Photo Essay: Elephants at the Elephant Nature Park

Located close to Chiang Mai, North Thailand, Elephant Nature Park is an elephant sanctuary for abused and tortured elephants. Founded by Lek Chailert in the 1990’s, they have given dozens of elephants a new home where they can spend their lives in peace without having to perform tricks, work or have tourists riding on their backs.

I volunteered at the park in 2013 for 1 week, where I witnessed the extraordinary work Lek has achieved over the past couple of decades. You can read about my volunteering week at the Elephant Nature Park and how to sign up in this post.

Elephant at ENP
Elephant at the Elephant Nature Park
Baby elephant splashing in water
Elephants in river ENP
Elephant herd at Elephant Nature Park
Water Bufalos ENP
ENP animals

Apart from elephants, there are plenty of other animals who call the park their home. A dog sanctuary has been established at the park after the floods in Bangkok in 2011. You can also witness water buffaloes roaming around the park.

Elephant eating at ENP
Baby elephant at ENP
ENP water bottle holder

Hot and humid days are the norm in Thailand, so Elephant Nature park provides volunteers with water bottles and water bottle holders to keep everyone hydrated while working in these conditions.

Line of elephants at ENP
Elephant close-up
Elephant playing in the mud

Mud baths are very important for elephants, as their skin is very sensitive and can get sunburnt. As well as serving as a natural sunscreen, the mud also cools them down.

Elephant her at the Elephant Nature Park
Volunteers outside ENP

Preparing food for the elephants is one of the tasks volunteers are asked to do. Scrubbing the pumpkins and melons, which are gently bobbing in the water, is the first part. The local women and volunteers chop the pumpkins and melons with machetes before dropping them in big baskets.

Visit Elephant Nature Park website for more info on the elephants and how you can get involved.

Do you have questions about volunteering and my experience? Ask them in the comments below!

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Hi! I'm a Belgian travel blogger currently living in Vancouver, Canada after living in the UK for 7 years. I have a keen interest in responsible travel, volunteering and archaeology and I'm always on the lookout for new adventures around the world!

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5 thoughts on “Photo Essay: Elephants at the Elephant Nature Park”

  1. Very cool! I’m hearing more and more about Chiang Mai and how beautiful it is. Definitely need to get there!
    I probably don’t need to say it but, great photos!

  2. Hi, do you know if there’s a way to support their work by purchasing the water bottle holders? My sister on a vacation to Thailand brought one back for me as a gift, but sadly it’s disappeared. Besides, I’d like to get more than one as many have commented on it! I visited their webpage, but their online store does not appear to be operational.

    Thanks so much if you have ant suggestions!

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