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Elephant Hills Thailand: A review, an experience and ethical?

Updated: Dec 12, 2021

Now if you can’t tell I am quite passionate about animals; keeping them safe, seeing them and giving them the best life, which often means leaving them in their amazing natural habitat. Well recently, I was lucky enough to go on holiday to Thailand and Singapore, which whilst I was there had a 3 day tour to elephant hills and the Khao Sok National park located In Southern Thailand. Me and my partner both love animals and wanted to experience elephants as magnificent as they are but in an ethical way. Well whilst searching for an experience like this we found out about Elephant Hills. My partner did a huge amount of research to find a place that puts the animals first, whilst giving us an amazing opportunity to experience Elephants and some incredible wildlife in the most ethical way. As mentioned, this led us to Elephant Hills and here I will tell you about my 3 day experience there, my opinion on their ethics and my recommendation whether you should go or not.

Elephant Hills Thailand Logo
Elephant Hills Thailand Logo

Are Animal Encounters Ethical?

Firstly, a lot of people are conflicted about encounters with animals and I should also note the best way is from a distance in a safe place in the wild with the animal is in their natural habitat. However, this is not always possible, as many animals have already been captured, put through horrendous acts, bred in captivity or require relocating and rehabilitating. Therefore, there are some places that will let you ethically help these animals, enjoy their company and get once in a lifetime experiences, which I would recommend. I should note you do need to do your research and find out what companies are good, bad and doing the right thing. Also, use your common sense, as there are so many different types of animals that you can have experience with and some you can instantly tell is not the right thing (such as those you should not be near (tigers, lions, most bears, certain apes, etc.)).

Elephant Encounters

Elephant encounters are much more common, I believe due to their softer nature but also as the unfortunate mode of transport some people use. Again I must press to leave the animal wild and in its natural habitat is definitely the best but some animals have had tough lives due to us (humans) and therefore left to our care. So when considering any experiences with these beautiful creature please take note of some of the following things. Firstly, never ride an elephant to do this it is often very painful for them and they have to have their soul broken to achieve it, something I hope you a agree you do not want to contribute too. Secondly, there can be many practices when having elephant encounters that are unethical such as using bullhooks, chains and forcing them to do anything. Therefore, make sure you do your research, so that these unethical practices are not undertaken and the elephant has freedom to do what they want.

Setting sun with elephant and vegetation silhouette
Elephant Silhouette

Who is Elephant Hills?

Elephant Hills is a luxury tented jungle camp in Thailand, who offer amazing nature tours. They have two camps, one ‘Elephant Camp’ based in Phanon District between the Khlong Phanom and Khao Sok National Parks and the second ‘Rainforest Camp’ that floats on the Cheow Lan Lake. I would start by saying the luxury tents at both locations are for certain glamping and do give a luxury but adventurous vibe. I would also state you defiantly get a great experience of nature and local wildlife in the Khao Sok National park.

The Elephant Hill Camp has their luxury tents a very short walk surrounding the main hall, where you will go to eat, be briefed on the activities, as well as being able to participating in some. At the camp they have some information about the place, a small shop and have a small swimming pool for your down time.