program Volunteer Cambodia: Village Immersion Program
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cambodian elephant volunteering

Elephant Sanctuary

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Need a short vacation that lifts your spirits and lowers your stress? This is the one for you! Land in Siem Reap (we meet you at the airport) and next morning travel to the jungle sanctuary with us. Spend the next few days working with the elephants.

You walk and bathe them, harvest their food, prepare it and feed them. You will also have the chance to do volunteer work with the local anti-logging patrol and the temple monks. The monks will bless orange cloth for you to tie around the trees. The cloth is sacred and the loggers are reluctant to cut trees that have been blessed by the monks.

Your international volunteer experience does not have to end there. There are other animals such as monkeys, gibbons, and homeless dogs that you will also be caring for. In the afternoon you can relax in the hammocks or play volleyball with the locals living on the sanctuary.

On your final day at the sanctuary we take you back to your hotel in Siem Reap, next morning we collect you again for your trip to the airport. If you want you can extend for an extra day and we will arrange a personally guided tour of Angkor Wat. This is an add-on at an extra cost.

Itinerary Overview

Day 1: Sunday - Arrival Day

Your ROV Project Leader will be waiting for you outside the arrivals area of Siem Reap airport. They will be holding an ROV sign and wearing an ROV shirt, so you can’t miss them!

If you arrive before 3.00pm we will take you directly to the Sanctuary. If you arrive after 3.00pm you will spend the evening in Siem Reap and leave the following morning. Driving after sunset in Cambodia is not recommended.

Optional activities in Siem Reap:

  • Explore the several markets around the city.
  • Relax by the pool.
  • See the pagodas and temples.
  • Enjoy a foot or back massage for as cheap as $5!
  • Experience the excitement of Pub Street.
  • Meals Included: Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Hotel.

Day 2: Monday - Transport to Elephant Sanctuary

After breakfast you will be transported to the elephant sanctuary - approximately a 2.5 hour trip.

Once we arrive, enjoy a tour of the elephant sanctuary and get settled in your bungalow.

Before dinner, you will prepare food for and feed the elephants.

In the evening you have free time.

Optional activities include:

  • Play cards.
  • Play games.
  • Watch a movie.
  • Read a book.
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Bungalow.

Days 3-5: Tuesday to Thursday - Project Work at the Sanctuary

You will participate in several projects including planting trees and food for the animals and people living on the sanctuary, weeding the fields, cutting sugar cane, building a firebreak, constructing houses for the rangers, building dams to create baths for the elephants, and joining them for a cool down in these baths!

Your team leader will arrange for your group to visit a local school on one of these days to work alongside the local teachers and play with the children.

Every evening, the volunteers will prepare and feed the elephants dinner. After the volunteers eat dinner, there will be a short documentary shown either about the sanctuary or the plight of these elephants rescued from the illegal logging industry.

Volunteers have free time after the documentary.

  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Bungalow.

Day 6: Friday - Final Day at the Sanctuary

After a final feeding and time to say goodbye to the elephants, you will be transported back to Siem Reap.

The remainder of the day is a free day to enjoy exploring Siem Reap.

  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Hotel.

Day 7: Saturday - Departure

Saturday is departure day. We will take you back to the airport in time for your flight. You will have travelled a long way to Cambodia and it would be a real shame to depart without seeing the extraordinary temples known as “Angkor Wat”. It is a UNESCO World Heritage listed site since 1992 and is the largest religious monument on the planet. If you want to see it, (and you really should!) make sure your purchase the Angkor Wat Add On. It includes all main meals, an extra night’s accommodation, guided tour of Angkor Wat as well as a private trip to the airport after the tour has concluded.

  • Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch.
  • Accommodation: N/A.

What’s Included:

  • All meals as specified above.
  • All drinking water.
  • All accommodation.
  • All on ground transport.
  • Building project materials.
  • ROV Project Leader.


In Siem Reap: You will be staying at a hotel in the center of Siem Reap city, which is close to restaurants, markets and shops. All linen, pillows, towels provided. Rooms have own private bathrooms, and doors with locks. Hotel comes with unlimited drinking water and snacks. Venue also has 24 hour security and wifi availability.

Sanctuary: Bungalow accommodation on site at the Elephant Sanctuary. Cabins may be shared and are separated by gender. Bungalows include bedding and mosquito nets.

Itineraries are subject to change. While we make every effort to ensure the itinerary is completed as it is described we operate in third world countries where transport, infrastructure and promised delivery dates can be unreliable.

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Arrival and Departure

Arrival Airport: Siem Reap International Airport (REP), Cambodia
Departure Airport: Siem Reap International Airport (REP), Cambodia

Arrival Day: Is the first day of your program
Departure Day: is the final day of your program.

Airport Collection Times: 8am -12am (Midnight) on arrival & departure day.

If you arrive before 3.00pm we will take you directly to the Sanctuary. If you arrive after 3.00pm you will spend the evening in Siem Reap and leave the following morning. Driving after sunset in Cambodia is not recommended.

  • Generally all our programs start on Sunday and finish on Saturday.
  • If you are doing an extension after the program please check the relevant Arrival & Departure tab on the program page to confirm your departure airport. If you are unsure email us at to confirm.
  • If your flight is delayed and you are landing after the arrival date we can still collect you but a private collection fee will apply.
  • If you have purchased an extra day before or after your program a private collection will be arranged for you. This is included in the fee for the extra day.
  • If you are arriving early or departing late and have not organised an extra day on program with us you will be responsible for your own transfer & accomodation.




Travel insurance is strongly recommended. It is recommended to purchase travel insurance as soon as you've been accepted for your program or at least by the time you pay your Progress Payment or book your flights. When you volunteer abroad it is important to ensure that your policy includes emergency medical evacuation as well as program and flight cancellation. The World Nomads policy available below is one of the few policies that covers volunteering activities.

We suggest that you check the policy you intend to purchase and make sure it has at least the following benefits;

  • Overseas medical costs
  • Emergency medical transport and repatriation
  • Cancellation costs
  • Trip interruption costs


The information below was correct at the time of writing, however visa requirements can change overnight. You must ensure that the details below are still relevant to your situation as it is ultimately your responsibility to organize a visa for your program.

A Cambodian Tourist Visa is required for everyone when entering Cambodia. The Visa is approximately $40USD and can be purchased by US, Canadian, UK, Australian and NZ citizens when you land. There are some restrictions on other nationalities, so please confirm information with the embassy / consulate of the country you will be visiting prior to departure.

If you need to arrange a tourist visa prior to travelling, we can assist you with documentation. Please send our admin team an email at

Organising your Tourist Visa into Cambodia is a really simple process, and you will need the following:

  • Current passport
  • Extra passport photo (doesn’t need to be the same as in your passport) – they can also take one there if you forget for a couple of dollars USD
  • Approximately $40USD
  • Completed visa form – you do this on arrival, or are sometimes given this on the flight dependant on airline

You then take the above to the visa counter for processing which generally takes ten minutes. They will then give you back your passport with the tourist visa in it, and you then collect your bags, clear customs, and make your way to meet your Team Leader.

Before you go…

  • If you are arriving early - you have purchased an extra night add on and sent an email to to confirm, otherwise we will assume you are making your own way to the accommodation on the first day of the program.
  • If you have any long layovers, you may wish to do some research on the airport, check out the following site:
  • We recommend bringing a wifi enabled device in case of delays or issues so you can send and receive email. Also, carry a charging cable and a mini-power pack to recharge the device. (If you are delayed you may spend a lot of time on the phone to insurers and loved ones).
  • Put any medicines and valuables in your carry on luggage so you still have them if your luggage is delayed/lost in transit.
  • Don't forget to bring some warm clothes, toiletries and entertainment in your carry on luggage!
  • Make sure you have appropriate clothing for the climate you are arriving into - look through the get ready information, and also check some weather reports before you leave.
  • If you want to, bring along some donations for the community you will be visiting
  • For some travel packing tips, check out:
Day of departure:
  • If you are arriving on the first day of program, a team leader wearing a ROV T-Shirt will be waiting at the airport from 8am - Midnight.
  • If you are arriving a day early, the team leader will pick you up at the time specified on your ROV program.
  • If you are delayed and unable to contact us, you should make your way to the accommodation listed in your pre departure email.

Download our Travel Advice Checklist

Do you want reassurance that…

  • you land at the right airport on the right day!
  • you have a reliable airline,
  • you have a reliable booking agency,
  • not paying too much for your tickets.

I’ll look for flights that have…
  • minimum stops and shorter connections,
  • that use single carriers to avoid delayed/missed flights and lost luggage issues.
Sometimes it is cheaper to land a day early or leave a day late. I arrange it all including any extra accommodation.
  • I call you and together we book your flights during the call.
  • I locate appropriate travel insurance for you to purchase.
  • I confirm your airport collection on arrival.
  • I confirm your return trip to the airport on departure day.
I’ll find the flights that work for you!

You can select the Flight Booking Service from the available Add-Ons once you have created a Profile with us. Don’t have a Profile? Click on the Apply Now button above and create one now.

* Cheaper flights with alternative airlines may be available. However, sometimes you may end up paying much more with hidden costs and extras :( we avoid this and help to make the travel element of your ROV experience hassle free :)

This project includes a Tax Deductible component for US & Australian citizens.

For US tax-paying citizens:
Reach Out Volunteers Charity LLC is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit. You can claim up to $1000.00 USD as a tax deductible charitable contribution for attending this program.

For this project as you are required to fly to your project location to undertake your volunteer service, you may also be eligible to claim the cost of your return flight to the project. If your airfare includes travel before or after your project you may not be able to claim your flights. You should seek your own tax advice on this.

The taxable receipt will be sent when a payment is made towards your final contribution payment for your project.  

For Australian tax-paying citizens:
Reach Out Volunteers Charity Ltd is a registered Australian Charity and non-profit. You can claim up to A$1,150 as a tax deductible charitable contribution for attending this program.

The taxable receipt will be sent when a payment is made towards your final contribution payment for your project.  

The 7 day Cambodian Elephant volunteer program

I enjoyed being fully immersed within the villages and locals. Spending the time working with the locals on their English was very rewarding. I met people from all over the world and made life long friends.

Kirsten, Canada.