Thai National Parks

Kui Buri overnight elephant tour

If you wish to see wild Asian elephants in their true natural habitat, chances to see elephants in Thailand are best in Kui Buri National Park. The park is more important than that, it has the biggest population of gaurs in Thailand; they too tend to show up together with elephants sometimes. Gaur is the largest bovine and the fourth largest living land animal. The population of these beautiful creatures are estimated to around 300 elephants and 100 gaurs.

Why?

Kui Buri National Park may not offer the same biodiversity and lush evergreen jungles like in Kaeng Krachan, Khao Sok or Khao Yai National Parks, but the frequent sighting of the biggest of all mammals makes it a memorable wildlife destination. Besides elephants and gaurs some other possible sightings during a visit are; banteng, barking deer and sambar deer amongst many others.

The park is one of very few protected areas in Thailand with a successful protection program to reduce poaching and protect the wildlife. This by spread the knowledge but also by letting the locals benefit from the tourism.

What?

The tour includes a stay overnight inside or outside the park. The cheaper option of stay is inside the park, a rustic cabin at one of ranger stations far from western standards of comfort. It offers a unique way to see and experience the wild in the park. A stay in the park offers the magical nocturnal 'songs' of elephants, gaurs and many other animals. The other option for stay is a standard hotel outside the park boundaries.

This tour is not for the kids or faint-hearted people. The heat can be exhausting while hiking or in the open-air safari truck. Hiking in the elephant and gaur territory can be thrilling as they are the most dangerous mammals of Thailand. Due to safety precautions the group size for this tour is limited to maximum 6 people with minimum age of 15 years old.

It is possible to combine a trip to Kui Buri National Park with one of our tour packages for Kaeng Krachan National Park. Elephant sighting is not that common in Kaeng Krachan but instead the park offers a greater variety of other animals as well as the true jungles with impressive trees and lush vegetation. Kaeng Krachan is one of best locations in mainland Asia to see a great variety of birds.

Tour itinerary

DAY 1 - From 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. (afternoon session)

Today, after a mandatory registration we will get assigned an open-air vehicle with driver and an assistant. The tour will begin by driving slowly into the reserve on the main dirt road north heading to the main grassland areas. While driving slowly, we will search for any wildlife including birds or any other smaller as well as bigger animals. Our first stop will be a viewing area where we leave the vehicle in hope to spot wildlife, mainly elephants. We will later on continue to the next viewing area at the end of the road, best known for spotting gaurs, but also elephants and sometimes bantengs.

During the tour, your guide will give you information about the habitat, wildlife and history of the park. You will be returned to Kui Buri town after the trip.

The type of assigned vehicles is open-air pick-up truck driven by locals. It is the Kui Buri National Park's policy to let locals do the driving, a policy that showed to be a success in reducing the poaching in the park.

Depending on your choice, you'll be taken to the ranger station or to the hotel outside the park where the dinner will be provided by our guide.

There are no activities planned later in the evening due to danger of wandering elephants and gaurs in the dark. It is stricly prohibited to leave the ranger station in the dark.

DAY 2 - From 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. (morning session)

On the second day we continue to explore the park on foot in open glassland areas with scattered pockets of open forest. During the hiking we have to be very alert to avoid run into elephants or gaurs. The chances to see these big animals are bigger by driving, but it is a more exciting experience on foot. On the other hand the chances to see some smaller animals are better by hiking. The area is rich on birds, reptiles etc.

The hike can be exhausting if the sun is shining, it is recommended to have sufficient protection. We provide drinking water.

We finish the trip with a last safari drive out of the park.

Where & When?

Kui Buri National Park lies at about 1.5 hours driving from Hua Hin and nearly 4 hours from Bangkok. We can offer private transfers from Bangkok, Hua Hin or other destinations. The park is open all year round.

Tour rates include:

  • Lodging in rustic cabin or hotel (1 night)
  • Entrance fees
  • English speaking guide
  • Dinner & breakfast
  • Drinking water
Rate per person
Group size Basic cabin Hotel
1 8200 THB 9250 THB
2 4650 THB 5175 THB
3 3700 THB 4400 THB
4 3100 THB 3625 THB
5 2900 THB 3530 THB
6 2650 THB 3175 THB

Reviews from our guests

We appreciate your feedback after the tour when booking with us.

About: 1-day wildlife tour in Khao Yai (Group tour)

By: , United States | posted Sat 22 Jul, 2017

We really enjoyed our day long hike. We saw lots of animals because our guide was excellent at spotting them. My only suggestion would be to better explain what our day is going to be like e.g. how long the morning hike is, the different afternoon walks. We got tired after the first hike, but were relieved that the afternoon was much lighter.

About: 1-day wildlife tour with night safari in Khao Yai

By: , Switzerland | posted Thu 20 Jul, 2017

Apple was an amazing guide with perfect english and was able to explain to us so many facts about not only the park but Thailand in general.

Thanks to his skills and a lucky day we got to see a lot of different animals.

We definitely recommend the visit to the park! Also, if you're already a group of friends we recommend taking a private tour (that's what we did) so you can decide what you want to do and customize the tour a bit with your guide.

Tour operator's response

Thanks Rafik for your feedback.

Glad to hear you had a lucky trip.

About: 1-day wildlife tour in Khao Yai

By: , Germany | posted Wed 19 Jul, 2017

When making choices around your stay in Bangkok, we can highly recommend to get out of the cultural jungle and see Mother Nature too. If you like to discover animals in their natural habitat, Khao Yai is a great place to do! Our guide Beer (Grylls :-)) was a highly enthusiastic advocate of animals and already after the first kilometer drive spotted a huge water monitor resting on a tree not far from the road. We felt the display was so perfect ( we could make beautiful close-ups) that it was "organized" to make a great first impression on our tour :-). Though we missed the elephants, the trekking in the jungle was a memorable experience. After some time adjusting ourselves to the sounds and lights of the tropical forest, Beer was spotting a pilated gibbon family of five, one of them white. We followed and watched them for some time, then spotted two great hornbills having a breakfast on the trees. Amazing birds, impressive size. During our great thai lunch, we saw a northern pig-tailed macaque visiting our bags in the truck. Later we encountered a barred flying dragon (we do not know how Beer was finding this cc 15 cm small lizard from the car, but let this be his secret), a gaur, several barking deers, another monitor and a huge family of macaques. The day would have not been complete with a stellar tropical rain and the subsequent vivid colors of vegetation, chasing us back from the fantastic 100 m high waterfall. Beer's eyes are incrediable. He spotted an asian wine snake on a tree from 50 meters driving at 25 km/h! Thanks guys for the great day - I probably give up visiting zoos and focus on enjoying animal kingdom exclusively in natural habitat, like your beautiful Khao Yai National Park! Please do your best to preserve it to our grandchildren! Ton, thanks for your flexibility and patience when dealing with our paypal transfer problem!

Tour operator's response

Dear Zsolt,

Thank you for your extensive review of your trip. Felt like being in the jungle while reading it ;-)

And your recommendation to visit true wilderness instead of zoos is a very good one. Surely it might not be as easy to spot animals as in the zoo, but with our experienced guides like Beer you are likely going to see a bunch of interesting creatures, and get to watch them in their home. I have never seen a zoo where e.g. gibbons can truly swing around in high trees like they do in the wild where they belong.

Thank you for booking with us!

About: 1-day wildlife tour in Khao Yai (Group tour)

By: , Belgium | posted Wed 19 Jul, 2017

The national park was very nice. We had a friendly and enthousiast guide who showed us all around, so I would recommend doing a tour.

About: 1-day wildlife tour with night safari in Khao Yai

By: , Denmark | posted Sun 16 Jul, 2017

The 12 hours, was one of the highlights of the many times we have experience Thailand. Thanks to our competent guide, Apple. Encountered Elephant, two types of apes and many other species of animals. The 4 hour trek was out of our comfort zone but felt great afterwards. Thank you Thai National Parks.

Tour operator's response

Dear khun Sornsiri,

Glad to hear we have helped you experience Thailand in a different way ;-)

Thanks!

About: 3-days wildlife tour in Khao Yai

By: , Switzerland | posted Sun 16 Jul, 2017

Tip Top!! Tata (our guide) was extremely helpfull and allowed us to discover the nature present in the park (snakes, elephants, lizzard, s lot of colourfull birds, gibbons...) all of those animals are living there and it is amazing to see them in their natural environment. Most of all Tata is a passionate and perfectionist caracter so the experience that we shared with him was made from the best quality you can imagine (and even more). Thank you for this unforgettable experience!

Tour operator's response

Thanks Franck for your kind words!

We will pass your comments to Tata ;-)

Thank you for booking with us

About: 2-days wildlife tour in Khao Yai

By: , United States | posted Sun 16 Jul, 2017

We had an excellent 2 day birding trip - will definitely recommend to others!

Tour operator's response

Thanks Karen!

About: 1-day wildlife tour with night safari in Khao Yai

By: , New Zealand | posted Tue 11 Jul, 2017

Great experience in the Khao Yai National Park with Beer and the driver (never got introduced so sorry didn't know his name). Beer and the driver went out of their way to find the wild animals and we were luck to see Great Hornbill, a lone male elephant, gibbons, monkeys, snakes, spiders and a lizard. You could tell Beer was very passionate about his job which made it really enjoyable. The food at lunch was amazing. We would also like to thank the lady who held the spotlight for us on the night safari. It started raining heavily and she carried on even though we should have all turned back. Sadly not much to see in those conditions so would recommend canning that if wet. (We carried on as we didn't know what to expect but only saw frogs and deer.) Many thanks to the team involved. We would definitely repeat this experience.

About: 1-day wildlife tour with night safari in Khao Yai

By: , Germany | posted Thu 29 Jun, 2017

We booked a private 1-day tour with night safari and it was just wonderful. Our guide (Tata) did a great job, spoke very good English and knew a lot of details about the park and the different species of animals and plants.

In addition, we were really lucky to spot a wild elephant, a family of gibbons, two vipers, macaques, a scorpion and lots of further wildlife. The tour was well organised with safari rides on the car, jungle hiking, visiting two waterfalls and a stop at the park headquarters. Lunch and dinner were very tasty and served nicely and the scenery of the park is beautiful.

All in all, we can only recommend the park and the tour to everyone. Thank you Tata for the great day!

Tour operator's response

Sounds like you had a nice trip. Thanks for sharing your great experience with our guide!

About: 1-day wildlife tour in Khao Yai

By: , Singapore | posted Tue 27 Jun, 2017

Recommended guided tour with very knowledgeable guide

Tour operator's response

Thanks Christine!

Tour details in short:

  • Duration: 2 days
  • Type: Private tour
  • Price: 2,650 to 9,250 THB
  • Group size: 1 - 6 people
  • Grade: Easy to moderate
  • Transport: Safari vehicle
  • Start: 2:30 p.m. on day-1
  • End: 11 a.m. on day-2

What to bring

  • Long trousers
  • Rain clothing
  • Sandals
  • Hiking or sport shoes
  • Towel
  • Flashlight
  • Insect repellent
  • Hat or cap
  • Sunblock lotion
  • Sleeping bag liner
Selfie with elephants

Selfie with elephants

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