Samui Elephant Sanctuary
Samui Elephant Sanctuary
5
About
**Winners of Best Animal Welfare from the Tourism Authority of Thailand!** **Recognized by leading animal welfare charity World Animal Protection as a Best Practice Elephant Venue** We are very proud to bring the first elephant sanctuary to Koh Samui in Southern Thailand. Set on forest land, we offer a retirement home for elephants who have worked exhausting hours in the logging and tourism industries. Feed, walk with, and observe our gentle giants as they roam, socialise, bathe and enjoy a peaceful life that they so deserve. Join our morning or afternoon program knowing you are supporting ethical elephant tourism and helping to make a difference.
Duration: More than 3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • James K
    London, United Kingdom12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best Ethical Elephant Experience in Samui.
    Brilliant elephant experience. This centre is basically a rest home for elephants now longer working. You get up close to these fantastic animals where you prepare their food and feed them. Ja, our guide was so informative and I learned a lot about these gentle giants. If you want a responsible elephant experience this is it. No rides and it's about the animals welfare and educating people to treat these animals with respect. Please go to help them to continue the centre's work.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 29 May 2023
  • Nadine
    20 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best ethical elephant experience
    We were so touched by this experience. These people are so inspiring in how deeply they care for these friendly giants and how much they fight to give the elderly elephants back to joy of life which sadly has been taken from them for to many years. When you want to see these beautiful creatures please go here. There is no better place that can guide you in this experience but also educate you at the same time about how we can all be beter in giving these animals the respect they deserve. My heart swelled to see the joy of the elephants with being free to live a life closest to their natural ways. At Elephant Sanctuary Samui they have so much knowledge and wisdom about taking care of the elephants. Let’s help them keep up their work in giving back! Please be conscious and ethical about your elephant experience. Enjoy! With love.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 31 May 2023
  • Compass52050765245
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Go there and support!
    We loved that place. We went as a family and even though our 3 year old son had kind of a toddler crises, the stuff was feed kind, polite and understanding. The elephants are treated well and the whole experience is just breathtaking.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 8 June 2023
  • Felix
    Exeter, United Kingdom6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unforgettable experience
    One of the best experiences, by far that we had in Thailand. The whole day out was so well organised, and all the staff, especially our guide, were so passionate and interesting, making our day even more special. The most ethical elephant sanctuary I have seen in Thailand, and it was so interesting hearing about the elephants' backgrounds and relationships amongst one another within the sanctuary. The lunch was also amazing, and as I spent my 21st birthday there, they even surprised me with cake and a T-shirt to celebrate. Honestly couldn't recommend this place more to anyone visiting Koh Samui, even if the price (3000 baht) might seem steep at first, it is definitely going towards a great cause and it will be well worth your money.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 13 June 2023
  • TGS1969
    Tampa, Florida65 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Up Close and Personal with Elephants
    We did a three-hour visit to the elephant sanctuary with our kids (17 YO girl, 14 YO boy), and it was spectacular. We started by learning about the care of the elephants (they are all "rescues" from private owners or exploitative elephant shows), and we prepared food for them to eat. We then spent around 90 minutes meeting each of the seven elephants in person and learning about their histories and personalities while we fed them. They are all docile and very accustomed to visitors, so safety was never a concern. The sanctuary is located in the center of Bophut, so it is very convenient if you are staying in that area. Highly recommended.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 18 June 2023
  • Suet Wa W
    9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing experience meeting rescued elephants which are allowed to roam freely (Chaweng Noi project)
    I had a great time visiting their new project in Chaweng Noi which was set over 40 acres of forested land. The elephants are allowed to engage in their natural behaviours and roam freely in the sanctuary. A guide took us on a tour and we were able to see the elephants from up close and learn about their stories. We helped make elephant food for some of the older elephants with missing teeth and also had the chance to feed the elephants. The experience was both informative and fun. There were around 14 people participating in the tour that morning and I enjoyed that it was in a smaller group. Although the experience may seem pricey at first, it included door to door pick up and drop off at hotels (taxis are expensive in Koh Samui) as well a vegetarian lunch. This is the best animal sanctuary I have visited to date and I would highly recommend it to people interested in supporting ethical animal tourism.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 25 June 2023
  • markharper84
    20 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing day at a more incredible place
    Amazing experience at a place doing an incredible job. The elephants are free to roam around and look like they are having a blast. Playing in the water, mud baths, and getting tons of grass and fruit from that days visitors. A place I would visit again in a heart beat and who are doing an incredible job saving the elephants from all sorts of things in Thailand. Our guide Chai was awesome!!!
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 June 2023
  • Julie H
    Bondi Junction, Australia10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Incredible, eye opening, hands on and educational. The elephants are treated with such respect in their safe haven!
    We visited the sanctuary with our 3 children 8, 15 and 18. From the moment we arrived, we could see were in a special place where the focus was all about the well being of these incredible elephants. We got to learn about each elephants story and what they had been rescued from... the lives they had before arriving at the sanctuary... we made their food and then went out to the park and fed them and watched them interact with their beloved keepers. It was a truly unforgettable experience. Each and everyone of us were touched by emotion!! Also, I must say the staff were so professional, caring and funny!! Pik, our leader was awesome. Thanks to all!
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 1 July 2023
  • Dan S
    45 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Chaweng Noi Site
    Visited 5 Jul 2023. This is a wonderful facility and well run! You can tell the staff truly care about these elephants. Some have noted the price is on the high side of elephant experiences, but you should understand that the SES does not get any government support. Everything they do is self-supported and elephants are expensive. Consider it a donation to a worthy cause. We went to the Chaweng Noi site. The van pick up from our hotel was on time and efficient. Trying to drive there yourself is NOT recommended. The day starts off with coffee and light snacks followed by a safety video in the viewing area. The staff then take you to a feeding area where you learn about elephant nutrition and help prepare elephant snacks. Be prepared to get your hands dirty mushing around rice and bananas - it's like making bread dough. But, they do have nice facilities for washing your hands afterwards. Then, you get to feed elephants the snacks you just made (and some watermelon) from the feeding platform. Plenty of photo ops here. After the feeding session is done, they take you down into the sanctuary where you get to go see several other elephants. There are some photo ops, but no touching the elephants or riding them. All of the elephants are pretty old and have scars from previous mistreatment, so they can be wary of unfamiliar people. The terrain is hilly with lots of ruts. Wear good shoes. Lastly, you return to the main viewing area where a nice Thai lunch is prepared for you. I recommend the massaman curry. They did have some french fries (chips) for the kids and fresh fruit, but it's mostly Thai food. This was a very educational experience and a nice way to spend 1/2 a day. I would do it again!
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 8 July 2023
  • Amber
    Central Coast, Australia31 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Ethical elephant experience of a lifetime
    My daughter and I had the most amazing time. You could tell these rescue elephants are loved and very well cared for. The staff were amazing and so friendly. The sanctuary was so peaceful. This is a fantastic way to help support these elephants who have been rescued from horrible circumstances to now live in a safe and caring environment. The more people who visit, the more elephants they can eventually rescue. This was once of the most amazing things I have ever experienced and will definitely return if we ever come to Koh Samui again.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 11 July 2023
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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,284 reviews
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Paulgandlougregs
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
What a wonderful experience this was.
Everyone involved cares deeply for these wonderful creatures.
A fantastic visit and I cannot recommend this Sanctuary highly enough.
Paul and Vanessa xxxxx
Written 20 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ryan M
19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
An incredible experience! This tour was so well coordinated from start to finish. It’s so apparent the staff care for these beautiful animals and treat them with the utmost respect. Elephants are given their own space and the sanctuary ensures they are not bringing in additional elephants to crowd the others. You are given plenty of time with the elephants, feeding and interacting with them in a respectful manner. As an added bonus, you are provided with unlimited drinks and snacks as well as a delicious lunch. I would highly recommend this sanctuary for an ethical tourist experience!
Written 19 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PAULA
47 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
Absolutely great place , visited in morning was given a short video on the elephant sanctuary. Staff incredible, very knowledgeable, great group size. Got to make the elephants lunch . Had loads of photos and touching them . Even provided transport and lunch which was excellent . There stories are very sad but I guess now they are in a retirement home. Cared for and looked after by amazing staff. Please don’t go anywhere else in koh Samui especially if they ride them it’s so cruel. Thanks so much for our experience it was very special.
Written 9 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

whenl
Macclesfield, UK34 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
What a great experience from start to finish. We were picked up promptly from our hotel and driven to the sanctuary - where we were given a briefing and shown a short video on the does and don'ts 🐘

We then made food for the rescued elephants - be prepared to get your hands mucky 😍, next we fed some of them whilst being told about their previous lives - which was heart breaking when you hear what they have been through.

We also did a walk through the sanctuary to meet some other elephants.

Our visit was made even more enjoyable by the very charismatic and knowledgeable Jay 😀

The morning was finished with some lovely home cooked food (vegetarian). I can highly recommended - it may seem expensive but all the monies received goes to the running of the sanctuary.
Written 2 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jstinehour
Seoul, South Korea29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
My wife and I visited the Chaweng Noi location this past Monday (April 2024). The pickup from our hotel (Crystal Beach area) was punctual. Arrival was stress free (bring cash, don't be that tourist).

Breakfast snacks are provided. Lunch was plentiful and tasty. The entire agenda is well paced with plenty of explanation. The staff are all angels.

It put me at ease knowing that the entire enterprise is elephant-first. The gentle giants have experienced a hard life; this is their well-deserved retirement. As important, the team doesn't shelter you from the reality of what these lucky few elephants were saved from and what many elephants continue to experience. Education is a must to effect broader change, beginning with international tourists. Don't ride elephants; don't swim with elephants, and spread the good word to others.

Important to highlight the unbridled fun of feeding an elephant!! If that is a so-so activity for you, then you live a much more entertaining life than me.

This is one not too miss.
Written 23 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David M
Tipton, UK5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon with the elephants. They do appear to be very well looked after and the staff were very informative and caring.
Written 22 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alan A
London, UK502 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
This was a wonderful experience. From the beginning guests are fully involved by preparing the supplement food for the elephants before you get to meet them. The day is then spent feeding them, bathing them and seeing them in the surrounding fields running fully free. The staff are very informative and take the time to discuss the work that they are doing and also to answer any questions that guests may have. The elephants are being well cared for having been rescued from abusive past lives. The visit is also filmed by one of the team and I expected this to be available at a costs. However, we simple provided our email address and the video was sent on for free. Well worth a visit.
Written 20 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mat W
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
Ethical Elephant Experience!

We booked with the bhoput (original) but made contact through email because our accommodation is hard to find and VERY steep. We spoke through WhatsApp which was very easy and we were happy to change our booking to their newer cha weng sanctuary where they own the land and have more space. It was an amazing day, smooth pickup and great day meeting and learning about ethical Elephant care. Many of the animals are blind from their previous work 🥺.

Thankyou so much and I hope the group continues to find more land to save more elephants
Written 19 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HazFly
Wollongong, Australia188 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
There are loads of elephant 'sanctuaries' in Thailand. Many are money-making tourist attractions in disguise. Not this one.

It is the real deal, and it was an amazing place to visit. (It has two locations; we went to the Chaweng Noi one.)

The cost of 3,000 baht per person (about AUD125) included pick-up from our hotel, at least half an hour's drive away, and a fantastic Thai lunch, as well as the experience of learning about and interacting with these rescued elephants. It was worth every cent. If anything, they are undercharging given what it costs to run this place. (Take cash and you can leave an extra donation to help this great cause.)

Jah, who led the experience, was really funny as well as knowledgeable. He explained why they don't have visitors bathing with the elephants like so many places do - because it stresses the animals; he told us about the different elephants with both their awful histories and the wonderful way they have been cared for since being rescued.

We got a hands-on lesson in making elephant food and then fed them on their own terms - different elephants take their food in different grips. We then went down into the bush and again, interacted with the elephants on their terms. It was really special - both interesting and moving.

Highly recommended.
Written 15 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dean H
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Wow this place was great, got picked up from the hotel at 1:15pm for a 2pm start. Free bottled water and refreshments and then the tour started with off with making the food for the elephants you then get a smaller group guided tour which is amazing and finished off with food and transport home.
Would recommend this to anyone
Written 13 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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SAMUI ELEPHANT SANCTUARY: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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