Samui Elephant Sanctuary
Samui Elephant Sanctuary
5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
**Winners of Best Animal Welfare from the Tourism Authority of Thailand!** **Recognized by leading animal welfare charity World Animal Protection as a Best Practice Elephant Venue** We are very proud to bring the first elephant sanctuary to Koh Samui in Southern Thailand. Set on forest land, we offer a retirement home for elephants who have worked exhausting hours in the logging and tourism industries. Feed, walk with, and observe our gentle giants as they roam, socialise, bathe and enjoy a peaceful life that they so deserve. Join our morning or afternoon program knowing you are supporting ethical elephant tourism and helping to make a difference.
Duration: More than 3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • TGS1969
    Tampa, Florida69 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Up Close and Personal with Elephants
    We did a three-hour visit to the elephant sanctuary with our kids (17 YO girl, 14 YO boy), and it was spectacular. We started by learning about the care of the elephants (they are all "rescues" from private owners or exploitative elephant shows), and we prepared food for them to eat. We then spent around 90 minutes meeting each of the seven elephants in person and learning about their histories and personalities while we fed them. They are all docile and very accustomed to visitors, so safety was never a concern. The sanctuary is located in the center of Bophut, so it is very convenient if you are staying in that area. Highly recommended.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 18, 2023
  • Suet Wa W
    9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing experience meeting rescued elephants which are allowed to roam freely (Chaweng Noi project)
    I had a great time visiting their new project in Chaweng Noi which was set over 40 acres of forested land. The elephants are allowed to engage in their natural behaviours and roam freely in the sanctuary. A guide took us on a tour and we were able to see the elephants from up close and learn about their stories. We helped make elephant food for some of the older elephants with missing teeth and also had the chance to feed the elephants. The experience was both informative and fun. There were around 14 people participating in the tour that morning and I enjoyed that it was in a smaller group. Although the experience may seem pricey at first, it included door to door pick up and drop off at hotels (taxis are expensive in Koh Samui) as well a vegetarian lunch. This is the best animal sanctuary I have visited to date and I would highly recommend it to people interested in supporting ethical animal tourism.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written June 25, 2023
  • markharper84
    20 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing day at a more incredible place
    Amazing experience at a place doing an incredible job. The elephants are free to roam around and look like they are having a blast. Playing in the water, mud baths, and getting tons of grass and fruit from that days visitors. A place I would visit again in a heart beat and who are doing an incredible job saving the elephants from all sorts of things in Thailand. Our guide Chai was awesome!!!
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 29, 2023
  • Julie H
    Bondi Junction, Australia10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Incredible, eye opening, hands on and educational. The elephants are treated with such respect in their safe haven!
    We visited the sanctuary with our 3 children 8, 15 and 18. From the moment we arrived, we could see were in a special place where the focus was all about the well being of these incredible elephants. We got to learn about each elephants story and what they had been rescued from... the lives they had before arriving at the sanctuary... we made their food and then went out to the park and fed them and watched them interact with their beloved keepers. It was a truly unforgettable experience. Each and everyone of us were touched by emotion!! Also, I must say the staff were so professional, caring and funny!! Pik, our leader was awesome. Thanks to all!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 1, 2023
  • Dan S
    45 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Chaweng Noi Site
    Visited 5 Jul 2023. This is a wonderful facility and well run! You can tell the staff truly care about these elephants. Some have noted the price is on the high side of elephant experiences, but you should understand that the SES does not get any government support. Everything they do is self-supported and elephants are expensive. Consider it a donation to a worthy cause. We went to the Chaweng Noi site. The van pick up from our hotel was on time and efficient. Trying to drive there yourself is NOT recommended. The day starts off with coffee and light snacks followed by a safety video in the viewing area. The staff then take you to a feeding area where you learn about elephant nutrition and help prepare elephant snacks. Be prepared to get your hands dirty mushing around rice and bananas - it's like making bread dough. But, they do have nice facilities for washing your hands afterwards. Then, you get to feed elephants the snacks you just made (and some watermelon) from the feeding platform. Plenty of photo ops here. After the feeding session is done, they take you down into the sanctuary where you get to go see several other elephants. There are some photo ops, but no touching the elephants or riding them. All of the elephants are pretty old and have scars from previous mistreatment, so they can be wary of unfamiliar people. The terrain is hilly with lots of ruts. Wear good shoes. Lastly, you return to the main viewing area where a nice Thai lunch is prepared for you. I recommend the massaman curry. They did have some french fries (chips) for the kids and fresh fruit, but it's mostly Thai food. This was a very educational experience and a nice way to spend 1/2 a day. I would do it again!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 8, 2023
  • Amber
    Central Coast, Australia31 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Ethical elephant experience of a lifetime
    My daughter and I had the most amazing time. You could tell these rescue elephants are loved and very well cared for. The staff were amazing and so friendly. The sanctuary was so peaceful. This is a fantastic way to help support these elephants who have been rescued from horrible circumstances to now live in a safe and caring environment. The more people who visit, the more elephants they can eventually rescue. This was once of the most amazing things I have ever experienced and will definitely return if we ever come to Koh Samui again.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 11, 2023
  • Elizabeth P
    Durham, United Kingdom69 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Caring sanctuary, memorable experience
    If you're going to do an elephant sanctuary, do this one. The elephants are rescued form previous harmful care, and are now cared for and looked after in a warm environment in an ethical manner (unlike some other sanctuaries across Thailand). WE made their food, fed them, walked around the sanctuary to meet the elephants and learn about them, observed them in their habitat and were given lots of photo opportunities. It is more expensive (around £70 each) but part of that goes towards the charity and it is worth the money regardless. A truly memorable experience. Instagram: samuielephantsanctuary
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 19, 2023
  • mark f
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An unforgettable experience.
    We selected this elephant sanctuary after much research as we really wanted an ethical experience. The Samui Elephant Sanctuary did not disappoint. Our sanctuary guide was very friendly, knowledgable and informative, leading the trip with just the right balance of information, insight in to the elephants difficult past with smatterings of humour throughout the afternoon. Activities included creating and learning about the elephants food, hand feeding the elephants, walking through the sanctuary and meeting several elephants, with many photo opportunities along the way. All of the elephants looked very happy and content with their new home and it was clear immediately that the dedicated team of staff who work here all have a real passion for the work they do. Visitor facilities at the sanctuary were good, as was the provision of refreshments and a tasty meal at the end of the visit. I can not recommend this elephant sanctuary experience highly enough. Thank you so much Mark, Helen, Luke, Niamh & Jacob
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 20, 2023
  • SophiaM
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great and supportable
    It was such a great experience. The leaders are very sympathic and lead you trough the whole tour. You get to know something about the elephants, their natural behaviours, their stories and what each of them had to go trough. It`s emotional but great to see what the team is doing to make each elephant`s life most beautiful. They respect their past and accept them like they are. Beautiful experience including beautiful nature, feeding the elephants, watch them taking a bath and playing in the mud.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 24, 2023
  • zd24
    Brisbane, Australia6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best experience in samui
    This was the best thing we did during our trip to samui. It's was wonderful to see the elephants so happy and free in their new home. The lunch was delicious and we would certainly visit again. The staff were clearly dedicated and knowledgeable. They found out it was my birthday and made a cake for me to feed to the elephants. 11 out of 10 if I could.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 29, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,289 reviews
Excellent
1,197
Very good
58
Average
17
Poor
5
Terrible
12

Chloe J
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
Amazing elephant sanctuary where you can really tell the staff care about the welfare of these beautiful creatures. It was so heartbreaking to hear how they had been treated in a previous life, but are now however living their best lives. Would highly recommend to anyone, totally worth the price, would do it 100 times over if I could!
Written February 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for visiting Samui Elephant Sanctuary and supporting our rescued elephants. We truly appreciate your kind review and supporting us to raise awareness of the true plight of asian elephants used in traditional tourism. We hope you can visit us again on your next visit to Koh Samui. Thank you, Wittaya Salangam Founder Samui Elephant Sanctuary
Written May 3, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Maggie M
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We were picked up from the hotel and travelled to the sanctuary by safari jeep, there were six adults in our party and one child. It took about 25 mins to get there from the Buri Rasa hotel, so not too far to go. We were met my Win, our Thai guide, who spoke very good English. First we were shown a short film about the sanctuary and it's aims and whst not to do near an elephant! Then we fed the elephants bananas and were able to stroke their trunks.

All the while Win was telling us about each elephant's sad history, they had been cruelly treated in the logging and tourist industry, some with scars where chains had dug into their ankles and marks where hooks had been inserted to hurt them and make them do things they didn't want to do. Little by little they were becoming less scared and calming down, but it would take time and patience.

Win then took us on a walk through part of the sanctuary, which is very large, where we could see the elephants feeding and swimming. This sanctuary has only been open to the public a few days but I can see it will be well supported by tourists as it is the first ethical sanctuary in Koh Samui and more and more people want to help the elephants and not see them as a "fairground type" tourist attraction.

Well done Win and the lovely people who work there, I will return in a few years time, when, hopefully, the first elephant hospital will have been completed there. It will be for all elephants in Thailand and surrounding countries.

I urge you to visit, your support will help save these beautiful, intelligent creatures.
Written January 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for visiting Samui Elephant Sanctuary and supporting our rescued elephants. We truly appreciate your kind review and supporting us to raise awareness of the true plight of asian elephants used in traditional tourism. We hope you can visit us again on your next visit to Koh Samui. Thank you, Wittaya Salangam Founder Samui Elephant Sanctuary
Written May 3, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Alan D
Whitley Bay, UK443 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
I really wanted to mark this place down as the pre booked pick up was 1 hour late, due to a vehicle breakdown which was a very poor start. We even considered not going due to this but pushed on anyway and really pleased we did. We went to the newer sanctuary of the two and we were blown away by these amazing creatures, and the love that the handlers and staff have for them. Fantastic experience, a bit pricey but when you find out what it takes to care for these previously neglected beasts, then the entry fee is a small price to pay. Ri, looked after us and could not make enough apologies for the pick up farce, but just wow. Close interaction and hand feeding the elephants was superb and walking amongst them was mind blowing. Please visit and support this amazing effort. Finally being a meat eater, the thought of a vegetarian lunch sent shivers down my spine, but no fear the food was amazing.
Written March 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for visiting Samui Elephant Sanctuary and supporting our rescued elephants. Once again please do accept our apologies for the lateness of our transport due to one of our transport vehicles breaking down. We truly appreciate your kind review and supporting us to raise awareness of the true plight of asian elephants used in traditional tourism. We hope you can visit us again on your next visit to Koh Samui. Thank you, Wittaya Salangam Founder Samui Elephant Sanctuary
Written May 3, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Megan
Vancouver, Canada25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
This place is truly beautiful in every way. These incredible humans rescue elephants who have been forced to work for 30+ years in the tourism industry where they are beaten, starved and sold for their skin and ivory once they are no longer “useful.”

This sanctuary gives these beautiful animals a place to live out their lives in peace, no chains, no work to do, they are allowed to just BE. The keepers are so dedicated and caring, you can truly feel their love and bond.

Do not pay to ride/feed elephants while you’re visiting Thailand. Don’t even take photos of those elephants as you pass by. Doing this makes those people think that tourists WANT to ride their elephants and you are feeding into the abuse they will endure.

Instead visit this sanctuary and spend the day up close with elephants who are not stressed, scared and are instead loved and cared for. This was a highlight of our trip and I am truly grateful for all of the staff here at Samui Elephant Sanctuary.
Written January 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for visiting Samui Elephant Sanctuary and supporting our rescued elephants. We truly appreciate your kind review and supporting us to raise awareness of the true plight of asian elephants used in traditional tourism. We hope you can visit us again on your next visit to Koh Samui. Thank you, Wittaya Salangam Founder Samui Elephant Sanctuary
Written May 3, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

MSV1902DU
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019
We visited Samui Elephant Sanctuary in March 2019 and are still impressed by this amazing experience. Before our vacation in Thailand we did not really know about all the brutal things that are happening to this lovely big giants in Thailand and many other places on this planet. After this visit our overall mind-set has changed and during this words the tears are coming back to my eyes.
At the beginning of our visit we were listening to the horrible and sad stories about each of the elephants. We were shocked and also felt ashamed that other humans treated them so badly. After that we had the first encounter with the elephants and everybody was shy at the beginning. But after seeing them smiling and walking around without chains, everybody became happy. In the end nobody of the visitors wanted to leave and instead staying with the elephant, feeding them with banana and touching their trunks.
Me and my fiancé have nothing than deepest respect to you all and hope that you keep fighting for a better life for elephants. Thank you for your dedicated work and please give an extra portion of banana to Cartoon and the others.
We will come back one day!

All the best from Germany
Written February 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for visiting Samui Elephant Sanctuary and supporting our rescued elephants. We truly appreciate your kind review and supporting us to raise awareness of the true plight of asian elephants used in traditional tourism. We hope you can visit us again on your next visit to Koh Samui. Thank you, Wittaya Salangam Founder Samui Elephant Sanctuary
Written May 3, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

marisap1977
10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
This is a must-visit when coming to Samui. Very well organised session with added convenience of hotel-pick up. The team who run this are just fantastic - everyone is warm, friendly, professional, full of life, character and are obviously dedicated to the cause. They make safety of the elephants and of the guests equally important and take so much pride in how they look after these beautiful creatures. A wonderful opportunity to get up close and personal and hear the touching, powerful stories of each of the elephants backgrounds. Can't recommend it enough.
Written January 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for visiting Samui Elephant Sanctuary and supporting our rescued elephants. We truly appreciate your kind review and supporting us to raise awareness of the true plight of asian elephants used in traditional tourism. We hope you can visit us again on your next visit to Koh Samui. Thank you, Wittaya Salangam Founder Samui Elephant Sanctuary
Written May 3, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jodie L
London, UK12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
Where do I begin? The most amazing experience and day from start to finish! Our tour guide was Win who was so insightful passionate and genuine person (all staff were amazing but we spent more time with win). The elephants were so beautiful and in such a safe and loving home. Learning about there history and how there going to spend their retirement was what it’s all about. Highly recommend. Please support these amazing people and creatures!
Written March 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for visiting Samui Elephant Sanctuary and supporting our rescued elephants. We truly appreciate your kind review and supporting us to raise awareness of the true plight of asian elephants used in traditional tourism. We hope you can visit us again on your next visit to Koh Samui. Thank you, Wittaya Salangam Founder Samui Elephant Sanctuary
Written May 3, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

R365UBP
London, UK175 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Friends
I can’t praise this place enough - I booked at 8pm the night before and they were replying to emails instantly. The website is easy to navigate.

We were picked up from our hotel and driven to the location which was a lovely opportunity to see some of the Island.

A member of staff greeted us at the door and took us to meet 2 of the elephants. She gave us their background history then we made food and got to feed them.

Through this wonderful experience staff took our mobile phones and took over 70 photos and videos of us making food and feeding them. At the end when we made a donation (no pressure to) she gave us 2 printed photographs that she had taken of us. We then got a lift back.

I am reviewing the 1 hour feeding session only - there is an option to bath them and trek with them but this was a great experience for me. Thank you x
Written January 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

katerinaemalina
United Kingdom98 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
Super place. This is what responsible tourism is all about. We visited with two young children who adored the place and want to go back. It is quite pricey but the money goes directly to the sanctuary so we didn't mind. For 3 hours you get a pick up/drop off, video, short talk, 2x snacks and drinks, get to make the elephants food, feed them then walk round the sanctuary and see the elephants bathing. No riding. No bathing. There are no fancy things here. No shop so don't come expecting a 'touristy' place. We loved it and what they are doing. Very friendly staff. Hopefully people will start to realise that elephants shouldn't be ridden. Good luck to the sanctuary in the future!
Written August 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roberta R
London, UK34 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Friends
I visited this sanctuary with my friend after doing a LOT of research to establish which sanctuaries are actually ethical as opposed to merely claiming to be. From the minute you walk in, it is clear that these animals are very well taken care of with respect and kindness. The tour itself is excellent with a guide who knows so much information about each elephant and the general animal tourism industry in Thailand. Although it may seem like a large group initially, you are broken into much smaller sub-groups so you do get the opportunity to truly interact with the elephants and learn all about them. Lunch was brilliant also!

Also, our tickets clearly stated that you should dress in a manner which does not offend the local culture (I.e. nothing revealing or short) but it was very obvious that not everybody followed this, which I found quite disrespectful. If you go, just bear this in mind as this comment is on the tickets for a reason!

Would definitely go again, a must see in Samui.

PS, special thanks to our tour guide, Boy, who was so knowledgeable and made our whole experience there today.
Written January 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for visiting Samui Elephant Sanctuary and supporting our rescued elephants. We truly appreciate your kind review and supporting us to raise awareness of the true plight of asian elephants used in traditional tourism. We hope you can visit us again on your next visit to Koh Samui. Thank you, Wittaya Salangam Founder Samui Elephant Sanctuary
Written May 3, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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