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.

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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!

 

 

August 2016 Tour and News – Thailand’s Elephants

Exploring National Parks with experts!
6-20 August 2016

kbnp

You can now reserve your spot!

Every tour with Elephant Encounters includes a week in an elephant village where you take care of an elephant (under expert guidance). Learning first-hand their individual personalities and helping ensure a sustainable future for these wonderful animals is such a privilege! The tour will also celebrate World Elephant Day with the local community.

Equally interesting is the elephant’s role and future in the wild, mostly confined to National Parks these days!

So, during this trip we will visit two unique National Parks – Kui Buri and Sam Roi Yot. Both offer distinctive glimpses into exceptional habitats and species. Our boutique group size (maximum 8 people) will enable us to make the most of our viewing opportunities!

For more information, visit www.elephant-encounters.com

 

Kamlaiphet & baby Tina Feb16

In March, you can check out Elephant Encounters on FB for first-hand info during my next trip to Thailand.

Bookings for this trip have closed but I’m excited to be returning to the Elephantstay village to witness changes and progress over the past few months and see the latest calves that have been welcomed since my last visit. Kamlaiphet delivered little ‘Tina’ (pictured right) on 1 Feb in the middle of the day! Highly unusual as babies are usually born during the night…

Gik on bike

Once again, I’d like to thank everyone who supported our recent fundraising efforts to purchase a new, safe motorbike with side-cart for the Elephantstay community.
Together we raised close to $4000.
The new fully-functional transport will make a huge difference to the lives of the village mahouts, enabling them to spend more time caring for the elephants…and a lot less in keeping the old vehicle running!Expect to see a smiling photo of Gik when the new bike arrives! 🙂

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!

Thaitour4

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Trip leaving Saturday 17 May 2014 ​

ITINERARY: ​

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.

INCLUSIONS:
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

EXCLUSIONS:
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

A Unique Elephant Tour Of Thailand

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!

Thaitour4 Thaitour3

Trip leaving Saturday 17 May 2014 ​

ITINERARY: ​

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.

INCLUSIONS:
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

EXCLUSIONS:
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

About elephantencounters

Elephants are the backbone of Thailand. They have worked in partnership with people for over 4000 years and are now threatened with extinction due to environmental pressures and cultural change.

loong sapIn 2006 I met Loong Sap – a “retired” elephant who changed my life… I’m sure she was a teacher in her earlier life!

Loong Sap and I were together only ten days and in that short time she made me feel very much at home around her… letting me know her favourite foods…the times of day she preferred to swim…that she didn’t like getting her head wet…and that she enjoyed my company.  In fact Loong Sap would be looking after me while letting me feel I was looking after her!

It was very hard to leave her and her friends so I formed elephant-encounters to give me the perfect excuse to visit her and introduce others to the world of Thai elephants and the complexities of conservation. Together, our tours help finance conservation and I get to indulge and share my passion for adventure, animals and the environment. ​

On my tours, 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.

With your involvement, we’ll help to provide a sustainable future for this magnificent intelligent species. ​

Jenny Dickens​