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"This has been an experience of a lifetime, I have met so many new people and I will be upset to be leaving. The people working here are so friendly and know so much about so many animals, it has been fascinating to learn about all the animals and the work being done here to help them." Tania Sutton, England

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A matriarch pays close attention to the field vehicle.

Martha Stone-Shepherd

I have spent the past three weeks volunteering with the SLWCS and it has been one of the best experiences. I have learnt all about the human elephant conflict and I now know about the methods used to help the affected people. Having worked directly with the locals, I feel like this society genuinely makes a difference and that they do a really good job of protecting the elephants. The accommodation here is great and there is a lot of free time during the day to chill and admire the view.

The food is also lovely and the staff are happy to help with any problems. I think the thing that made my time here particularly special was down to the people who work here. They are so friendly and constantly making you feel at home. They are clearly all very knowledgeable and if you make the most of this then you can learn a huge amount – that’s if you chat to the ones who speak English!

I have so many fantastic memories from this place and I am so sad to be leaving. How will I practise all the Sinhala I’ve learnt? I hope to come back because I know that the work here is effective and I am happy to have been a part of it. I will also miss the people too much!

Martha 01

Helping to make sugary water to feed the bees in the bee-hive fences

Sheryl Alexander 01

Working on Project Orange Elephant

Martha 02

Checking the condition of the Orange plants and helping to take the caterpillars out

Martha 03

Doing elephant dung analysis

Martha 04

Having a fun time at the tank

Martha 05

A solitary bull drinking from the river

Charlotte Roper

It’s been a fun 3 weeks, which has gone by very quickly, I enjoyed the activities and found the staff were a lot of fun and very knowledgeable. The accommodation is lovely and the food is really tasty!

There were some talks during the evening with Chandima which I thoroughly enjoyed and they made me feel more like I was getting what I expected out of the programme, it was so good to be told so much information about the work and the conservation of the wildlife.

Overall I have enjoyed my time here and I’m glad I did the project.

Charlie 02

Checking bee-hives

Charlie 04

Working on Project Orange Elephant

Charlie 03

While mapping Orange plants

Charlie 01

Elephant observations at Goda-Ulpatha

Charlie 05

Jessica Hovermale

The Field House is a great place to get to work and relax in. There’s a good amount of downtime which I liked because it gave the opportunity to meet more of the volunteers. I really enjoyed all of the projects we did because you were able to learn about the human elephant conflict, and learn how the fieldwork is done.

I enjoyed getting to see how the local people live and it was interesting to get to learn about what they were doing. The staff were all super friendly and helpful with anything that we needed and the atmosphere of everyone working together was great. The food that was served was really good and there was a pretty wide variety. I liked the freedom we got to take walks around the Field House but I also thought there was a reasonable amount of control and guidelines for us to follow.

Jess 01

Fence monitoring - Irriyagasulpatha

Jess 02

Loosening the soil in sand traps

Jess 03

By the Mahaweli River

Manon Vranken

It was a beautiful experience. The staff was very friendly with me because I have difficulties with English and if I need more information about the activity, they always try to answers me. The bed was comfortable and I really like the bathroom. For the project I learn a lot of things about the elephants and I understand why there are conflict between the people and the elephants. Thank you very much for everything, your kindness.


Helping to rebuild a house damaged by elephants


Helping to dig holes to plant Orange trees


Checking Orange plant conditions


Having a fun time with water melon after helping farmers to plant orange trees

Rose Archer

I really enjoyed my time at the project. The staff are all amazing and made me feel very safe and comfortable during my stay. I was incredibly lucky to see lots of elephants, but even without this it would’ve been a great week as you definitely feel like you are making a difference.

Rose 01

Loosening the soil in sand traps

Rose 02

Weeding the Orange plants

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Observing a herd of elephants

Sebastian Zinger

I loved seeing the elephants at the tank and I really appreciated all the help and kindness the staff showed. The staff went out of their way to make sure we were safe and having fun at the same time. The food was also very nice. Thank you for everything and I hope to see you guys all soon! Will for sure be back!

Seb 02

Afternoon elephant observations

Seb 03

Three bulls by the WG Tank

Seb 01

Setting up a Sand Trap

Tania Sutton

This has been an experience of a lifetime, I have met so many new people and I will be upset to be leaving. The people working here are so friendly and know so much about so many animals, it has been fascinating to learn about all the animals and the work being done here to help them. The work is making a huge impact and they are so determined to help protect the elephants.

I have been able to see many elephants in their natural habitat and see how they act around humans and with each other. The field house is a great place to chill and chat with everyone as well as the staff who are very helpful and lovely people.

I am going to miss Sri Lanka and everyone here who has made my visit special and I will 100% be returning. Thank you SLWCS for having me and allowing me to have this amazing experience.

Tania 01

Weeding the Orange plants

Tania 02

Checking the condition of the bee-hive fence

Tania 04

Elephant observations aT Goda-Ulpatha

Tania 03

Looking for jungle cat and fishing cat pug marks

Vikka Nicholson

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience here. The work with the local community is a step in the right direction and the projects that the volunteers help with is meaningful and really well thought out. The staff have been amazing and very helpful as well. The elephant sightings were amazing and once in a life time opportunity . Activities were hard but good fun as well and I’m glad I could contribute my work efforts for the greater good for both people and elephants.

Dear SLWSC team,

First of all I really want to thank you all. Everyone on the team is a super cool and lovely person! The time I was here went really fast, but fast in a good way! Cause I had fun every day! I’ve learned a lot. Not only about elephants and other wild life, but also I learned thinks about life! This place in a paradise!

About the project! It was super cool and I wished to stay longer! I loved all the morning activities and the afternoon activities.

I gone miss you’all, you’re the best!!!

Take care, and keep the team spirit alive!!!

Lots of love,
Coen de Lang
The Netherlands

Vikka 01

Irriyagasulpatha Fence Monitoring

Vikka 03

Weeding the orange plants

Vikka 04

Checking sand traps for foot prints

Vikka 02

Observing elephants at the WG Tank

Vikka 05

Elephants at the WG Tank

Photo Credits:

Martha Stone-Shepherd
Charlotte Roper
Jessica Hovermale
Manon Vranken
Sebastian Zinger
Tania Sutton
Vikka Nicholson
Akila Weerakoon/SLWCS
Indika Sampath/SLWCS
Ravi Corea/SLWCS
Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society

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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