Elephant Trekking

My cousin, Suki, had kindly arranged an on-land day trip for us this time; in the form of the South Lanta Waterfall Safari!

We were picked up from our villa in the morning and hopped onto the back of the truck.


10am heat!


We met our friendly tour-guide, who took us and a lovely German couple through the jungle…


She showed us caves with bats….


…and as we followed her in deeper…


…we discovered rocks that sound hollow when you knock on them!


Back on track, we followed our guide to the waterfall.


With a sign like that, you know it’s going to be epic!


Ah well…



It’s more of a water-dribble than a water-fall…


A little disappointed with the ‘waterfall,’ we headed back through the jungle.


Our ride turned up swiftly and we were soon seated with air con, fresh pineapple and cold bottles of water, while we waited for our elephant ride!


Ry and I were both keen to ride an elephant since we were in Thailand! Although we had both wanted to go to a conservation park/sanctuary to do this, we couldn’t find any in the locations that we were headed to on this trip; so decided to go ahead with Suki’s local arrangements.

It was amazing to see an elephant so up close, but we already felt a bit guilty watching her walking over to us with a seat on her back and a guy sat on her head.

We were allowed a maximum of 1 hour, but requested to stay on for half an hour.


The fact that the rider was holding a bull-hook put me on edge for the entire ride.

Luckily he didn’t use it!


Well not on our elephant, Boonba, anyway!

He hacked at the rubber trees that surrounded us and showed us the line of rubber that it produced.



The experience was also dampened by the fact that our guide was smoking and playing some really bad Thai music on his phone for most of the ride.


Nevertheless we tried to make the most of it!


After a short while, our guide hopped off Boonba’s head and asked us to move forward for some photos, while Boonba roamed a little more.


We also thought that it was a bit of a shame that the walk took place in such a heavily wooded area; not ideal for elephants!


This was our favourite photo! 😀


When our time was up, we fed Boonba some pineapples, which we actually enjoyed more than the ride.


Oh no, all gone!


Although we both managed to tick elephant-trekking off our bucket lists, we felt too guilty to actually enjoy it.

Having read up on the cruelty that elephants have to endure from a young age, just to please tourists; we wouldn’t recommend it. If anyone’s got any recommendations for any good conservation sites/sanctuaries where we can just play with the elephants, we’d LOVE to hear from you!

I’m sorry this has been a bit of a negative post; I promise our next one will be much more cheerful! 😉

Happy Sunday!



8 thoughts on “Elephant Trekking

  1. I understand your feelings about the elephants and agree. I do like the sound of these hollow rocks. You might have got a fright if, after knocking, a voice had said, “Come in”! J.

  2. Boonba is beautiful but the uncomfortable knowledge of the cruelty they go through is why we chose not trek. Many companies claim they never use violence or cruelty on their animals during trekking but its the original training they have when they are young that’s the worst part and despite their insane strength carrying tourists in the heat all day is terrible for their backs. The way domestic elephants are bred is also incredibly cruel. The lose, lose part of the whole scenario is that they can’t be wild elephants so if tourists weren’t riding them then all of Thailands domestic elephants would have died off when logging was banned. Its a tough decision but we did an overnight stay at elephantnaturepark, Chang Mai, who rescue any elephant that’s in particularly bad condition. If you think one of the elephants at the place you visited looked worse for wear you can contact them. If you’re ever in Chang Mai area you should go! Its the best thing and they had babies and you get so much time up close to them and feed them tons of food and bathe them and they teach you loads, hence the length of this comment 😉 Its a shame we seemed to be so many place in Thailand just a few days before or after each other, would have been funny to bump into someone from home x

    • Thank you so much for the great advice, Rose! I read your elephant post a while back and loved it, we’ll definitely give it a try next time we’re in Thailand 🙂

      I’m actually just super behind on blog posts atm, our trip was over a month ago now! :p Where are you guys at the moment? I’d definitely recommend HK, since you’re in SE Asia 😉 xxx

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