Elephant conservation project with hill tribes in Thailand

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Elephant conservation project with hill tribes in Thailand

Environment

All passengers are educated about the fragility of the ecosystems that we visit and are asked to behave accordingly. Our experienced guides provide any necessary clarification of appropriate behaviour. Trekking passengers are told to bring plastic zip-lock bags in which to keep used toilet paper for disposal at an appropriate point. All our guides and mahouts are passionate about the forest they have grown up in and teach us so much about how to protect this valuable resource that they want to be home for their elephants and all the wildlife that lives here. As a Uk registered charity our mission is to return elephants back to their natural environment. The forest needs the elephants to survive and the elephants belong in this forest. We work not only to improve the lives of the elephants but also the community who care for them and the forest they all need to thrive. The more elephants we can return the greater area of forest we can protect. Full and comprehensive details of tours are available in paper-free form on our website, including a PDF version of the brochure. The UK office uses recycled and recyclable materials wherever possible. Biodegradable waste is composted in the company garden. We use, where available, biodegradable or reusable containers for packed lunches on all tours. Refillable bottles are used to transport water while trekking. Where water is a scarce commodity passengers are made aware of the need to be frugal with its consumption. We use as much from the forest as possible, making cups and cooking pots from bamboo.

Community

Local agents carry out administrative tasks wherever practicable in Thailand. Tour leaders live in Thailand and contribute full time to the local economies. We use indigenous local agents; Thai and Karen 100% of the time for tour activities and chartered transport. Our tours are to a real Karen hill tribe village only; we follow a model of community-based tourism thus bringing economic benefit to the whole community. A percentage of the tourists payment is donated to the village Elephant Community Fund, this is vital if an elephant becomes sick and needs transporting to the hospital many hours away or for growing supplementary food for sick elephants. We are a UK registered charity, 100% not for profit and our pricing structure clearly represents this. We take a small percentage of the overall cost and this is to help us with the monthly wages for the mahouts to take care of the elephants in the forest. We are active in raising awareness for captive working elephants, working with tour operators to ensure welfare is always at the top of the agenda. Our project is leading the way in showing alternative models for elephant tourism. Where guests are encouraged to just sit back and watch the elephants in their natural habitat at a safe and respectful distance.

1 Reviews of Elephant conservation project with hill tribes in Thailand

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Reviewed on 17 May 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Every moment was worth it. Unforgettable experience, just following the elephants every day as they forage and bathe and drink and eat in their natural home, the forests. I think that's the most unique part of going on this tour with the Elephant Community project - every day is different, because every day's "itinerary" is decided by the elephants . The highlight for me was watching the elephants drink from a stream/ mini waterfall. It was amazing to be able to be so close to them.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


There is a fair amount of hiking up and down steep slopes so remember to bring your hiking shoes or boots. There will also be sudden downpours from time to time so it's a good idea to bring a raincoat. Fitness-wise, if you hike regularly you'll be fine but those who aren't used to it may find it strenuous. You will be pretty much hiking all day minus meal times but there will be plenty of breaks throughout the day whenever the elephants decide to stop and eat/ drink/ play. I think just generally be open-minded and be willing to immerse yourself in the local culture is important.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes I am told that the donation I made to the charity for this trip helps pay the mahouts' salaries so hopefully this type of community-based tourism gains more traction and makes a difference to their livelihood in the long run. The charity definitely does a lot to support the conservation of Asian elephants in their natural habitat so I am glad I joined them on this tour.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Fantastic. Came home with a ton of amazing pictures and videos. I am planning to do this again :)

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