Karen Elephant Habitat
Karen Elephant Habitat
Karen Elephant Habitat
Karen Elephant Habitat
Karen Elephant Habitat
Karen Elephant Habitat
Karen Elephant Habitat


Baby elephant Karen Elephant Habitat

Support the Herd at Karen Elephant Habitat

The Covid-19 coronavirus has caused severe challenges around the world and has placed extreme limitations on travel. As a result, Karen Elephant Habitat 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, now more than ever. 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 ethical elephant tour south of Chiang Mai is situated in a remote forested region accessible by 4WD and offers an eco-friendly experience with elephants in a small group, accompanied by a qualified tour guide. The project is run by Karen people, renowned for their centuries-old tradition of living and working with elephants. In the past, the elephants used to work giving rides and performing in shows, but are now appreciating their new life, spending much of the day eating, playing in the mud together, and bathing in the stream.

After dressing in traditional Karen clothing, get to know the elephants while feeding them seasonal fruit and vegetables, followed by an uphill walk together along mountainside jungle trails. A highlight of this tour is quietly observing the elephants foraging on the native plants in their jungle habitat. When you return from your trek, a delicious vegetarian buffet lunch made using organic vegetables grown on site will be waiting for you; served overlooking the valley and the cascading stream below. Afterwards, guests take a short stroll to a cascading stream where you can bathe the elephants and later watch them take a mud bath.

The program for this elephant tour is designed to create a non-stressful environment for the elephants with an emphasis on letting them have time to forage, interact, and relax while guests have an experience they will never forget.

Spend time in a remote jungle location where you can observe elephants foraging and playing in the cascading stream

Walk with Elephants


Feed Elephants

Observing Elephants

Observe Elephants


Elephant Bathing


  • Dress in traditional Karen clothing
  • Get to know the elephants
  • Prepare fruit and vegetables and feed the elephants
  • Walk with the elephants through the lush jungle
  • Enjoy a vegetarian buffet lunch overlooking the valley
  • Watch the elephants take a mud bath
  • Bathe the elephants in the stream
  • Cut grass and feed the elephants again before returning to Chiang Mai

Tour Details

Number of Guests: 12
Number of Elephants: 4
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+: 2,500 Thai Baht
Children Aged 7-12: 1,250 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.

About Your Trip

Start: 8:00am – 8:45am 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 (educational video about Asian elephants / safety video en route to project).
Travel Details: Transfer from an air-con minivan to a 4WD pickup for the last 10-15 minutes of your journey to the 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. This project can be very muddy so a change of clothing and footwear is essential.
Operational Months: All year round.
Age Suitability: Adults & children over 7 – guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Fitness Level: Moderate – walking in mountainous jungle terrain, with muddy slopes in the rainy season for about 1.5-2 hours.
Topography: Jungle, mountains, river & waterfall.
Location: Mae Wang, South 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 / 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 tour.

Karen Elephant Habita Owner

Project Background

When the owner, Toey, heard about the ‘Saddle Off’ program he became interested and decided to join in October 2017 to provide a better life for his elephants. Toey grew up around elephants and understands their nature well. The female elephants at this project are enjoying their new lives with time to forage in the jungle and play in the mud pit and bathe in the stream. In November 2019, Mae Kaew gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, named Lanna. Toey is happy to see the elephants under his care living in their jungle home - freed from riding and shows. Since their retirement, the elephants now have time to interact freely with each other, recover their natural instincts and have developed close bonds. They are more relaxed, have gained weight, and the condition of their skin has noticeably improved. Toey has been inspired by the ecotourism movement with travellers choosing to observe elephants in their jungle habitat. The Karen family farms pumpkins, elephant grass, and bananas, in addition to purchasing corn stalks and other food from local farmers to make sure that the elephants are well provided for.


How Karen Elephant Habitat is eco friendly & sustainable

  • At this project grass and bananas are grown for the elephants
  • Supports local farmers by buying bananas, sugar cane, pumpkin, cucumbersand watermelon for the elephants as well as vegetables for the guests
  • A variety of organic vegetables and herbs are grown including garlic, bok choy and pumpkin for the guests
  • All crops are grown organically – no chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used
  • Many trees are planted each year to rejuvenate the forest including sakura trees, teak tress, and banana trees
  • Elephant dung is composted and used to fertilize the crops as well as provided to local farmers
  • Rubbish is recycled and left over food is given to the local villagers to feed to their chickens and pigs
  • Elephant dung is composted and used to fertilize the crops as well as provided to local farmers
  • Project structures incorporate natural materials including bamboo, wood, and leaf roofing
  • Google Reviews
Brian Vincent
Brian Vincent
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This was the highlight of my vacation in Thailand. A hands on day with a small herd of elephants, feeding them, playing with them, going on a forest hike with them, and bathing in mud and a river with them. This is an ethical preserve where the elephants are not chained, ridden, or forced to do tricks. The elephants roam the preserve freely.
Thong Poon Premchuenawan
Thong Poon Premchuenawan
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An incredible, intimate experience with 3 elephants. The baby elephant is 6 years old and so sweet. We fed the elephants multiple times, walked with them, took a mud bath with them and swam in the river with them. The lunch buffet was absolutely delicious and the staff was friendly and helpful. We learned so much about the ethical treatment of elephants, their lives in Thailand and Karen culture. I could not recommend Karen Elephant Habitat more! This place is great and the elephants are truly happy.
Trina Do
Trina Do
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The three elephants here are so cute and such gentle giants. They seem quite happy, the baby one plays with the staff and seems to tease them so it's really nice to see their relationship. Make sure to look them up on Facebook because they're really good at posting your photo
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