Happy Elephant Care Thailand
We care passionately about wildlife. Our Happy Elephant Care Experience will give you a beautiful full day with elephants, but without any cruelty. This scheme was introduced with the Changchill Care Centre working together with World Animal Protection Organisation.
You will stay 10 nights in the Kantary Hills Hotel in Chiang Mai, in a Studio Suite, including Breakfast and spend a full day at Changchill Care Centre
This stunning hotel and serviced apartments are located in the heart of Chiang Mai’s most chic district with easy access to the shopping and entertainment areas. The property offers all the luxury of a four-star hotel with the space and comfort of a serviced apartment. Complementing the natural beauty of the surrounding area, all rooms are comfortable and stylish – offering a great base from which to explore the local area.
Happy Elephant Care Valley in Chiang Mai is shifting away from cruelty and becoming an elephant-friendly attraction. Together with some of the world’s most influential travel companies, they are working to push the landmark transition forward.
• Happy Elephant Care Valley is a ground-breaking development for both elephants and tourists.
• This move will end all contact between tourists and elephants at the camp, to help meet the growing demand for responsible elephant experiences.
• This big step for elephants is all thanks to our coalition of travel industry leaders
• They are grateful for the generous financial support from the Travel Industry.
• Elephants are wild animals that can only be tamed, not domesticated. Attractions that allow interaction between tourists and elephants use cruel, coercive methods to keep the animals under control. But at elephant-friendly venues, elephants are kept at a safe distance, so these coercive methods are not needed.
Happy new lives
Until recently, Happy Elephant Care Valley allowed tourists to ride its elephants. This stopped after the owners were reassured by tour operators that tourists are becoming less accepting of activities like this, and want to see elephants ‘be elephants’. With the transition, the venue will no longer allow tourists to bath and feed elephants.
Our travel industry coalition was the catalyst of this change. In September 2017, we presented a business case together, demonstrating the fact that tourists are becoming increasingly aware of the cruelty behind elephant rides and shows, and that the demand for ethical tourism is rising.
The transition will allow the elephants to be free to behave as naturally as possible, and will can roam the valley, graze, and bathe in mud, dust, and water. And tourists can experience this natural wonder from a safe distance.
Attitudes are changing. Many venues across Thailand still offer elephant rides. If you can ride an elephant, it means the animal has suffered a cruel and intensive training process to become submissive enough to carry you in the heat, day in, day out.
Happy Elephant Care Valley is a ground-breaking development for both elephants and tourists. It will be a very real example of an attraction where tourists can see elephants behaving naturally and freely as part of a herd. It will demonstrate that elephant-friendly experiences are possible, without forcing cruel interactions with people.
Your Day at Changchill is as follows:
7:30 – 8:00 AM
• Pick you up from your hotel. It take one and a half hour from Chiang Mai city to ChangChill.
• Arrival and introduction to ChangChill’s past, present and future and the program’s schedule.
• Visitors begin their elephant walk, and follow their guide into the forest to observe the elephants grazing, socializing, while observing from a safe distance. Visitors will learn about ChangChill’s six resident elephants, learn some new facts about Asian Elephants, and meet the mahouts. While in elephant area, guests will be able to ask questions and guides will deliver a “live lecture” about elephant conservation, elephant behaviour, and interesting facts about elephants like how much they eat, sleep, weight, etc.
• Visitors arrive at a rest station for traditional Thai refreshments – The rest station is above a mud pit, where on a hot day, the elephants love to bathe and play together. Visitors enjoy their refreshments and watch from above, trying to avoid getting sprayed with bits of mud being thrown around from down below.
• Visitors move down to the riverside sala where they learn a bit about enrichment, and help fill feeding tubes with corn, sugar cane, grass, bananas and any other supplementary food on hand. During and after lunch, visitors will be able to enjoy the view of the elephants eating through the treats that were stashed in the fencing from the elephant observation deck.
• Visitors having a lunch, we serve Thai vegetarian food.
• Visitors will learn about the community’s history and the traditional method of weaving clothing and bags at the Karen Cultural Centre. Visitors can try this method of weaving with the guidance of local community members and purchase items that were made by hand in the village.
• The day ends with a short discourse about what the guests learned about elephants and how they continue to help elephants even after leaving Thailand.
TRADITIONAL HERB LESSON
• Visitors will gather around ChangChill’s traditional herb garden to learn which plants, leaves, roots, and vines are used as medicine for healing both elephants and people. Visitors will collect several species of planted herbs, or wild growing species in the vicinity, and use them in their next activity.
ELEPHANT COOKING CLASS
• Visitors will sit in a circle at the riverside sala and will prepare six servings of supplements for the six elephants. The guide will explain details about elephant health, diet, and the benefit of each of the added ingredients. Mahouts will join in this activity when possible, so visitors get to know the elephant that they’re “cooking” for and the mahout who cares for her.
• The mahouts will join visitors at the riverside sala to observe the elephants together and ask/answer questions with the visitors, giving the group a true understanding of a mahout’s role in Thai culture and why it is so significant to Thailand’s history.
3:00 PM FINISH
4:30 – 5:00 PM DROP YOU OFF AT YOUR HOTEL
Price from £699 per person includes:
• 10 nights Kantary Hills Hotel, Chiang Mai, including Breakfast
• Full day at Changchill Elephant Centre, including lunch, refreshments and travel from your Hotel to the Centre and back
The above Experience can be customised to suit your requirements.
If not included in the above, we can add accommodation from 3 to 5 Star Hotels, or self catering where possible.
Number of nights are flexible.
We can also book flights and transfers.
Please contact us for your bespoke quote