Sleep, Work and Play Among Elephants at a Unique Thailand Sanctuary

Founded in 2008 to care for sick, old, abused and rescued elephants, ElephantsWorld in Thailand has become a sanctuary of hope and healing. After decades of exploiting these gentle giants, the tourism industry of Thailand is now embracing a humane way for tourists to visit and support them.

Elephants World

Walking the elephants in for their breakfast (top) and playtime in the mud bath

Family-Friendly Review of ElephantsWorld

Meaningful Interaction

ElephantsWorld is a haven of love and nurturing that allows visitors to have a much more enriching experience than others that simply offer an elephant trek through the forest. These trekking excursions, common in the past, are now considered exploitative and can cause permanent damage to the animals. 

Feeding the elephants by hand

Feeding the elephants by hand

Now, the trend is to offer a deeper experience by inviting guests to participate in the daily lives of these beautiful creatures. The philosophy at ElephantsWorld is that humans work for the elephants, instead of them working for us! Families typically discover that this alternative is far more rewarding than any trekking ride.

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Preparing the food for the elephants

Preparing the food for the elephants

At ElephantsWorld, visitors help to care for the elephants by gathering and preparing their food, feeding them and even bathing them in the River Kwai. There are several different programs tailored to various lengths of stay; some include walking the elephants into the forest, hiking the mountains and experiencing Thai culture.

Cottage on the River Kwai

Private cottage on the River Kwai

Accommodations

The simple and rustic but comfortable Thai-style cottages at ElephantsWorld, situated along the mountains and the river, offer all of the basic necessities for a stay. Beds are covered with mosquito netting, which children find to be loads of fun. The cabins are not air-conditioned, though the fans provide plenty of comfort if you are visiting during Thailand’s hot season and the cool nights offer a nice respite from the hot days. A private bathroom with a shower is attached to each cottage.

Buffet style dining on the terrace

Buffet-style dining on the terrace

Dining

Meals at ElephantsWorld are served buffet-style on the terrace of the main building. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served on a set schedule, and everyone eats together looking over the beautiful countryside where the elephants freely roam. The food is traditional Thai fare, prepared by locals from the community.

Bathing the Elephants in the river

Bathing the Elephants in the river

Families Should Know

The peak season for visiting Thailand is December through February. Our stay was in the hotter month of March, when temperatures hover around 100 degrees Fahrenheit; most families would be more comfortable at a cooler time of year. Guests arrive in Kanchanaburi, which is three hours north of Bangkok. We arranged for a private driver to bring us directly to the park from the Bangkok airport.

ElephantsWorld welcomes and encourages family visits, and the experience will stay with children for life. The dedicated staff and volunteers at ElephantsWorld strive to provide a safe and nurturing home to the animals, where guests can enter their world and walk away knowing they have helped. Don’t be surprised if you leave with a special connection to one of these wondrous creatures!

Relevant Links:

Browse all family-friendly accommodations and things to do in Thailand on Ciao Bambino

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Thailand summer adventure with teenagers

Editor’s Note: Laurel received a media rate to review ElephantsWorld for Ciao Bambino. As always, our thoughts and opinions are our own. Photos by Laurel Perry.

Elephants World

Mentioned in this post
  1. Elephants World
    Attraction in Mueang Kanchanaburi District Thailand

    Mueang Kanchanaburi District Thailand
    034 514 800
    http://www.elephantsworld.org/

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