Frequently Asked Questions

  • The travel time to the projects that are situated to the north and south of Chiang Mai city is about 1.5 hours.
  • Most of the Saddle Off projects located around Chiang Mai are home to between 2 – 6 elephants.
  • The group size for single & half day tours at our ‘Saddle Off’ projects is limited to a maximum of 12 guests, with the exception of Elephant Freedom which may have up to 24 guests.  We aim for there to be no more than 3-4 people per elephant. At projects offering volunteering, where there are larger herds of elephants, the number of guests may be higher.

  • Yes, as long as you are staying relatively close to Chiang Mai city we will pick you up in a minivan from your hotel or guesthouse and transport you back there at the end of your tour. If you are staying out of town (outside the middle ring-road) additional charges apply. Please advise us on your reservation form.  For volunteer projects located in Surin, please see details specific to your project.

The projects with day tours that are suitable for families with young children under the age of 7 are Save Thai Elephant Park & Karen Elephant Retreat in the North of Chiang Mai as well as Karen Elephant Serenity and Elephant Freedom in the South of Chiang Mai.

Adults and children over 12 years pay full price. Children aged 2-12 are charged at half price. Infants under the age of 2 are free for projects that are suitable for all ages, provided that they do not occupy a seat in the minivan. This is covered under the Booking Policy.

No, we ask that you pay the balance by cash in Thai baht or US dollars or by credit card (+3%) at our office in Chiang Mai by 8pm on the day before the date of your tour. If it is not possible to come to our office you can also pay the balance in cash to the tour guide when they collect you from your hotel. If you are volunteering in Surin or in Cambodia you can pay at the project on arrival.

  • Generally, singe day ‘Saddle Off’ projects allow guests to bring one day pack, and volunteer projects allow one standard check-in sized backpack / suitcase  & one day pack per person. Please see individual project descriptions for further details. 

All of our ethical elephant tours will still go ahead if it is raining. Elephants love the rain and ponchos, umbrellas and rubber boots will be provided in the event that it is raining on the day of your tour.

All projects provide freshly prepared vegetarian buffet style food. If you have any special dietary requirements, please advise us when making your booking.

  • The ‘Saddle Off’ project tours are small independent operations working in cooperation with Asian Elephant Projects which is run by the team from Save Elephant Foundation & Elephant Nature Park. At the projects there are usually between 2-6 elephants and most allow only single day or half day visits, with a few offering one week volunteering. At Elephant Nature Park there are over 80 rescued elephants living in different herds, including several elephants that were born at the Park. ENP offers day visits, overnight stays and one week volunteering, and is often booked out for weeks or months in advance.

All visitors and volunteers are covered by our accident insurance, however we recommend that you have individual travel insurance. Guests volunteering at projects for a week or more are required to have travel insurance.

  • We suggest that you consult your doctor or a travel vaccination centre prior to travel for advice.

Yes, provided there is availability. A fee will be incurred if you change your booking less than four days before the start date of your tour.

Yes. To do this you need to cancel your existing booking with us and make a new reservation. Please refer to our terms and conditions for further details.

Please see our Terms and Conditions. This is covered under the Booking Policy.

Unfortunately, if you leave a project early you are not entitled to a partial refund for unused time as we have already committed to the allocation of resources for your stay.

  • The use of any details you provide us are for contact or booking purposes only. We will never sell or share your personal information with a third party unless required by law.
  • The use of drones at projects is strictly prohibited. It is illegal and scares the elephants.
Karen Elephant Oasis elephant tour
elephant foraging at elephant sanctuary
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