Samui Wining & Dining
ECO ELEPHANTS
Get up close and personal with these amazing creatures at Samui Elephant Home.

Get up close and personal with these amazing creatures at Samui Elephant Home.

The banning of the logging industry in Thailand, in 1989, left the majority of Thailand’s domesticated elephants with nowhere to go. Unable to be released into the wild, most moved into the tourist industry to be used for trekking or in shows, while the least fortunate were used to beg for food on the streets. These days, there is growing objection to the use of elephants for trekking. This has resulted in a dilemma. Again, it is not possible for domesticated elephants to be released into the wild, but they still have to be cared for over the course of their long lives.

          

This is where Samui Elephant Home comes in. People will still have the opportunity to meet and interact with these magnificent creatures, but without the need to ride on them. The elephants are treated ethically, and can enjoy a more relaxed and enjoyable life than that they were previously used to. Here you will have the opportunity to feed the elephants, walk with them and even help to shower them in a giant bath. It’s a truly unique experience that you can enjoy in some of Samui’s most beautiful natural surroundings.

          

Your visit will begin with a mini bus pick up at your hotel or resort, and you will be driven to Samui Elephant Camp, which is situated on more than 10 acres of land in the Namuang area of Samui, near Wat Khunaram. On arrival you will be offered a welcome drink and receive a short introduction to the concept (as well as some important safety rules) before meeting the elephants you will be spending time with - Kularb, Mali and Chaba. At this point, you will be given a Thai style farmers shirt to wear. The reason for this will become clear later!

          

The next activity is to prepare some food supplements for the elephants, which are a combination of tamarind, pumpkin, peeled bananas, sticky rice and sea salt. You will then feed these to the elephants, as well as more bananas, grass and sugar cane (elephants eat a lot!).

          

Once they have finished their ‘snack’, you will have the opportunity to observe the elephants in a mud spa. The mud is good for their skin, and helps to protect it from insects. It is at this point that the reason for wearing the farmer’s shirt will become clear. The elephants love this,Want to see Samui off the tourist trail? Get to grips with our alternative tour of the island! and will splash mud and water everywhere!

          

Suitably caked in mud (the elephants, not you hopefully!), it is now time to enjoy a stroll with them. Here you will be able to observe the way they play and interact with their natural habitat. Before setting off, you will be offered a hat and a bag with a bottle of water, as it can get quite hot. Whilst out on the walk, the elephants will stop off at their favourite scratching tree, throw more dirt around and take the occasional unscripted wander off into the forest! You will also learn how the mahouts control the elephants without the use of hooks.

          

At the end of the walk, you will be met with cold towels and drinks, and the mahouts will take the elephants for a quick shower, before what for many is a highlight of the visit – the opportunity to bathe with the elephants. There are changing facilities should you wish to change into swimming clothes, or you can just carry on as you are and shower and change afterwards. It really is a unique experience, and something you will never forget, as you shower and brush the elephants in a giant bath.

          

 

          

For the last part of the trip, you will be taken a short distance by mini bus to a place where you will learn to make souvenir paper from elephant dung (there is plenty to spare!), before returning to your hotel or resort.

          

There are two trips daily, with the morning tour running from 9:00 to 12:00, and the afternoon tour from 14:00 – 17:00. Please note that booking is essential (walk in customers are not accepted) so call them directly or visit your hotel tour desk or any travel agency.

          

It’s a great experience for the whole family - truly unforgettable. And since the elephants enjoy the rain as they can play in the water and the fresh mud, you can even visit when the weather isn’t so good!

          

 


 


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