A unique story

Ian & Donna were my first American tour participants and I couldn’t resist sharing their romantic background story.

They met at a Starbucks coffee-house… Ian was an expert in the Starbucks system as he studied there using their wifi and naturally had tried many of their products…Donna was a novice in desperate need of a caffeine fix. Ian walked Donna through her first Starbucks experience and the rest, as they say, is history.

On that first meeting, Donna was wearing a t-shirt with an elephant motif. Attention to detail is one of Ian’s strengths and he soon realised almost all her t-shirts featured elephants. When the time came to ‘pop the question’ Ian knew he wanted a unique ring to commemorate the occasion and sourced a wonderful double-headed elephant design that Donna would not be able to resist. Ian then set about finding his “trip of a life-time” and cemented his offer to Donna by booking a pre-honeymoon holiday with www.elephant-encounters.com so that Donna could experience her first hands-on contact with elephants. Irresistable!!

I wish them every happiness together.




Cause for Optimism

In August, I added two new National Parks to my travel itinerary and what a wonderful discovery they were!

Kui Buri is beautifully managed with visitors only able to access the Park for 4 hours of the day, always accompanied by a ranger and with the added security of footbaths on access and departure.

Along with my eight guests, I saw many elephants…families with calves, solitary bulls (both tusked and tuskless) and interesting interaction between bulls and families. Matriachs led their groups to and from waterholes and gathered calves to prevent clashes with bulls intent on accessing fertile cows within the groups.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We witnessed waterplay, dust-bathing and feeding.

Apparently, there are approximately 237 elephants in the Park with an estimated carrying capacity of 400. The human-elephant conflict on the Park borders is minimal and with no known poaching for the past few years, the outlook for these wild elephants looks good.

We even had the added bonus of spotting Gaur!

It was an absolute pleasure to bring in some tourism dollars to support the rangers and help secure a sustainable future for elephants in Thailand. This National Park will definitely be in my itinerary for July 2017!



Come On A Unique Adventure
Involving Elephant Conservation And
A Special Look At Thailand Attractions

Thaitour6 Thaitour7

Next Tour 17 May 2014

Elephant Encounters’ tours will give you the experience of a life-time.

An introduction to the amazing world of Thai elephants and their conservation.  With me, you will see all sides of elephant conservation in Thailand – from the joys of caring for your own elephant in a working elephant village, to exploration of National Parks and Sanctuaries in the company of elephant experts dedicated to finding ways for people to live in harmony with these huge neighbours.  Participating with Elephant Encounters means you will be assisting elephant conservation and sharing a passion for adventure, animals and the environment. ​ There’ll be time for shopping and other fun as well!



Trip leaving Saturday 17 May 2014 ​


Day 1

Our afternoon flight leaving from Melbourne (Australia) allows for an evening arrival in Bangkok where we will be transferred to twin-share accommodation ideally situated in Bangkok’s colourful shopping and entertainment centre near to Siam Square with easy access to Skytrain. Amenities include swimming pool and restaurant.

Day 2

After a buffet breakfast, this day is free for shopping, exploring & relaxing. Tours may be organized if you prefer. The Grand Palace is a ‘must see’ for those on their first visit.

Days 3 – 8

After breakfast, we will be transferred to Ayutthaya where we have reserved 6 nights twin-share accommodation in a working elephant village, all meals included.

Today we will be introduced to the elephants we will be caring for over the next week! Under the guidance of experienced mahouts, you will be responsible for a retired elephant’s daily welfare. Throughout the week you will get to know your elephant’s personality and enjoy the mutual delights of that insight.

Every day we will clean up after our elephants (so be prepared to use a rake and broom) and throughout the day make sure they have plenty to eat and drink.

Twice a day we will ride our elephants to the river so we can all cool down, drink and play. Each afternoon we will also pamper elephants with an extra scrubbing massage.

There will be plenty of time to witness daily life in the community, to join in village activities and to enjoy interacting with the calves in the nursery.

During our week we will also go to local markets, temples and historical sites, including the area where the ‘working’ elephants take tourists for rides around the ruins of ancient Siam. Ayutthaya was once the capital of this empire.

Day 9

After a full day caring for our elephants we will farewell the village to spend a night in downtown Ayutthaya where we have reserved one night’s accommodation (single rooms optional) and breakfast in a colourful backpacking establishment.

Days 10 – 12​

Today we will be transferred to Khao Yai National Park by mini-bus (2.5 hours) where we have reserved bungalow accommodation with all meals included.

Here, we will have an introduction to Thai Elephant Research and Conservation Foundation (TERF) projects. Activities may include tree planting; a visit to a bat cave; gibbon & bird-watching walks; Gaur viewing; a walk to beautiful Heaw–Narok Waterfall and the opportunity to swim. 4 x wheel drive transport included.

Day 13 – 15

After breakfast we will be transferred to Faa Sai Resort at Kung Wiman Bay (5 hour drive). This award-winning boutique Eco Resort includes a swimming pool and massage facilities along with organic gardens and food, solar power and a sustainability focus. We can choose to explore the area, participate in gardening, cooking, soap-making activities, or simply relax and reflect on our experiences.

Day 16

After lunch today we will be transferred to Bangkok Airport in time to join our flight which departs just after midnight bound for Melbourne.

Economy class return air travel from Melbourne (Australia) to Bangkok. Please note, arrangements can be made to meet in Bangkok if you are traveling from other parts of the world.
All Thailand Transfers
All accommodation based on sharing rooms with private bath or shower
National Park fees
Meals as indicated
Water supplied during all activities and meals as indicated
Conservation levy

Travel insurance (compulsory for all participants)
Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks
Snacks, food and activities outside scheduled itinerary
Additional transport required due to an emergency situation
Tips / gratuities

​Please note – This itinerary is based on information available at time of print and is subject to alteration due to changing circumstances beyond the control of Elephant Encounters.

Register Your interest here

Thaitour5 Thaitour2