Where can I bathe with elephants in Phuket?
The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Phuket gives visitors a unique chance to get close to elephants in a fun way. Here, no one rides the animals; the old controversial elephant trekking time is over. In an Elephant Sanctuary, you feed, play and bathe adults and baby elephants in a way you never experienced before. However, keep in mind that bathing with elephants is not truly ethical as it is actually unnatural for them, and even unhealthy for you.
Yes, there are still many elephant trekking camps in Phuket, too many, but this new kind of rehabilitation camps is successfully showing the way. Old fashion trekking camps are changing fast because visitors have already changed. The trend seems to be working as more and more elephant trekking camp seized that golden opportunity and recycled themselves into elephant sanctuaries.
When you arrive at Phuket Elephant Jungle Sanctuary camp of Naithon Beach, you first get a short briefing. Usually, people book the morning or afternoon visit and are picked up directly from their hotels, which is very convenient. First, you will get a rather rehearsed briefing about the rehabilitation camps and their purpose. Learn about the elephants, their burden with old-fashioned tourism, which is unfortunately still well alive in Phuket and many parts of Thailand.
What do you do at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary
- Learn about the sanctuary mission
- Prepare food
- Feed the elephants
- Prepare medicine
- Have a mud bath
- Shower the elephants
Learn how the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is trying to change mentalities while offering a unique experience. In their approach, this sanctuary invites you to bathe with those gentle giants because they are not wild anymore but domesticated animals, allowing people to show them affection.
Feeding the elephants
Guests then are shown how to prepare food for the animals. It’s a bit messy, but fun and everyone seems to enjoy being useful. Once the food is ready, a small group of elephants arrive and eat from people’s hands. Kids are usually hesitant at first but quickly enjoy the playful baby elephants who look just as happy as human children are.
The Mud Bath
The food is all gone a lot faster than you think and the group then walks to a nearby muddy water pond. Elephants run into very brown water and start enjoying themselves. Visitors are hesitant to jump into the water, but it doesn’t last long. Soon everyone is in it splashing and rubbing the mammals with handfuls of mud. To be honest I wasn’t sure this was very healthy water. I’m sure I saw the elephants poop in it, but it was quickly scooped away.
The group later moves to a ‘cleaner’ water pond where everyone can rinse the mud away, and have another round of fun (not to mention memorable photos). Visitors seem to enjoy the moment splashing a lot and making lots of loud noise. The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Phuket is one of the new attractions opening all around Thailand. The common mindset is that with more sanctuaries, there will be less trekking, so you should read what a truly ethical sanctuary mean by reading this page about Tree Tops Elephant Reserve.
To book The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Phuket is simple: talk to your hotel counter.
Phuket Elephant Photos
Location and Hours
Location: Naithon Beach
Visits: Morning 6:30 am – 12.30 pm, Afternoon 11.30 am – 5.30 pm
Phone: 094 663 6592, 097 717 3277
Prices: Adults: 5,500 THB – Children 7-10: 3,500 THB