Elephant Sanctuary Phuket

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Ethical Travel- Elephant sanctuaries

As much in real life as in Disney movies and fictitious stories, elephants have for centuries helped us build towns and cities and even carried some into war. Have you ever wondered what happens to our giant friends when it is time for them to retire?


Beyond white sandy beaches, neon lights and tasty local delights, a new kind of tourism is becoming more of a desire for many travellers. Ethical is on the tip of our tongue, and some might say a priority when we choose our activities on holiday. In this blog, we share a day in Phuket Elephant Sanctuary.

“Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is the first retirement facility which rehabilitates working elephants back into the jungle,”

The trip starts at 9 am where registration takes place at the headquarters and then a short drive to the nearby 30 acres of forest land in a 4-wheel-drive. The sanctuary provides a light breakfast at the tree top reception, followed by a short introduction about the founder and the team. The magnificent residents were introduced, and their past explained – the video had graphic images which triggered emotions.

Wellington boots were provided for if the weather conditions id wet and the group was separated to around 15 people per guide. To begin the trip, the elephants were fed delicious treats such as bananas and pineapples, which they clearly welcomed. From here, I realised these creatures are smart – they have come to recognise that visitors offer delicious treats.

Meeting with these incredible mammals and observing the interactions was humbling. The behaviour of the elephants was somewhat familiar. Like us, they feel joy, sadness, fear and pain, and are also very loyal, love to play with each other and protect one another from harm. It leads me to wonder why or how anyone would hurt these incredible, gentle creatures. Other sanctuaries such as Elephant jungle also offers bathing in the itinerary.

The trip was all that it promised to be: A humbling day out and highly recommended during your stay in Phuket.

If you would like to find out more about a day with the elephants, please contact our tour desk.