Photo by Kylie Butler 2Sri Lanka cropped

"I was very impressed by SLWCS’ efforts to simultaneously improve the lives of the local wildlife and the community through their projects..."


A herd of elephants in the Tree Hut Elephant Corridor

Barbara Boylan
February 2018

I’ve spent three weeks now at the Field House on the SLWCS project and taken part in most of the activities on offer from collecting elephant poo and analysing it (by sifting wet poo through three grades of sieve and then looking at what each layer contains) looking at foraging spots to see how elephants damage (mostly not!) the forest, examining sand pits for the creatures that have walked over them and resetting them, a number of bird spot data gathering at the crack of dawn and finally, teaching English in the local school.

I’ve enjoyed all the activities and learnt a lot both about elephants and Sri Lankan birds. The highlight of my stay was definitely elephant spotting concluding with a sighting of 60 – 70 elephants including baby elephants and a fully grown splendid male in musk, at Wasgamuwa National Park. It’s a memory that will stay with me for a long long time. I’ve enjoyed meeting so many people from round the world and have been heartened by the passion for conservation of both volunteers and staff. It’s been a splendid trip!

Barbara Boylan

Barbara Boylan ready to take on human-elephant conflicts in Wasgamuwa.

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Blake Bowen
February 2018

After this internship experience I have an even more positive outlook on a career in Ecology. I found that I really enjoyed working in the outdoor environment, and working with amazing creatures like elephants and leopards, despite the challenging aspects of the location. The pros definitely outweighed the cons.

The staff members were cheerful, helpful and seemed to all be really passionate about their work. I enjoyed working with them and the volunteers and it was great to work surrounded by people as enthusiastic about wildlife conservation as I am. I gained confidence in my own abilities to problem solve and learned some great technical skills that I’m sure will be useful in a career in ecology and wildlife conservation. Before starting this internship, I had an interest in following a career in this field, but now I am convinced that this is the avenue that I wish to pursue.

I was very impressed by SLWCS’ efforts to simultaneously improve the lives of the local wildlife and the community through their projects such as Project Orange Elephant. I am both humbled and satisfied by this amazing experience and the opportunity it gave me to help elephants and humans live in harmony.

Blake Bowen

Blake with the kids he taught English at the local school

David Jackson
February 2018

A thoroughly enjoyable five weeks giving good insight and understanding of the elephant/human conflicts in the area. As a ‘birder’ was also able to identify over 70 species and take part in the bird surveys of farmland and forest. I also had enjoyable times teaching basic English in the local school.
Accommodation and food were excellent for me. (I do love spicy curries and dhals).

The constantly changing, wide range of nationalities and ages made for interesting conversations and interactions throughout the stay. The friendly and helpful staff made everyone feel welcome.

David Jackson

David Jackson

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Nicola Phillips
New Zealand
February 2018

I had a fantastic time volunteering at SLWCS for 2 weeks in February 2018. The staff, volunteers, activities and amazing food all made it an adventure worth remembering! A massive highlight for me was the beautiful welcoming nature of the Sri Lankan staff, you don’t always have to speak the same language to show warmth and kindness.

The activities were interesting and diverse, I enjoyed them all for different reasons but over all I loved the fact that we got to visit the villages and really get a full understanding of the Human Elephant Conflict and how it affects others. I have learnt a lot in my short 2 weeks here at SLWCS and I only have positive things to say. I hope to one day return and volunteer in the future, I will miss everyone here hugely!

Nicola Phillips

Nicola Phillips with pooch

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Nicola in the park by Sri Lanka's longest river The Mahaweli Ganga

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Photo Credits:

Indika Sampath/SLWCS
Chandima Fernando/SLWCS
Anjuli swift/SLWCS

Big, rumbling thanks to our Corporate Partners for their kind support and to everyone who has donated and supported our wildlife conservation efforts!

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