

Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)

Time zone: UTC +5:30

Country Information

Sri Lanka’s over 2000 years of history and culture can still be seen in every corner of its cities and the details of its ever-beautiful ancient temples. With eight UNESCO World Heritage sites and its short distances between the main sights, Sri Lanka is a country that, despite often being overlooked in itineraries, has left travelers filled with awe.

Visit the sacred home of the world’s oldest living tree in Anuradhapura, wander around the colonial architecture of Colombo, get sun-kissed at the untouched beaches that enclose the territory, snorkel in the crystal-clear waters, head to the hills for a cooler temperature and get surrounded by lush natural vegetation, visit two thousand year-old temples or get overawed at the sight of hundreds of elephants in Minneriya.

While traveling through Sri Lanka you will experience adventures from the highest and chilliest mountains like the famous Adam’s Peak – a stairway mountain considered sacred in three different religions, through the elephant shelters, to the most peaceful beaches up north near Trincomalee and their tiny- one floor- hostels facing the calm sea.

Climate

Sri Lanka is one of the best destinations to visit year-round as the rainy seasons hit the island in opposite locations at different times of the year. That being said, Sri Lanka is a country that can be visited if you know where to go in search for the best weather.

Southwest

The southwest monsoon hits between May and September and the dry season occurs from December to March.

North and coastal regions

The monsoon season happens between October and January while the dry seasons takes places between May and September.

Culture

Sri Lanka is known for its distinct cuisine, indigenous holistic medicines, cricket practices and prestigious export of tea, cinnamon and gemstones. Moreover, the country boasts of a rich artistic tradition which includes music, dance and the visual arts.

Sri Lanka has been shaped by many aspects. The first and most obvious being the heritage of Theravada Buddhism passed on from India. Furthermore, the colonial period left a big mark in the country’s traditions and culture, with British elements being featured in every corner as well as Dutch and Portuguese elements.

Sri Lanka, better known as the “nation of smiling people”, is a paradisiac island that Napoleon described as a world-like biodiversity in a tiny piece of land on the Indian ocean. Multicultural, multi-religious and multi-coloured country, formerly named Ceylon, is known for its delicious black tea, it’s heartwarming inhabitants and its history-filled corners.

The festival of Duruthu celebrates the Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka. During Duruthu, thousands of people attend colorful parades, which consist of three processions on the nights before the full moon. The processions consist of fireball performers, drummers, dancers, decorated elephants and the most important – a gigantic tusker treading a white carpet.

On April 13th or 14th Avurudda celebrates the Sinhalese New Year. According to Sinhalese astrology, the new year begins when the sun changes from Meena Rashi (Pisces) to Mesha Rashi (Aries).

During June the Poson Festival takes place on the full moon day of June and celebrates the arrival of Buddhism, which occurred when Arahat Mahinda, the son of the emperor of India, converted King Devanampiyatissa to Buddhism.

During October or November, Diwali the Festival of Lights is celebrated. Diwali is an ancient Hindu festival that signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, hope over despair, and good over evil. It is celebrated with millions of lights shining over houses, temples, and buildings. Diwali is celebrated between mid-October and mid-November, on the darkest, new moon night of Karitika.

In Sri Lanka, it is tradition to take an oil bath in the morning, wear new clothes, exchange presents and sweets and visit the Koil, a Hindu Temple. In the evenings, oil lamps are lit to invite the blessings from the goddess of wealth.

Transportation

Plane

Flying between major locations in Sri Lanka such as Galle, Colombo, Nuwara Eliya and others is possible with Aero Lanka and Srilankan Airlines. Moreover, Srilankan Airlines runs small seaplanes, which give you a great aerial view of the island.

Bus

Buses are a option to get around Sri Lanka, albeit quite uncomfortable. For instance, for less than a Euro you can get almost halfway around the island in a bus without air conditioning. Luxury buses with air conditioning also exist at a higher price which are still very inexpensive.

Train

Sri Lanka boasts of an extensive railway system that will get you almost anywhere around the country. Moreover, Sri Lanka is known for its picturesque scenery that can be best viewed in a train journey. In fact, there are observation carts in most trains for tourists that will allow you to better take in the beauty of your surroundings.

In most cases, getting around by train is the cheapest option. There are three classes: 1st, 2nd and 3rd class. In most Intercity and Express trains, however, only 1st and 2nd are offered. Do keep in mind that trains from one popular destination to another (i.e. Colombo – Kandy or Galle – Colombo) often get overbooked, so it is best to reserve a seat much in advance.

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