The Elephant Nature Park is a rehab center that is situated 60 KM away from Chiang Mai. Abused and injured elephants from Burma and Thailand are brought to this luxurious elephant sanctuary Thailand and nursed back to life. This elephant nature park in Chiang Mai is situated on a 250-Acre of land and it established in the late 90s. The elephant sanctuary is now a home for more than 70 elephants, 600 dogs, and 400 cats.
Besides providing shelter for a lot of animals, the Elephant Nature Park has a Rain Forest Restoration Program – where they plan to plant twenty-five acres of trees on a yearly basis. They also enhance the economy by employing locally, and they strive to educate tourist about unethical elephant industry.
An Overview of Asian Elephants in Thailand
The Thai society and its icon have greatly benefited from elephants for several centuries. The elephant has also impacted the culture of Thailand considerably. The official animal of Thailand is the Thai elephant. The elephants found in the nation are a subspecies of the Asian elephant – the Indian elephant.
There were about one hundred thousand tamed elephants in Thailand in the early 1900s. In 2007, there were about 3,456 tamed elephants left in the country and about 1,000 wild elephants. In 1986, the elephant became a threatened species.
As a result of this, there are certain reasons why you should not ride elephants in Thailand. Some of those reasons include – riding an elephant can damage the spine of the elephant, there is an abuse of elephants in the tourism industry, Asian elephants are endangered, and there are safer, better ways to interrelate with elephants.
Volunteering at the Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai
Unlike some other tourist camps, the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai gives you the opportunity to see these animals in their natural habitat. Visitors can prepare food for elephants, feed them, bathe them, and partake in one or two projects to enhance the overall well-being of the elephants. The longer trips give you the enabling environment and opportunity to know these elephants more personally.
You'll be able to know what their favorite meal is as well as who their best friends are. You can as well witness how loving and affectionate these majestic creatures can be and also get to meet the owner Lek – also known as The Elephant Whisperer.
Even though the majority of them are not related, having suffered severe injuries from stepping on landmines or human abuse or being rescued from the logging industry, they've formed family units here, and they now protect one another.
How Long Can You Stay at the Elephant Nature Park?
The Elephant Nature Park is often referred to as the best elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai, and the park offers a lot of options to visit and spend time at the park. It also includes a elephant volunteer program where you can spend between one to four weeks working and living with the elephants.
Generally, visitors get a single day trip, and if they wish to have more experience, a three-day trip on the park is also available. Longer volunteering packages of a month and beyond are also available.
Types of Visits at the Elephant Nature Park
The type of visit actually depends on your love of the beautiful creatures, and also how much money and time you have. There are several visiting options for visitors. The options include a half-day visit to 2 weeks volunteer trips.
Single Day Visits
You can enjoy an entire day visit to the Elephant Nature Park - a natural sanctuary and home for elephants, cats, dogs, birds, buffalos, and other rescued animals. Your visit begins with a fascinating drive to the Elephant Nature Park through rural countryside. You will also hear the personal stories of orphaned and rescued elephants.
A lot of people find their visit to Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai very relaxing, entertaining, and rewarding. You can observe elephants roaming freely and other animals that were rescued enjoying the natural environment of the sanctuary. You can also walk with the elephants and the staff at the park to the river that adjoins the park.
You can watch these majestic giants as they play and splash around while you remain dry on the river bank. Once its late afternoon, it is time to say goodbye to the park and the elephants before you will be taken back to your accommodation in Chiang Mai.
Overnight Visits – Two Days plus One Night
With this package, you will be welcomed with a talk session and an introductory orientation video where you will be exposed to the park and its inhabitants. After the orientation, you will be served a healthy lunch of fresh local meal and then watch the elephants take their bathe in the river that skirts the park. The trained staff of the park will work with you and they will teach you how to communicate with the elephants.
You also get to watch the herd at play and how they interrelate in their social groups. You will be accommodated at the park huts, and you will also be served full dinner. After breakfast the next morning, you can go and watch the elephants roaming in the open pasture.
You can feed the herd when you come back to the farm with the elephants. At this point, you'll begin to identify different elephants by their attitudes, marking, and shape. Watch and enjoy the interactions and communications between these loving and highly intelligent herd elephants.
Lunches and dinners served at the Elephant Nature Park are casual affairs, the main focus is on high-quality locally grown produce that is prepared in Eastern and Western styles. The diets are suitable for all kinds of people, ranging from vegetarians to Halal.
Overnight visitors lodge in private huts with attached bathroom and mosquito net bedding. Volunteer lodge in shared twin rooms, with shared bathrooms and mosquito net bedding. The part will supply all bedding, but your toiletries and your towel are your responsibilities. Some parts of the infrastructure are equipped with WIFI. Nevertheless, the service can sometimes be slow or/and intermittent.
Getting to the Elephant Nature Park
Cozy passenger vans take about one hour thirty minutes to travel from the Chiang Mai city center to the Park. On your way to the elephant sanctuary, you will watch a video about the Part – the video contains the fundamental things you need to know about the Park.
Volunteering at the Elephant Nature Park with UME Travel!
If you want to know more about this lovely animal, why not plan a perfect elephant trip on your next trip to Thailand? The best way is to touch, not read my words here. I bet you'll have a good time! You can also spend some days in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket etc. Just tell us your requirements and all travel will be designed according to your needs. Take a look at some of the most popular travel inspirations:
Read more: Elephant Tours in Thailand