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Best places to see Elephants in Vietnam

Are there wild elephants in Vietnam with all the lush vegetation and well-protected national parks? Is it possible to see elephants in Vietnam? The answer is yes, but the population of elephants is small. Although, it is one of the best places in Asia to have a first-hand ethical elephant experience.

The best place in Vietnam to see an Elephant is in the Yok Don National Park. The park is home to around 60 elephants that live in the wild. You can take a tour of the park and see them roaming around in their natural habitat.

Read on for two other great national parks where you can see Elephants in Vietnam!


Do Wild Elephants Still Exist In Vietnam In 2022?

There were once wild elephants in Vietnam, but the population has shrunk to the point where the chances of seeing one in the wild are practically zero.  The last sighting of a wild elephant in Vietnam was allegedly 2011.

The central highlands of Vietnam and the borders with Cambodia and Laos were once home to a large population of elephants.

Vietnamese elephants were once between 1,500 and 2,000 in numbers, but there are currently only between 100 and 150 of them left.

More than 358,000 hectares have been lost in just a few years due to habitat destruction. Illegal logging and hunting are two more issues that need to be addressed by the Vietnamese government in order to keep Elephants in the wild.

As a result, not only have elephant populations in Vietnam been declining but so have the populations of many other wild creatures.

The Asian Elephant can also be found in Sri Lanka, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Cambodia, and India, as well as Vietnam.

They are smaller than their cousin the African elephants, weighing between 2,500 kg (5,500 lbs) and 4,500 kg (10,000 lbs).


Where Can I See Elephants In Vietnam?

The best place to see elephants in Vietnam is the Yok Don National Park. The park is home to around 60 elephants that live in the wild.

You can take a tour of the park and see them roaming around in their natural habitat. But there’s also The Cuc Phuong National Park and the Cat Tien National Park a part from the top 3 places we list below.


List of Top 3 Places to see Elephants in Vietnam

1. Pu Mat National Park

Lush vegetation in Pu Mat National Park, Vietnam
Lush vegetation in Pu Mat National Park, Vietnam

One of the best places to see elephants in Vietnam is Pu Mat National Park. This park is located in the central part of the country and is home to a population of elephants. 

Visitors to the park can take part in elephant-watching safaris, which are led by experienced guides. 

Quick facts:

Number of Elephants:Unknown, estimations range from “a few” to up to 200 elephants
Location:https://goo.gl/maps/i15Cvmv9bekuiqux7
Homepage:https://pumat.vn
Quick facts about Pu Mat National Park, Vietnam

The safaris allow visitors to get up close and personal with the elephants, and they also provide an opportunity to learn about the elephants’ natural habitat and behavior and observe elephants while they are swimming, eating, and bathing.

In addition to elephants, Pu Mat National Park is also home to a variety of other wildlife, including tigers, leopards, and bears. 

With its rich array of wildlife and natural beauty, Pu Mat National Park is a must-see for anyone interested in experiencing the best that Vietnam has to offer.

Location:

Video:

“PU MAT NATIONAL PARK | Vinh Guru Day Tour 🇻🇳” by Jonny Vee Projects on YouTube.

2. Yok Don National Park

Beautiful spring and lake in the Yok Don National Park, Vietnam
Beautiful spring and lake in the Yok Don National Park, Vietnam

The Yok Don National Park is where visitors have the best chance of seeing elephants in Vietnam. The majority of Vietnam’s elephant population used to be found in the country’s central highlands, more specifically in the province of Dak Lak and this national park is located there.

It is a perfect location for an ethical elephant tour.

Quick facts:

Number of Elephants:Unknown, estimated to be around 60
Location:https://g.page/yokdonnationalpark
Homepage:N/A (Wikipedia has a page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yok_%C4%90%C3%B4n_National_Park)
Quick facts about Yok Don National Park, Vietnam

The Elephants of Yok Don National Park used to be domesticated and worked in the timber industry. However, when the Vietnamese government banned logging in 1992, the elephants were no longer needed and were set free into the wild.

Today, there are around 60 elephants living in Yok Don National Park. They are currently free to explore the national park with their mahouts after being reunified with them. 

The year 2018 marked the beginning of Vietnam’s first-ever ethnic elephant trip, which took place at Yok Don National Park. This trip was created to help preserve the elephants and their habitat.

As the tour guide takes you to the park, he or she will provide commentary on the plant and animal life that may be found there.

The first time you lay eyes on an elephant in this national park, it’s bound to be an impressive sight.

Location:

Video:

“Voi Khăm Phanh thỏa thích bơi lội – Kham Phanh, the elephant, enjoys swimming” by Yok Don National Park on YouTube.

3. Nui Chua National Park, Quang Nam

Small waterfall leading down to creek in Nui Chua National Park, Quang Nam, Vietnam
Small waterfall leading down to creek in Nui Chua National Park, Quang Nam, Vietnam

Quang Nam is a province located in central Vietnam. It is home to the Nui Chua National Park, which is one of the best places to see elephants in Vietnam. In 2022, Nui Chua received UNESCO’s certificate as a Biosphere Reserve because of its features and unique dry forest ecosystem.

Nui Chua National Park is home to a population of around 100 elephants. The majority of these elephants are wild, but there are also some that have been domesticated and are used for tourism purposes.

Quick facts:

Number of Elephants:Unknown, estimated to be around 100
Location:https://goo.gl/maps/u3Ndkqx9yLqXZLLi8
Homepage:N/A (Wikipedia has a page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N%C3%BAi_Ch%C3%BAa_National_Park)
Quick facts about Nui Chua National Park, Quang Nam, Vietnam

The province is home to more than half of the country’s wild elephants, and visitors can often see these majestic creatures roam freely through the forests. 

In addition to elephants, Quang Nam is also home to many other wildlife species, including tigers, leopards, and bears. 

While most of these animals are shy and elusive, they can sometimes be spotted by lucky visitors. 

Quang Nam is a beautiful province with a rich diversity of wildlife, and it is well worth a visit for anyone interested in seeing some of Vietnam’s most iconic animals.

Location:

Video:

“Short Film: Nui Chua National Park – Ninh Thuan – Vietnam – Vườn Quốc Gia Núi Chúa” by Keep the Nature on YouTube.

Other recommended readings:

Best Places to see Elephants in Thailand 🇹🇭 


Conclusion 

While the future of elephants in Vietnam is uncertain, there are still a few places where you can see these majestic creatures roaming free. However, organizations like Animals Asia are actively working on elephant conservation and protection.

If you’re looking to catch a glimpse of wild elephants before they disappear from the country altogether, we recommend heading to Pu Mat National Park, Yok Don National Park, or Quang Nam because there you can have ethical elephant tours.

It’s sure to be an unforgettable experience!


Frequently Asked Questions about Visiting Elephants in Vietnam

Can You See Elephants In The Wild In Vietnam?

Yes, you can see elephants in the wild in Vietnam. However, the number of elephants in the wild is dwindling, and they are only found in a few remote areas of the country.

What Are The Best Places To See Elephants In Vietnam?

The best places to see elephants in Vietnam are Pu Mat National Park, Yok Don National Park, and Quang Nam.

When Is The Best Time To See Elephants In Vietnam?

The best time to see elephants in Vietnam is during the dry season, which runs from October to April.

Where Can I Play With Elephants In Vietnam?

There are a few places where you can play with elephants in Vietnam. One such place is the Elephant Conservation Center in Dak Lak. Here, you can interact with elephants and learn about their care and protection.

Can We Do Elephant Rides In Vietnam?

Yes, you can elephant riding in Vietnam. However, we do not recommend riding elephants as it is harmful to the elephants. If you want to interact with elephants, we recommend doing so at a place like the Elephant Conservation Center where the animals are treated with care and respect.

Are There Elephant Sanctuaries In Vietnam?

Yes, there are elephant sanctuaries in Vietnam. One such elephant sanctuary is the Elephant Conservation Center in Dak Lak. Here, elephants are cared for and protected.

Article by Ethan Smith

Ethan aka "The Elephant Man" is a huge fan of elephants. He lives in the US with his wife and three kids. Together they travel to Africa every year to go on safari and see the big 5.

Ethan worked many years covering the news about the endangered animal species of Africa and is even mentioned in the now world renowned documentary "Planet Earth".

Ethan is passionate about conservation and loves educating others about these amazing animals.

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