Thailand-based tour company Isan Explorer has created three new elephant tours that are designed to focus on ensuring the animals’ welfare.
The new tours allow visitors to see the elephants in their natural environment, without the usual elephant chair rides, which can damage the pachyderms’ spines, or talent shows. The elephants on Isan Explorer’s tours also remain unchained.
Instead, guests are offered the chance to walk out and watch the elephants going about their daily lives in the forest and at watering holes. And travellers can help the mahouts bathe the elephants in the river.
“Interacting with elephants in a natural environment such as this is an intimate and immensely rewarding experience – far better than watching them do circus tricks,” said Isan Explorer’s founder & director, Tim Bewer, who has worked with the Save Elephant Foundation to ensure the tours are beneficial to the elephants.
Two-, three-, and four-day tours are available and include visits to other cultural attractions in northeast Thailand, including temples, ruins and a silk weaving village.