Wildlife in Thailand

Thailand has incredible diversity – it has over 100 national parks and is home to over 10% of the world’s wildlife species, so whatever part you are visiting, you’re never far from an incredible animal encounter. There is no better place to start than with Thailand’s national symbol: the elephant. Ethical elephant experiences can be found across Thailand, where elephants are protected, and guests can interact with these magnificent pachyderms in a positive, hands-off and charitable way. Here are some of our favourites:

Elephant Hills, Khao Sok National Park

ele hills

Elephant Hills is a luxury tented camp hidden within the lush jungle landscapes of Khao Sok National Park, just north of Phuket (around 2 ½ hours drive from Phuket, Krabi or ferry to Samui). Its not all about elephants here as you’ll spend two days exploring the magnificent scenery of this awe-inspiring part of Thailand’s landscape, however on your first afternoon you’ll journey to their elephant camp, where you’ll have the privilege to spend time observing these beautiful creatures roaming free in their natural environment. You’ll have the chance to chop up their food, feed them and watch them bathe. It really is a special encounter and one we’d recommend to couples or families looking for an immersive rural experience as part of their holiday to Thailand.

Anantara Golden Triangle

anantara golden triangle

In the far north of Thailand, where the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet on the banks of the Mekong River, Anantara Golden Triangle sits on a lush jungle hillside with spectacular views over this impressive landscape. The resort has its own adjoining camp, which is committed to the well-being of elephants and offers a unique opportunity to interact with these majestic creatures. Guests can learn about the life of the elephants and their mahouts (carers), walk with them through the jungle and watch them bathe in the river. For something really unique guests can spend a night in the elephant camp in one of the ‘Jungle Bubbles’, located in the jungle on raised wooden decks. The transparent glass domes offer uninterrupted views of the elephants as well as the incredible starry sky at night.

The Bush Camp, Chiang Mai, by Elephant Hills

bush camp elephant hills

Following the success of the original Elephant Hills, the same team have created a similar experience in the beautiful countryside on the banks of the Maw Ping River outside Chiang Mai. Guests will stay in luxury ensuite glamping tents, relax by the pool and enjoy the unsplit views in this pristine environment. Guests will visit their free-roaming cain free elephant park. Feed and interact with the elephants and spend time in the elephant café, whilst the elephants roam peacefully in front of you. You’ll have the chance to explore the life of the mahouts and see how they live together with nature and their elephants. Encounter the traditions of the mahout, watching their families pound rice, weave their own hand-made clothes. Sample some of their cooking and help them make paper from elephant dung!!!

Day experiences from Chiang Mai, Phuket and Koh Samui

elephants thailand

There are a number of ethical camps offering a full or half day experience for a truly immersive encounter with elephants. If you are spending a few days in Chiang Mai, visiting the surrounding national parks is a must – Elephant Nature Park is a rehabilitation centre in the countryside outside Chiang Mai, where you can learn about the lives of the elephants, walk with them and help care for them. From Phuket or Koh Samui there are a few options for elephant encounters so ask one of our consultants for details.

Every holiday we create to Thailand is completely tailored to your individual requirements so please do get in touch with our team who can build one of these memorable experiences into your itinerary. We recommend booking ahead as many of these unique camps get booked up far in advance.

For a bespoke holiday quote, or more information on Thailand holidays, please contact our team of specialists today. Call 01494 678400 or fill in our enquiry form.


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