Karen Elephant Serenity logo

Situated high on a grassy hill surrounded by forest in Northern Thailand, this project is home to elephants now living a more natural life, with time to interact, wander in the grassy fields, forage in the forest, and cool off in the stream. Watching the elephants hanging out together and showing affection for each other is a special experience.

The elephant-friendly activities at Karen Elephant Serenity start with preparing food and feeding it to the appreciative elephants along with their favorite fruit – bananas. After the feeding session, join the elephants for an easy stroll through the tall grasses and along the forest edge, stopping to watch them forage and take photos from the shade of a lookout tower. On returning from your walk, a vegetarian buffet lunch is served overlooking the valley. Later you will learn to make healthy treats for the elephants by combining a medicinal vine, rice, tamarind, salt, and bananas, mixed together and molded into balls. Next, walk to the stream in the rainy season or to the pool in the dry season to bathe the elephants and then watch them play in the mud pit on the way back to the project. The day ends with feeding the elephants the banana rice balls prepared earlier, as a parting gift.

This elephant tour is suitable for families and provides a fascinating insight into the lives of these beautiful elephants.

Karen Elephant Serenity

Feed the elephants sugarcane & fruit and then take a walk with the elephants in nature, stopping to watch them forage in the forest.


Feed the Elephants

Walk with Elephants

Observing Elephants

Observe the Elephants


Elephant Bathing


Tour Details

Number of Guests: 8
Tour Type: Full Day Visit
Fitness Level: Easy to Moderate
Age Suitability: Adults & Children 2+

* Minimum of 4 people required for this tour to proceed

What's Included

Tour Price

Adults & Children 12+: 2,500 Thai Baht
Children Aged 2-11 years old: 1,250 Thai Baht

Adults Children 4+

Adults & Children 2+

Easy / Moderate


Buffet Lunch



Book Your Visit

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Location / Activities

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 – 8:30am pick up from your Chiang Mai city hotel, or from our office at 8:00am. If staying out of town, far from Chiang Mai city centre you will need to arrange your own transportation to our office.
Travel Time: Around 90 minutes (safety talk en route to the project).
Travel Details: Transfer from an air-con minivan to a 4WD vehicle for the last 10 minutes of your journey to the project along a dirt road.
Return: Arrive back in Chiang Mai city 4:00pm – 4.30pm.
Baggage Allowance: One small day pack per person.
What to Bring: Hat, sunscreen, walking shoes, sandals/flip flops, change of clothing (as you may get muddy or wet), towel, camera & insect repellent.
Facilities: Lunch area, lookout tower, bathrooms, showers, lockers
Age Suitability: Adults & children over 2 years old – guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Fitness Level: Easy – leisurely walk with the elephants through the tall grass along the edge of the forest.
Topography: Grasslands, forest, hills & stream.
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 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 place. The balance can 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 Karen Elephant Serenity

Heng Heng, her mother, Mae Kham Suk and nanny, Kham Noi, spend their days wandering in the grassy field, foraging in the forest, playing in the mud, and cooling off in the stream. Heng Heng, who was born in March 2019, is growing up fast and is learning new skills all the time by watching her mother and nanny. She stills runs to her mother or nanny if she is scared or wants to drink milk and loves sucking on her nanny’s ear for comfort. Even so, she is becoming more independent day by day.

Since the collapse of tourism resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic there have been almost no visitors to Karen Elephant Serenity in almost one year now. We are coming into the dry season in Thailand now, so much of the natural vegetation growing at the project and in the nearby forest, including a field of grass is disappearing. As a result, more food needs to be brought in for the elephants to stop them from becoming too thin. The project is doing the best they can under difficult circumstances to care for this beautiful elephant family, but without guests, it is difficult to provide for them sufficiently. Elephants need to consume vast quantities of food each day, and so during these challenging times, any support you can give would be much appreciated.

Fruit Cakes & Banana Ball Treats at Karen Elephant Serenity

Thanks to some kind supporters, Heng Heng and her family have been treated to banana balls and several cakes over the past few months, which they all love so much. It’s a beautiful sight to watch the elephants appear from the valley where they were playing in the mud or pool and rush excitedly towards their cakes. Heng Heng has developed a strategy of using her feet to break up the porridge-like base to make it easier to then scoop up with her trunk. Mae Kham Suk and Kham Noi who are close friends, work together to effortlessly rip apart the sugarcane frame before munching on the pieces.

Thank You for Supporting the Elephants

The Covid pandemic  caused severe challenges around the world and placed extreme limitations on travel. As a result, Karen Elephant Serenity closed in March 2020 and only reopened to visitors in early 2022. We appreciate all of the kind people who helped to buy food for the elephants.  Thanks to Save Elephant Foundation, Trunks Up & Asian Elephant Projects for supporting the elephants at Karen Elephant Serenity during these difficult times.

Elephant Fruit Cakes made at Karen Elephant Serenity


Project Background

This project is owned by Nikon, who used to work at Elephant Nature Park in the past and Pa Udon, who inherited a large area of land from his grandfather, and used to run a nearby elephant trekking camp. They joined the Saddle Off project in February 2018 and Karen Elephant Serenity is now home to a family of elephants enjoying a better life in their retirement from elephant riding. The herd includes Mae Kham Suk, a 40 year female who gave birth in March 2019 to a healthy baby girl, named Heng Heng as well as Kham Noi, a 35 year old female, who has become her nanny. Since joining the project the two adult elephants have formed a close bond and together they are enjoying raising Heng Heng who is so playful and full of life. To provide for the elephants, tall grass is grown at the project, banana trees on nearby land and they also buy fruit from local farmers.


How Karen Elephant Serenity is Eco Friendly & Sustainable

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