Spend time with, feed, bathe and learn all about the world’s most majestic beasts up-close at Sayaboury Elephant Conservation Center, discovering the ways of these gentle giants


3 Days, 2 Nights     FROM US$ 640 PER PERSON

Seize a unique opportunity to spend time with and understand one of the world’s most fascinating species – the Asian elephant. This intriguing stay at Sayaboury Elephant Conservation Center takes you to Laos to live amongst the majestic giants, giving you the chance to feed, bathe and learn all about them.

During your stay in the Center you will spent countless hours in the company of the gentle animals, starting with a formal introduction by one of the local mahouts who will demonstrate the skills and dexterity required to mount and dismount the enormous pachyderms.

On both days of your stay you will have the wonderful chance to assist during the elephants’ bath time, and also have the chance to feed them by hand.

Your special tour will also give you the chance to join the elephants on their one-hour trek around the tropical jungle on their daily exercise routine and then later on have the exclusive opportunity to see the elephant ’nursery’ where mothers teach the infant elephants the tricks of life.

On the final day of this inspirational tour you’ll be given the chance to seek out Buddha’s footprint, a mark that was left by the deity and which is considered a sacred area by locals.

This magical trip is a unique chance for you to get up close and personal with some of the most majestic members of the animal kingdom while immersing yourself totally in their care-free camp.


Each of our itineraries can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and our destination based teams will start planning a unique and personalized trip.

The Backyard Travel Team,


Spend time with the Center’s resident elephants and have the unique opportunity to bathe and feed the majestic giants
Discover the traditional techniques a mahout uses to mount and dismount the elephants and understand their unique bond
Stay at one of the world’s most pro-active elephant sanctuaries that cares for sick and mistreated animals
Learn about the plight of Asian elephants and what is being done to ensure their survival

Daily Itinerary

Daily Itinerary

  • Start
  • Day 1: Sayaboury

    You will be met in Luang Prabang by your local Backyard Travel guide who will rendezvous with you at your hotel, then escort you on a three-hour journey by private vehicle to Sayaboury, with a stop at a scenic spot to enjoy a picnic lunch.

    Sayaboury, sometimes spelt Xaignabouli or Sainyabuli, is a beautiful mountainous province of Laos which borders Oudomxai Province to the north, Vientiane Province to the east and the border of Thailand to the south and west.

    An agricultural region, there’s very little development in the area with most locals surviving through farming products such as rice, sugarcane and cotton, and a visit to this undeveloped region will take you right into the heartland of Laos.

    Thanks in part to its largely undeveloped state, the region is also home to the largest concentration of elephants in the country and has many protected areas of conservation to defend the indigenous animals which include gibbons, tigers, Asiatic black bears and Sumatran rhino as well as the majestic elephants

    Upon arrival at Nam Tien Lake Pier you’ll take a short boat trip across the spectacular lake surrounded by tropical forestation dotted by tiny islands. On the other side of the lake you will find the Elephant Conservation Center - a world designed exclusively for Asian elephants!After checking in to your comfortable bungalow you’ll be taken on a guided tour of the Center and its grounds to familiarize yourself with the camp. One of the Center’s veterinarians will also join you and help to show you around, letting you in on their duties and how they take care of the marvelous pachyderms.

    Once you have the lay of the land it’s time to meet the Center’s VIPs! One of the mahouts (an elephant rider who ‘controls’ or ‘drives’ the giant animal) will introduce you some of the elephants and teach you three traditional ways to mount and dismount, and invite you to try for yourself.

    Next you’ll have the privilege of observing bath time! Elephants are extremely playful animals and love nothing more than the chance to cool off in the water. During bath time you will get a chance to see the unique bond evident between mahout and elephant - a connection that is often formed from infancy in both their lives. After bathing, you’ll then follow the elephants and their riders back to their nightly resting place and bid them goodnight.

    Before you hit the hay yourself however, you’ll have some time to yourselves. You may choose to relax on the shore of the lake and take a swim or visit the elephant museum established in the camp. For dinner you’ll be invited to sample a variety of Laotian food at the Center’s restaurant which is set overlooking the picturesque lake and sublime mountainous scenery.Distance and journey time:
    Luang Prabang - Sayaboury (119 km): 2,5 hours

    Overnight in Sayaboury

    Meals included on this day: Lunch and Dinner

  • Day 2: Elephant Conservation Center

    After breakfast you will be taken through a safety briefing on working with elephants before you join the majestic beasts for their daily morning exercise. Each morning the elephants take a one-hour walk around the surrounding tropical forest and they will lead the way - you can rely on them to find their way back...

    After all, elephants never forget!Along the way your guide will demonstrate to you how locals utilize the indigenous plants and trees in their everyday lives. After your educational stroll you’ll have the opportunity to spend some quality time with four residents of the Conservation Center: Mae Dok, Mae Bounnam, Phu Thongkhoon and Mae Khamon. You’ll also have the chance to feed them and perhaps even learn how to ride them bareback.

    After feeding the majestic elephants, you’ll then return to the Center’s restaurant to enjoy your own lunch before having the unique opportunity to visit the elephant nursery. The nursery is located off the beaten path inside the lush green jungle, and the baby elephants are closely chaperoned by their mothers as they teach them the ways of the world one step at a time.

    While you have the fortunate opportunity to coo at the infant elephants as they learn about life, you will also be educated about the reproduction program set up by NGO ElefantAsia to help sustain Asia’s elephant population, which is constantly at risk.

    After your heartwarming experience with the infant elephants you’ll then have the chance to bathe the adults before once again taking a walk with them through the forest to their sleeping place.

    You will then be free to spend your time as you please, once again taking advantage of the serene lake and its spellbinding views as the sun drops down over the horizon. You’re then invited to take dinner once again at the Center’s restaurant and enjoy the serenity of the jungle all around you, absolutely immersed in nature.

    Overnight in Sayaboury

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    elephants-trip-laosThailand: A visitor feeds her new friend, Patara Elephant Farm, Chiang Mai Province
  • Day 3: Sayaboury

    After taking breakfast overlooking the lake, your expert guide will lead you on a half-day walk through the jungle to see if you can discover a hidden Buddha footprint, considered a sacred mark by many Laotians. Along the way your guide will reveal some of the local customs as you pass from one spectacular landscape to the next.

    After returning to the camp you’ll enjoy one last lunch before you leave the Conservation Center by private vehicle on a four-hour journey back to Luang Prabang, arriving at approximately 6pm.Distance and journey time:
    Sayaboury - Luang Prabang (119 km): 2,5 hours

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and Lunch


All of our Tours can be Tailored, Just Ask!

Local vietnamese woman

Tour Details

All of our itineraries can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and we’ll start planning your unique personalized trip!

Tour prices are a guideline only, and are based on two persons travelling together, sharing a double or twin room. Each tour price and can be adjusted depending on budget, activities included and standard of accommodation desired.

Tour and airfare prices include all applicable taxes and are subject to change without prior notice until services are booked.

You, your holiday and booking direct: Backyard Travel are on the ground year-round in Asia, which means you are booking direct with a local travel company, allowing you to save on the cost of your holiday. Our tailor-made tours are designed by local Travel Specialists who investigate every aspect of the trip themselves, giving you a unique view of each destination.

icon Included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
Private tours, transfers and all services as mentioned in the itinerary
Services of a private driver and air-conditioned vehicles
Service of English speaking guides in every location
Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary

icon Not included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Domestic and international flights
Departure taxes if applicable
Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
Early check-in and late check-out at hotels
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
Tips for guides and drivers
Personal travel insurance
Visa fees (contact us for further information)

Why Backyard Travel?

Our experienced travel specialists possess years of local insider knowledge, because they live here.

We have offices in all of our destinations in asia, fully staffed and open all year-round.

With backyard travel you are booking direct, allowing you to save and benefit local residents.

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Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
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Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.