03 January 2018
Elephant Hills is situated in the centre of Khao Sok National Park, based within a few hours of Phuket, Krabi and Koh Samui, making it an ideal and unique add on to any Thailand holiday.
Your Elephant Hills experience will begin with a door-to-door transfer from selected locations to the Elephant Hills Camp. Based against spectacular limestone cliffs, this camp is home to a collection of luxury canvas African-style safari tents. They boast wooden flooring and private western-style bathrooms, along with solid roof structures. The camp has a restaurant area and breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. The restaurant serves Thai and a small selection of international cuisine buffet-style.
You can choose from three packages at Elephant Hills, one of which include a one-night stay at the Rainforest Camp. This is a pontoon made up of 20 canvas tents, based within Cheow Larn Lake. Accessible only by boat, it is not connected to the land in any way meaning that you are completely at one with nature. You will have the freedom to explore your environment at your leisure; dive off your private decking into the 28-degree waters of the lake or hop into your private canoe and journey across the waters whilst viewing intriguing wildlife.
Take part in the exclusive, award-winning ‘elephant experience’, where you can get up close and personal with the camp’s gentle Asian elephants in a responsible way. The team at Elephant Hills are deeply committed to elephant conservation, and the experience has been ranked by the Tourism Authority of Thailand as the best elephant camp in Thailand for animal welfare.
With the help of their handlers – called ‘mahouts’ – you’ll get hands-on experience in caring for these majestic creatures and there will be plenty of opportunity for you to engage with them and learn about how Elephant Hills is ensuring their welfare.
Elephant Hills have won Tourism Authority of Thailand’s ‘Thailand Green Excellence Awards’ since 2014, recognising them as one of the best camps in the country for elephant welfare. They won two of these honours in 2017, one for animal welfare and the Rainforest Camp triumphed in the 'Eco Lodge' category. Elephant Hills was also the only finalist from Asia in the 2016 National ‘Geographic World Legacy Awards’, honouring their commitment to environmental sustainability. The Rainforest Camp actually runs on wind and solar power! Elephant Hills works to provide a better quality of life for the people of the area, building schools in the northern province of Mae Hong Son where many of their handlers come from, as well providing aid to around a dozen schools in Southern Thailand.
You can learn more about the area’s culture as you dine by meeting local school children and enjoying cooking demonstrations. You can help Elephant Hills offer a better quality of life to these children, by bringing a few essential items which you can give to them over dinner. Some of the suggested items include books - those written in easy-to-understand English are particularly desirable - educational toys, board games, calculators, piggy banks and warm clothes, and your kind generosity can help ensure that these amazing young people get a decent start in life!
There is a menu of soft adventure activities available at Elephant Hills. You will be accompanied by a knowledgeable and friendly English-speaking local guide on these adventures who will provide you with rare insight into the area’s history and culture. On Elephant Hills’ most popular package, the 3-day ‘Jungle Lake Safari’ you’ll do everything from embark on a canoe journey down the Sok River, passing trilling birds as you sail, to visiting local markets where you can buy authentic trinkets. You’ll also get to watch cultural dance performances one evening and go nature watching in a traditional longtail boat!
Depending on which tour you book, your activities can range from a family-friendly jungle trek to a more challenging hike through dense tropical landscapes. On the three-hour, family-friendly route you'll pass habitats which serve as the home of this area’s 150-200 wild Asian elephants, as well as that of fascinating creatures like Malayan tapirs, monkeys, deer and wild boar. You’ll also get the chance to enjoy lunch in the dense tropical jungle. On the more challenging route, you’ll hike to a bat cave where you can observe these nocturnal creatures at rest. There are even cameras set up in the jungle to capture the movements of more elusive creatures such as Malayan sun bears, samba deer and clouded leopards for your viewing pleasure back at camp!
Your Travel Counsellor can include a stay at Elephant Hills as part of a larger bespoke Thailand itinerary. You can take advantage of complementary door-to-door transfers both at the beginning and end of your time at Elephant Hills, to locations including Phuket, Krabi and Khao Lak in the west to Khanom, Surat Thani, Don Sak Pier in the east, and even hop on a ferry to Koh Samui!