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Thailand's Wildlife

Thailand is undoubtedly a nature lover's dream location and, due to the diverse geography here, the country is home to a rich and varied array of animal species. 

Dense rainforests, tropical seas, rugged mountains – Thailand’s landscape is as diverse as it is beautiful. And the same goes for its wildlife: the ‘Land of Smiles’ is home to a captivating population of animals, from majestic elephants to graceful manta rays as well as tigers, Sambar deer, otters, leopards and civet cats. 

Get up close to Thailand's wildlife

With more than 100 national parks to explore, your chances of catching a glimpse of your favourite species of wildlife are good. Whether you would like to join an organised animal encounter or simply want to go on a nature trek with your binoculars in hand, there’s a wonderful choice of memorable wildlife experiences to be found in Thailand’s varied terrain.  

Elephant Hills Jungle Safari

Spend a few days getting close to nature and experiencing the Asian Elephant up close. Discover the lakes and rivers of the National Park in a canoe or long tail boat, and trek into the forest to learn about the flora and fauna of this unique destination. It's an adventure for all of the family.

The Elephant Hills experience gives you the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch the majestic creatures enjoy bathing in the mud pools, and you can also wash and scrub the gentle giants before helping to prepare their food and feed them. Following this amazing experience, the elephants are returned to their extensive free roaming pen, where you can continue to watch them at play, interacting and grazing in their natural environment. 

Bird Watching

Thailand is home to more than 900 species of bird that are either indigenous or migrate to the region. Whether you want to take an organised tour or just wander on your own with a pair of binoculars, Thailand is an ornithologist's dream. Visit any one of the country's national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to view colourful, unusual birds such as flower-peckers, babblers and wood-swallows. 

Marine wildlife

Thailand’s spectacular coastline is home to more than 20 marine national parks, helping to preserve and protect these fragile ocean ecosystems. If you love snorkelling and scuba diving – or would like to learn – you can submerge yourself in a vivid underwater world of coral reefs, colourful tropical fish and breath-taking marine giants such as gentle whale sharks and endangered turtles. The waters here are warm and clear, ideal for spending long, happy days beneath the waves.

Koh Phi Phi, on the Andaman Coast, is one of our favourite places to discover Thailand’s marine wildlife. You can spot everything from leopard sharks to sea snakes in its tranquil national park. Or head to Koh Tao, in the Gulf of Thailand, where you’ll find an array of beautiful dive sites – keep an eye out for the unusual unicorn fish.

Jungle-dwelling animals

Journey into the rainforest to spend time with Thailand’s beloved national animal: the elephant. Khao Sok National Park, in southern Thailand, is home to the fabulous Elephant Hills jungle camp. Here you can immerse yourself in the vivid scenery of the tropical rainforest, staying in luxurious safari tents and sharing tales of your elephant encounters over the warm glow of the campfire.

If you’re lucky, you could also spot the rare clouded leopard, the Asian black bear or even the king of the jungle, the elusive tiger. Not to mention no end of mischievous primates and vibrant exotic birds.

Top Tips from our Experts

Katie

Brand & Advertising Campaign Manager

“An expert local guide can offer invaluable advice from the best wildlife-spotting locations to the clothes and equipment you might need.”

Steph

Direct Marketing Campaign Manager

“Elephant riding is common in Thailand, but the practice is harmful for these gorgeous gentle giants. Visit an ethical sanctuary like the Thai Elephant Care Center for more rewarding interactions, such as helping them bathe, instead.”