This elephant tour is located close to the beautiful Mae Taeng River in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand and is home to a small group of elephants now enjoying a better life since being retired from elephant riding and previously logging in January 2018. The family operating the project has lived with and cared for elephants for more than 15 years and is happy to have the opportunity to be supported in the transition to ethical elephant tourism.
Visitors, as part of a small group accompanied by a friendly tour guide, have the chance to dress in traditional Lanna clothing, feed the elephants and join them on a scenic walk with the elephants through the tall grass and along the river bank, feeding them fruit along the way. Other activities include bathing the elephants in a beautiful section of the river, watching them play in the mud pit, and preparing bananas health balls to feed to the elephants. In between activities, you will be served a delicious vegetarian buffet.
At the end of the day you will be driven to a location upstream to embark on whitewater rafting trip down the Mae Taeng river with an experienced guide. You will be collected by the minivan down stream, and taken back to the project to have a shower, change clothes and say goodbye to the elephants before heading back to Chiang Mai.
Since being retired from elephant riding, the condition of the elephants has improved and they have gained weight now that they have more time to forage as well as being fed by visitors. Naturally, their mood has also improved thanks to the more relaxed environment with ethical activities that allow the elephants time to interact with each other.
Spend the day walking with elephants, observing them, and swimming with them in the stunning Mae Taeng River under a lush forest canopy
Walk with Elephants
Number of Guests: 9
Number of Elephants: 3
Tour Type: Full Day Visit
Fitness Level: Moderate
Age Suitability: Adults & Children 12+
* Minimum of 4 people required for the tour to proceed
Adults & Children 12+: 2,500 Thai Baht
Adults & Children 12+
New Activities Offered at Elephant Pride
Tubing in the Dry Season
Whitewater Rafting in the Wet Season
About Your Trip
Start: 8:00am – 8:30am minivan pick up from your Chiang Mai city hotel, or from our office at 7:45am. If staying out of town (outside the middle ring-road) additional charges apply. Please advise on your reservation form.
Travel Time: Around 90 minutes
Return: Arrive back in Chiang Mai city 5:00pm – 5.30pm.
Baggage Allowance: One small day pack per person.
What to Bring: Hat, sunscreen, sandals/flip flops, change of clothing, towel, walking shoes, camera & insect repellent. This project can be very muddy and wet and offers whitewater rafting so a change of clothing and footwear is recommended.
Operational Months: All year round.
Age Suitability: Adults & children over 12 – guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Fitness Level: Medium – walking along mostly flat paths through the tall grass and along the river bank which can be muddy in the wet season. Whitewater rafting or tubing down the Mae Taeng river, depending on conditions. If the water level in the river is too high or low whitewater rafting may not be possible.
Topography: Forest, grasslands, mountains & river.
Location: Mae Taeng, 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 tour or by cash to the tour guide when they collect you from your hotel.
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Life During Covid at Elephant Pride
This project situated next to the beautiful Mae Taeng River is home to a small group of elephants who since being retired from elephant riding have the opportunity to live a more natural life. The health of the elephants and their mood has improved thanks to the more relaxed environment with time to interact with each other and be in nature.
Elephant Pride closed to visitors in March 2020, so the elephants routine of the elephants then changed somewhat. They spent their days in the forest foraging on a variety of natural vegetation growing around the project, including grass, bamboo, leaves from native plants and trees. The elephants were also fed bananas and sugar cane as a treat, and sometimes mangoes, watermelon, papaya and pumpkin, depending on what fruit and vegetables were in season. The elephants here love swimming in the river and the females have developed close bonds, especially Thong Dee and Kham Dee who are best friends and are rarely apart. With no guests it is difficult to provide for the elephants sufficiently and so would greatly appreciate your support during this challenging time.
The owners of this family-run project, Boon Lerd and his wife, Noot, have been involved with elephants for many years and adopted the Saddle Off model at the beginning of 2018. They used to offer elephant riding and would see how it exhausted the elephants and caused them stress. Naturally, this would sometimes lead to erratic and aggressive behavior. Since joining our Saddle Off program and dropping elephant riding, the elephants are in better physical condition, and are calmer, with a more even temperament. With the beautiful river so close, the elephants love to make their way into the water to cool off, drink, and play and forage in the jungle. Food for the elephants is provided from the grass, sugarcane and bananas grown at the project and from fruit, vegetables and cornstalks bought from local farmers.