Established in 1995, Elephant Nature Park is home to over two dozen rescued elephants.
Ranging in age from infants to old-timers, these previously abused and neglected creatures
are able to live out the rest of their lives in peace and dignity on the park's grounds.
Nestled in the breathtaking Mae Taeng Valley, about an hour north of Chiang Mai
Nature Park is a place where the elephants no longer work for humans. Instead, a team of
full-time staff and park volunteers maintain the park and care for the elephants. Elephant
Nature Foundation is a non-profit organization which advocates and acts on behalf of the
rights of Asian elephants in Thailand. Our mission is to increase awareness about the plight
of the endangered Asian elephant, educate locals on the humane treatment of their elephants,
and provide sanctuary for rescued elephants at our nature park.
Elephant Nature Park, our showpiece project, provides a safe home to rescued elephants
who were previously abused and neglected. Perfect for day trips, overnight visits, and long-term
volunteer opportunities, Elephant Nature Park offers a unique experience
for visitors of all ages.
At Elephant Nature Park, elephants are allowed to roam unfettered, eating and playing as much as
they like along the way. They can wander down to the river for a bit of a splash or a roll in
the mud whenever they need to cool down. They are free to choose their own family group, usually
centering around one of the several baby elephants who live at the park. And they can have as much or
as little human interaction as they choose.
If you are interested in an unforgettable and moving elephant experience, if you would
rather walk beside an elephant than ride on top of one, then Elephant Nature Park is the
ideal place to visit.
Elephant Nature Park offers the visitor a different kind of experience with the Asian elephant.
Instead of watching elephants perform circus tricks or riding on their backs, visitors will see
the park's elephants grazing, playing, and communicating as they might in the wild. And as
a non-profit organization, the cost of every visit to Elephant Nature Park directly supports the
elephants and makes our work possible.
Walk next to the gentle giants on your way down to the river, look into their eyes as you bathe them,
feel the strength of their trunk when you hand them a bunch of bananas, watch them as they scratch
their bodies on trees and when they flip their ears and flick their tails, see how they carefully
caress their young...
At Elephant Nature Park you'll quickly see why these majestic creatures are so special.
A visit to Elephant Nature Park is a wonderful introduction to the Asian elephant.
7.30 a.m - 5.00 p.m.
Rest assured that day visitors are welcome to come back again and, if you like, there's always
the option to stay the night as well (depending on availability) or you even can join
the team for 1, 2 or 4 weeks as a volunteer.
Elephant Haven is located high on a mountaintop about a 90-minute walk away from Elephant Nature Park in the
Mae Tang Valley. As the original location for rescued elephants, it has been maintained since 1992.
With over 100 acres of lush vegetation, far from any human encroachment
and cultivated farms, Elephant Haven is a safe jungle retreat for the elephants.
Each week (weather permitting) the elephants and volunteers visit Elephant
Haven for an overnight stay. Accompanied by an expert guide, volunteers enjoy a campfire atmosphere
in a rustic setting while surrounded by elephants in their natural environment. Because
of its remote location, the elephants are free to explore the jungle throughout the night. The next morning,
the mahouts and volunteers set out to find where each elephant has wandered to in the jungle.
Not only is Elephant Haven a fun experience for visitors, it is also an educational one.
The jungle surrounding the Haven is filled with many trees and plants which are natural herbal medicines
and are not found in Elephant Nature Park. Collected by the guide and the mahouts
with the help of volunteers, these medicines are used to treat any ailments our rescued elephants may develop.
Furthermore, by bringing tourists on overnight stays to the jungle, is putting the government land to use
and placing an economic value on elephant habitat.
Elephant Haven, leads the way for a different style of trekking: volunteers walk with
the elephants during the climb to the haven, rather than sitting on top of them.
Volunteers are able to see and hear them as they amble through the jungle, uninhibited by harnesses or wooden
chairs. Finally, no chains or hooks are used. Instead, the elephants are guided by their mahouts up to
the forested sanctuary with little need for verbal encouragement.
A truly magical place, Elephant Haven offers elephants time to explore the jungle and
for the volunteers an experience they will never forget.
Jumbo Express is an outreach program which provides emergency medical treatment to elephants
working in remote areas and builds ties with rural communities. By providing free medical
care to people and elephants, Jumbo Express hopes to gain the trust of local people and use the
exchange as an opportunity to discuss human-elephant relationships. Villagers are encouraged
to air grievances about human-elephant conflicts and an exchange of information regarding wild and
domestic populations take place.
Established in 1995, Jumbo Express has already visited more than 100 Thai communities,
hill tribe villages, and refugee camps in the area from the Thailand-Burma border up to the Laos-China border.
Aside from community outreach, Jumbo Express aims to raise the standard of living for domestic elephants
working without access to proper treatment. Some elephants are isolated by physical geography
and some simply by neglect.
Medical students, doctors, and veterinarians interested in assisting
Jumbo Express on a short- or long-term basis should contact the Elephant Nature Foundation to
see how they can help. Saving the elephant and the natural environment it
depends on is a major undertaking.
Planning a holiday in Thailand? A visit to Elephant Nature Park is a must.
But if visiting or volunteering are not options for you, there are still plenty
of ways you can help: simply start spreading the word!
By participating in our unique foster program, you will not only help us care
for our elephants, but you will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are making
a real difference in the life of an elephant.
Any financial support you can provide will be greatly appreciated by our staff
and elephants alike. You can make a donation, purchase items for us from our Wish List,
or buy items from the Ele Store!
Become a member of Elephant Foundation to learn more about our conservation and education programs.
Membership is free, and Foundation members receive newsletters and updates from the Park.