This elephant tour is located close to the beautiful Mae Taeng River in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand and is home to three elephants now enjoying a better life since being retired from elephant riding in January 2018. The family operating the project has lived with and cared for elephants for more than 15 years and is happy to have the opportunity to be supported in the transition to ethical elephant tourism.
Visitors, as part of a small group accompanied by a friendly tour guide, have the chance to dress in traditional Lanna clothing, feed the elephants and join them on a challenging 1 hour mountain jungle hike that crosses the river over a bamboo bridge. In the rainy season the paths through the jungle may become too difficult, so instead, the walk with the elephants will be along the river bank. Other activities include bathing the elephants in a beautiful section of the river, watching them play in the mud pit, and preparing bananas balls. In between activities, you will be served a delicious vegetarian buffet.
Since being retired from elephant riding, the condition of the elephants has improved and they are starting to gain weight now that they have more time to forage as well as being fed by visitors. Naturally, their mood has also improved thanks to the more relaxed environment with ethical activities that allow the elephants time to interact with each other.
Spend the day walking with elephants, observing them, and swimming with them in the stunning Mae Taeng River under a lush forest canopy
Walk with Elephants
Number of Guests: 12
Number of Elephants: 3
Tour Type: Full Day Visit
Fitness Level: Challenging
Age Suitability: Adults & Children 12+
Adults & Children 12+: 2,500 Thai Baht
Adults & Children 12+
About Your Trip
Start: 8:00am – 8:30am minivan 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 (educational video about Asian elephants / safety video en route to project).
Return: Arrive back in Chiang Mai city 4:00pm – 4.30pm.
Baggage Allowance: One small day pack per person.
What to Bring: Hat, sunscreen, sandals/flip flops, change of clothing, towel, walking shoes, camera & insect repellent. This project can be very muddy and wet so a change of clothing and footwear is recommended.
Operational Months: All year round.
Age Suitability: Adults & children over 12 – guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Fitness Level: Challenging – walk across a bamboo bridge and on mountainous terrain up slopes with potentially muddy conditions.
Topography: Jungle, mountains & river.
Location: Mae Taeng, North 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 or guesthouse.
Booking Details: Bookings close at 5pm (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 must be paid at our office in Chiang Mai no later than 5pm on the day before your tour.
The owners of this family-run project, Boon Lerd and his wife, Nuck, have been involved with elephants for many years and adopted our ‘Saddle Off’ model at the beginning of 2018. They used to offer elephant riding and would see how it exhausted the elephants, as well as cause them stress. Naturally, this would sometimes lead to erratic and aggressive behavior. The owners report that since joining our ‘Saddle Off’ program and dropping elephant riding, the elephants are in better physical condition, and are calmer, with a more even temperament. With the beautiful river so close, the elephants love to make their way into the water to cool off, drink, and play. Food for the elephants is provided from the grass, sugarcane and bananas grown at the project and from fruit and vegetables bought from local farmers.