Did you know that the Asian elephant is endangered and the African elephant is currently listed as a vulnerable species? With August 12 being World Elephant Day, we’ve found the best—and most ethical—elephant sanctuaries for the ultimate encounter with these beautiful gentle giants.
These sanctuaries will take you back to basics (but not too much) so that you can enjoy nature at its best without compromising life's little luxuries. If that's not enticing enough, these camps are all doing their part in rescuing and rehabilitating elephants and their natural habitat.
The Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge, Botswana
This luxurious tented oasis was recently rebuilt to be completely sustainable by Inge Moore at Muz Lab. The open-air buildings—including the lounge, bar and pool—all offer guests front row seats to observe the region's wildlife in a lush, rustic environment.
Rooms are spacious and airy, designed with a neutral palette to complement the earthy tones of the African savannah. The Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge is located by the Savute Channel, in the heart of Chobe National Park.
Sirikoi Lodge, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Northern Kenya
Located in Laikipia, Northern Kenya, the stunning Sirikoi overlooks a natural waterhole with open plains, rolling hills and marshes with spectacular views of Mount Kenya. The grounds alone make it an exceptional experience, and the family of elephants that frequently visit the waterhole make it that much more exciting.
Featuring nine luxury tents, a two-bedroom cottage and a Sirikoi house perfect for larger groups, the lodge is designed in traditional colonial safari style making it an exclusive luxurious experience you’ll never forget.
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle
The Four Seasons Golden Triangle tented resort is located in northern Thailand, bordering Burma and Laos. Here, guests can get up close with rescued elephants and learn how to take care of these gentle and intelligent creatures. There are only 15 tents at the resort; we recommend opting for the ultimate luxury experience at the Explorer’s Lodge, which features a private infinity pool overlooking the jungle.
What’s more, at the Four Seasons Tented Camp, you can explore the spectacular mountain trails, take part in Thai cooking classes or unwind in their beautiful open-air spa, all while enjoying Thai hospitality at its best.