ElephantsWorld, Kanchanaburi

4.2
#1 of 15 in Parks in Kanchanaburi
Spending time with some of nature's grandest creatures at ElephantsWorld, a center that is firmly focused on animal welfare, sustainability, and ecology. Established in 2008, this non-profit organization acts as a sanctuary for sick, old, disabled, abused, and rescued elephants, who enjoy a decent quality of life here. Feed them, wash them, and help with their care: the elephants here are treated with respect, having been taken out of poor conditions elsewhere. Staff will inform you as to the behavior of elephants in the wild, the dangers facing them, and what can be done to protect them. To plan Kanchanaburi vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.
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ElephantsWorld Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,824 reviews
Google
3.8
TripAdvisor
  • There aren’t enough good things to say about our day at Elephants World. My 8 y/o and 11 y/o and I hired a driver (through Elephants World) to transport us to and from Bangkok. It was a 3 to 4 hour dr...  more »
  • I've done a lot of things in my life. Cool things. Far off things. This, my friends, very well may be the best experience I've ever had on an adventure. I don't want you to take this review lightly. D...  more »
  • ElephantsWorld “Were you work for the elephants instead of them working for you” -this was exactly what I was looking for, a place were elephants are living under good conditions and you can’t ride th...  more »
Google
  • Amazing experience! You get to learn about the elephants, feed, bathe and prepare their food. Animals are treated very well and the staff is knowledgeable and friendly. Even the dogs and cats are nice and sociable. If you're going to be in Bangkok, definitely worth taking a day trip out here.
  • Unforgettable family experience! My family and I are animal lovers, so we’re looking for a place that didn’t use animals as entertainment but also didn’t over commit us to a voluntary situation we could not do with a 5 year and 9 year old. I found Elephant World on youtube and fell in love. The experience was amazing for my boys, me and my husband. We prepared food, treated their skin in a mud bath, fed, and scrubbed elephants with brushes. The employees there have the upmost respect for these gentle creatures and taught us so much.
  • This is a terrible place that exploits elephants for financial gain. Upon arrival it was explained to us that the handlers had to use sticks with metal spikes to control the elephants (by hooking them behind the ears) but we were told not to worry, these spikes were blunt and didn't hurt the elephant. I later found out, by talking to very distressed long-term volunteers who had been at the center for a few months, that they use a blunt "demo spike" to fool the tourists and that the actual spikes they use on the elephants are sharp. The long-term volunteers told me that the elephants are chained up at night, and treated very badly when out of sight of the tourists who just come for a day or two, and that they were very upset but had decided to stay to try to make small positive changes in the owners' attitudes towards the elephants while they were there. I witnessed elephant handlers riding the elephants (which should never happen as it can hurt their backs) and beating them with sticks to make them lie down in the river so that the tourists could swim with them. The elephants live by a strict schedule which is governed by what is best for the tourists and the center owners, and not what is best for the elephants, and are tied up and marched from place to place to comply with this schedule. Tourists are allowed to sit on the elephants while they're in the water for photo opportunities, which the elephants obviously found distressing, and I witnessed an elephant handler climbing up an elephant's face in order to get up onto the elephant's back (see photo below). I was meant to be staying overnight but after a few hours I couldn't stand it and I called a meeting with the center owners to discuss my concerns with them; concerns which sadly fell on deaf ears and were met with excuses about control being necessary because elephants can be dangerous. Why, then, are tourists allowed to sit on them? I left soon after. I hope this review will shed some light on the truth behind what goes on at this center, because their website is very misleading, quoting "Where we work for the elephants, and the elephants not for us" and "No animal abuse". In my experience, and the experience of the long-term volunteers that I spoke to that day, this is very far from the truth but I was fooled by the website. I hope this review will help others not fall into the same trap I did. I found my visit to this center very upsetting and it has stayed with me ever since. I feel so sorry for those poor elephants who have been rescued from lives of hard labor (logging etc.) only to end up here. There are plenty of great elephant sanctuaries that do good in Thailand but this is not one of them.
  • Before my review I decided to look at those of others. I have recently completed my second visit to Elephants World with my Partner. We spent a week on the Mahout Programme learning about the needs of the Elephants, what a Mahout does for them and also we were able to see first hand what the other staff and volunteers do for these beautiful animals. There is an amazing friendship between all of the staff and there appears to be a huge respect for the founder Dr Samart and what he has achieved with their help. Having worked closely with the Elephants and Mahouts it is evident that there is no pressure on them other than to enjoy life and their surroundings. Having seen the Medical care, the amount of food that they eat and the accommodation there is obviously no profit being made at Elephants World. The Mahouts do have control but for the safety of the Elephants and visitors. The control can only be described as positive for them by voice and gentle caring physical persuasion. Please remember that the majority of these Elephants were previously made to do things that they were not built to do. Sadly there still too many elephants in Thailand working and suffering. Elephants World and other similar places are working hard to help and as far as I can see, what they all do is only positive. Well done to you all and I cannot wait to see you all again as soon as we can return.
  • Cooler than i expected! This was a once in a lifetime experience. We got to see and touch elephants. Our tour started off with lunch. Then we drove over to a field where we cut food for the elephants. Then we got to feed them by hand and bathe them. Truly unforgettable experience. Happy to come here instead of the other elephant places where the elephants are mistreated and abused.
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