Have a question? Check out the below, and the page corresponding to your favourite team - hopefully, we have it covered! If you have any extra questions, feel free to reach out and contact the team for more information.
What is the time commitment required?
For Zoo Team the minimum stay is 3 days, 2 nights. For Big Cats the minimum stay is 4 weeks, however, in some instances, we can offer specific placements for 2 or 3 weeks. Sign up to our e-mail newsletter to receive access to our Volunteer's Area where you can get the latest promotional options.
What are the duties of the volunteers?
At the present moment, we require volunteers who are of good fitness and able to work outdoors in the hot, tropical climate. Volunteer duties will include creating enrichment activities for the animals using power tools and imagination, fixing existing enclosures, designing and building new enclosures, general animal husbandry including feeding and grooming and exercise of our imprinted (tame) animals, raising awareness of the park in the tourist trade and teaching existing staff members English. Lots to do!
You will also be responsible for ensuring all visitors to the park are given the right message regarding animal welfare and ensure their safety at all times. Most of the animals at the Safari park are tame and you will be spending some of your time playing with, creating toys for, cleaning up after and feeding these animals. Some of the tigers and leopards are hand reared and therefore very used to human contact, while most of our giraffes, monkeys, deer and zebra are happy to be hand-fed.
We also care for the tiger, lion and leopard cubs and facilitate public interactions with these animals. You must be confident speaking to members of the public and be able to follow instructions accurately and quickly to ensure public safety.
What skills are particularly useful?
We are especially interested in utilising the skills of architects, builders and other tradesmen or craftsmen, zookeepers, qualified TEFL teachers, those with experience in marketing, photography, graphic designers and especially vets, vet technicians and veterinary assistants. However, we often have spaces for animal lovers without qualifications who wish to get hands-on experience with a variety of different animals!
No experience necessary as we understand that everyone must start somewhere!
What should I bring with me?
We will endeavor to provide you with everything you need during your stay with us, however, you may wish to bring your own toiletries, washing machine detergent and mosquito repellant (not to be used while working with the animals). There are shops nearby where you can buy other luxuries such as sweets and cigarettes.
Clothing wise you should bring clothing that is hard wearing and quick to dry. Expect to get muddy and dirty and dress accordingly! A rain poncho would also be useful. We recommend that you bring good sturdy footwear as flip flops just don't cut it sometimes! If you would like to bring items for the animals please see our wish list of things we really need!
Kanchanaburi is not a malaria zone, however, dengue fever is widespread in Thailand. DEET and citronella should not be worn around the animals but is only really needed after work at dusk.
Previous volunteers came up with the following suggestions for a 'Safari Survival Kit'!
Insect bite cream/non-drowsy antihistamines
Boots and socks
LONG TROUSERS - mosquitos are here all year round!
Sweets and chocolate from your home country (for sharing, of course!)
What is provided for the volunteers?
Air-conditioned accommodation (with all linen, max 3 people per room), all meals and drinking water (Western breakfast, Thai lunch, Thai/Western dinner buffet style), fruit and snacks throughout the day, work reference (on request), free WiFi, Transport included is a bus pickup from Kanchanaburi town.
Free drop off in Kanchanaburi town (Monday finishes only) or free drop off to local bus station. Free bus to and from the city once a week (Wednesday nights).
Mopeds are not included and cost an extra 150 - 200thb per day (optional but recommended).
All volunteers have access to a basic volunteer kitchen (microwave, firepit, bbq, kettle, toaster, blender, fridge and freezer) and the caterer's kitchen has gas burners and can cook for hundreds!
Can you cater to dietary requirements?
We can cater to vegetarians and vegans. Meals contain coconut milk. If you have an allergy it is advisable to have this information translated into Thai so you can show everyone you meet. Volunteers are often given weird and wonderful traditional Thai food by all the staff members throughout the day. The kitchen staff have almost grasped the concept of veganism but it can be very plain fare - we get lots of fruit though.
We have previously hosted lactose intolerant and those with allergies, but please let us know in advance.
What accommodation is provided?
We provide all volunteers with their own large air-conditioned room in a block of 10 rooms reserved exclusively for volunteers.
At busy periods you will be required to share a room (maximum 2-3 people per room).
The rooms are fully furnished; bed, a fan, desk, toilet and hot shower. One of the rooms is designated as a common room and has microwave, kettle, washing machine and fridge, another room doubles up as an office and working space for rainy days.
The rooms are within the Safari park, about a 15-minute walk to the main entrance and immediately neighbouring the giraffes, ostrich and zebra enclosures. All the rooms are sealed but we are in the jungle and therefore you shouldn't be too squeamish about bugs!
There is also a shared balcony that runs the length of all the rooms with a beautiful view of rice paddies and mountains - the perfect place to unwind after a hard days work.
Please note there are always resident dogs in the volunteer house who have moved in with us over time. They are very friendly and loving dogs, however, can be messy and require patience sometimes!
How do I get to the Safari Park?
The Safari Park in near Bo Phloi, which is a small town in Kanchanaburi province. The main city of Kanchanaburi is where we pick up volunteers. You can easily fly into Bangkok Airport and take public transport or a taxi to the pickup point. Precise directions will be given upon application as bus times and trains are subject to change regularly!
If I'm on Zoo Team, will I get to see the Big Cats?
All volunteers have the chance to play with and/or walk with the Big Cats on their last day however this is dependent on performance and adherence to safety for the duration of your stay with us. We must be able to trust you can follow the rules, so you must demonstrate this during your volunteer period.
Where do the animals come from?
The Safari Park is a breeding center for endangered species, and a Rescue Center for unwanted pets and otherwise unreleasable wildlife. The animals at the park all come from within Thailand and the zoo has good relationships with Zoos all over Thailand to ensure genetic diversity between the animal collections at each place. The Rescue Retreat animals are not used for breeding and wildlife is rehabilitated and released whenever possible.
How to apply
It takes 10 - 15 minutes to complete your application. You will need:
Scan or photo of passport
Proof of flight details (if booked)
Details of previous relevant experience
Details of serious medical conditions
£99 deposit to secure your place