Attraction 209/2 Sridom Chai Road,เชียงใหม่ 50100, Thailand Published on: 08-06-2016
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Why Elephant Nature Park is special ?
Elephant Nature Park is a sanctuary and rescue centre for elephants in Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai Province, Northern Thailand, approximately 60 kilometres (37 mi) from Chiang Mai City. Founded in 1996, the project's aim is to provide sanctuary for distressed elephants from all over Thailand. Set in a natural valley, bordered by a river, and surrounded by forested mountains the sanctuary and surrounding area also offers a glimpse of rural life.
The elephants here have been rescued from logging camps and tourist shows, and, instead of being subjected to hooks and chains, they are allowed to form their own family groups and follow as closely as possible the natural behaviour of a wild herd. The most rewarding experience of all is seeing the natural interaction between the elephants, with baby elephants having trunk tug-of-wars, families enjoying shared mud baths and older elephants taking care of blind and disabled members of the herd.
What to explore at Elephant Nature Park?
Elephant Nature Park (ENP), unlike other tourist outfits in Thailand, delivers something unique — a chance to interact with elephants without exploiting them. Home to more than 35 elephants, most of which have been saved from the tourist and illegal logging industries, the Park offers visitors the opportunity to engage with the animals. Operating daily trips to ENP, visitors can choose to spend the day, night or even more mingling with these creatures in their natural habitat. At ENP, guests can feed the elephants and bathe them, and also learn about the plight of the Asian elephant and what they can do to help.
How to get to Elephant Nature Park?
The park is in the Mae Taeng valley, 60km from Chiang Mai, and day trips include a vegetarian buffet lunch. Longer volunteering packages are also available.
- Full Day Tour Experience with a bit of excitement
- A must go to place for a whole day
- Wonderful place to learn about and meet elephants
- Amazing and Unforgettable Experience
- A magical place to see elephants
209/2 Sridom Chai Road,เชียงใหม่ 50100, Thailand
Tips for you
After lots of research we found the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai. We were aware of the cruelty that most places inflict on elephants for tourists to have a lovely happy joy joy ride on them....this involves the mahouts starving them, beating them, breaking their spirit and constantly having a stick with a spike on to "keep them in line". This makes me sick to the core that anyone would put their money to such companies. Elephant Nature Park is the complete opposite of all this. Lek (the lady who owns the park) rescues elephants from logging, tourism, circuses and general living hell. The rescued elephants are taken and put into herds and they walk together, feed together and bathe. The only commands are verbal by the mahouts who have an excellent knowledge of the elephants and their behaviour, and make sure you stay safe as well as enjoy your trip. The elephants live freely with no chains, and have a peaceful life. We got to spend the day with 6 elephants, we did the Care package which is more recently rescued elephants. You start by feeding them (sugar cane and bananas which they love!), then take a walk through the jungle (bring the deet for mozzie protection) and have a lovely lunch before getting in the river and bathing them - brushing them and throwing buckets of water, and covering them back in mud before the journey back. You then visit some of the other elephants - including the babies! They also run a dog rescue you can visit. You can volunteer to accompany a dog to it's adopted home on your flight - no cost or hassle to you, the ENP organise everything but you need to register your interest as soon as possible. I would urge anyone to go to this park over any others. The work Lek and the team do is incredible and the beautiful elephants are genuinely happy. There is lots of time for photos and the mahouts are especially helpful. You can do day tours - there are ones available for adults with children too, or longer stays if you wish to get more involved. Overall an experience of a lifetime for us. It was the most fun and each elephant really has it's own personality! We spent most of our time with Mayou who was herd leader, and her best friend Madou who was brutally deliberated blinded in 1 eye in her past. Picture is attached of them hugging trunks and they are inseparable. 10/10 experience. :)
Coolest thing to do if you're anywhere near Chiang Mai, definitely do this program over the other tourist options, learn about Lek and the park! Good veggie lunch too.