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Elephant Valley Project

Elephant Valley Project

  • Travel Location Mondulkiri
  • The Elephant Valley Project is an elephant sanctuary in Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia. Here we rescue and retire captive working Asian elephants and slowly rehabilitate them back to their natural habitat within our 650 hectare grounds. If you are heading to Cambodia and have some free time then it is well worth heading over to us ...


The Elephant Valley Project is an elephant sanctuary in Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia. Here we rescue and retire captive working Asian elephants and slowly rehabilitate them back to their natural habitat within our 650 hectare grounds. If you are heading to Cambodia and have some free time then it is well worth heading over to us and checking out our herd of elephants. Day trips usually involve two walks through the forest learning about these amazing creatures, with a buffet lunch overlooking the forest canopy.Please be aware that we don't ride elephants, as we consider it unnecessary. Accommodation is also available for people who are staying two or more days.

Video Travel Inspiration

A reserve and retirement home focused on rescuing and rehabilitating Cambodian elephants from lifetimes of drudgery and abuse, Elephant Valley gives tourists a chance to observe the world’s largest land animals in their natural habitat and relearning how to act according to their own natural behaviours.
Elephant Vally Project offers full day experiences as well as multi-day volunteering opportunities, led by charismatic, passionate programme leaders, Englishman Jack Highwood and Australian Jemma Bullock, together with their merry, and similarly passionate, team of staff and volunteers.

We joined a one-day trek and volunteer trip though, as we landed just before the Bunong New Year, were treated to a big party instead of an afternoon working in the fields.

An early start was soon followed by a gentle hike into Heaven Valley, and it is heavenly, where we were to meet four of the nine elephants who live at the Elephant Valley Project.

About Elephant Valley Project

Elephant Livelihood Initiative Environment (E.L.I.E.) is a registered local non-government organization based in Mondulkiri, Cambodia. ELIE’s aim is to improve the health and welfare of the captive elephants in Mondulkiri Province, work to conserve the wild elephants natural habitat and to support the local people who work with these magnificent creatures.

ELIE was founded in 2006 and started by providing veterinarian care and mahout-orientated education to the families and communities that owned captive elephants throughout Mondulkiri province.

E.L.I.E runs a number of programs and projects in Mondulkiri to help achieve our goals, including an elephant research and monitoring program, mobile veterinarian program an indigenous community based organisation assistance program, and an ecotourism project that provides an alternative approach to elephant care, rehabilitation and conservation (The Elephant Valley Project).

ELIE’s office is based in the town of Sen Monorom and located next to the lake on the north-west side of town.

Vision Statement

ELIE’s Vision

“To improve the captive elephant’s health and welfare situation by the development of an elephant sanctuary while providing province-wide veterinary care and associated social support programs for the Bunong people.”


  1. To improve the health and welfare conditions of the captive elephant population of Mondulkiri
  2. To develop a sanctuary for working elephants to rest and retire to in Mondulkiri Province
  3. To conserve the wild elephants natural habitat
  4. To provide employment and job based training to the Bunong community and mahouts
  5. To support the local community to protect their forest and natural resources, the habitat of the elephants.
  6. To identify the main pressures on the community and their forest, and provide community support programs to alleviate these pressures.

What We Are About!

For the past 10 years, we have worked hard to develop the best sanctuary possible for the care of captive elephants in Cambodia. Through development or our founding ethos and good practices, our goal is to spread this model across South East Asia. We connect the care of captive elephants, support and investment in local people, and protection and stewardship of the environment into one cohesive model. The only thing missing is you!

We are the largest captive elephant sanctuary in Asia with just over 1,500 hectares of forest, rivers, grassland, and bamboo groves. With only 10 elephants that means each elephant has more space than any other elephant sanctuary to roam freely in their natural habitat.

We are the most charitable elephant sanctuary in Asia with over 50% of the funds raised going directly to causes we support outside of elephant care. Through our programs more than 2,400 local people receive full health care coverage, 300 + school children seek education, impoverished families receive food subsistence, and as a major employer in the region local people have access to stable jobs with opportunities to advance and grow. We consider ourselves a key part of the community we live in and work for.

We invest heavily and considerably in the protection of our neighbor the Seima Protection Forest. In conjunction with Wildlife Conservation Society and the Ministry of the Environment, we support the funding of ranger teams and forest protection initiatives as this forest hosts serious numbers of wild elephants and other wildlife.

Our Sanctuary Ethos

Our  key motivation over the past 10 years in developing the Elephant Valley Project has been to set an example for how to look after and treat elephants. Being a highly endangered animal our main goal is to give the elephants back their independence, natural behavior and dignity.

Our goal is to simply let the elephants just be elephants in a stress free natural habitat.

Finding out how to actually achieve this has played a major part in how we do what we do at our elephant sanctuary. The process has been a real journey, but this is how we arrived at developing our elephants’ routine treatment and the program with which our volunteers and visitors interact with elephants in a responsible way, down to a fine art.

From a visitor’s point of view this implies that ‘putting the elephants first’ also means that we don’t do many of the activities that you can find elsewhere (feeding, swimming, riding) and in turn we feel that this difference has come to define why we are a True Sanctuary for captive elephants.

It is estimated that 60-75% of wildlife tourist attractions have negative welfare impacts on individual animals and their conservation status. Furthermore, 80% of tourists visiting a wildlife attraction will NOT respond to the welfare status of these animals. (Moorhouse, et al. 2015)

With thousands of elephants globally involved in tourism, it is imperative you make sure you’re supporting projects with responsible animal welfare.

The EVP sanctuary is key to the elephants’ future as our elephants represent the living breathing real elephant herds that are in the forest and as we see the rest of the forest slowly disappear outside of our sanctuary we are are investing in protecting that forest and Cambodia’s last wild elephant populations.

Contact to Elephant Valley Project

Address: Pum Svay Jake, Sen Monorom, Cambodia
Bookings phone line for questions and inquires. +855 (0) 996 96041



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