This elephant sanctuary, located by the Mae Taeng River near Elephant Nature Park in Northern Thailand, is one of the first projects developed that has seen the traditional activities of elephant camps transformed under our ‘Saddle Off!’ model. Seeking an alternative to offering elephant riding and performances, the owner was happy to change to a mutually beneficial program where the elephants have the freedom to socialize and walk through the jungle foraging on native plants, while a small group of guests experiences a meaningful, intimate encounter with these majestic animals.
This project currently provides a restful home to two elephants, both over 60 years old, now enjoying their retirement from a hard life working in the logging industry and providing rides to tourists. The will of the elephants here is respected and they are not coerced to do things that they don’t want to, for example, bathe in the river when the water is cold. Since joining the project, the elephants have gained weight, and understandably, their mood has greatly improved. The elephants will be happy to see you, since for much of the day you will be offering them food, and above all else, elephants love to eat!
Get acquainted with the elephants in the morning while feeding them watermelon and pumpkin and learn to make medicinal food balls for them, including a native vine and a root vegetable known to aid digestion and improve the condition of their skin. Next, join the elephants on a challenging hike that crosses the river, then follows scenic mountain jungle trails; feeding the elephants bananas along the way. Having ascended the hill, stop for a vegetarian buffet lunch in the forest while the elephants graze close by. After lunch, walk downhill to the river to bathe the elephants, weather permitting, before being transferred by minivan to the starting point for your whitewater rafting adventure, which stops at Elephant Nature Park. Here, you can observe the resident herds socializing in the late afternoon. On rare occasions, rafting can become impractical due to weather conditions, in which case other activities will be extended.
Pamper a Pachyderm is a great example of how progressive ecotourism is catching on. It is hoped that this trend towards empathic, ethical elephant tourism will continue to evolve and grow throughout Asia so that more elephants can be freed from a life of toil and enjoy a more natural existence.
Experience a touching encounter with elderly elephants in beautiful surroundings, and later, whitewater raft your way to Elephant Nature Park to meet the herds
- Feed the elephants watermelon and pumpkin
- Prepare medicinal health balls using a native vine & root
- Walk with the elephants across the river and uphill into the forest
- Enjoy a vegetarian buffet lunch while the elephants graze nearby
- Walk to the river to bathe the elephants
- Whitewater raft your way downstream with a guide
- Visit Elephant Nature Park to observe the resident herds
Number of Guests: 8
Number of Elephants: 2
Tour Type: Full Day Visit
Fitness Level: Challenging
Age Suitability: Adults & Children 12+
- Transportation from Chiang Mai city to and from project
- Freshly prepared vegetarian buffet lunch
- Admission fee
- Qualified English speaking tour guide
- White water rafting
- Afternoon visit to Elephant Nature Park
Adults & Children 12+: 6,000 Thai Baht