Chiang Mai Elephant Camps

This is our complete guide to visiting Chiang Mai Elephant Camps. There are many Elephant Camps accessible from Chiang Mai as a half day or full day tour. There are a range of experiences available:

  1. Elephant Sanctuaries (no riding). These facilities choose not to train their elephants to carry people and focus on other interactive experiences.
  2. Elephant Care Programs (bareback riding). Learn how to feed and wash elephants and ride bareback.
  3. Elephant Shows. A circus-style presentation.
  4. Elephant Rides (basket rides). The elephants carry 2 people in wooden seating on their back
  5. Elephant Safaris (basket rides). A combination program including elephant show, elephant riding, and other activities such as ox-cart rides and bamboo rafting.

Chiang Mai Elephant Sanctuaries (no riding)

We encourage you to choose a camp where the elephants are not trained to carry people. This is ideal for the long-term physical and mental health of the elephants.

As an increasing number of visitors choose not to ride, the incentive is decreased for training young elephants to carry people and perform tricks for human amusement. We recommend Elephant Rescue Park where you can feed, bathe and play with the elephants.

Chiang Mai Elephant Care Programs (bareback riding)

If you really want to ride an elephant, then we recommend bareback riding as it is better for the long term health of the elephants than wooden basket rides. Elephant Care Programs give you the opportunity to feed, ride bareback, bathe and play with the elephants. We use several small family-operated elephant camps in idyllic country settings.

Patara Elephant Farm offers both bareback riding and no-riding elephant care programs.

Chiang Mai Elephant Shows

The most popular camp for this type of experience is Mae Sa Elephant Camp

Chiang Mai Elephant Safaris

An elephant safari program included multiple activities including elephant show, elephant riding, and other activities such as ox-cart rides and bamboo rafting.