Elephant Experience

Elephant Experience in Thailand

Elephant Experience Add-On

8 Days

GIVE’s Thailand Elephant Experience takes you through Northern Thailand to trek with elephants in the jungle, play with baby elephants and volunteer at an ethical elephant sanctuary! We only work with individuals that love and respect these gentle giants, which ensures that you have an unforgettable and ethical elephant experience. By joining GIVE’s Thailand Elephant Experience, you’ll give local experts the resources they need to promote Asian elephant welfare and conservation! Want to travel longer? Our Southeast Asia packages allow you to experience 2 countries and up to 4 unique programs on one unforgettable journey!

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Why support ethical elephant tourism?

Aside from spending a full week hanging with elephants in the jungle…

“Because you vote with your dollar,’ I voted to have my tourism dollars support the first Elephant Hospital in Thailand, which offers free veterinary care to elephants throughout the country, a mahout-training program that teaches positive reinforcement training techniques, and a reforestation program that regenerates the tropical forests necessary to sustain elephants in the wild.”

Leah Pletcher, SE Asia Package 2018

This Keystone Species is Disappearing

Asian elephants are currently listed as endangered and their population is decreasing. By supporting elephant sanctuaries and conservation centers, you’ll help to ensure these incredible creatures are around for future generations to see.

Understand Elephant Conservation

Every day you will be learning from local elephant trainers, mahouts and conservationists about the complex issues Asian elephants face. More importantly, you will be able to support and witness their holistic solutions in action.

Preserve Mahout Culture & Integrity

The bond between mahouts and elephants is centuries old and, unfortunately, is being lost with each passing generation. Empower mahouts to maintain their culture, livelihood and integrity, and directly support elephant welfare.

Elephant Experience Itinerary

here’s A GLIMPSE of ALL That awaits you

Play with baby elephants | Volunteer at an elephant sanctuary | Trek with elephants in their natural habitat | Empower local experts | Summit Thailand’s tallest mountain

Day 1

Your Thailand elephant experience commences: Group arrives in Chiang Mai. Meet your guides and fellow travelers at the airport, and then head straight to our hotel for an opening orientation.

Day 2

Head into the Mae Taeng mountains to our first stop – an ethical elephant tourism camp! We’ll follow our local mahouts into the forest to meet two elephants and then hike with them down to the river for some bathing and feeding! Note: This is the most hands-on of any of the places we’ll visit, so get those elephant hugs in while you can!

After lunch, we will spend more time with the elephants – making and feeding them nutritious herbal supplements and learning about elephant behavior and anatomy from our mahouts. That evening we’ll head to a beautiful cafe along the river to relax and enjoy some Thai cuisine!

Day 3

After saying goodbye to our mahouts and the elephants, we’ll then drive north through the rolling green landscape of Doi Inthanon National Park, stopping by a waterfall to have lunch…

Day 3 Continued…

After lunch, we’ll continue on to Burm and Emily’s Elephant Sanctuary (BEES) (~1-hour drive by minivan), which provides a home for old, injured and retired elephants needing rest and/or permanent care. This is a special place where elephants are free to just be elephants! Spend the evening touring the facilities and learning about the sanctuary’s history and mission from its founders. Note: BEES is a no-contact sanctuary, so prepare to observe these gentle giants from a safe distance.

Day 4

Spend the morning volunteering at BEES to prepare food for the elephants and/or maintain facilities around the sanctuary. Note: BEES is a no-contact sanctuary, so prepare to observe these gentle giants from a safe distance.

After lunch, we’ll head deeper into the mountains towards the Karen hill-tribe village of Huay Pakoot (~1.5 hours by minivan). Learn more about the community’s storied history of keeping elephants and how they’ve adopted a unique and innovative form of community-based ethical elephant tourism. That afternoon, we’ll tour the village, receive a blessing from a Buddhist Monk, and then take part in a sports day with local children! For dinner, we’ll enjoy a Thai barbecue dinner with our homestay hosts and local mahouts.

Day 5

Trek into the jungle with your mahouts in search of a familial herd of semi-wild elephants. Spend the entire morning and afternoon observing the herd in their natural habitat, while learning about the unique spiritual bond these elephants share with their mahouts. Note: There will be some brief moments of hands-on interaction, but these elephants are semi-wild, so prepare to observe them from a safe distance most of the time.

Day 6

After breakfast we’ll hike into the jungle to say goodbye to the herd before heading to the town of Mae Chaem for the night (~1.5 hours by minivan). That night, we’ll take part in a Thai cooking class and then enjoy our home-cooked meal while a local student group performs traditional dances from Northern Thailand!  This will be a night of discussion, reflection and celebration with your GIVE family.

Day 7

After breakfast, we’ll drive to the top of the tallest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon (~1 hour by minivan), to explore the summit and check-out some mountain top temples. stopping along the way to enjoy a scenic 2-hour hike through a spectacular series of waterfalls, jungle and terraced farmland!

After lunch, we’ll begin the journey back to Chiang Mai (~2 hours by minivan) , you will have some ‘me’ time, e.g. you may want to relax by the pool, get a massage, etc. After dinner, you’ll have some free time to explore the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, a one-stop shop for every Thai souvenir imaginable.

Day 8

Trip End: All good things must come to an end. Say your goodbyes and begin the journey home.

**THIS IS A SAMPLE ITINERARY WHICH IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

 

 

 

Extend Your Trip

Southeast Asia Packages

SAVE $600-$1,500 BY COMBINING SOUTHEAST ASIA PROGRAMS AND TRAVEL FOR 2-7-WEEKS! Mix and match our THAILAND Volunteer Excursion, LAOS volunteer Excursion, ELEPHANT EXPERIENCE add-on AND/OR Thailand SCUBA Excursion!

 

 

Volunteer in Thailand with GIVE and immerse yourself in Thai culture and remote hill-tribe villages as you work alongside host community members on our organic farming, reforestation and English education projects. Learn more about GIVE's Thailand Volunteer Trip!!

GIVE’s Elephant Experience Add-on takes you trekking deep into the Thailand jungle for a unique, eye-opening experience with these gentle giants while learning about elephant conservation. Learn more about GIVE's Elephant Experience Add-On!

GIVE’s Laos volunteer trip takes you into the heart Laos for an authentic cultural experience filled with adventure. Volunteer alongside host community members on permaculture, English education projects, and more. Learn more about GIVE's Laos Volunteer Trip!

GIVE’s Scuba Marine Conservation Add-on takes you to breathtaking Southern Thailand to get PADI Open Water Scuba Certified and dive amongst incredible marine life while engaging on marine conservation projects. Learn more about GIVE's Scuba Marine Conservation Add-On!

Trip Dates & Fees

Reserve your spot today with a deposit of $450 for a volunteer trip and $250 for add-ons. All deposits are INCLUDED in the total trip cost. There are multiple package options with our Thailand and Laos trips: Mix and match up to four unique Southeast Asia adventures to travel for 2-7-weeks!

Southeast Asia Trips & Packages Save $600 - $1500!

Thailand I Laos I Elephant Experience I Scuba Conservation

Past volunteers get a $250 discount!

Thailand Volunteer Excursion. 14-days.

 

14-days I $2,795 I Package & Save!

 

Winter 2022/2023

December 12, 2022 - December 23, 2023
December 27, 2022 - January 7, 2023

Summer 2023

May 2 - May 15, 2023
May 20 - June 2, 2023
June 7 - June 20, 2023
June 25 - July 8, 2023
July 13 - July 26, 2023
July 29 - August 9, 2023 *Ages 16-17

 

Laos Volunteer Excursion. 14-days.

14-days I $2,595 I Package & Save!

 

Winter 2022/23

Laos December 23, 2022 - January 3, 2023
Laos January 7, 2022 - January 18, 2023

Summer 2023

Laos May 16 - May 29, 2023
Laos June 3 - June 16, 2023
Laos June 21 - July 4, 2023
Laos July 9 - July 22, 2023

Thailand Volunteer + Elephant Experience. 21 days.

 

21-days I $4,790 I Package & Save!

 

Summer 2023

May 2 – May 22, 2023
May 20 – June 9, 2023
June 7 – June 27, 2023
June 25 – July 15, 2023
July 13 – August 2, 2023

July 29 – August 16, 2023 *Ages 16-17

 

Thailand Volunteer + Laos Volunteer. 28-days. Save $600!

 

28-days I $4,790 I Save $600!

 

Winter 2022/23

December 12 - January 3, 2023
December 27 - January 18, 2023

Summer 2023

May 2 - May 29, 2023

May 20 - June 16, 2023
June 7 - July 4, 2023
June 25 - July 22, 2023

 

Thailand Scuba Excursion. 11 days.

 

 

11 Days I $2,595 I Package & Save!

 

Summer 2023

May 23 - June 2, 2023
June 10 - June 20, 2023

 

Thailand Scuba + Laos Volunteer. 25 days. Save $200!

 

 

25 Days I $4,990 I Package & Save!

 

Summer 2023

May 22 - June 15, 2023
June 9 - July 3, 2023

 

Thailand Scuba + Elephant Experience. 25 days.

 

 

18 Days I $4,590 I Package & Save!

 

Summer 2023

May 23 - June 9, 2023
June 10 - June 27, 2023

 

Thailand + Elephants + Scuba. 32 days. Save $1,000!

 

32 days I $6,385 I Save $1,000!

 

Summer 2023

May 2 - June 2, 2023
May 20 - June 20, 2023

 

Thailand + Elephants + Scuba + Laos. 46 days. Save $2,000!

 

46-days I $7,980 I Save $2,000!

 

Summer 2023

May 2 - June 15, 2023
May 20 - July 3, 2023

 

See whats included below!

What's Included

GIVE goes above and beyond for our volunteers, before, during, and after their trip. Dive into all that's included here.

  • Our core staff are well-traveled individuals and experts in the travel industry. Over the past 11 years, GIVE has brought over 7,000 participants to 12 diverse destinations all over the world.
  • A commitment to responsible, culturally immersive travel with perpetual efforts to identify and exceed best practices in community development, inclusion, and engagement. A keen understanding of the impact these trips have, not only in our host communities but through fostering global citizenship amongst our participants.
  • Thorough risk management and mitigation planning and practices. The health and safety of our volunteers, staff, and local host communities are our top priority.
  • Advanced customer service that exceeds industry standards. GIVE has a unique full-service 24/7 commitment to our travelers. We have a long, proud history of going above and beyond to ensure our travelers are not only safe while on our trips, but also during the travel process of arriving at our various destinations. We approach any issues or misfortunes with diligent, pragmatic care. This often leads us to exceed what would be considered “normal” customer service. Whether it’s helping first-time travelers navigate their layovers, working with concerned parents, or navigating a pandemic. It is who we are as an organization and as people. Simply put: we care.
  • 360-travel support, including customer care, trip preparation materials, and planning for your trips. GIVE offers a personalized Volunteer Profile to organize your trip, flight bookings, insurance, payments, and all necessary documents and pre-travel arrangements.
  • As a people-first organization, our actions and response to the pandemic and over the past 11-years are a testament of how much we care for our volunteers, people, and host communities.
  • Trip planning and on-ground trip logistics: dedicated and experienced local and GIVE guides, all accommodations during your trip (with security and basic amenities), ground and water transportation within your host country(s), meals throughout your stay (country-specific exceptions), your epic adventure and cultural immersion activities, funding toward volunteer projects, drinking water 24/7
  • And that's just scratching the surface. See all that's included in your GIVE trip here!

Honestly, pretty much everything outside of pre and post-trip logistics is included, but GIVE and our travel partners will support you! Dive into what's included here.

  • Flights to and from Thailand/Laos, along with associated air taxes, ticket fees, and any country entry/exit taxes
  • Medical and Travelers Insurance
  • Passport and visa (specific to your host citizenship)
  • Vaccinations (specific to your host country)
  • Souvenirs and Snacks (because everyone has different snack expectations;)
  • What's better is what IS included. See all that's included in your GIVE trip here!
 
* Trip dates are based on Demand. GIVE reserves the right to change program dates
* Winter trips are slightly shorter than summer trips due to school/holiday breaks. Trip costs are the same for all seasons, as we operate smaller group sizes in the winter.