Patara Elephant Farm – The Abode of the Rescued Thai Elephants
The best part about Patara Elephant Farm is that it is a hands-on adventure. The farm is run by a lovely couple and their trainers who are obviously passionate and totally committed to their elephants. And, the best part is that it is right in your neighbourhood of Karma Royal Bella Vista.
Patara Elephant Farm is a health-recovery and reproduction-management farm for elephants. Its focus is on educating the public on elephants and the threats they face. To do this, the farm pairs visitors up with an elephant for a day and assigns them the task of caring for that elephant.
While at Patara, don’t think of the Patara Elephant Farm as just a “farm”. When you arrive there, you’ll see no offices, no walls, no buildings. In mutual agreement with the surrounding villages, the elephants live in the open.
Patara Elephant Park – Program on offer
A trip to Patara consists of a hands-on-experience where each visitor is given an elephant to take care of for a half-day or a full day. This program is called “Elephant Owner for a Day” and is the foundation of Rescue-Recovery-Reproduction-Reintroduction for elephants with education and meaningful tourism sharing.
Its goal is for visitors to better understand elephant health and behaviour by caring for an elephant. These activities include feeding the elephant, checking its health, bathing it, learning how to communicate with it, and ride it.
These elephants have been rescued from unsuitable/undesirable living arrangements (circuses, logging farms etc.). The moot objective being to get them to breed & plan to reintroduce them to the wild. This was the highlight of the day of being next to such gentle animals and the people who are doing such a wonderful thing.
Own Your Elephant
So overall if you are visiting Patara, you are in for a challenging one-day excursion washing elephant, having the bath with them, riding them bareback and feeding them. Technically, for this one day here, you own your elephant. That is the deal they offer for the complete experience.
And, it includes lunch and a CD/DVD with your photographs in it. If you want a true pachydermal experience, where there aren’t acting elephants, tricks or shows then this is for you.
When I got in the place was buzzing with tourists from all over the world. I parked my bike and was almost immediately surrounded by elephants. There was a really playful baby elephant who decided to run around the trees chasing me.
After this, I trekked to the bathing area for the elephants which is almost an hours trek through the jungle. The scenery is lovely especially when you are around the waterfall.