11 In Animals + Wildlife/ Thailand/ Travel

Thailand: Safari Park Volunteer

Stacey is the person I have to thank for the amazing experience of volunteering for 10 days at Safari Park Zoo. We had discussed some sort of volunteering, and she found these guys online, and I am so glad because in my 101 days in SE Asia, this was one of my favorite experiences! As such, this calls for multiple posts! I wanted to start off with an introduction telling you a little bit about the Safari Park Volunteer program and then there will be four posts giving a little bit more detail.


Yes, it does cost to volunteer here, but it is so worth it. Fees vary based on how long you stay. If you stay longer costs obviously go way down. For people who just want to get a taste of the zoo, see what there is to see and pass through there are stays as little as three days, and for people who want to live the zoo life longer term you can stay as long as you want! Shorter stays are much more expensive ($62.12 per day) but if you stay 2 weeks it drops way down to $24.37. However be sure to remember that 30% goes back to the volunteer program and the other 70% goes directly to the animals.


Included in your stay you get breakfast, lunch & dinner. Plus, there are snacks in the kitchen if you need it. You also get all the drinking water you need, your accommodation is provided (which includes wifi) and you get all of the experiences!

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You can specify food needs as well. I requested the vegetarian meals and they always had plenty of delicious veggies!



To really work with the big cats you have to be a longer-term volunteer, but during free time you can always go up to the big cat garden and spend some time with the bigger kitties (there can be tigers, leopards and/or lions)! Check back for more about the cats August 10th.



When I was here, I only had one day where I worked with the birds because one of the team leaders was really working with the birds, but you clean the enclosures & feed these birds morning and afternoon. Read more about my day working with the birds here August 7th.


Working with the cubs isn’t always the cute experience it sounds (or looks) like. When you’re in there alone with multiple leopard cubs you can be sure to expect lots of leopard nibbles and these cuddly looking cuties have their claws at this age. However, you also get to bottle feed them and then they get sleepy and cuddly. There is a potential for leopard, lion and/or tiger cubs here too! Read more about cubs on August 10th.



This is one of my favorite teams! I got to work with binturongs, a few different birds including a cassowary and monkeys! I loved working together on enrichment for these guys and felt like I was truly putting work in here and making improvements quickly! Read more about Rescue Team August 7th.

This team has already changed a bit too since I was there, but this is my other favorite team! Whether it’s shoveling giraffe poo, carrying bags of deer feed or hand-feeding bears bananas this team is a great time! Plus, you get to work with Salapong who is without a doubt one of the greatest people I’ve ever met! Read more about Safari Team August 4th.

» Down Time «

During some of my down time I helped Salapong prepare the papaya salad we had for lunch one day, helped make sticky-rice balls for the elephants to eat and helped out on other special projects that I was excited to be involved with (usually including enrichment).

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When you think about it, it takes time to train new volunteers which takes away from time of the staff, not to mention the money it takes to feed and house the volunteers. When you pay to volunteer that puts money directly back into the zoo and even more importantly, the animals! (I can personally say that while I was there I saw the staff buy materials to make for improving enclosures or making enrichment).


Two nights a week children come down to the zoo where you can help teach the class. I helped out twice and I loved getting to know some of the children, playing games with them and watching how quickly they picked up the lessons we were teaching. It was so rewarding!



One of the greatest parts of this experience was some of the people I met! I met some of the funnest, sweetest, most passionate and hilarious people at the zoo! We bonded over our experiences & travels, went out for beers after work and I cried when I left this beautiful little lady below! (I miss you so much, Jade!) Nothing can replace the memories with these amazing people! IMG_8020 IMG_7925 IMG_8187

I’m very eager to share more about my experiences with the animals over the next week or so. Please be sure to check back this week and truly if you’re planning a trip to Thailand be sure to look into volunteering here. Learn more here!

To keep up with my travels in real-time and read more posts and travel articles I find interesting ‘like’ the For the Love of Wanderlust page on Facebook. Simply click HERE.

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  • Reply
    August 3, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Incredible! How wonderful to be working with the wildlife and knowing that your contribution is going towards their welfare. It sounds like a most rewarding volunteer area. In my younger years, I would leap at it, but not be of much help now. I hope you are considering returning for another visit.

    • Reply
      August 3, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      I’m sure if you went they would love your help! Even if it’s dealing with the public or cutting fruit for the animals. 🙂 I am hoping to return, Stacey ended up prolonging her trip and went back for 4 more weeks! She really enjoyed it. I’m hoping to take my fiancé there for a few weeks when we take our trip around Asia. Thank you for reading and your comment!

  • Reply
    August 3, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    This looks absolutely amazing — definitely going to look into this if I go to Thailand anytime soon. Those animals are beautiful and the baby cubs are adorable, even if they do nibble a bit. Lovely photos!

    xo, endlesspostcards.com

  • Reply
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    August 4, 2015 at 9:08 am

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    December 6, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    If you have any interest in a similar animal volunteer experience in the Amazon, you should check out Sacha Yacu in the province of Pastaza, Ecuador! It was my first experience volunteering abroad long-term when I was 20 in 2011, and since starting my PhD research relatively nearby, I’ve been back a few times over the years. It’s family-run, in a beautiful location, definitely a lot of hard work, and also a fantastic place to meet amazing people and do great work helping wild Amazonian animals that have been rescued. When I have volunteered there, it’s been $100/week and they usually encourage that you stay at least a month, though I don’t think that’s required. There’s also a similar place a few hours away in the province of Napo called Amazoonico, though I’ve only visited here and never volunteered.

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