Elephant Haven
Elephant Haven
4.5
About
Duration: More than 3 hours
Does not meet animal welfare guidelines
Tripadvisor does not provide bookings for this experience because it does not meet our animal welfare guidelines.
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles286 reviews
Excellent
244
Very good
22
Average
4
Poor
9
Terrible
7

Flyer12095018157
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Friends
so much fun! first you must dress like a muphat. Then you must prepare the food you will feed your elephant. then you feed. Then you scrub and bathe your elephant in the river then your elephant will give you a shower Then you are best friends forver!
Written 31 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rob L
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
This is a wonderful place, elephants are happy and free. We had such a great afternoon, genuinely went in mud bath with elephant then swam in the river…we loved it, so ethical too - NO RIDING HERE
Written 13 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Reginald O
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Solo
A pleasant surprise. I was initially curious, but knew I was in good hands as soon as I arrived. Elephants were treated well and the guides seemed conscious of their treatment, probably because they worked in close co-operation with the also excellent Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai. We went on a walk with the elephants through the forest, but the elephants were not coerced and we did not feel intrusive, since the elephants were free to wander off and do as they wished.

It also felt as though we were giving back to the elephants by helping to feed them.
Written 20 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Melinda
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2023 • Family
Our Mahout Charlie was wonderful- knowledgeable and kind. He even sang a song that mahouts use to calm the elephants. This experience was life changing. The elephants were working on a schedule, but they were well cared for and happy. They were treated with kindness and lead through the day with treats.
Written 14 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kris A
14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Family
A wonderful experience, up close with the elephants, feeding them, walking with them and bathing them! No cruelty here just treating them with love and respect and getting so much back from them. Genuinely one of the best things I have done anywhere.
Written 9 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Inyga
4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Friends
Nice experience UNTIL I asked if they let the elephant copulate. The guide said of course! Asked what they do with newborns he answered they sell them to trekking camps.... so they use old elephant to create more animals in captivity.... I was disgusted
Written 19 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

hartplatt
Lowestoft, UK233 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023
A long review but hopefully it addresses any worries you may have... This park was recommended to us by a local hotel owner who we know is really involved with animal welfare. We trusted that she would only recommend a sanctuary that really cared for its animals. We then read some old reviews and were shocked by what people had written so we went back and questioned how ethical it really was. It made perfect sense when she told us they had previously put on elephant shows for tourists but a few years ago joined a re-education and conservation programme and changed their place into a real sanctuary. Reviews since have all been good.

We've been to sanctuaries in Malaysia and near Chiang Mai before. I have to say the elephants at this sanctuary were treated better and were happier than either of those! At no point were they harassed or threatened. They stood behind a bamboo fence to be fed but that was for our safety as we valued our feet not being broken by a heavyweight. It was not a pen, nor were they chained or restricted in any way. We prepared rice, bran, banana and tamarind balls for treats, cut up loads of (and I mean loads!) of watermelons and fed them all to the elephants. We also fed leafy plants to them. After feeding, the elephants were free to wander along the jungle path at their own pace and chose to walk with their buddies - they have strong friendships within the group. Three followed the usual path that we took but three chose not to and wandered along the river bank instead. At no point were they forced to change their path. They were free to go where they wanted and on the way they frequently stopped to munch on a favourite plant or tree.

The elephants all met up again at the river's edge further down the path and had a drink together. It was an experience to see that these giant creatures were spooked by the small fish that splashed in the surface. A bit of trumpeting and rumbling started up and eventually they just continued their walk without entering the river. Further down the path, they were again foraging quite happily when one elephant trumpeted and made a big fuss about something in the undergrowth. Her buddy came running over to assist her with whatever danger it was, then a third elephant joined them, all rumbling and trumpeting in alarm. The mahouts went to see what the fuss was all about and found...a chicken had laid an egg! They were spooked by an EGG! The offending egg was removed and peace was restored. So strange that a huge creature is spooked by tiny items and animals.

We went back to camp for a pleasant lunch and then changed for bathing. There are plenty toilet facilities with running water and hand held showers. Toilet paper is provided too. Hand washing facilities are also onsite for hygiene before and after preparing food.

Bathing elephants in the river was a fantastic experience. You could just tell how happy they were. They loved the water and we enjoyed the privilege of being able to scrub them. We washed an elephant who happily turned round for us to do the other side😃 A couple of the mahouts took some great photos and videos for us from the river banks. the elephants were left to spend as long as they wanted in the river and when they got out they covered themselves in fresh dust to protect their sensitive skins, followed by plenty of tree scratching all over. We wandered back to camp, stopping to visit the gravesite of an elephant. She had been 98 years old, had had no teeth for the latter 35+years of her life, relying on bark etc. being peeled for her and special soft food being made up for her. She inevitably died and was buried with a Buddhist monk praying for her. Back at camp, we again fed large baskets of watermelons and pineapple plants to the mini herd.

Each elephant has a different personality and tales told to us about their antics made us laugh. The elephants were happy, not mistreated and have escaped the horrors of their former lives. There is no riding, climbing or sitting on the elephants, no hooks or sticks used, no threats that we could perceive. There was trust and closeness between the Mahouts and the animals. They were shown kindness and were not afraid of humans. The only prompting that we saw was an occasional gentle hand prod to the rear end to let them know we were all following and waiting for them to move along the path!

We were collected by minivan by Patrick our guide - he was lovely and sometimes sleeps with Chopper the elephant at night (she can be very adventurous but I'll let them tell you the tales!). He has also adopted dogs and cats. A kind, animal lover. We also had some good chats with Charlie (who learned English from Harry Potter Films and is a Dobby fan!). The team were all great from Mahouts to shop/camp staff and volunteers. One volunteer is there for her 9th time. She stays for 2 weeks. Nobody would be doing that if there were questions about how ethical this Haven is. I highly recommend you go and enjoy the day. They need to restore tourist numbers to pre-COVID levels to keep going.
Written 29 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rachel M
Maui, HI11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Couples
I absolutely loved my day at Elephant Haven. We fed the elephants, chopped up watermelons for them to eat, joined them on a walk through the jungle. After lunch, they played in the mud, then we walked down to the river to bathe. Great place to spend the day “volunteering” to ensure these beautiful creatures enjoy the rest of their days.
Written 24 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gina M
Perth, Australia180 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Couples
We had a great time here feeding elephants and watching them having a bath on the river. 100 baht per 1 fruit basket and staff are very friendly. Nice place to spend.
Written 29 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GLaSota
Lancaster, NY329 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2022 • Friends
We had a great experience at Elephant Haven. Patrick and Pook were excellent guides and representatives of the haven. There are now 6 elephants on site as 2 passed away in the spring. We learned a great deal about elephant lifestyle and habitats. The elephants were happy and content…we spent the day preparing their food, feeding the elephants (they eat 10% of their body weight every day), taking them on a walk through the jungle area, watching them swim, waiting patiently while they ate trees and bushes, (elephants eat 20 out of 24 hours), taking them back to the camp while we had our lunch (which was varied and good), then walked with the elephants again to the mud pool where they played in the mud, and finally back to the River again where we got to swim with the elephants. Shower facilities are on site so visitors can clean-up before hitting the road. All in all, it was a fantastic experience. Thank you Elephant Haven!
Written 18 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Elephant Haven - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions about Elephant Haven



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