Cambodia Impact Expedition: Community and Elephants

Explore the hidden wonders that Cambodia has to offer. Wander through the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, work side by side with the local community and visit a truly ethical elephant sanctuary for the retired elephants of the Angkor Temples.

  • Location Cambodia, Asia
  • Duration 8 days
  • Expedition Type Impact

This expedition is jam-packed full of cultural activities. Not only will you be getting stuck into vital project work to improve the lives of local communities, but you will also experience traditional Cambodian culture in two of the country’s largest cities. You will visit the retired elephants of Angor, feed them, walk with them and observe them bathing and playing with water as they live out a happy retirement.

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A fully supported expedition, from start to finish

Your expedition cost is comprehensive and covers the incredible activities you’ll be taking part in, as well as the extensive support you’ll receive in the lead up to, and during, your expedition.

Don’t forget you’ll also need your vaccinations, visas, kit and some spending money. You can find guidance on all of these on your personal Traveller Gateway once you sign up.

  • International flights
  • Expedition Leader
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • All meals
  • Unlimited drinking water
  • All accommodation mentioned in the itinerary
  • All activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees for all sights mentioned in the itinerary
  • All transfers mentioned are in private vehicles
  • Project costs and management
  • 24 hour support throughout expedition

This sample itinerary will give you an insight into what you’ll be getting up to. Please note, the exact projects, activities and camps may change closer to the time of your expedition.

Day Activities More details
Day 1 Arrive to Phnom Penh Once you have arrived at Phnom Penh, you’ll be met at the airport by a member of our Camp Cambodia team. From here you will transfer to your hotel to check in and have some time to rest and freshen up before heading out to dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 2 The Killing Fields, S21 and the Royal Palace You will spend today exploring all that Phnom Penh has to offer, including paying a visit to the infamous S21 prison and Killing Fields. You will learn about the recent tragic events that befell Cambodia when it was under the rule of Pol Pot. You will also pay a visit to the magnificent Royal Palace which has been the home of the Cambodian Royal Family since the 1860s.
Day 3 Transfer to Camp Beng Mealea Today you will transfer to our beautiful Camp Beng Mealea (approx 6 hrs). Here you will meet our Camp Manager and the team who will run an arrival briefing offering an overview of what your time at camp will involve. It’ll then be time to choose your bed in the traditional longhouse and settle in for the night. The journey will be broken up with stops along the way and lunch at a restaurant over looking the Peah Pros River.
Day 4 Community Project Work Working alongside our team and the local community you’ll get stuck into some vital project work. You’ll be supporting our sustainable livelihood projects, by helping build a chicken house or water storage pot for a local family, or improving infrastructure at the local school. During the evenings you will get to relax and spend more time with your local neighbours, taking part in sporting events and cultural activities.
Day 5 English teaching and Kulen Elephant Forest Project In the morning you will assist with English classes at our English school assisting the teacher and helping the children with their vocabulary and pronunciation. In the afternoon you will visit the Kulen Elephant Forest project which now takes care of the the retired Angkor elephants and see how they are much happier in their current life. You will prepare food for the elephants before feeding them and then taking a walk through the forest with them. You will then see them taking their afternoon bath and playing with water in their bathing pool.
Day 6 Angkor Wat and the Phare Circus Today you will spend the day exploring the UNESCO World Heritage site, Angkor Wat. Enjoy a guided tour as you immerse yourself in the hidden history of Cambodia exploring temples that were ‘lost’ for hundreds of years. Following a tasty dinner at a local restaurant, you will be treated to a show put on by the Phare Circus. The circus is non-profit organisation that helps young Cambodians transform their lives through theatre, dance and music, putting together shows that tell uniquely Cambodian stories.
Day 7 Explore Phnom Penh After breakfast, you will travel to Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia – where you will visit Wat Phnom, a Buddhist temple. Built in 1372 it stands at 27 metres above the ground and is the tallest religious structure in the city.
Day 8 Departure This morning we will say our goodbyes before heading to the airport ready for your flight home.

How you’ll make a difference

You’ll work on a range of projects throughout your expedition, each aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and designed to make a significant and lasting impact on the region’s most critical issues.

School improvements

Cambodia – School improvements and jungle garden reforestation

It’s estimated that around 15% of Cambodia’s population never enters the education system and those that do often learn in inadequate schools. You’ll help support a local primary school, through projects such as refurbishing and extending classrooms and constructing a library. You’ll also work on the Jungle Garden at our camp to tackle issues of food production in the dry season.

UN Sustainable Development Goals
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No poverty

End poverty in all its forms everywhere

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Zero hunger

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

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Good health and well-being

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

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Quality education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

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Gender equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

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Clean water and sanitation

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

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Reduce inequalities

Reduce inequality within and among countries

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Climate action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Experience the local way of life in our authentic camps

Our camps are the heart of our expeditions. Built and staffed by locals in the traditional style, and located within the heart of communities, they are the perfect place to relax after a day of project work. You’ll get to stay in a number of camps during your expedition, which could include those featured below.

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Camp Beng Mealea

This delightful rural camp is set on the outskirts of Teuk Lich village within Beng Mealea commune.

Accommodation is in the form of traditional Khmer stilted longhouses positioned in the shade of large banana and papaya trees. The camp is surrounded by paddy fields and pretty amazing views on all sides. On a clear day you can see the impressive ridge line of the Kulen National Park from your longhouse. And if that isn’t enough, there is the ancient ruined temple of Beng Mealea to explore only a short walk away, as well as a large ornate pagoda where the Buddhist monks live. You’d be hard pushed to find a more authentic Cambodian experience.

  • Location: 75 km (1.5 hours drive) from Siem Reap International Airport
  • Accommodation style: Traditional longhouses
  • Bed type: Comfy mattresses & bedding including mosquito net
  • Toilets: Composting toilets
  • Showers: Cold water showers & wash basins
  • Power: Generator (06:00-07:00 & 18:00-22:00) British 3 pin power sockets
  • Social area: Chill out zone, camp fire, hammocks
  • Signature dish: Amok – Mild curry usually eaten with chicken or fish

I went on a trip to Cambodia with Camps International. During the trip we learnt all about the Cambodian history and culture through emotional visits to the S21 prison and the killing fields as well as stories from the camps staff who were super friendly and helpful. Our project work included building a toilet and well for a local family and helping in the local schools which was all very rewarding.

Unknown, Camp Cambodia 2016

Our local camp legends

Our camps are staffed by members of the community who will make you feel like a local in no time. These legends will make your expedition spectacular and will show you the very best of their home country.

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Camps International provides many jobs for local people like me, enabling us to work together with volunteers on projects which help our communities. Having travellers spend time in camps and surrounding villages helps encourage parents in the community to recognise the importance of education for their own children, paving the way for a bright future for the people of Cambodia.

Interested in this expedition?

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