Elephant Experience

Traditionally, elephants have played an important role in Thailand. For thousands of years they were captured and trained to drag logs in the forests, but as machinery began to replace them, they became a popular attraction offering rides to tourists. Many of the elephant camps today that offer rides keep their animals in poor conditions. The elephants are often poorly fed and spend long hours chained up, while the special chairs that are used to carry tourists during elephant rides can cause permanent injuries to their backs.

At Anurak Community Lodge, we do not support animal cruelty in any shape or form, and therefore we do not work with elephant camps that offer regular elephant rides using these chairs. During our Elephant Experience we take a different approach by providing guests the chance to interact with these animals directly – helping the mahouts and handlers to feed and bathe them. If guests want to pose for photos sitting on the elephants during their bathing period, this is allowed, as it does not cause the animals any injury. However, regular elephant rides are not part of the activities that we provide. In addition, groups of visitors are smaller, so that the elephants do not become stressed.

NOTE: When booking our Elephant Experience, guests are requested to do so as early as possible, so that the visits we arrange don’t interfere with the elephants’ rest schedule.

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Itinerary

Departure times: 9.00 am, 12.00 pm and 3.00 pm
Tour Length: 2 hours
Minimum: 2 people
Maximum: 7 people
Children must be closely under parents’ care.

Tour includes:
  • Local guide, drinking water and fresh fruit for the elephants are provided
  • Transfer to/from Anurak Community Lodge to the elephant camp
  • Introduction to Asian elephants, their history and different ways local communities deploy these animals in everyday life
  • Interacting with the elephants, while feeding them bananas and other fruit
  • A short walk with the elephants to their bathing pool where you help the mahouts scrub and cover them with mud – a process to helps them thermoregulate and cool down
  • Stroll back to their grassy paddock for another fresh-fruit snack
  • Return to Anurak Lodge
Not included:
  • Services not described in the program
  • Insurance
  • Tipping
What to bring:
  • Swim suit, or T-shirt and shorts you don’t mind getting wet
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Towel
  • Camera/phone
  • Comfortable shoes
  • If you have one, we recommend you bring a waterproof bag and/or a waterproof case for your phone and camera

What guests say about our Elephant Experience

“"A must do trip is the visit to meet Somboon the elephant where you have a one to one experience that you will never forget. Learning how the family saved him is heart warming and knowing he can now live out his days in this sanctuary.”

Martin CarterSeptember 15, 2017

“"Also washed and feeded an elephant nearby, what a joy was that! "”

Jolande MulderJune 23, 2017

“"Meeting the elephant called Somboon was a memorable experience. Highly recommended. Good information. Enjoyed bathing with Somboon!"”

Lodewijk RademakersOctober 1, 2017

“"We spent a wonderful morning with Somboon, the elephant. We prepared his meal and scrubbed him clean in the water. We really loved it."”

Maria de Souza FariaMarch 20, 2017