Elephant Haven is located high on a mountaintop about a 90-minute walk away from Elephant Nature Park in the Mae Taeng Valley. As the original location for our rescued elephants, it has been maintained by Lek since 1992. With over 100 acres of lush vegetation, far from any human encroachment and cultivated farms, Elephant Haven is a safe jungle retreat for the elephants.
Each week (weather permitting) our elephants and volunteers visit Elephant Haven for an overnight stay. Accompanied by an expert guide, volunteers enjoy a campfire atmosphere in a rustic setting while surrounded by elephants in their natural environment. Because of its remote location, our elephants are free to explore the jungle throughout the night. The next morning, the mahouts and volunteers set out to find where each elephant has wandered to in the jungle.
Not only is Elephant Haven a fun experience for our visitors, it is also an educational one. The jungle surrounding the Haven is filled with many trees and plants which are natural herbal medicines and are not found in Elephant Nature Park. Collected by our guide and the mahouts with the help of volunteers, these medicines are used to treat any ailments our rescued elephants may develop. Furthermore, by bringing tourists on overnight stays to the jungle, we are putting the government land to use and placing an economic value on elephant habitat.
With Elephant Haven, we are leading the way for a different style of trekking: volunteers walk with the elephants during the climb to the haven, rather than sitting on top of them. Volunteers are able to see and hear them as they amble through the jungle, uninhibited by harnesses or wooden chairs. Finally, no chains or hooks are used. Instead, the elephants are guided by their mahouts up to the forested sanctuary with little need for verbal encouragement.
A truly magical place, Elephant Haven offers our elephants time to explore the jungle and our volunteers an experience they will never forget.
For a closer look, read one volunteer's personal account of her trip to Elephant Haven.