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“"An Elephant Haven" run by an inspirational woman” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Elephant Nature Park - Day Tours

Elephant Nature Park - Day Tours
Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
+66 53 818 932
Website
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Book ahead on Viator
$345*
and up
Ranked #12 of 335 Activities in Chiang Mai
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Book a visit thru our website and *Not* via viator. Elephant Nature Park, a unique conservation project set in Chiang Mai Province, Northern Thailand has been in operation since in the 1990's with a goal to provide a sanctuary and elephant rescue center. We have been involved in dozens of rescues and sustain a natural home for this endangered species. Mission: To protect and conserve elephants in a natural environment and to provide a healthy and fruitful life for all those creatures under our care
Useful Information: Stroller parking, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access
Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“"An Elephant Haven" run by an inspirational woman”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

I volunteered at Elephant Nature Park for one week and was sad to leave as I felt I'd only just touched the surface of learning about Elephants.

The opportunity to engage with the Elephants, learn about family dynamics of Elephants and work and support this sanctuary was fantastic!! The reality of the plight of the Asian elephants and their steady decline in Thailand and Asia in general is saddening. Once again, humans will cause the extinction of a species if people like Lek Chaillert (the founder) don't step in to make a difference.

All of the elephants at the sanctuary have been rescued from horrific circumstances, some of their with physical scars, all of them with mental scars from the treatment they have received at the hand of humans, yet these elephants are still gentle, friendly creatures who have thankfully been given the opportunity to live the remainder of their life in the tranquility of the sanctuary.

As a volunteer you work on all that is "elephant" from food preparation, poo scooping, feeding, field work and elephant bathing which is great fun!! Everything you do is to benefit these beautiful animals.

The food, staff and surrounding scenery is amazing. The education and inspiration you receive from the founder, her husband and the staff is fantastic. I recommend Elephant Nature Park to all that would prefer to get educated about Elephants and have the opportunity to understand these magnificent animals rather than riding them and watching them do tricks.

Visited November 2012
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Melbourne
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“A haven for all animals”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

I volunteered at ENP for two weeks ~ and it wasn't long enough.
You recieve an educatution on the history and sad decline of the Asian Elephants in Thailand, while spending time with 34 of these majestic creatures, including a baby elephant who is 2 months old ! (Navann).As a volunteer you are expected to do a few hours work a day (3 - 5hrs) but it is all for a worthwhile cause, you work at your own pace and the volunteer coordinators are there to make it all as much fun as possible. The elephants are never too far away and most are happy to pose for a pic or two. As well as the elephants there are water buffalo, pigs and 370 odd dogs ! although most of the live in big dog runs there a a few that just roam free, they are always happy to recieve human visitors. All the animals at the park have been rescued, Lek the founder will not say no to any animal in need, and together with her staff and the 40 - 60 volunteers a week , all help to indeed make this an "Animal Haven"

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“I learned a lot”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

Elephants never forget? I know we won't, we learned about these wonderful creatures, I hadn't appreciated how big and friendly they are, especially the babies. This is worth a trip if you have the time.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Ethical Elephant Sanctuary - a Wonderful Week”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

I stayed at the Elephant Nature Park last week as part of their week long volunteer programme, and feel compelled to write this review. It was fantastic. It was a sanctuary in every sense of the word. Currently there are 34 elephants there and a two month old baby. All of the elephants have traumatic histories, many have worked in the logging industry and have sustained injuries, both accidental and deliberate; a couple are blind. The staff work tirelessly to make the lives of these abused elephants better, in as natural environment as possible. They work to educate visitors, volunteers and the local population about elephant welfare, the abuse that continues to go on, and alternatives to using pain and fear as a method of controlling them. Humane and ethical methods are utilised; no bull hooks are used, they are prohibited. The mahouts can be seen using verbal commands and touch, nothing else. It is wonderful to see the elephants, which have naturally formed their own families, interact and communicate with each other and care for each other. The work consists of preparing fruit for the elephants, cutting corn and banana plants, cleaning the elephant shelters i.e. picking up poo!, watering the mud pit – nothing too strenuous and there is plenty of free time in-between jobs. There is no riding of the elephants. Nor will you see the elephants doing ridiculous tricks or participating in human like behaviour e.g.’ football.

The park offers one day visits, overnight visits and a week long volunteer programme. The accommodation is fairly basic although wifi was available and the food is fantastic. The staff are very approachable, the volunteer coordinators are good fun and Lek, the founder gives a talk.

In addition to the amazing work done with the elephants, the park also homes 350 dogs, many of which were found during the floods last year. Some of them you will see wandering around the park. The staff are realistic about the chances of rehoming many of them, but I get the feeling this part is a work in progress as it’s still relatively new. They also have volunteers working solely in with the dogs.

If you want to spend your time being up close to elephants (and dogs), learning about them, working for them, bathing and feeding them, and observing them in as natural environment as possible, then this place is for you. You won’t regret it.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
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22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Absolutely beautiful!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012 via mobile

This experience exceeded all expectations!!! What an amazing place. We were picked up by van at 8am and spent the entire day meeting different elephants in the park. We were able to take tons of pictures, touch the elephants, feed the elephants, and bathe them! We were showed two short fills, the first one was in the van ride on the way (poorly documented) very informative of what we were about to experience and the importance of this place. Every elephant has a story and our guide was very knowledgeable, you could see her passion for the elephants by her enthusiasm and excitement in the information she gave. The second documentary is at the end of the day and it's a tear jerker, but it's filled with reality, and makes you feel even better about the day you spent at Elephant Nature Park!

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