Spend the day with elephants in the jungles of Northern Thailand, followed by whitewater rafting for an experience you are unlikely to forget. Our driver and tour guide will pick you up from your hotel in Chiang Mai and en route you will be given safety tips for your tour. Arriving at the project in the scenic Mae Taeng valley, meet the elephants in the jungle and get to know them while feeding them. Next, take a walk with the elephants through the surrounding jungle hill trails, handing them fruit and stopping to watch them forage along the way. The walk on this project passes through particularly stunning sections of jungle, richly populated with native plants.
Following a vegetarian buffet lunch overlooking the valley, cut fruit to feed the elephants and prepare rice-pineapple-tamarind balls which aid their digestion. After cooling off in the river while bathing the elephants, feed them the fruit-rice balls as a parting gift. The tour ends with a thrilling whitewater rafting adventure down the Mae Taeng River, passing spectacular scenery along the way.
As part of a small group, you will have plenty of opportunities to get wonderful photos of the elephants interacting with each other in a beautiful natural setting. Observing elephants doing what comes naturally in a relaxed, caring environment is an amazingly rewarding experience.
After bathing the elephants in the river, experience the thrill of rafting your way downstream amid stunning scenery
Walk with Elephants
Feed the Elephants
Observe the Elephants
Number of Guests: 6
Number of Elephants: 2
Tour Type: Full Day Visit
Fitness Level: Moderate
Age Suitability: Adults & Children 12+
* Minimum of 4 people required for this tour to operate
Adults & Children 12+: 2,500 Thai Baht
Adults & Children 12+
Qualified Tour Guide
About Your Trip
Start: 8:00am – 8:30am 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 (safety talk en route to project).
Travel Details: Transfer from an air-con minivan to a 4WD vehicle for the last 10 minutes of your journey to the project.
Return: Arrive back in Chiang Mai city 4:30pm – 5.00pm.
Baggage Allowance: One small day pack per person.
What to Bring: Hat, sunscreen, sandals/flip flops, change of clothing (as you may get muddy or wet), towel, walking shoes, camera & insect repellent.
Operational Months: All year round.
Age Suitability: Adults & children over 12 – guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Fitness Level: Moderate – capable of walking for 1-1.5 hours along mountain paths with uphill sections and uneven ground and white water rafting depending on conditions. If the water level in the river is too high or low whitewater rafting may not be possible.
Topography: Mountain, jungle & river.
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 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 Majestic Elephant Project
At Majestic Elephant Project, the herd is lucky to live by a beautiful stretch of the Mae Taeng River where they can take the weight off, cool down, and hang out together swimming in the heat of the day. The elephants love cooling off in the river, floating, and submerging themselves while using their trunks as snorkels.
The elephants also spend time foraging on natural vegetation in the surrounding forest. Most of all, they enjoy the food that is brought to them, including grass, cornstalks, banana tree stalks, pineapple, watermelon, and of course their favorite- bananas. To get food to these elephants is quite an arduous task. After cutting corn stalks & banana tree stalks in the fields and loading them onto a pickup truck, the mahouts and staff then have to unload the food, carry it down the river bank to a bamboo raft and finally transport it across the river to the elephants on the other side. Fruit and vegetables need to be washed and sliced before offering it to the elephants. Since visitors stopped coming, the mahouts are kept busy cutting and preparing the vast amounts of food that the elephants require daily, though keeping these massive herbivores properly fed is a huge challenge. Thank you to all the staff working hard to care for the elephants and their food needs and thank you to all the people supporting the elephants by helping to buy food for them during these difficult times.
Thank you to Save Elephant Foundation and Trunks Up for supporting the elephants at Majestic Elephant Project during the Covid crisis
Pin and her husband, Tu, established an elephant riding camp for tourists with whitewater rafting back in 1996. Over the years they became more aware of how the elephants suffered in this form of tourism and how much it affected their health. They saw that some of the other local elephant camp owners were transitioning away from offering elephant riding and wanted to make the change as well. Following the Saddle Off model, Majestic Elephant Project opened to visitors in August 2016. The project is home to two female elephants who are now enjoying their retirement from a hard life working in logging and elephant riding. Pin and Tu are glad to have embraced the opportunity to change to a more compassionate model, where the elephants live with dignity, are able to roam and forage and interact with guests in an atmosphere of respect and admiration.