Mahout means Elephant Keeper or Elephant Driver.
The course starts by teaching visitors about the importance of elephant care and husbandry including correct eating, sleeping, bathing and exercise. We then progress to the basic commands to control an elephant. You will learn the verbal and body language to communicate with the elephant followed by hands-on practice.
After this basic training, you have the chance of practical experience caring for the elephants including bathing, feeding and other every-day activities.
Highlights of the Basic Mahout Training Camp
• How to Approach an Elephant
• Basic Biology
• What to Feed an Elephant
• Knowledge of Elephant
• How to Ride an Elephant
• How to Bathe an Elephant
What to Bring
• personal items
• comfortable walking shoes, slippers
• personal medications
Yes, you will be working but you will be working with and taking care of the most amazing creatures in the world! You are making a valuable contribution to the safekeeping of the elephants.
You should come and stay at the camp and enjoy spending your time with these sweet, majestic animals. You won't forget the experience and they will never forget you either!
These are the commands that you’ll learn
Maa — Come
Bpy – Go; Keep going
Sy — Turn left
Qua – Turn right
How – Go back (reverse)
Yaa — Stop [it] – don't do it
Song — I'm climbing up
Long – Lie down / turn over
Godt (long 'o') — Give a hug
Oom – Lift
Bon (long ‘o’) – Gently and Spray water
We enjoy teaching our mahout trainees skills with elephants and if you are interested we will even teach you how to cook Thai food!
We don't have set hours for trainees to be available, some days we require more help than others but we always try to accommodate the plans of those who have come to help us. We also like to show people around and quite often take our guests sightseeing alongside our customers!
As for the type of work, that also depends on the day.
Sometimes we need help gathering food for the elephants from the fields or helping in our gardens. We also appreciate help with our English. We get many guests who speak English and appreciate it when our trainees help us teach them about our elephants. As a trainee, you will get to take the elephants to the mountain and sometimes to the river to bathe them as well.
For long-term trainees, we require a minimum stay of 14 days and ask for a donation of THB 8000/person to help with the cost of housing trainees and to help keep our elephants happy and healthy. We can negotiate further contributions for longer stays, if you want to stay on.
We provide you with three meals a day and a place to stay.
If you are interested in coming to stay, we often have openings for trainees. Thanks for your interest in helping out at Thom's Elephant camp! We look forward to hearing from you!
I want to volunteer as a trainee!