• Amboseli National Park

World Elephant Day - and where to find them

World Elephant Day is the perfect time to discover everything you need to know about these astounding creatures and how you can play a part in protecting them for future generations.

Since we were children the largest land mammal on the planet has held a special place in our hearts. Now we are all grown up, seeing them in their natural environment should be top of everyone’s travel wish-list.  Today, while many elephant populations have experienced significant recovery, they are still poached for their ivory, even though the trade is illegal. Meanwhile Asian elephants are at risk in their natural environments due to population increase encroaching on ancient migration routes. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to preserve and promote the welfare of these gracious creatures. 

Hayes & Jarvis believe in responsible travel and we only work with exceptional organisations to provide our clients with access to these incredible experiences. We’re committed to working with businesses that protect the environment and the local people in the destinations you love. So, if you’ve ever wanted to find out more about elephants and it's been your life's ambition to see them in the wild, read on and we'll show you how.

Discover five amazing elephant facts you might not know...

Embark on an amazing tour to spot elephants

Discover elephants from South East Asia to wild Africa

11 days a small boat in a body of water with Li River in the background

Khao Lak and Elephant Hills Multi Centre


Khao Lak will leave you feeling like you have found your own slice of paradise, with it's jaw dropping natural beauty and tranquil shores. After afew days of beach life, transfer by road to Khao Sok National Park. Here lies...

Iconic journeys

Khao Lak and Elephant Hills Multi Centre
8 days Elephant, Udawalawe National Park

Wildlife of Sri Lanka


From the forests of Wilpattu to the open plains of Minneriya, witness Sri Lanka's never-ending array of wildlife while enjoying a thrilling adventure tour. Visit during December to March for the best chance of experiencing rare wildlife including the leopard and...

Escorted tours

Wildlife of Sri Lanka

Where to go to see elephants

a large brown elephant standing in the grass

Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage

First established in 1977 by the late Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick in memory of her internationally famous conservationist husband David Sheldrick, the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage is renowned the world over for its Orphan’s Project. This remarkable project centres on the rescue and rehabilitation of elephants and rhinos under threat of ivory poaching and loss of habitat, ensuring orphaned elephants receive 24 hour care over a period of ten years until they are ready to be reintegrated back into the wild. From 11.00am to 12.00pm every day, visitors can observe handlers bottle-feeding the baby elephants, before they frolic and take mud baths to cool down in the midday sun.

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Elephants in Chobe

Chobe National Park

In the heart of Botswana lies one of its greatest national treasures, Chobe National Park, featuring over 10,000km2 of biodiverse landscape is home to the largest population of elephants in Africa. You can also discover the rock art paintings of the original inhabitants, the descendants of the San bushmen. Take a sunset cruise along the Chobe River, to observe elephants, hippos and crocodiles in their natural habitat, embark on game drives to spot giraffes, impala, baboons, lions and hyenas, and with an estimated 460 different bird species we're certain your binoculars will be your constant companion. Scan the skies for fish eagles, pied kingfishers, dancing amid the river reeds, or striking Egyptian geese in all their finery. Lording it over all, however, are those majestic elephants, approximately 150,000 of them pass through this spectacular park every year.

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Elephant transit home - Udawalawe

Udawalawe National Park

See elephants bathing, while monitor lizards skitter across the road and peacocks dart for safety between tufts of wild jasmine and guinea grass. Eagles and parrots adorn the trees with their magnificent foliage, wily crocodiles peep from the surface of the water. Since its inception in 1972 Udawalawe National Park, consisting of 31,000 hectares of dry grassland, has protected multiple species including majestic elephants, who drink at rivers and gather by the reservoir. Visit here during the dry season between May to September for the best sightings of elephants in Sri Lanka.

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Asian Elephant in Yala

Yala National Park

Sri Lanka’s jewel in the crown must be its national parks, vast game reserves that teem with exotic wildlife freely roaming the scrub land. The most favourite sites of the park include the rock temple Sithulpauwwa meaning hill of the quiet mind', once believed to be home to 12,000 monks. Take a jeep safari here and along the bumpy track you’ll spot cormorants and pelicans, crested serpent eagles and white bellied sea eagles. Spotted deer can be seen picking their way stealthily through the undergrowth, wary of jackals and leopards that also call this place home. And of course, towering over them all are majestic elephants – elusive at first, then crowding around your jeep with inquisitive trunks or roaming in peaceful herds across the landscape. It is a most magical sight to see.

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a large elephant standing on top of a grass covered field

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort offers their guests the opportunity to explore over 160 acres of dense bamboo forest, interacting with elephants in their natural habitat at their award-winning elephant camp as you learn of the inspiring conservation efforts involving protecting these gentle giants. You’ll discover more about their fascinating behaviours and biology from Anantara’s residential experts on their educational (ELE) Elephant Learning Experience. Here you can combine luxury with nature as you enjoy a gourmet picnic prepared by their highly-trained chefs, observing the elephants as they roam freely, romping about in the river, taking mud baths and snacking on trees.

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a close up of a man holding a baby elephant

Elephant Hills Jungle Safari Camp

The incredible vistas of Khao Sok National Park, it's limestone peaks rising above the rainforest canopy, where rivers and lakes create a picture of serenity, is home to one of the finest wildlife experiences in South East Asia: Elephant Hills Jungle Safari Camp. This is an authentic back-to-nature experience with exceptional luxury elements added to the mix, including en-suite bathrooms and handmade furniture throughout. However, the real luxury of this spectacular experience is getting close to the elephants, feeding them and helping to promote their welfare, as a well as encountering all the wildlife in this area of outstanding natural beauty. For all animal enthusiasts, this luxury safari camp is a must.

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More elephant inspiration

Ideas, advice and recommendations from our specialists inspiring you on spectacular places to spot elephants

Blog a herd of elephants standing on top of a lush green field

Where to spot elephants

If you love elephants, then discover where to go to meet them, responsibly, in their natural environment, in game reserves and sanctuaries where their preservation and welfare is the highest priority.

Where to spot elephants
Blog Shamwari Game Reserve kids on safari game drive

Plan the perfect family safari holiday

Get the inspiration and advice for you and your family on where to go and what to do for the perfect African safari holiday.

Plan the perfect family safari holiday
Blog a horse standing in front of a sunset

Walk on the wild side

Discover some of the rising stars of the safari holidays world including Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia for big cats, big landscapes and amazing experiences

Walk on the wild side

Our amazing elephant encounters

a elephant that is standing in front of a fence

Sarah's Thai elephant encounter

With the magnificent Khao Sok mountains surrounding us, this photo captures the incredible and surreal experience I had meeting a herd of Asian elephants in Thailand. Prior to this being taken, I helped wash and feed the elephants in a hugely intimate experience that I will never forget. The photo shows me soaking up my final moments with the animals before we headed back to Elephant Hills jungle Camp. I could have stayed watching the elephants for hours, but, although I’m now back in the UK, every time I look at this picture it takes me back to this incredible moment and the feelings I felt at the time. Travel to Elephant Hills in Thailand to enjoy this fulfilling and unforgettable experience.

a person standing in front of a mountain

Vicky's memorable elephant viewing experience

I’d spent the most amazing four days of my life in Kenya and feel so lucky to have had many outstanding experiences during my time there. In Tsavo I enjoyed a local beer that I will never forget – sitting overlooking a waterhole filled with elephants bathing and Mt Kilimanjaro in the background. It was absolutely breathtaking! I have now well and truly got the bug for Africa and can’t wait to go back and explore more! 

Elephant, Udawalawe National Park

Clive's up-close elephant meeting

I’m no wildlife enthusiast, that’s true. However, the day I spent as wildlife photographer in Yala National Park searching for elephants was spellbinding. We saw plenty of mud-loving buffalo and even the odd tufted hawk eagle, but no elephants. Then, a peacock stopped our jeep as it strutted across the dirt track. While we waited I glanced over my left shoulder and came almost face to face with Nelly.  It came as no surprise that the first words I could utter to the rest of the group was: “It’s behind you!”

a baby elephant standing next to a body of water

Becky's close encounter with a rogue elephant

I had been staying in Governors Camp in Kenya. I was walking back to my tent when a ranger stopped me. He said, you are not going anywhere! There’s currently a bull elephant eating berries from the tree hanging over your tent. I watched him from a distance and once he was done feeding, taking down part of a wall and having a scratch, He headed towards me and the rangers let me watch him ….almost too long until he swished past us and made his way out of the camp. It was the closest elephant encounter and fabulously scary too. 

a large elephant standing next to a body of water

Katie's mesmerising Minneriya gathering

My elephant encounters in Sri Lanka were just incredible. I had seen them before on my travels but never have I seen as many in a herd as I did in Minneriya National Park, I think there were well over 20 elephants at one moment just roaming about and enjoying themselves while munching on the grass. They are just so mesmerising to watch I could have stayed there all day.

a woman petting an elephant

Maggie's visit to the Thai elephant sanctuary

I love elephants – I went to an amazing sanctuary in Northern Thailand and I became obsessed with their trunks, and the smell of their breath and I just fell in love with their tongues – when you feed them and their tongue sucks your hand up! I just loved it. I was lucky enough that when I went the elephant had been pregnant for 22 months and I got to feel the baby moving in her belly – amazing. 

We're passionate about elephants - just like you!