Elephant Highlands
Elephant Highlands
Elephant Highlands
Elephant Highlands
Elephant Highlands
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This elephant sanctuary, set high in the picturesque mountains near Chiang Mai, has some of the most stunning scenery in Northern Thailand. It is home to three beautiful female elephants rescued from riding and performing in shows in Kanchanaburi, and one young male elephant along with many other rescued animals, including dogs, pigs, goats, ducks, chickens, and cows. The animals living at Elephant Highlands are treated humanely and with kindness and love.

Accompanied by an experienced tour guide, guests cut fruit and vegetables and get to know the elephants while feeding them. Next, visitors have the chance take a leisurely 1 ½ hour walk with the elephants along scenic mountain paths, handing them seasonal fruits along the way. While the elephants graze nearby, guests enjoy a vegetarian buffet lunch before heading to the mud pit to watch the elephants play together. One of the highlights of this trip is walking to the top of a grassy hill to observe the elephants grazing and swimming in a natural pond against a backdrop offering spectacular mountain views – a good chance to capture some dramatic photographs. The tour ends with making banana-rice-tamarind balls to feed the appreciative elephants before saying goodbye.

At Elephant Highlands there is an ongoing effort to protect the local environment and in the rainy season, guests are invited to plant saplings to help reforest the area. The elephants at this sanctuary have the freedom to wander the mountains during the day – foraging and socializing with limited human interaction. Observing elephants in such a beautiful, relaxed environment is an intimate and meaningful experience that will not soon be forgotten.

Spend a magical day watching the elephants graze and interact freely with each other while enjoying spectacular mountain views

elephants grazing at Ethical elephant sanctuary Thailand

Walk with Elephants


Feed the Elephants

Observe the Elephants

Observe Elephants


Watch Elephants Swim


Tour Details

Number of Guests: 9-10
Tour Type: Full Day Visit
Fitness Level: Moderate
Age Suitability: Adults & Children 7+

* Minimum of 2 people required for the tour to proceed

What's Included

Tour Price

Adults & Children 12+: 6,000 Thai Baht
Children 7-11: 3,000 Thai Baht

Adults & Children 7+



Buffet Lunch



Elephants at Elephant Highlands

Location / Activities at Elephant Highlands

Ethical Elephant Tours
This is a small Saddle Off project with a limited number of guests. Our model is based on ensuring the well-being of the elephants, which means no riding or other unnatural activities.

About Your Trip

Start: 8:00am – 8:30am minivan pick up from your Chiang Mai city hotel, or from our office at 8:00am. If you are staying outside of Chiang Mai city you will need to arrange your own transportation to our office.
Travel Time: Around 90 minutes (safety talk en route to project).
Travel Details: Transfer from air-con minivan to 4WD vehicle for the last 10 minutes of your journey to the project.
Return: Arrive back in Chiang Mai city 4:30pm – 5.00pm.
Baggage Allowance: One small day pack per person.
What to Bring: Hat, sunscreen, sandals/flip flops, change of clothing (as you may get muddy or wet), towel, walking shoes, camera & insect repellent.
Facilities: Lunch area, bathrooms, showers, lockers, gift shop, sky walk offering great views.
Items Provided: Boots & ponchos in the rainy season, towels, water holder, bottled water, coffee & tea.
Age Suitability: Adults and children over 7 – guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Fitness Level: Moderate – walking on mountain paths with some slopes for about an hour (sometimes muddy).
Topography: Mountains, forest, grassland & natural ponds.
Location: Baan Lao, North of Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand.
Nearest Airport: Chiang Mai (CNX) – we recommend you stay in Chiang Mai city the night before your visit. Please note that we cannot collect you from Chiang Mai Airport – only from your Chiang Mai city hotel or guesthouse.
Booking Details: Bookings close at 4pm (GMT+7) on the day before the date of your tour if made in person at our office or 24 hours in advance if booking online. A 30% non-refundable deposit is required to secure your booking. The balance should be paid at our Chiang Mai office by 5pm on the day before your visit to Elephant Highlands or by cash to the tour guide when they collect you from your hotel.


Project Background

This project opened to visitors in March 2015 and provides a caring home to a small herd of elephants along with several other rescued animal species. The sanctuary is located in Baan Lao, where Lek Chailert, founder of Save Elephant Foundation, spent her childhood. It is managed by Preecha Chailert, who has worked in tourism for over 30 years and who can be found most days at the project caring for the elephants and guests who find themselves in this magical place. Sugarcane, bananas, and grass are grown at the project for the elephants. A natural water source from a rock face and cave provides fresh water for ponds filled with fish and is also used for crop irrigation. The sanctuary is home to a herd of female elephants rescued from elephant riding in Kanchanaburi - Nong Pop (born 1990), Mae Pond (born 1981) and Kham Paeng (born 1971). They were joined in 2023 by a young male elephant, Kham Saen, who all 3 elephants adore. Mae Pond is especially fond of Kham Saen and has become like a mother to him. Mae Pond and Kham Paeng are best friends, and Nong Pop has a particular fondness for people. These lucky elephants enjoy spending time foraging on the mountain top and interacting as a herd.


How Elephant Highlands is eco friendly & sustainable

Thank You for Supporting the Herd at Elephant Highlands

The Covid-19 pandemic caused severe challenges around the world and placed extreme limitations on travel. As a result, Elephant Highlands closed in March 2020 and only reopened in early 2022. We would like to thank Save Elephant Foundation and Gentle Giants for supporting the elephants at Elephant Highlands during the Covid crisis and beyond.
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