Karen Elephant Home Ethical Elephant Tour


This project offers the special experience of seeing elephants living at a century-old Karen settlement in a beautiful part of Northern Thailand. The Karen family operating the project has been living with and caring for elephants for three generations and their intimate knowledge of elephants and their ways provides visitors with a unique insight into the nature of this fascinating species.

Visitors will find a happy pair of elephant brothers living together at this project and enjoy elephant-friendly activities. Feed the elephants bananas and then take a walk with them along scenic hillside trails that pass terraced rice paddies and weave through tall grasses, orchards, and forest – stopping to watch the elephants forage along the way. Observe the elephants playing in the mud and later bathe them in the river. In the rainy season, guests also plant saplings to help reforest the area.

The elephants at Karen Elephant Home used to work in trekking camps where they were ridden and gave performances. As a result of this project, these elephants have been able return home to live peacefully in natural surroundings, near the Karen village. The elephants are now living a better life in a non-stressful environment where they are free to roam, forage in the forest, and interact with each other. By visiting this project you are making it possible for these elephants to live a more natural life, as well as helping to support the local Karen community.

Spend time with elephants in a beautiful natural environment and gain insights into elephant behavior from a Karen family who have been living with and caring for elephants for generations

Walk with Elephants


Feed Elephants

Observe Elephants


Elephant Bathing


  • Dress in traditional Karen clothing
  • Get to know the elephants while feeding them bananas
  • Take a 1.5 hour walk with the elephants
  • Vegetarian buffet lunch
  • Prepare fruit and banana balls for the elephants and feed them
  • Watch the elephants take a mud bath
  • Bathe the elephants in the river

Tour Details

Number of Guests: 8
Number of Elephants: 2
Tour Type: Full Day Visit
Fitness Level: Moderate
Age Suitability: Adults & Children 7+

What’s Included

  • Transportation from Chiang Mai city to and from project
  • Freshly prepared vegetarian buffet lunch
  • Admission fee
  • Qualified English speaking tour guide

Tour Price

Adults & Children 12+: 2,500 Thai Baht
Children Aged 7-12: 1,250 Thai Baht

Adults & Children 7+




Buffet Lunch



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 1 hour & 45 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 (as you may get muddy or wet), towel, walking shoes, camera & insect repellent.
Operational Months: All year round.
Age Suitability: Adults & children over 7 – guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Fitness Level: Moderate – walking through grassy fields and hilly terrain.
Topography: Hills, forest & river.
Extra Activities: Visit a traditional Karen house showcasing artifacts from Karen culture and watch Karen woman weave textiles.
Location: Mae Wang, South 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 / 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.

Ethical Elephant Tours
This is a small ‘Saddle Off!’ project with a limited number of guests. Our model is based on ensuring the well-being of the elephants, which means no riding or other unnatural activities.

Owner Karen Elephant Home ethical elephant tour Chiang Mai Thailand

Project Background

The owner of this project, Kriengkrai Dinu, previously worked at the Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang where he received further educational qualifications for working with elephants. When he heard about the ‘Saddle Off’ model he seized the opportunity to bring his elephants home where they could be retired from elephant riding and be properly cared for by his family who has worked with elephants for three generations. The project opened in late August 2017, and is located in a century-old Karen settlement surrounded by jungle with a beautiful stream running through it. It is home to two male elephants who are brothers and used to work in elephant riding. Recently, chain free shelters were built for the elephants to sleep more comfortably at night. The family wants to help preserve Karen culture and has created a small museum to give visitors a glimpse of the traditional Karen way of life. The project also supports local weavers who have their hand-made textiles on display, which are available for purchase.

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