First, you hear a gentle rumble of communication, and slowly the elephants emerge through the lush vegetation of the rainforest, grazing on the foliage as they pass. Seeing wildlife in their natural environment is a wonderful experience and, if you love elephants, then a holiday to Thailand to visit Elephant Hills should be on your wish list.
What Makes Elephant Hills Special?
Aside from its wonderful setting, delicious food and fully equipped tented accommodation, Elephant Hills' primary focus is the welfare of its elephants. Located at Khao Sok National Park, Elephant Hills is home to many elephants who have been rescued from a life of captivity and are now free to roam the vast jungle area without chains.
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a wildlife holiday is how well the animals are treated. Sadly, there are lots of places around the world where animals are mistreated purely to entertain tourists. Thailand’s logging industry used elephant power to drag heavy trees from the forest. This method was banned in 1989 and as a result, there were a lot of redundant elephants and so Elephant Hills has rescued many of them. Riding of elephants is not natural and therefore is not permitted at Elephant Hills. Instead, guests can see them grazing, and splashing in a mud pool in their natural environment. Elephant Hills is constantly working at improving the lives of the pachyderms in its care and has received 100% core criteria by Global Spirit, an independent animal welfare company.
Elephant Hills is located next to Khao Sok National Park in the south of Thailand. The area became a national park in 1980 and is home to one of the world’s oldest rainforests hosting an abundance of mammals including Malaysian sun bears, leopards and of course elephants. Over 300 bird species have also been recorded in the park.
How to Get to Elephant Hills
Surat Thani Airport is an hour from Elephant Hills making it easy to fit into a multi-centre Thailand holiday. We would recommend combining a few days in Bangkok before visiting Elephant Hills with some beach relaxation afterwards on a 9 night Thailand holiday.
Best Time to Visit Khao Sok National Park
Elephant Hills is open year-round. As it is located in the heart of the rainforest it receives its fair amount of (warm) rain. It’s what keeps the forest so verdant and lush and the elephants love to splash in the water.
Elephant Hills has two glamping camps, Elephant Camp and the floating Rainforest Camp. The spacious tents are equipped with amenities you would find in a hotel room. Comfortable beds, en suite bathroom, heated showers, fans and Wi-Fi. There’s even a hammock where you can relax in your jungle surroundings between activities. As Rainforest Camp runs on solar energy, electricity is limited. Each tent can take up to four guests, making them ideal for a family holiday.
Food at Elephant Hills
Breakfast is generally a choice of eggs, cereals, fruit, yoghurt and freshly baked bread. Thai dishes are served buffet-style for lunch and dinner. If you have a special diet, please let us know in advance so we can advise the camp.
Other activities at Elephant Hills
Aside from the elephants, guests at Elephant Hills can visit the local markets, trek through the forests of mangroves and canoe the Sok River. Families are welcomed at the camp with plenty of activities to keep children engaged, including an educational experience with the elephants.