Seeing elephants is one of the top things to do in your Thailand travel. However, not all plan to ride an elephant but they try to seek a elephant sanctuary offering a natural and ethical way to interact with the elephants instead. We are happy to recommend the top 3 great ethical elephant sanctuaries in Thailand.
Now let’s explore the highlights of visiting these Thailand elephant sanctuaries:
- Feed elephants with bananas, watermelons, pineapples and sugar cane
- Interact with the elephants in a healthy & safe way
- Learn about their lifestyle & behaviors
- Go swimming with the elephants at a muddy bath tub
- Capture incredible photos with lovely huge animals
Here are top 3 sanctuaries to visit when you are in Phuket Island, Chiang Mai Old city or the Krabi beach city:
Chiang Mai Elephant Nature Park
Elephant Nature Park is a unique project set in Chiang Mai province in the Northern Thailand since the 1990s. The park is located 60 km from the old town that provides a sanctuary for distressed elephants from all over Thailand.
The park does not only provide the natural environment for elephants as its name but also become a home to dogs, cats, buffaloes and many other animals from dozen of rescue projects.
Things to do in Chiang Mai Elephant Nature Park
There are different locations for the elephant interaction activities. Depending on your interest, you can choose either to visit the Elephant Nature Park just outside the town (60km) for at least 6-7 hours or a full day tour or go to further North/ South of Chiang Mai for “Saddle off” project.
Volunteer at elephant sanctuary in Thailand
Volunteering is also organized at the Chiang Mai Elephant Nature Park for up to 7 days. This is a unique project which features daily elephant interactions where volunteers can learn about agriculture and community, take part in creating a better learning experience for local children and do a cultural exchange at a tribal village in the mountains of Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai Elephant Nature Park tours
- Opening time: 07:00 – 17:00 (office)
- Price: From 2500 THB/adult, 1250 THB/child (2-11 years old) for a single day tour
- Location: Elephant Nature Park Office – 1 Ratmakka Road, Phra Sing, Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Website: https://www.elephantnaturepark.org/
Krabi Elephant Sanctuary
This is considered as the first lodge in town to conserve the overtired elephants suffering from long working hours in tourism industry. Within only a half day visit to Krabi Elephant Sanctuary, you may get a chance to interact and spend time with lovely elephants in a safe and sustainable environment without any riding and circus-dancing.
In the search of any fun activities for families with kids, you can absolutely enjoy this trip; gain an insight into the history and behavior of these large mammals; and create memories that all members will cherish for a lifetime.
- Activities: Morning & afternoon session
- Opening time: 07:00 – 18:00
- Price: 2500 THB/adult; 2000 THB/child (3-9 years old)
- Location: Krabi Elephant Sanctuary 83/13 Moo 4T. Ao Loek Tai A.Ao, Krabi, Thailand
- Website: https://krabielephantsanctuary.com/
Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
Like other elephant sanctuary across the nation, the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is proud to set a new home to rescue sick, injured and old elephants and to welcome them back into the indigenous habit.
One of the special things that travelers may be surprised in Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is you can observe the elephant go bathing but you are not allowed to do the brushing or cleansing for them.
The simple reason for letting elephant bath freely is to prevent the lovely animals from being too stressful to see many people surrounding. This will be a good way to let them display their natural habit while travelers can take nice photograph of the elephants in their safest feelings.
- Activities: You can choose among the morning or afternoon session or even a full day one with volunteer programs
- Opening time: 09:30 – 17:00
- Price: 3000 THB/adult; 1500 THB/child (4-12 years old) for a half day tour
- Location: 100, Moo 2, Paklok, Thalang, Phuket Thailand (Office)
- Website: https://www.phuketelephantsanctuary.org/en/
What to bring for your elephant visit
Here is a list of what we recommend you to bring to make your visit as enjoyable as possible:
- Your personal travel insurance recommended for any international travel in case of accident
- Cap or wide brimmed hat to protect from the sun
- Clothes you don’t mind getting sweaty or slightly muddy
- Extra clothes to change after the tour ends
- Prescription medications (if any)
- Good walking shoes with closed toe shoes as you walk in the forest so flip flops or open toed sandals are not advised
Suggested Thailand tours for the elephant sanctuary visit
- Classic Thailand 7 Days
- Jungles And Tribes – Northern Thailand 7 Days
- Amazing Highlights Of Cambodia & Thailand 14 Days
Now, I believe you can eagerly choose your most suited one from our list of top elephant sanctuaries in Thailand, be it in Chiang Mai, Krabi or Phuket. This activity will surely fulfill your experience while in Thailand tours. Let’s join and support the elephants!
Linh Chu – Travel Specialist