What to Pack for Elephant Hills Thailand
Many of our guests wonder what to pack for Elephant Hills Thailand when taking part in our natural soft adventure tours here in the jungle. Since you can stay with us between 2 – 4 days we want to ensure you are equipped with suitable footwear and clothing for the rainforest.
We are different from a regular hotel vacation as each day you stay with us you will get to experience a variety of adventure activities which include but are not limited to meeting our beautiful elephants with our Ethical Elephant Experience, a canoe safari, a jungle trek through the rainforest, a speedboat tour, exploring local markets, kayaking and swimming. In addition, you have the opportunity to get comfy at night for our evening activities or if you just want to relax in your luxury tent.
Please note that due to the nature of our tours we are currently unable to provide appropriate facilities to accommodate guests travelling with disabilities. We appreciate your understanding.
Weather Conditions in Khao Sok
When visiting Khao Sok National Park in the Surat Thani province in southern Thailand it is important to keep in mind the weather conditions and consider the best time to visit. Due to the lush and tropical rainforest environment, Khao Sok has a humid climate year-round which is most noticeable during the months of June through to November when precipitation is at its highest and downpours are most frequent, we like to call this the green season.
Please note though that this does not mean that it will rain throughout your whole stay. As a matter of fact, it usually tends to rain in the mornings or late afternoons for a couple of hours before it dries up again. Elephant Hills is located in the rainforest and with that in mind none of our tours is weather affected and we can run all year-round in any kind of weather condition.
The tropical weather in Khao Sok means that the temperatures are their coolest during wet periods as the rain helps to reduce the heat. However, due to being close to the equator, you will also find that the predicted highs and lows only vary by a degree or two in either direction over the course of the year. Therefore a trip to Khao Sok and Elephant Hills is definitely worth all year round, operating 365 days.
What We Offer
At Elephant Hills we offer 4 tour options of 2, 3 or 4 days, each tour includes a range of various activities as mentioned above, which slightly vary depending on how many nights you choose to spend in the rainforest. Our activities are soft adventure focused and are mostly outdoors to experience the beautiful rainforest of Khao Sok national park that surrounds us.
Elephant Hills, different from any other resort in Khao Sok, caters for a wide variety of guests as we want to ensure everyone can enjoy our luxury tented camps and soft adventure tours. It doesn’t matter if you are a solo traveller, on a honeymoon or family holiday. Everyone is welcome at our camps.
Our 4 tours can be subdivided into 2 categories, which are the Elephant Camp Tours and the Rainforest Camp Tour. This means 3 of our tours will explicitly stay at the Elephant Camp.
These tours are the Jungle Safari 2 & 3 days and the Nature Safari 4 days which include a day-trip to our Rainforest Camp.
Our Rainforest Camp Tour is our Jungle Lake Safari 3 days with which you will spend your first night at the Elephant Camp and your second night at the Rainforest Camp.
What to bring to Elephant Hills
Elephant Hills is a unique experience and we do understand that many of you have never taken part in a rainforest soft adventure tour. That’s why we will provide you with a thorough guide to explain what you would need for each activity including a packing list to give you an easy overview of what to bring to Elephant Hills.
In general, we recommend bringing light clothing due to the humidity in the rainforest. If you’re especially prone to mosquito bites and sunburns we advise to pack spare long sleeves and breathable pants for your jungle trek. As we are in the rainforest there is always a slight chance of rain so we do recommend packing a light rain jacket or a reusable poncho to keep you dry in case it rains. We do also recommend bringing one pair of comfortable hiking shoes (boots, trainers, trekking sandals) which are slip-resistant and you don’t mind getting wet and muddy. For the days that you won’t be hiking feel free to wear some flip-flops that you can easily take off in case, you wanted to take a dip in the water.
Oh yes, did we mention that you can swim in the beautiful emerald waters of Cheow Larn Lake? So don’t forget to bring your swimmers!
As we are in the rainforest we do recommend bringing enough mosquito repellent with you (we suggest 1 mosquito spray bottle per person) this should be enough to keep the tiny bloodsuckers away for your whole stay. Also, make sure you stay sun safe. Depending on where you are from the Thai sun can be a lot stronger than back home so make sure you bring some sunscreen for your stay, during activities and while sunbathing (usually between 25 – 50 SPF is fine depending on your skin type). Sunscreen in Thailand can also be more expensive than in other countries so we do suggest bringing some with you from back home. Should you run out please be aware that many sunscreens in Southeast Asia contain a skin whitening agent which is clearly marked on the outside of the bottle. So if you enjoy your tan make sure you buy the ones without.
Make sure you stay hydrated on our tours! Most of our adventurers usually bring their own water bottle to our camps. But for your convenience, we’re handing out our sustainable stainless steel water bottles at check-in which you can keep for your entire stay and fill up at any of the several filtered water stations located all around our jungle camps.
Many of our activities involve canoeing, kayaking or being on a boat so it is advised to bring a small waterproof day pack. If you’re staying with us at the Rainforest Camp on the Jungle Lake Safari 3 days, every floating tent is equipped with a waterproof bag which you are welcome to use for your daily adventures.
The above-mentioned items are a general recommendation that you should have with you when travelling to our jungle camps and southern Thailand and the Surat Thani province in general. Please keep on reading below for a detailed overview of what to bring for each activity and a comprehensive packing list.
Ethical Elephant Experience
Our Ethical Elephant Experience & Canoe Safari will be on the first day of all our tours. Check-in will be at the end of the first day’s activities. We recommend you prepare the belongings that you want to bring on these tours in a small separate bag and get ready to start activities once you arrive.
The day will begin with the Ethical Elephant Experience where you will get up close and personal to Asia’s largest land animal and meet the elephants. You will start by preparing one of their daily meals, cutting up the fruit where you will then get to feed them, a once in a lifetime experience with an Asian elephant! You will also get to learn about Elephant Hills’ elephant conservation project and get the opportunity to get close to these gentle giants.
Please note that we are not like an elephant sanctuary where you get to spend all day with the elephant. In our approach for increased animal welfare, the activity duration for our ethical Elephant Experience will be approximately 2 hours to allow the elephants to roam free for the rest of the day. We do NOT allow elephant rides and there are no chains or hooks as part of our ethical experience.
We recommend lightweight clothes that you don’t mind getting wet/dirty and can dry quickly. Waterproof shoes or quick-dry shoes would be recommended so you don’t have wet shoes for the remainder of the day.
Your second activity for the day will be kayaking safari down the Sok river with your own paddle man. Once again lightweight clothing is appropriate, a hat and sun protection are also advised as you will be completely outdoors for the duration of the kayak. You won’t be doing much walking during the day so joggers aren’t necessary. We would however, recommend comfortable shoes or flip flops.
All of our Elephant Hills tours will include our Jungle Trek however the day you explore will vary depending on the tour you have chosen. Our essential packing list is applicable no matter what day you take part in the activity.
For the jungle trek, you will be making your way through the lush rainforest. We recommend lightweight long sleeves and long pants to protect you from mosquitoes and insects. If you would prefer shorter sleeves make sure you use a good quality mosquito repellent.
As we can expect rain throughout the rainforest it can sometimes be slippery on the trek, therefore, make sure you wear non-slip hiking or walking shoes/sandals. Also, be sure to bring along your reusable stainless steel water bottle which we do supply for the duration of your stay, that can be filled up at the camp before your trek.
Cheow Larn Lake
Your day will begin by visiting a local market in Takhun to experience Thailand’s rural lifestyle and local food, make sure you bring cash along for souvenirs as there are no ATM facilities at the camp or the markets.
Next stop you will explore Cheow Larn Lake via long-tail boat. Cheow Larn Lake is a freshwater lake surrounded by limestone mountains covered in tropical rainforest vegetation. You can enjoy the spectacular scenery from the boat and will have time to dip into the lake’s emerald waters so make sure you bring your swimmers and sun protection. Towels will be provided at our floating Rainforest Camp, where you will stopover for lunch and relaxation.
Takuapa Mangrove Swamps
During the 4 Days Nature Safari, on your extra day, you will get to explore the magnificent Mangrove fig tree channel of Takuapa by speedboat. This is a primary rainforest area about 20 minutes from Khao Lak and a hidden gem in the South of Thailand. Make sure you keep an eye out for wildlife along the way and bring your binoculars.
You will then make your way to the traditional Burmese junk boat where our fresh buffet-style lunch is served. We recommend lightweight clothing along with plenty of sun protection, a hat and sunscreen to protect you for the day as the sun can be stronger in Thailand than in your home country. We would also recommend packing your reusable water bottle to keep you hydrated throughout the day.
You will also get the opportunity to explore nearby mangroves in a self paddle kayak where you will get panoramic views of distant mangroves and beautiful banyan trees so don’t forget to pack your camera.
On your way back to the Elephant camp we will stop via a local market so if you would like to purchase a souvenir make sure you bring some cash with you.
During your stay at the Elephant Camp, we will also have many evening activities that you can participate in, these activities will include movie nights, a traditional Thai dance performance from local school children and cooking demonstrations where you will get to learn how to cook traditional Thai dishes like Pad Thai, Green Curry and Som Tam salad.
We recommend lightweight comfortable clothing and long sleeves or mosquito repellent if you are prone to mosquito bites. You also might want to pack a light jumper as temperatures can drop a little at night, a luxury of being in the middle of the rainforest.
During the evenings you will also have plenty of downtime to unwind in your tent or play board games in the common area.
Overnight at the Rainforest Camp
If you have booked our Jungle Lake Safari, you will be spending your first night at our Elephant Camp which is our main camp and one night at our Elephant Hills Rainforest Camp. To get to the Rainforest Camp you will travel via a longtail boat, therefore, we recommend preparing a small bag (backpack or similar) to make things easier for you. Your large bags can be left at our storage facility at our Elephant Camp where there are 24/7 cameras for the security of your belongings. Only small bags and hang luggage will be taken to the rainforest camp. Don’t worry we will load your large suitcases into our transfer vans and they will be ready to go when we pick you up to transfer you to your next destination.
In your overnight bag, we would recommend bringing 2 change of clothes, for night time activities, and the next day where you’ll be transferred to your next destination. You will be staying in a floating tent on Cheow Larn Lake, therefore, you can swim straight from the outside of your tent or canoe through the channels, so make sure you pack your swimwear.
During your stay at the Rainforest Camp, you will also get to Jungle Trek through the rainforest so make sure you pack suitable footwear and hiking clothes for which we recommend long sleeves, breathable pants and closed in slip-resistant shoes for hiking.
For your nights at the Rainforest Camp, there will be plenty of downtime to relax, so we would recommend bringing a book, downloading a podcast or bringing some cards with you to play in your tent, we do also have a selected number of board games available to use in the common area.
Elephant Hills Packing List
So, what exactly should you pack for Elephant Hills Thailand? Here’s The Full Packing List:
- Passport and immigration card for Check-In Process
- Clothes that can get dirty during the Elephant Experience
- Comfortable lightweight clothing for the duration of the stay
- Swimwear for the lake and swimming pool
- Lightweight long sleeve shirt and pants for the jungle trek
- Non-slip hiking shoes
- Flip Flops
- Light raincoat (disposable raincoats are available to buy at our camp, but we would like to encourage you to bring a reusable one with you to save the environment)
- Mosquito Repellent
- SPF 25-50 Sunscreen
- Day bag or small overnight bag
- Cash for drinks at the bar and souvenirs (Please note that due to the location of our two Luxury Tented Camps we can only accept cash payments on-site).
- Playing cards or books
- Reusable water bottle (we will provide a stainless steel water bottle for the duration of your stay)
As our 4 tours options days can vary when our guests visit Elephant Hills, we hope this list has helped you to decide what to pack and bring with you when you visit us in the jungle. All the activities we have covered can also help you tailor your own packing list depending on the chosen tour from our 2 Day Jungle Safari to our 4 Day Nature Safari. Please refer to our tour page if you need more clarification of what activities you will experience with us during your stay. *Don’t forget your travel insurance.