Elephant Highlands
Elephant Highlands
Elephant Highlands
Elephant Highlands
Elephant Highlands


Support the Herd at Elephant Highlands

The Covid-19 coronavirus has caused severe challenges around the world and has placed extreme limitations on travel. As a result, Elephant Highlands has been temporarily closed. We are doing the very best that we can to properly care for the elephants at our project, but need your support. We understand that this is a difficult time for many people around the world and offer our heartfelt sympathy. If you are in a position to help buy food for our elephants, any gift would be greatly appreciated.

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, rabbits and cows. 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 not soon be forgotten.

Take in spectacular mountain views while watching the elephants graze and interact freely with each other

elephants grazing at Ethical elephant sanctuary Thailand

Walk with Elephants


Feed the Elephants

Observe the Elephants

Observe the Elephants


Elephant Bathing


  • Greeting and introductions
  • Cut fruit and vegetable and feed the elephants
  • Mountainside walk with the elephants while feeding them
  • Enjoy a vegetarian buffet lunch overlooking the valley
  • Watch the elephants take mud bath
  • Observe the elephants grazing and interacting on top of the hill
  • Bathe the elephants in their custom-built pool
  • Prepare banana-tamarind-rice balls and feed the elephants

Tour Details

Number of Guests: 10
Number of Elephants: 3
Tour Type: Full Day Visit
Fitness Level: Moderate
Age Suitability: Adults & Children 7+

What's Included

  • Transportation from Chiang Mai city to and from project
  • Freshly prepared vegetarian buffet lunch
  • Admission fee
  • Qualified English speaking tour guide

Tour Price

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

Adults & Children 7+



Buffet Lunch



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.

Elephant Highlands is home to many other rescued animals

About Your Trip

Start: 8:00am – 8:45am 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.
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 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.


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 First, a former lawyer, 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 (27), Mae Pond (37) and Kham Paeng (47). Mae Pond and Kham Paeng are inseparable friends, and Nong Pop has a particular fondness for people. These lucky elephants all enjoy spending time foraging on the mountain top and interacting as a herd.


How Elephant Highlands is eco friendly & sustainable

  • Project grows food for the elephants, including grass, bananas, and sugarcane. There is an orchard of avocado, mango, jackfruit trees as well as shade grown coffee
  • Grows a variety of organic vegetables and herbs in their gardens for the guests
  • Planted more than 1000 tress on the mountainside over the past year and have more than 2,000 bananas tress
  • Buys pumpkins for the elephants from local farmers at the nearby Hmong village
  • All crops grown organically – no chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used
  • Power mainly provided by rooftop solar panels
  • Rubbish is recycled and left over food given to the staff and food scraps to the animals including the cows, rabbits & pigs
  • Provides a safe haven to elephants as well as many other rescued animals including rabbits rescued from animal testing, wild pigs, geese, chickens, cows, and dogs
  • This project has an excellent irrigation system so that animal excrement and water used to clean their enclosures is channelled through drains into large tanks to ensure it does contaminate the stream below or the villages in the valley
  • This project was constructed using a lot of natural materials, including reclaimed wood

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