10 BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS
YOU CAN SEE THE ELEPHANTS
One of the most rewarding travel experiences you can tick off your bucket list is having a close encounter with a wild animal. If you want to do something truly unique while you're away, we've shortlisted the best destinations around the world to see elephants - because there's nothing more adorable than watching a tot tumble over its oversized trunk!
Chiang Mai Province, Thailand
Thailand's paradise islands are renowned for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but that's not the only major draw when it comes to natural beauty. Elephant Nature Park in Chang Mai is among the top places to visit in Thailand and a great chance to get up close to these amazing creatures in a natural environment. This rescue and rehabilitation centre (located in northern Thailand) is home to a happy herd of over 35 elephants and welcomes all visitors who wish to volunteer. Spend a leisurely day splashing, stroking and strolling alongside the elephants and make your holidays in Thailand as memorable as can be.
Bandhavgarh National Park, India
Bandhavgarh National Park is where to head if you want to catch a glimpse of the majestic animals of the jungle, particularly the Bengal tiger. The park's popular Tiger Tour is a must for sightseeing and is best experienced on an elephant-back. This safari is a great way to get up close to the surrounding animal species, such as leopards, boars and birds. Before you leave, be sure to visit the temple and cave shrines situated at the base of the fort!
Chitwan National Park, Nepal
Chitwan National Park has been crowned as one of the best wildlife-viewing National Parks in Asia and once you've spent a day exploring this wonderful World Heritage Site, you'll soon see why. This spectacular reserve is one of the last undisturbed areas of Nepal's Terai region and covers a whopping 932 square kilometres of lush forests and marshland. You're likely to spot leopards, monkeys, and a colourful collection of birds while you're here, but it's the elephants that win us over. Ride with the elephants through the jungle before stopping to splash, bathe and scrub them in the Rapti River, keeping your eyes peeled for the rare one-horned rhino and the Royal Bengal tiger along the way!
Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
The Selous Game Reserve is one of Tanzania's World Heritage Sites which has the country's largest river, Rufiji, running through the heart of it. It's popular for its wide range of viewing activities, meaning you can get up close and personal with the animals and explore Africa's untouched wilderness by boat, foot or vehicle. Selous is home to more than half of Tanzania's elephant population, so you're sure to spot a few while you're here! Better still, if you fancy extending your stay overnight, choose to lodge in one of the spectacular on-site camps, from luxury accommodation on wooden decked verandas to canvas tents in the middle of the action!
Addo Elephant Park, South Africa
South Africa has a spectacularly long list of National Parks, each offering indigenous flora and fauna, lush landscapes, cultural heritage and incredible animals. The Addo Elephant National Park is the third largest in South Africa and is divided into seven sections, providing a wide range of activities and accommodation. This reserve is a prime location if you're eager to head out on an elephant safari, with a section of the park used specifically for self-drive wildlife excursions. If you don't fancy driving in your own vehicle, opt for an organised game drive in an open-topped land rover and keep your eyes peeled!
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Abu Camp, located in the Okavango Delta, has been famous for its elephant-back safaris since the 1980s. This wonderful experience takes you on a journey through unspoiled lagoons and open grassland, and as you explore the African bush, you'll get to know the personalities of each member in the elephant herd as you interact with them during various activities throughout the day. The elephant safari is also a great way of observing how the other surrounding wildlife behaves in their natural habitat.
Way Kambas National Park, Indonesia
Located on the island of Sumatra in Lampung Province, Way Kambas National Park is where you'll find the Sumatran elephant, 350 of them, in fact! They’re a subspecies of the Asian elephant, found only in Indonesia. This reserve is one of the oldest in Indonesia and occupies 1300 square kilometres of swamp forest, mangroves, expanses of grassland and dry beach forest - making it the perfect habitat for thousands of species. For unforgettable elephant holidays, go ahead and grab an expert guide and get going on one of the popular walking, cycling, boat or elephant safari tours.
Minneriya National Park, Sri Lanka
Minneriya National Park is one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka, particularly if you want to catch a glimpse of wild elephants. The park is most famous for an event known as "The Gathering". During the dry season from May to September, hundreds of elephants embark on a trip to an ancient reservoir where they can feed and bathe. This migration has been happening for centuries and makes for a truly spectacular sight.