KokChang Safari Elephant Trekking

KokChang Safari Elephant Trekking

KokChang Safari Elephant Trekking
4.5
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Sunday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
About
Kok Chang Elephant Trekking Safari in set on a beautiful ocean viewpoint where the dense tropical jungle overlooks Kata Noi Bay. We offer various jungle routes riding on these Majestic animals 30 minute treks.
Kata Beach, Thailand
Does not meet animal welfare guidelines
Tripadvisor does not provide bookings for this experience because it does not meet our animal welfare guidelines.

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(78 reviews)
(882 reviews)
(353 reviews)

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

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

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,484 reviews
Excellent
876
Very good
364
Average
116
Poor
40
Terrible
88

Dorian
Chalong, Thailand71 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
The safari camp KokChang offers the best elephant experience with the highest standards of ethics and local culture. The elephants are all in good health and they even recycle their poo! It is a very informative and entertaining tour at the same time. We did the Interactive package + elephant trekking with a very knowledgeable guide Amy, and her team who took good care of us from start to finish. The local Thai food for lunch is just excellent with an astonish seaview. Definitely recommended and best in Phuket.
Written February 22, 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.

hilary662
Christchurch, New Zealand4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
Thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with these magnificent animals. The fact that I got to ride the elephant rather than just sit on the chair was something very special. The bathing with the elephant was great fun and fabulous to get so close and give some love and attention back to her! These are well cared for animals and the carers were great with them.
Written July 6, 2023
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.

Jesper N
10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Family
Very nice place with frendly staff who take nicely care of the animals. Vi were having a 30 min ride and we were feeding the baby elephant Milo. The friende staff told os Much about taking care of such big wonderfull animals.
We were having the tour with a very friendly man and his wife from USA. unfortunately we did not get his name.
Thanks to the staff
Written January 7, 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.

Scott M
Singapore, Singapore782 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Family
Firstly very good service including free pick and and return transfers.

I'm very mindful of how animals are treated and yes naturally the elephants are chained to a degree.

It seemed very much a family business and we saw great care and respect for the elephants.

We chose not to ride the elephants as such but feed them and then the kids did the elephant bath as i got in woth the elephant which is something they will never forget.

It was a great experience that doesnt take long and isnt expensice.

At the time we were here they had a baby elephant who was a 4yr old male.
Written August 8, 2022
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 for taking the time to share your experience at Kok Chang Safari. We are very happy that you like and enjoy with Kok chang safari. Thank you once again and we do hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back to Kok Chang safari Best Regards Kok Chang safari
Written September 16, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jan P
14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
A wonderful experience for tourists and the elephants alike.
They enjoyed the interaction with us, and gently caressed our son, 5. The elephants are well fed and groomed.
They adopt orphans from Burma, giving them a chance to survive. They are a caring team, who share their passion with us.
Do go. And support the little and large elephants.
Do not listen to the Social Justice Warriors posturing and pandering.
Written February 4, 2024
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.

Blatt24
Los Angeles, CA24 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2011
I'm still upset I paid the measly $30AUS to go to this place. So sad to see the elephants being treated so poorly...

I have been to Phuket before and did an amazing elephant trekking tour. It was a bit pricey but so worth it. The elephants were free roaming in a huge enclosure (not close to loud noises which are harmful to elephants), NEVER touched by the hooks the handlers hold, never screamed at by the Thai men, able to stop to "relieve" themsleves, or get a drink of water...they were treated very well. KOK CHANG WAS THE EXACT OPPOSITE! We decided to do the trekking because it was only $30AUS for a 50min ride, but I'm kicking myself for doing so.

When we arrived the elephants were right off the main highway--loud cars and motorbikes--which isn't good for elephants. They are very sensitive to sound and loud noise over time can cause them to have emotional disorders etc. Then I heard the gibbons screaming and realized they had caged gibbons--one of the world's most endangered ape. So sad. Paid and jumped on our elephant. The guide wasn't friendly, didn't wanna talk to us at all. After about 3 minutes of walking with her, he hit her about 3 times super hard with the end of his hook. She wasn't doing anything wrong! The entire time we were on the elephant he was constantly yelling at her to go faster "oui oui" and hitting her so much. I eventually yelled at him to stop hitting her. He hooked her face when she paused to nose around in the moist grass. I felt like crying the whole time. A family riding behind us had two younger girls and you could tell that these little girls were scared and sad to see the elephants being treated so poorly. When I trekked my first time, the guides had a hook but the NEVER even touched the elephants with it.

After the lame trek--we just went up a hill and down a hill, basically--they chained them up and we could feed them bananas. I made sure to feed them all at least 1 full bunch of bananas each--but did not pay a cent to the place. When the staff at the bar area asked how I liked it I openly told them I thought it was upsetting and that I wish I never came. We left instantly and I'm still upset about it.

PLEASE don't go there. There are so many other places near Phuket and in Phuket that you can go to and have a beautiful trek without the pain of seeing these poor elephants being abused. I hope this changes someones mind because I sure wish I had read a review like this that told the truth about the place.
Written May 8, 2011
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.

meltravels23
Pleasanton, CA44 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2015 • Friends
I have to admit - in December, I was like you reviewing the elephant trekking in Phuket. I thought I did enough research to make an educated decision on the company that treated the elephants the best. It saddens me to say this couldn't be further from the truth. I will say that out of the other roadside "zoos" I saw in Phuket, this had to be the nicest, however, the elephants were still chained and beat. My experience ended up with me realizing these beautiful creatures are in no way bred for tourists to ride. Since then, it's been my personal mission to help eradicate companies like this.

My friend and I arrived at Kok Chang in the morning, and I immediately felt sick to my stomach. I knew going through with it was wrong, but no one spoke english so we went through with the ride. They ushered us up onto the elephant with no introductions, and the tour guide hopped right onto the poor elephant's head (yes, directly onto her head - not the neck). He of course had a bull hook with him. We started on our journey and my friend and I were getting more and more uncomfortable with the way he was using his bull hook - with no emotion, or seemingly no reason. Just poking her as much as he could. About mid-way through our ride, she (the elephant) was slowing down a bit, and took perhaps a 1.5 second pause. The tour guide then turned his bull hook around to the hammer side, and knocked her square on the head. I've never heard anything more awful in my life - the sound of an innocent creature being beat for no good reason. Well, I started crying right there on that elephant for how badly that must have hurt her, and for me being the reason she was beat. After that I was praying for the ride to end quickly and without any more harm to the elephant. We stopped a few minutes later for the tour guide to get his photos, so I could post my shame on social media.

I hope all of you reading my review takes this with a heavy heart, and forgoes any elephant trekking or viewing in Phuket.
Written March 3, 2016
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.

slats67
Brisbane, Australia25 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2012 • Family
This is going to be a hard one to write, as its very much two-sided. My Wife, myself and my two boys aged 7 and 12, chose to go here due to the very positive reviews on tripadvisor as to the care they take with the elephants, We read up on the other safaris and the talk of cruelty really worried us, so we chose Kok Chang. It was very easy to organise, an email sent two days before was answered quickly and confirmed a minibus would pick us up at our hotel in Karon, and it was right on time. We took the 30min trek ( just right for the kids) and it cost 800 baht for the adults and 400 baht for the kids which is a good to fair price in comparison.
Now the good.....myself and my 7yr old son got on the first Elephant and off we went, with our handler walking behind us. Our handler was perfect in every way and he did not have to touch our elephant once, everything was by voice commands and he never lost patience with us or the elephant. He was pleasant, friendly and very helpful with photos and the like. His love and respect for the animal was evident. We loved it.
Now the bad .......my wife and my 11yr old where about 50 yards behind us and thier handler was riding on the head of thier elephant. I noticed that my 12 yr old son did not look happy but put it down to "nearly teen" apathy, but how wrong I was. My wife informed me after we returned that what had happened was that as they began, the handler had repeatedly rained heavy blows with his metal hook upon the head of the elephant until her pleas made him stop. it was too late however and there was now a gash on the elephants head that was bleeding. The handler was grabbing leaves from the trees to wipe up the blood, and as we later found, to hide the evidence, as at the top of the mountain, our handler ( the good one), walked down to check on them and saw the damage done. He then berated this cretin, and his anger and disgust was very evident. It didnt help that this fool then tried to sell some crappy necklaces to my wife and then winged when she said no, and said she better give him a good tip then (she didnt of course).
Like I said, our guy was so good that I'd love to be able to give it five stars, but the other guy was so horrible, and really just downright evil to treat such a beautiful creature that way, that I cant recommend it to anyone.
What should have been a great memory for me and my family is now a painful regret that I didnt go back and belt that idiot when I found out what had happened.
Written July 1, 2012
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 for taking the time to leave this review and bring this terrible experience to our attention. We would like to say that this treatment is not acceptable of the elephants. As you were able to send me the photo we were quickly able to address the problem. The mahout (elephant handler) was a new employee from another province. We terminated him immediately. We do not accept this behavior from our staff. We sincerely apologies for your terrible experience and completely understand why you were upset. We do care about the elephants and their treatment. Because of your photo and feedback we were able to act quickly and that his employment with us was brief. Most of our mahouts have worked with us for years. Also it should be mentioned that our mahouts are not permitted to ask for tips nor are they permitted to sell anything to our customers. It is important to us the trek be enjoyable and that our customers are not pressured to buy anything. Thank you for alerting us to this too. An example of this is that we have a free banana kiosk and people can feed the elephants for free. The mahouts take photos of our customers for free and we do not try to sell anything at the end of the trek. There is a small display at the bar of souvenirs but we never pressure anyone to have a look. We are smaller trekking camp, we do not use agents nor cater to large tour bus groups. Our website has a simple booking form. We are flexible and have no set times for trekking. We can provide treks on short notice. We do not have any other shows with elephant tricks. Also we do not have any male elephants nor any baby elephants. Often our camp is confused with other camps perhaps because we do not use agents people get taken by taxis to other camps. Thank you again for your review. Kind Regards, Kok Chang Safari Management
Written October 19, 2012
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jocelyn R
8 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2016 • Friends
We were having a fantastic first trip to Phuket. Our group loved animals and the morning before, had enjoyed the experience of feeding the little creatures on Monkey Hill.

Then we came here.

Within 5 minutes of the ride beginning, the guide sitting in front of us hit the elephant on the head with all his might, with what looked like a giant steel hammer. What was the elephant doing? Slowing down and eating the vegetation. My friend and I gasped.

The guide quickly reached up to the tree, pulled off a leave, and rubbed it on the elephant's head to wipe off the blood. He also pulled off a flower and handed it to me, to distract me. I had a sick feeling in my stomach, and couldn't believe what just happened. I literally froze in fear, for the elephant's safety, The guide later asked me to move off the chair and sit on the elephant's neck, while he took pictures of our group. I gladly obliged, just happy to have him off the elephant. I looked at the poor elephant's head, where there was a fresh wound, and smeared blood.

After taking pictures, while we were still in the middle of nowhere, the guide demanded we pay him what I recall was about $50 US dollars since he took pictures for us. He stated at the end, "or whatever you want". It felt like extortion, and our elephant was the hostage he was going to abuse if he didn't get his tip at the end.

That sick feeling stayed with me for days. I felt like we had just paid hundreds of dollars to participate in the abuse of these beautiful animals.

If the owner of this business reads this, I hope you understand that tourists who visit businesses like yours actually like animals. We would pay to hang out with the elephants and go nowhere. How dare you take our money and allow your employees to abuse these creatures because they are not going fast enough?

If you can't make elephants give travelers rides without abusing them, then don't offer it. We don't want it. If you can, fire the employees that needlessly abuse them.

Unless you want your trip to Phuket ruined by paying to see cruelty to animals, don't go here.
Written June 14, 2016
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.

SUMMERDUH
Ogden, UT3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017 • Couples
We were very excited to get to ride / interact with elephants up close however we ended up feeling sick and uneasy after this horror show! This place is awful.

The elephant we road on had multiple massive open wounds which were bleeding / oozing with puss. This poor animal needs medical attention. The guide kept beating the elephant for no reason in the open wound. This was just hell. We paid for a 50 min trek and he only gave us 20 minutes but at that point we didn't care and wanted out asap.

Once we got back up front we looked at the other elephants and you could see scars on their head they weren't as bad as the one that we road on but you could see how they once were. Don't go to this place the animals are not taken care of.

We went to another place called Khaosok Discovery Elephant Park this place was way better the elephants were in good shape and they didn't beat them either.
Written April 7, 2017
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 for your feedback We would like to explain as follows. Kokchang Safari does not support torture to elephants. We do not have elephants show. We are not sure you know how to take care of our elephants. All the words you mentioned can damage our image. Elephant is a national animal of Thai people. Therefore, the practice of elephants by several of our culture is normal. Like riding a horse to ride. The baby elephant is separated from the mother is a baby elephant at the age of four to five years; we do not know what action you find it. However, we do not do that. The wound you see is the wound of the elephant when we leave the elephant to eat grass at night. Due to rain and humidity, the wound may look bad. Now we have treated the wound of elephants already. Best regards Kok Chang Safari Elephant Trekking
Written August 2, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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KokChang Safari Elephant Trekking - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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