5 Best Elephant Sanctuaries in Koh Samui to reconnect with nature
5 Best Elephant Sanctuaries in Koh Samui to reconnect with nature

5 Best Elephant Sanctuaries in Koh Samui

 Best elephant sanctuaries in Koh Samui

The captivating landscape of Koh Samui makes this island one of the most enchanting natural scenes of the south. With vast green land and lush forests, Koh Samui is home to a growing interest in the elephant rescue mission. This blog serves as a guide into what to expect at elephant sanctuaries in Samui, and which sanctuaries are best.


Elephants History 


Historically, elephants have been an integral part of Thai society; from agriculture to transportation, to playing a huge role in royal festivals and celebrations.

With a rapid shift towards mass production, elephants in Thailand were forced into the logging industry. Consequent to the ban on logging in Thailand in 1989, elephants moved into the tourism industry by performing at zoos, and circuses, trekking, and begging on the streets.

Today's elephant sanctuaries, including on Koh Samui, offer another chance at life for the wild animals safe from being poached for ivory in the wild and giving tourists rides. There is still a debate in the conservation industry on what qualifies as ethical elephant practices with constant pressure from ethical animal communities and the economic realities of the carers. The common consensus remains that elephant riding, close captivity, and the use of elephant hooks and chains should be off-limits.

With that in mind, visitors hoping to see elephants in Samui should be subjective in their judgment of which elephant sanctuaries to visit based on the types of activities they are looking for while refraining from places that utilize hooks and promote elephant riding.

We have carefully compiled a list of elephant sanctuaries on Samui Island based on reviews, locations, and their unique highlight. From hand-off Samui elephant experience to an authentic Samui cultural and elephant sanctuary tour, to feeding elephants with a view of Samui heart-shaped beach, each sanctuary offers different highlights for your Thailand elephant experience.



All elephant sanctuaries in Samui include roundtrip transfers from accommodations in Samui depending on the package choice.


Best Elephant Sanctuaries in Koh Samui


Samui elephant sanctuaries


1. Samui Elephant Sanctuary - A sanctuary of lush and green landscape

The Samui Elephant Sanctuary is an award-winning elephant sanctuary that offers visitors to Koh Samui an authentic and transformative experience with elephants. 

The sanctuary allows visitors to witness elephants in their most freeing and charming way through their no-disturbance approach. The half-day tour focuses on spreading awareness of Thai elephants and nature conservation.

* Booking to the Samui Elephant Sanctuary is required before visiting. There are limited slots per program, we recommend checking availability before your visit.


  • The Samui Elephant Sanctuary operates two camps on Samui.
  • Visitors will engage in feeding the elephants and walking with them in the jungle.
  • Observe the innocent creatures mingle, play in the mud, and forage of their free will.
  • Visitors can donate to the sanctuary’s Plant a Tree program.


Bo Phut and Chaweng Noi, Koh Samui

best elephant sanctuaries in Koh Samui 


2. Samui Elephant Kingdom Sanctuary - A hand-off and ethical interaction with elephants

Nestled in the heart of Samui Island, is the Samui Elephant Kingdom Sanctuary stretching over green vast land that cares for the well-being of elephants away from exploitation and labor. At the Samui Elephant Kingdom Sanctuary, elephants roam free in lust jungles and play whenever they desire.


  • A short introduction to elephants' anatomy and habits
  • Preparing vitamin balls for elephants
  • The skywalk allows visitors to observe the elephants away from human disturbance
  • Visitors can feed the elephants from a skywalk and have the chance to touch the elephants briefly.
  • The lush green landscape provides a pleasant sight and atmosphere for nature lovers


Na Muang, Koh Samui

 Koh Samui elephant Kingdom elephant sanctuary


3. Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Samui - Intimate elephant feeding and bathing experience.

Locating just 20 minutes from Samui International Airport, the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary provides an intimate experience with elephants. Visitors with little time can partake in the feeding sessions or spend half a day at the sanctuary engaging in elephant-caring activities.


  • Feed various fruits and sugar canes to the elephants that eat every hour
  • Partake in the half-day program to feed elephants, bathe with them, and watch them play in the mud.
  • Walk with the elephants
  • Learn about the story of each elephant 


Bor Phud, Koh Samui

Best ethical elephant sanctuaries in Koh Samui


4. Samui Elephant Home - Samui's authentic cultural and elephant experience

The Samui Elephant Home Sanctuary is an education center on elephants that aims to care for the well-being of elephants through various activities that feel like a reconnection with nature. 

The sanctuary supports the lives of the innocent elephants as well as their communities as can be seen from their other programs that bring visitors to experience the authentic way of life of Samui, engage in handicrafts, and learn Thai cooking


  • Half-day program allows you to observe the elephants play in mud.
  • Feed the elephants organic food and give them a bath
  • Engaging in making supplement balls for the elephants
  • The Authentic Samui Way of Life Program allows visitors to engage in the Samui community by visiting ancient houses, and temples, learning about Samui's craft and cooking, enjoying lunch over a viewpoint, and saying hello to bay elephants.


Na Muang, Koh Samui

 Best ethical elephant sanctuaries in Koh Samui 


5. Elephant Care Samui - Feeding at Heart shaped beach viewpoint

The elephant experience at Elephant Care Samui is for an intimate interaction with elephants and supports the sanctuary's work of ecotourism and commitment to offering Thai elephants shelter away from labor and exploitation. Locating atop a beautiful viewpoint that gives visitors a breathtaking sight of Samui's heart-shaped beach. 


  • Meet and feed adorable elephants 
  • Indulge in a 1.5-hour feeding session at the heart-shaped beach viewpoint
  • Give the adorable elephants a pampering mud spa and give them a nice cleanse in the pond
  • Observe a cooking class and delicious lunch for the half-day program.


Chaweng Noi, Koh Samui

elephant sanctuaries in Koh Samui


There you have it, 4 uniquely ethical elephant sanctuaries in Koh Samui to embark on your natural rehabilitation journey and support the lives of rescued elephants in Thailand.

If you are visiting Phuket, don't forget to check out our best elephant sanctuaries in Phuket list. Or if you're soul-searching in the north, read our best elephant sanctuaries in Chiang Mai list.

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