Elephants are the defining symbol of Thailand, but sadly most of these gentle giants are in captivity. In this blog, we are visiting the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary in Khatu, Phuket, Thailand.
Let’s meet, feed, bathe, play and know their story!
Elephants are becoming endangered to the habitat loss, poaching and increase tourism. Of course, there are companies out there that treat them ethically, however, most of the time, the elephants that you see out there giving rides all day is actually separated from their mother at a very young age. They are then put through this process “crushing” as they call it, where they are basically being into sumission.
Growing up and working in the riding camps, they are continuously abused and overworked. For us travelers, honestly most of the time, we have no idea that it’s harmful or if there’s a better alternative to meet and play with these friendly giants. So I hope this blog will show you that there is a more positive and ethical way to meet the elephants.
What is Elephant Jungle Sanctuary?
Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is a private company that started 4 years ago in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. After a few years, they branched out in Phuket. At Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, volunteers work hard every single day for the benefit of the elephants. This is an ethical and sustainable eco-tourism project in Chiang Mai, Pattaya, and Phuket.
Their mission is to provide as many elephants as possible with the good health, freedom, and happiness they truly deserve. They enforce a strict NO RIDING policy and do not make elephants work, perform, or do any activity outside their natural behaviors. Their hope is to lead by example, and contribute to a positive change in the perception of elephants; to witness a future where elephants are not ridden, poached, overworked, or abused, and are instead treated with care, love, and respect.
The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary project also provides many Karen people with employment, education, and financial support. “Karen People” means those who volunteer in the Sanctuary as it is founded by Karen Hill in July 2014 in Chiang Mai. The money they raised from visits, volunteers, merchandise, and donations is primarily used for elephant rescue, food, veterinary care, infrastructure and land so they can constantly grow and expand the capacity of their Sanctuary.
Knowing the Elephants
Elephants are the world’s largest living land animals, they are much much heavier than any other animals. There are two kinds of elephants; the African Elephants and the Asian Elephant.
They are long-lived, complex and social. They are big and they are strong, but against the relentless spread of humanity, they are powerless.
The elephant is the heart and soul of Southeast Asia’s wilderness. Its the flagship of all the animals especially in Thailand. They live in a variety of habitats; forest, savanna, desert, and swamp.
Elephants live in groups, groups of elephants are called matriarchs. Dominants within the family group are largely based on age, experience, and size. Female elephants have to wait before an older matriarch dies before they can have any chance of leadership. In male elephants, only at around 25-30 years old do they reach the chance to dominate rivals and compete successfully with female elephants.
Facts you might not yet know about Elephants
Elephant’s poop is one of the best fertilizers ever, and then they also said that you can use it for writing or drawing. Now you know that you can draw and write using elephant’s poop, how cool is that?
Elephants use sand and dirt or mud on their body. Why? Because it’s their natural sunscreen and insect repellent too, it protects them from the sun and from the mosquitoes. They toss it on their head and back to protect them from the sun rays. Ahhh, we’re honestly learning here, right?
The elephant is herbivores, they eat 10% of their body weight which means, they can eat 400 pounds of food. It’s a lot! It’s like eating 18 pounds of salad.
Elephants live just like humans and they are polygamous in nature, they can have 5 girlfriends or 5 boyfriends at the same time. Female elephants go through 22 months of pregnancy. When talking about baby elephants, they are large when born that weighs about 200 to 250 lbs.
Asian Elephants cannot run, because at all times they have at least two feet on the ground.
Elephants can recognize themselves in front of a mirror.
Here’s a short video, yet one of the happiest days of my recent travel.
Ethical Activities and Fees
This includes food for feeding elephants, your food, and a free Karen shirt! (Tip: Make the most of it all, it’s a lot of fun)
- FEED ME PROGRAM
Adult: 1.500 baht/person
Child <3 yrs Free
- HALF DAY VISIT
Adult: 2,500 baht/person
Child: <10 yrs 1,900 baht/person
Child <3 yrs Free
MORNING SCHEDULE: 06:30 AM – 07:30 AM, Pick up from your hotel and activities are done around 11:30 am- 12:00 pm.
AFTERNOON SCHEDULE: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM, Pick up from your hotel and activities are done around 16:00 – 16:30 pm.
- OVERNIGHT VISIT
2 days 1-night program
Adult: 12,900 baht/person
Child under 7>10 yrs 10,900bath/person
Child <7 yrs (Not advisable)
3 days 2 nights program
Adult: 19,900 baht/person
Child under 7>10 yrs 17,900bath/person
Child <7 yrs (Not advisable)
What to Bring?
Change of clothes and some good shoes
Sunscreen, hat, towel, insect repellant
Any medicines you require
Book here via:
Or feel free to visit their official site and Facebook page
The experience has been so good and I am grateful for the opportunity. I feel like I am glowing with joy and my heart is full for such a beautiful chance to be with the elephants in their natural habitat. I just love how the activity doesn’t feel like an activity or a tour visit, it feels like we are following what the elephant is doing on a daily basis. It is such a natural and authentic experience rather than going to a zoo to see an elephant or riding them for 5 to 10 minutes.In general, this experience is genuine and real and I hope you get to experience it too with your loved ones because it’s just breath-taking.
If after reading this blog, the elephants warmth your heart, please don’t forget to leave a big thumbs up, leave a comment and share this, so you too can recommend this blog and get it seen by more people. I hope you get to experience it too! Safe Travels, Loves!