Mahouts Elephant Foundation has recently completed a remarkable challenge. With a dedicated team around us we walked an incredible 130km over 8 days through Thailand’s deepest forests, on hot and steep roads and through remote hill tribe villages. We reached heights of 6000 feet, we had to wade through rivers, smash down undergrowth and climb over fallen trees. We started some days at 4am following beautiful elephants with head torches on watching the sunrise over the hills and valleys. We wouldn’t have changed a thing because our mission was clear; we were walking two beautiful elephants HOME, where they would join a young bull to live forever in the forests that are their birthright.
Karen hill tribe families who own the elephants live in a remote village in the hills of northern Thailand. The village is rich in culture and they have had elephants at the heart of this for hundreds of years. When logging was banned in the late 1980’s the mahouts had to leave the village to work in the trekking camps around Chiang Mai with their elephants. Tourism was exploding and sadly elephant tourism was a big part of this. Unable to keep the elephants at home the mahouts left for the camps. There is now a real desire within the village and the mahout community here to return the elephants back to the forest, the community want to let the elephants just live in as natural way as possible, deep in the conservation forest to keep them away from farmers crops and we are joining forces with them to grow a sustainable project where visitors can trek out to watch the elephants living naturally and also spend time in the village learning traditional skills such as weaving and basket making. Immersing in the culture here is fascinating; sharing a meal with a host family can be a heart-warming experience for all.
The first phase of this project was to walk the elephants HOME, we are now fundraising and putting strategies in place to support these first elephants and their mahouts. We hope you will join us in growing this project into the future to enable more elephants to leave a working life behind and join a growing herd in the forest. We will be walking more elephants HOME in the near future.
To read more about this incredible journey, please read the blog in our ‘News’ section.
We are offering an exciting opportunity for you to visit the elephants and spend time with the village community learning about a gentle and fascinating culture. Please follow the link to learn more about our packages.