5 Days of Elephants: up-close, in the nature and individually

Experience elephants the right way: This stays forever!

The elephant bonding tour combines exciting experiences with our elephants and with the pleasant atmosphere in our overnight accommodations. You will experience 5 extraordinary days, covering all facets of elephant management in Northern Thailand.

You will get to know “your own” elephant, become familiar with it, ride through the local forest, go bathing and learn all working skills needed for logging with elephants. Moreover you will visit a Buddhist temple in the mountains, contrary to other places hardly visited by tourists and a truly unique location.

What I can expect: 4 days in the elephant camp AND 1 excursion day to a Buddhist temple

5 Days / 4 Nights

995 € / Person

+ 20% for single travellers

Services included:

+drinking water

+full board

+english speaking tour guide

+transfer to/ from Chiang Mai

+standard accomodation – bungalows with separate bathroom can be booked on request
To our accomodation

not included:

+alcoholic drinks, soft drinks, juices

+personal expenses and tips

+international and national flights

Travel dates

The Elephant-Bonding-Tour starts every monday morning no later than 08.30 am. Kindly check availability in advance.

With calm, prudence and as close as you can get to an elephant, we guide you to getting to know these majestic giants.
Riding elephants means:

  • Individual contact: each guest takes care of his “own” elephant – so there is no stress for the animals
  • Sufficient resting possibilities: dthe tours are orientated on the welfare of the animals – breaks are necessary
  • On the road: the animals are looking for their food on their way – many different paths through the mountains

Regarding the discussion “riding an elephant: yes or no” we have created a seperate website, on which we explain the position of ELEPHANT SPECIAL TOURS: Please click here for further information.

Being with elephants is something unique most people never forget. We are truly convinced that introducing elephants to people takes time. If you rush at walking with them, bathing them, touching them you misunderstand the natural behaviour of these calm giants. Also information is a key element in getting to know elephants. Asian elephants and asian culture are deeply connected – a bound that should be explained and also should be regarded in today’s fast changing society. All of this takes time – time we are happy to spend with you.
There are many elephant tour operators around in Northern Thailand, especially in Chiang Mai. Many offer half-day or 1-day trips with different approaches. This tour might at first sight seem a bit more expensive compared to our competitors. But there are reasons why we have to charge a little more:
No mass tourism: Often a lower price means you will be part of a bigger group. With Elephant Special Tours you will be introduced to each elephant individually. Everyone of them has its own story – a story we take time to tell you. Also bathing in a big group can be stressful for elephants when there are a lot of people running and jumping around.
Natural nutrition: We are deeply convinced that a whole nutrition is a key element to the well-being of these magnificent animals. Therefore we guarantee them a variety of food (elephant gras, corn plants, hey, banana trees, rice and many other food offerings) that regard their natural needs. This is expensive since elephants eat up to 400 pounds a day. Also many different paths through the woods are rented where they can find their own food in the wilderness.
Cultural bound: Our tours are presented by European elephant experts in english and german. Together with our local staff we can create a source of information that presents insights into Northern Thai culture from a perspective most foreigners regard highly. For legal reasons these European experts create higher costs, a price we are happy to pay.
Experience included: Apart from getting to know our elephants you can expect included standard accommodation, full board with great local food, transfer starting at your hotel in Chiang Mai and a landscape that might keep you astonished.

Detailed travel program

Day 1 (Monday)

Training in our elephant camp:

We pick you up from your hotel or at the airport in Chiang Mai. By car we take you to our Lodge „White House“ in Mae Sapok. The accommodations are just located nearby next to our lodge.
You get introduced to the life and behavior of elephants. Your English speaking guide will teach you the basic knowledge in elephant handling. You yourself will hand-wash the elephants and learn first commands to ride your elephant through the forest. In the afternoon you visit a nearby Karen village (hill tribe).
In the evening you have the chance to watch a movie about the anatomy of elephants.

Day 2 (Tuesday)

More information about elephant handling:

After breakfast you will go to the elephant camp accompanied by your trainer. From there you take a walk into the surrounding forest, where you pick up the elephants from their night time sleeping areas. You’ll ride the animals back to the camp and will be getting more and more confident due to the experience you gained on the previous day in dealing with the pachyderms.
At the camp you will have lunch and watch the elephants during their relaxed lunch time. You are then introduced in the specifics of working with the animals, which were trained as so-called Timber elephants. This tradition of work in the timber industry for centuries has been the sole source of income for the owners of the animals – we want to keep these skills and also want you to experience how smart those creatures are.
Of course, this training is adjusted without great physical effort to meet your needs. After you have been introduced into the woodwork, we ride another very beautiful way through the nearby forest. Afterwards you visit a local, state development project. It is designed to build sustainable structures for the community, as we are contributed to build a sustainable future for elephants. There is also the opportunity to visit a beautiful waterfall.
After your dinner you can watch another video film about elephants.

Day 3 (Wednesday)

Visit to a remote mountain temple and possibility to take a bamboo raft or a relaxing massage:

n the morning you visit the beautiful local temple “Wat Luang”, which is located far off the normal tourists paths in the forest of Mae Sapoks surrounding area. Lunch will be served in a unique environment right next to the Mae Wang-river. You then have the afternoon free for leisure. You have the opportunity to get on a bamboo raft and take a ride down the local river or you may enjoy a soothing massage.

Day 4 (Thursday)

Training in our elephant camp:

Today’s focus lies on logging with the elephants. Adapted to the your physical fitness you will learn the basics of this centuries-old tradition. After lunch you will delve into your knowledge and learn different ways to get on and ride your elephant.
Tonight you will watch a documentary about the mahouts’ work with elephants in the logging industry.

Day 5 (Friday)

Training in our elephant camp:

Enjoy your last activities with your elephant in the camp. Show your trainer and mahout what you have learned about elephant handling during the last days. Prove yourself how talented you control your elephant. On a last ride through Thailand’s mountains on the largest existing land mammal of the earth you can reminisce pass in review all the great experiences you had during the last days.
After enjoying a relaxed shower in you room we will take you back to Chiang Mai. You will arrive in the city latest 18.00h.

Contact us!


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