4 Days & 3 Nights - 3 nights at The Elephant Camp, day trip to the floating Rainforest Camp. Ideal for nature lovers of any age.
From your base at The Elephant Camp you will uncover the secrets of Takuapa’s mangrove swamps, a lost world of beautiful banyan trees and emerald green channels. Explore these mangroves by speed boat before relaxing on our traditional wooden Junk.
Combined with our epic Elephant sanctuary experience, canoeing on the Sok River, exploring Cheow Larn Lake and a jungle walk, this tour is a combination of all our classic adventures!
DAY1: THE AMAZING ELEPHANT EXPERIENCE
Welcome to Elephant Hills Camp
Pick-up from your hotel or the airport in Phuket, Khao Lak, Phang Nga, Krabi, Surat Thani or even from Koh Samui and transfer to Khao Sok. En-route, glimpses of tropical rural life here in southern Thailand can be caught. Upon arrival at Elephant Hills Camp, buffet lunch is served at 12:00pm, a variety of delicious Thai dishes cooked not too spicy awaits you.
Time travel on a canoe trip
After lunch you can relax during a jungle river canoe trip down the Sok River. The canoes are very stable and safe; life jackets are provided as well as a local river guide to paddle the canoe. Drift along the jungle river passing Limestone Mountains and cliffs covered with exotic tropical vegetation. Sometimes hornbill birds can be seen flying high overhead or reptiles basking in the sun on the riverbanks. From the canoe you can experience some of the last areas of primary rainforest, a world that has changed little in thousands of years.
The amazing Elephant Experience
Get out of the canoe and head over to the elephant park. Here you can see, touch and learn about the life of Thai elephants and about the Elephant Hills elephant conservation project. Your guide will also teach you about the mahout, the elephant caretaker. While participating in our amazing Elephant Experience you will get very close to and even get your hands on these magnificent animals, you will have the chance to interact with them and learn the secrets of their mahouts. You will prepare and feed them one of their daily meals, including their dietary supplements that help with their digestion and their overall well-being, then watch them bathe before you scrub and wash them clean. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to really experience the Asian Elephant, this part of the world’s largest land animal!
In the late afternoon return to Elephant Hills for dinner and overnight in your luxury tent. The jungle bar will be open for people wanting to exchange stories of their day’s experiences at the lake, and as extra entertainment you can witness a different movie, a different dance performance and a different cooking demonstration today – enough program to keep you busy until dinner, and enough action to ensure sweet dreams after you have been lulled to sleep by the background symphony of insects and frogs.
DAY 2: MYSTERIOUS MANGROVES
Good morning Khao Sok!
Wake up to the sounds of nature and birds calling from the bushes next to the tent. By the time the sun comes up and the mist over the rainforest-covered mountains to the south of Elephant Hills clears, gibbons’ territorial morning calls echo down the valley. Tea and coffee making facilities are available in your tent for early risers; breakfast is at your leisure.
Exploring a primeval swamp
Transfer to the West Coast. Board a speed boat near Takua Pa to explore the mysterious maze of channels in the mangrove forest, it really feels like some primeval swamp. Our well-trained guides keep an eye out for wildlife that might be spotted along the way, like mangrove cat snakes, reticulated pythons or red-tailed racers. Also a wide variety of bird species inhabit the area – make sure you bring your binoculars.
Cruising through the channels we finally meet and board a classical Burmese junk. Bathroom facilities are available, and lunch will be served on board, but not before you had the opportunity to explore the nearby mangrove creek in a self-paddled canoe – a silent journey into this dense, green world, full of natural wonders waiting to be appreciated by you. Very few people live in this area, so little has changed here in hundreds of years. Being out here gives you the feeling of traveling back in time when nature was still untouched and mobile phones didn’t exist. The panoramic views of distant mangroves and banyan trees stretch to the horizon. On the way to Elephant Hills you will stop at a local market, before you are safely transferred to the camp.
The laid-back evening you deserve
After all this activity close to nature it is time for a hot shower in the unique bathroom of your luxury safari tent. Relax and enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding jungle-covered mountains – this is 100% real nature! A wide selection of cocktails, wines and spirits is available at the “Jungle explorer’s club bar”. Optional evening entertainment includes a movie presentation, a traditional Thai dance performance from local school children and a cooking demonstration, where you learn how to properly prepare Thai specialties. At 8:00pm it is time for dinner in this unique location beside the rainforest, the sounds and the atmosphere will make this a memorable meal. Spend the night in your luxury safari tent with a comfortable bed, reading lights, hot water and a western-style toilet. The tents’ doors and windows are covered with mosquito netting as well as canvas flaps, so insects and reptiles will not bother you. Temperatures at night drop a little, the tents are well ventilated; blankets keep you warm in the chill of the night. This is real luxury so close to the heart of the rainforest!
DAY 3: SPECTACULAR CHEOW-LAN-LAKE
And another beautiful morning is dawning in Khao Sok. Extricate yourself from your blanket, roll up the canvas flap and greet the new day with a big yawning. After relaxing your jaw muscles, you will find it much easier to enjoy the well-rounded breakfast buffet.
Today you will explore Cheow-Lan-Lake by local long-tail boat. The man-made lake is surrounded by Limestone Mountains and cliffs covered in tropical rainforest that rise up from the shore of the lake and disappear somewhere in the far distance. The scenery has been compared to Guilin in China and Halong Bay in Vietnam. Few people know of the lake and even less have visited it. There are more than one hundred islands in the lake and it stretches over 60 km from North to South. In the 70’s the area was a hide-out for communists and students opposing the military dictatorship, which well preserved the area’s unique environment as it was spared from urbanization. You can enjoy the spectacular scenery from the boat and will have time to dip into the lake’s emerald water. Please bring your swimwear; towels are provided at the local raft house, where you will stop over for lunch and relaxation.
Why does it never get boring here?
After having splashed around enough for one day, grab your daypack and return to Elephant Hills. The choice for the evening program is yours: A movie again? Another dance performance? Want to learn how to prepare another Thai dish? Or is the hammock too comfortable? Maybe you might even keep on splashing around in the water – then our pool is waiting for you. Dinner is served at 8:00pm as usual, the bar remains open several hours after that. Finally you will head to your tent – one last time (for now) in this magical environment.
DAY 4: A LITTLE JUNGLE ADVENTURE
Modern era jungle explorers
Start the day with a wholesome breakfast before you will come face to face with the jungle by exploring it on foot. It is not an army survival exercise, there are no prizes for the fastest, snakes and spiders do not jump out at you – it is just an excellent opportunity to explore the ecology of one of the world’s oldest rainforests, to see a great variety of exotic plants, tropical hardwood trees with huge roots, orchids, palms, ferns, bamboos, mosses… the variety is huge. Birds such as the hornbill live high up above, gibbons can often be heard calling to their mates, a macaque or a leaf monkey may be swinging through the branches, beautiful butterflies buzz around – every day is different, but it is always truly wonderful to discover the great variety of life-forms that co-exists here together. Walk slowly. Look, learn and listen. Then you too will start to discover some of the secrets of the rainforest.
Memories for a lifetime
Sadly around noon it is already time to return to Elephant Hills, and after a refreshing shower the onward transfer to your next hotel or the airport awaits you. All good things come to an end, they say, but luckily this unique experience will remain in your memory for the rest of your life!
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