During your travels through Southeast Asia, you will encounter the most beautiful sights, eat delicious food and of course, you’ll most likely want to see and interact with elephants. There is something so majestic and peaceful about these gentle giants and seeing one in person is a truly awe-inspiring experience. Unfortunately, there are so many stories about the mistreatment of these animals that you might be unsure of where to go. Don’t fret! We’ve created our top five ethical elephant sanctuaries in Southeast Asia that you should visit during our travels.

1. Elephant Nature Park – Thailand

With several chapters throughout Thailand, this retirement home for rescued elephants was founded by Lek Chailert. Lek is considered to be a pioneer in the ethical treatment of elephants in captivity.  Visit Elephant Nature Park’s website here.

2. Elephant Valley Project – Cambodia

This is a registered nonprofit organization where you trek into the jungle and spend hours walking with them and learning their stories. Visit Elephant Valley Project’s website here.

3. Green Hill Valley – Myanmar

A family-owned elephant refuge and provides care to those elephants which worked in the logging industry. Visit Green Hill Valley’s website here.

 

4. Elephant Freedom Project – Sri Lanka

The Elephant Freedom Project is a small and family run project which offers refuge, freedom from work and hardship to the elephant. Currently the project only has two elephants, including one rented from her owner to prevent leasing her out to a riding camp or the zoo. Visit Elephant Freedom Project’s website here.

5. Elephant Conservation Center – Laos

This conservation center rescues elephants from the logging industry or tourism. Their ultimate goal is to reintroduce elephants to a protected natural forest where they can contribute to the increase of the wild population. Visit Elephant Conservation Center’s website here.

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