Wildlife Sanctuaries in Thailand That Matter

18 March 2024
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Lush forests, diverse ecosystems and wildlife that will leave you in awe – that’s what you think about when Thailand comes to mind, right?

What you may not know is that Thailand is also home to several wildlife sanctuaries to help preserve and protect this natural heritage. Let’s explore why these sanctuaries matter and take a look at how you could get involved and make a difference.  

Elephant at sanctuary in Thailand

Support Elephant Welfare in Natonchan, Chiang Mai

Found in Chiang Mai, the village of Natonchan welcomes visitors to witness the work carried out by the “Friends of the Asian Elephants” foundation. This Thai registered organisation is dedicated to safeguarding the welfare of elephants throughout the country. By booking Trafalgar’s Treasures of Thailand tour, you can actively contribute to this cause. Witnessing the incredible bond between humans and elephants is a heartwarming experience that leaves a lasting impact. 

Support Eco-Tourism in Natonchan

A visit to Natonchan will give you more than an encounter with elephants. You’ll have the chance to interact with the locals and engage in their traditional crafts, like gymnastic doll making and textile creation. This is also a great way to gain a deeper appreciation for the community’s rich cultural heritage. Textiles are dyed using mud, a process that preserves their vibrant colours. This immersive experience not only supports eco-tourism but also provides an opportunity to connect with the local way of life. 

Phuket – Elephant Sanctuary

The Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, featured in Contiki’s Thai Island Hopper West tour, focuses on rescuing and rehabilitating Asian elephants. By visiting this sanctuary, you’ll not only get the opportunity to see these gentle giants, you’ll also learn about their struggles within the Thailand tourism industry. At the sanctuary, the elephants are free to play, bathe, and forage for food in a safe and peaceful environment. As a visitor, you even have the chance to feed them a feast of fruits and vegetables before enjoying a delightful vegetarian buffet. 

Befriend Rescued Elephants at Elephant Nature Park

Another great sanctuary is the Elephant Nature Park, featured as a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® experience in Contiki’s Northern Thai Highlights tour. At this park, compassion and care come together to provide a haven for rescued elephants, as well as rabbits, cats, and water buffalo. Interacting with these incredible creatures offers an amazing opportunity to understand their needs, learn about their stories, and contribute to their well-being.  

Other Ethical Wildlife Sanctuaries in Thailand You Could Visit

Thailand is home to several other renowned wildlife sanctuaries dedicated to the well-being of animals. Lanta Animal Welfare, Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT), and Elephant Haven Sai Yok in Kanchanaburi are just a few of the many sanctuaries where you can witness the incredible efforts being made to protect and care for various species. 

Now, let’s answer a few of the most common questions from clients about elephants and wildlife sanctuaries in Thailand:  

Is it okay to ride elephants in Thailand?

No, it is not considered ethical to ride elephants in Thailand. Riding elephants often involves cruel training methods that harm these creatures. 

Should you visit elephants in Thailand?

Yes, but it’s important to choose ethical sanctuaries that prioritise the welfare and well-being of elephants. Supporting responsible tourism initiatives ensures a positive impact on the conservation of these animals. 

Can you meet elephants in Thailand?

Definitely! Many ethical sanctuaries in Thailand provide opportunities to interact with elephants in a respectful and compassionate manner. These encounters offer a chance to observe, learn, and support the conservation efforts. 

What is one of the most famous wildlife sanctuaries in Thailand?

Elephant Nature Park, located in the picturesque Chiang Mai region, is one of the most famous wildlife sanctuaries in Thailand. It is internationally recognised for its dedication to elephant welfare and rehabilitation. 

We Support Sustainable Tourism and Ethical Practices

Pentravel is a proud supporter of TreadRight, a not-for-profit organisation created as a joint initiative by The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands, and supports the ethical treatment of wildlife. Our strategy is based on 11 measurable goals developed to address Pentravel’s impact on the Planet, People, and Wildlife. These goals are anchored to the United Nations’ Global Goals. Read all about the TreadRight goals 

Thailand’s wildlife sanctuaries play a vital role in preserving the country’s natural heritage and protecting its magnificent creatures. By choosing to visit ethical sanctuaries like the ones mentioned in this article, you can actively contribute to conservation efforts while experiencing unforgettable encounters with wildlife.  

Remember, responsible tourism empowers local communities and fosters a brighter future for both animals and humans. Let your journey to Thailand be one filled with compassion, education, and an appreciation for the beauty of wildlife. Browse our Thailand packages and start planning your travels. 

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