Asian elephants play in the water of a National Park in Sri Lanka.

Elephant Conservation in Sri Lanka for Teenagers

Assist with elephant protection as a teenage volunteer while exploring Sri Lanka

At a glance

  • Learn about elephant conservation from professionals in the Wasgamuwa National Park.
  • Assist local staff with data collection which will be used to improve strategies that protect Asian elephants and other wildlife.
  • Explore Sri Lanka with our supervising staff and make friends with other volunteers your own age.

Start Dates: 

Fixed dates throughout the year

See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

Two Weeks


Anyone aged 16 or over can join

Is elephant conservation volunteer work for teenagers right for me?

If you’re a high school student with a passion for wildlife and you want to learn how you can protect them, this is the project for you! This trip feeds any taste for adventure you have and gives you the opportunity to volunteer abroad this summer under the guidance of our local staff.

Our staff are by your side every step of the way and will take you through everything you’ll need to know to gain hands-on conservation work experience. So, you don’t need any previous experience to help with elephant conservation tasks in Sri Lanka.

You’ll learn from expert elephant and wildlife conservationists during your stay. Use this opportunity to ask questions and find out if this is a field you’d love to study after school. You can even use our high school summer volunteer abroad programmes to improve your CV. University recruiters will definitely be intrigued!

This project is specifically designed for you and other volunteers your age. Your supervisors have organised the perfect blend of elephant conservation volunteer work and social activities into your itinerary. Get ready to work hard and explore some of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka.

Volunteers track elephants in the national park in Sri Lanka.

You’ll focus on the following tasks:

Collect data on elephant and other wildlife populations

During this teenage volunteer opportunity abroad, your main task will involve monitoring elephants and other wildlife in the Wasgamuwa National Park. By doing so, you can collect data on their movements, habits, and behaviours. We use this data to improve conservation policies.

Help staff identify practical solutions to human-elephant conflicts

The dipping elephant populations in Sri Lanka is partly due to locals killing off herds. As locals build their communities and farms, they take over land previously inhabited by elephants. This leads to issues like raided crops and damaged property. Because of this, many communities see elephants as a nuisance and kill them off as a result.

To improve your wildlife conservation work experience and get a better idea of how it’s affecting communities, you’ll sit in on discussions and help identify solutions to the issues that arise. By doing so, both humans and elephants can co-exist peacefully.

Run classes in the community about the importance of environmental and wildlife conservation

By educating the community on the importance of conservation, we can help reduce human-elephant conflicts. You’ll also talk to younger children at a local school. You can use presentations and fun educational activities to capture their attention and help them learn. By doing so, you’ll gain work experience and get the kids to love wildlife and conservation from a young age.

Explore the country and culture of Sri Lanka with other teenagers from around the world

These best part about this trip is getting to experience travel and a volunteer project abroad with other teenagers. It’s a great way to meet new people, make new friends, and have fun at the same time. Together, you’ll complete your volunteer work and explore the country. You’ll get to visit the famous city of Kandy, roam through the Temple of the Tooth Relic, and eat your fill of delicious Sri Lankan food.

Our partners in Sri Lanka

During your Elephant Conservation Project, you’ll work with the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society (SLWCS) in and around the Wasgamuwa National Park.

Their aim is to educate local communities, improve conservation work, and give people the experience they need to protect Sri Lanka’s most endangered wildlife. Their plans help eliminate wildlife-human conflict, and teach locals how to live sustainably and in peace with elephants and other wildlife.


Where will I work in Sri Lanka?

Wasgamuwa National Park

While in Sri Lanka, you’ll gain animal conservation work experience in the Wasgamuwa National Park. The park is abundant with wildlife and elephants. You’ll be most in awe at the majestic herd of over 150 wild Asian elephants roaming and feeding in the park.

Keep an eye out for sloth bears, leopards, and other endangered wildlife species too. There is plenty to see in this protected area of Sri Lanka.

You’ll stay in same-sex accommodation alongside other volunteers who are also taking part in this teenage volunteer opportunity abroad. Every day, you’ll wake up to the sounds of chirping birds and be wowed by what the national park has to offer.

Airport pickup, flights and visas

When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our Sri Lanka Arrival Procedures page.

What are the aims of this project?

On your summer project abroad, you and other high school volunteers will learn more about elephant conservation in Sri Lanka. You’ll join the efforts of the SLWCS as they help people, elephants, and other wildlife co-exist peacefully

In one-hundred years, wild elephant numbers in Sri Lanka have dropped from more than 20,000 to around 5,000. This is due to wildlife-human conflict, environmental and climate change, and biodiversity loss. If you help us raise awareness and encourage local people to live sustainably and protect the environment, we can help improve these numbers.

Our conservation experts will teach you important skills during your conservation work experience, like how to collect scientific data and other fieldwork. This looks great on any CV which will benefit you after you’re done with school.

Join other high school volunteers and become part of our long-term efforts to protect wildlife in Sri Lanka.

Volunteers watch an elephant walk around a watering hole in Sri Lanka.

Measuring our impact

Every year, thousands of High School Special volunteers and interns actively make a difference around the world. During their time abroad, they contribute towards achieving long-term goals and make a long-lasting positive impact on the communities where they work.

We produce an annual High School Specials Impact Report, which documents some of these achievements. Find out more about the impact of these projects, and read the latest report.

Food and accommodation

You'll stay in shared accommodation during your project in the Wasgamuwa National Park. The accommodation staff will welcome you into their home, eager to share their customs and have you teach them about your own culture. 

We'll always try to have you share a room with at least one volunteer or intern of the same sex and approximate age. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe.

Your programme fee includes three meals a day.

Find out more about our accommodation.

Safety and staff support

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.

Find out more about safety and backup.

This placement is fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.

Meet the team in Sri Lanka

When you apply you only pay £195, which comes off the total price. Flexible payment options, fundraising advice, and scholarships available.

Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 01273 007 230 to see if we can offer a discount.

Please choose a Duration and Start Date to continue.

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