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

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