Banana Fund for Saddle Off Projects
Discover the Amazing World of Elephants
Visit one of our ethical elephant sanctuaries as part of a small group for an unforgettable, intimate adventure. Observe elephants living in beautiful natural surroundings throughout Chiang Mai, in the south of Thailand, as well as in Cambodia. Watch elephants socialize, play, and forage – freed from elephant riding, performing tricks, and other unnatural behavior. More than 30 independent elephant sanctuaries are now providing a better life for these gentle giants.
We offer a variety of ethical elephant tours suitable for all ages and fitness levels, from challenging mountain jungle hikes with the elephants and whitewater rafting to scenic forest walks at a relaxed pace, watching the elephants forage along the way. The geographical locations of the various projects include mountains, jungles, and plains, which transform throughout the seasons. Most projects provide a home for 2 to 6 elephants and limit guests to 3 or 4 people per elephant. We offer both full day and half day tours as well as one-week volunteering. Our trips include local transportation, meals, qualified tour guides, and rafting where available. All of our Saddle Off projects share a commitment to the well-being of the elephants and provide visitors with a safe and rewarding experience.
Be Part of the Solution
By visiting one of our ethical elephant sanctuaries you are helping to reshape expectations of what visitors to Southeast Asia consider desirable when it comes to elephant tourism. Your choice confirms that there are many people who want to observe elephants doing what comes naturally. Elephants are intelligent, social, empathic beings deserving of our respect, care, and admiration. Already, more than 80 elephants are enjoying a healthier, happier, more natural life, thanks to responsible, eco-conscious travelers choosing Asian Elephant Projects. Check Availability and Search Projects to find the right adventure for you.
The elephants at the projects we support are not ridden and do not perform in shows.
Watch elephants interacting, foraging, communicating, and playing together.
Support ethical elephant tourism and help to provide a better life for Asian elephants.
Our model is based on ensuring the well-being of the elephants. All projects undergo an approval process and follow guidelines designed to improve the quality of the lives of the elephants, which includes freeing them from the burden of elephant riding. Read more…
Walk with Elephants in Nature
Walk with elephants along scenic jungle, forest, and mountain trails at a relaxed pace, stopping while they forage on native plants. Observing elephants in their natural habitat is a fascinating experience – seeing how at home they are navigating the jungle slopes while carefully selecting plants to eat and using their remarkably strong and dexterous trunks to uproot tubers and clean off the dirt, snap branches, and communicate with each other.
Prepare Treats & Feed the Elephants
Asian elephants can easily eat more than 300 kilograms of food a day. A healthy diet includes grasses, shrubs, bamboo, jungle leaves, tree bark, sugarcane, pumpkin, and of course bananas. A good way to get acquainted with the elephants is to offer them fruit and vegetables as well as health balls containing medicinal herbs. It’s quite a thrill to have an elephant pluck food from your hand with their trunk.
Elephants are very much at home in the water and are excellent swimmers. Surprisingly, their large bodies float easily and they love to relax together in rivers, streams, and pools. Watch the elephants dunk each other, use their trunks as snorkels while submerged, and create fountains. Young elephants love to play in the water and can often be seen clambering onto the backs of older elephants and then slide back into the river.
Watch the Elephants Play in the Mud
Mud baths are one of the all-time favorite activities of elephants. They love to roll around in the mud giving themselves and each other a full body mask as it cools and nourishes their skin, protecting it from insects and the sun. Their antics in the mud pools provides some great photo opportunities as they fling mud high into the air in giant swirls with their trunks.