Visit this elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai as part of a small group for a meaningful encounter with a herd of elephants in a beautiful natural setting. The project is run by a Thai Lanna family near Chiang Mai with 20 years experience in elephant tourism – now embracing the opportunity to end elephant riding and adopt our ‘Saddle Off!’ model offering only elephant-friendly activities.
The trails run through picturesque surroundings and are undemanding, making them suitable for all ages and levels of fitness – ideal for families. Dress in traditional Lanna clothing and learn about the elephants while feeding them tamarind-rice balls. Afterwards, take a relaxed stroll with the elephants through the grassy hills and stream, stopping to feed them along the way, watch them forage, and take photos. The elephants in this herd include highly spirited young elephants as well as a kind older female elephant who watches over them.
After a delicious vegetarian buffet lunch, including fresh produce from the family’s garden, bathe the elephants in a nearby stream, and watch them play in the mud if the mood takes them. Join this popular tour for a memorable day full of insights into the lives of these extraordinary animals in an environment where they can relax and just be elephants.
The family reports that the elephants are much happier in their newfound freedom, with a significant improvement in their health. The elephants at the project have developed close relationships thanks to being able to interact freely as a herd.
Enjoy an intimate experience with a playful herd of elephants who love to interact with each other on the walk and in the stream
Walk with Elephants
Number of Guests: 18
Number of Elephants: 5
Tour Type: Full Day Visit
Fitness Level: Easy
Age Suitability: All Ages
Adults & Children 12+: 2,500 Baht
Children Aged 2-12: 1,250 Baht
Family Friendly-All Ages
What's Included (Full Day)
About Your Trip (Full Day)
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).
Return: Arrive back in Chiang Mai city 4:00pm – 4:30pm.
Baggage Allowance: One small day pack per person.
What to Bring: Hat, sunscreen, sandals/flip flops, walking shoes, change of clothing (as you may get muddy or wet), towel, camera & insect repellent.
Operational Months: All year round.
Age Suitability: All ages – guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Fitness Level: Easy – leisurely through grassy hills with some gentle slopes which can become muddy in the rainy season.
Topography: Valley, grassland, hills, stream & pond.
Location: Mae Taeng, 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. 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 Trails.
The owner of this project, Ya, and her family have been involved with elephants for over 20 years. They ran a traditional elephant trekking camp for close to a decade and witnessed the toll that elephant riding took on the elephants over time. In recent years, they noticed the tide turning away from this form of elephant tourism as more and more people want to see elephants living happily in nature. This was a change that the family was keen to embrace and in early 2017, they dropped elephant riding and adopted our ‘Saddle Off’ model. The family reports that the elephants are in better health and are enjoying their freedom with the chance to roam, forage and socialize as a herd. They have formed strong bonds since being able to interact and relate to each other as members of the herd.