This elephant sanctuary, set high in the picturesque mountains near Chiang Mai, boasts some of the most stunning scenery in Northern Thailand. It is home to four beautiful elephants rescued from riding and performing in shows in Kanchanaburi, along with many other rescued animals, including dogs, pigs, goats, ducks, chickens, and rabbits. The animals living at Elephant Highlands are treated humanely and with love.
Accompanied by an experienced tour guide, cut fruit and vegetables and get to know the elephants while feeding them. Next, take a leisurely 1 ½ hour walk with the elephants along scenic mountain paths, handing them cucumbers and seasonal fruits along the way. While the elephants graze nearby, 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 against a backdrop offering spectacular mountain views – a good chance to capture some dramatic photographs. The tour ends with bathing the elephants in a large pool and then 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 in this program 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 stay with you forever.
Take in spectacular mountain views while watching the elephants graze and interact freely with each other
Walk with Elephants
Number of Guests: 10
Number of Elephants: 4
Tour Type: Full Day Visit
Fitness Level: Moderate
Age Suitability: Adults & Children 7+
Adults & Children 12+: 6,000 Thai Baht
Children 7-12: 3,000 Thai Baht
Adults & Children 7+
About Your Trip
Start: 8:00am – 8:30am minivan pick up from your Chiang Mai city hotel, or from our office at 7:45am. Please advise on your reservation form if staying out of town as additional charges may apply.
Travel Time: Around 90 minutes (educational video about Asian elephants / 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.
Operational Months: All year round.
Age Suitability: Adults and children over 12 – 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.
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 5pm (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 8pm on the day before your visit to Elephant Highlands.
This project opened to visitors in March 2015 and provides a home to four lucky 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 First, 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 pumpkins are grown on site and additional food is bought from local farmers. The project also receives banana deliveries from Asian Elephant Projects. A natural water source from a rock face and cave provides fresh water, which is also made available to locals for crop irrigation. The sanctuary is home to four female elephants rescued from elephant riding in Kanchanaburi: Nong Pop (27), Mae Pond (37), Kham Paeng (47), and Kha Ting Daeng who was rescued in late 2017. Mae Pond and Kham Paeng are inseparable friends, and Nong Pop has a particular fondness for people. Kha Ting Daeng has now befriended the other elephants and they all enjoy spending time on the mountain top, grazing on the tall grass and interacting as a herd.