There are plenty of elephant-themed attractions in Phuket, such as elephant shows or safaris. However elephant sanctuaries are gaining popularity thanks to their animal-friendly approach. These places are not about tourists, but about elephants, many of whom have been rescued or retired from animal exploiting industries. Elephant sanctuaries will let you get to the animals up-close without disturbance or harm.
One of the biggest elephant sanctuaries is the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary near in Paklok. There you can watch elephants and walk with them. You can also volunteer at the sanctuary for six days.
Elephant Jungle Sanctuary near Naithon Beach allows to touch, feed and photograph the elephants, as well as wash them in a mud bath and then follow them in the river.
Elephant Retirement Park Phuket at Bangtao Beach also allows some interaction with the animals, such as a mud bath and a wash. There are volunteer programmes for three days.
Phang Nga Elephant Park (outside of Phuket Island, about a two-hour drive from Phuket Town) is the only one that allows riding on elephants' necks while other sanctuaries consider this practice harmful.
What sets elephant sanctuaries in Phuket apart from other elephant attractions?
Elephant sanctuaries in Phuket prioritize animal welfare over profit by rescuing and rehabilitating abused or exploited elephants. They do not train elephants to perform or offer rides, instead providing visitors the chance to see these animals in their natural habitats, feed and bathe them, and support a good cause. Choosing to visit these sanctuaries is an ethical decision with the wellbeing of the elephants in mind. Show more
During which months is the climate ideal for visiting elephant sanctuaries in Phuket?
The best time to visit elephant sanctuaries in Phuket and enjoy the cooler, drier weather is between December and March. However, elephant sanctuaries remain open throughout the year, continuing their operations regardless of the weather. Regardless of when you visit, be prepared by dressing comfortably and wearing protective clothing. Show more
Where are Phuket's best elephant sanctuaries located?
Phuket Elephant Sanctuary in Paklok, Elephant Jungle Sanctuary near Naithon Beach, Elephant Retirement Park Phuket at Bangtao Beach, and Phang Nga Elephant Park outside the Island houses some of Phuket's best elephant sanctuaries. Visitors can benefit from various activities unique to each sanctuary, such as feeding, mud spa, river bath, and volunteer programs by checking each sanctuary's websites for specifics on what each location offers. Show more
What are the requirements for volunteering to work at an elephant sanctuary in Phuket?
Each elephant sanctuary in Phuket has its volunteer program, and applicants can apply online. Each sanctuary has unique schedules, fees, and qualifications, ranging from one-day programs to week-long programs. Volunteers will work alongside mahouts caring for elephants by preparing food, cleaning enclosures, and assisting them. Volunteers can learn more about conservation and the elephants through these programs, regardless of their background and age. Show more
Are visitors permitted to take elephant rides in Phuket Elephant Sanctuaries?
Phuket Elephant Sanctuaries do not allow elephant rides. To ride elephants, one must use sharp tools and metal seats, leading to serious injury to the animals' skin and spine. These sanctuaries promote responsible tourism and consider elephant welfare prime. To show the true intelligence and beauty of elephants, they offer visitors the opportunity to view these creatures in a natural and healthy environment. Show more