Did you know that only an hour’s drive from Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, you can visit the best spot in Thailand to see elephants and gaurs in the wild? The province’s Kui Buri National Park has a rich diversity of animal and plant species.
Although we have to delay our trip due to COVID-19 and there’s the closure of many tourist attractions, you can save this programme for future reference when all these places are ready to open their doors and welcome visitors once again.
We recommend you combine the safari tour with a trip to Hua Hin from where you can reach the national park in one and a half hours. Spread over 969 km² in 4 districts of Prachuap Khiri Khan, the Park’s mountains are part of the Tenasserim Hills.
Taking a break from the beach for an excursion in the forest gives your trip a whole new meaning.
Kui Buri National Park admission: Adults 200 Baht
- Kui Buri National Park
- Ban Yan Sue, Tambon Hat Kham, Amphoe Kui Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan
- Tel. 08 1776 2410, 0 3251 0453
Kui Buri forest was a conflict zone between elephants and villagers King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great initiated a reforestation project to enable the pachyderms to find their food in the wild, lessening the confrontation with humans. You will see how successful the project has been while taking the safari tour.
Elephant and gaur sightings at Kui Buri National Park are the most popular activity for visitors. Bantengs are sometimes also seen among the gaurs. The Park is home to the biggest population of wild elephants at about 300 and also to a sizable number of gaurs, estimated at around 350. Watching (and taking photos of) these animals in their natural habitat is definitely a not-to-be missed experience!
A wildlife tour at the Park is under the supervision of officials, and visitors are required to strictly follow the regulations. Private cars are not allowed beyond the visitor centre from where the tour is arranged to ensure the safety for both the animals and visitors.
You can use the safari pickup service of the Kui Buri Wildlife Ecotourism Club, which is run by villagers who have undergone proper training by the Park. The Club works closely with the Park rangers to arrange the sightings.
During the tour, visitors must stay in the vehicle, refrain from making loud noises, and must not use photo flash or feed the animals. The Park has already arranged and provided adequate food and water supplies for the animals by making artificial salt licks and grass fields.
Animal sightings are allowed from 2:00-5:00 p.m. It usually takes about 3-4 hours for the tour depending on the agreement. You can call it a day any time when you’ve had enough of elephants and gaurs.
The safari tour rarely takes more than a day, but you have a choice of staying overnight at the homestay of the Club. If you have more time, many other interesting activities can also be enjoyed at Kui Buri National Park.
- Pickup truck service including a guide
- -850 Baht/vehicle/maximum of 8 persons.
You can any of take the park’s many nature trails near the visitor center that range from 800 to 3,000 meters. Some of the trails will lead you past the stumps of the sandalwood trees harvested for the cremation of His MajestyKing Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great. Kui Buri National Park is the country’s biggest habitat of these precious rare trees.
Prakta Khoo Waterfall is a major source of Pranburi River and accessible all year round although a 4WD vehicle is recommended during the rainy season
- Kui Buri Wildlife Ecotourism Club The Club regularly organises or co-organises interesting activities for environmental protection.
- Visit their Facebook page or contact their coordinator (Bua) at 08 5266 1601
- Elephant Homestay 200 Baht/room/night 750 Baht/room/night (including 2 meals, and a trip to watch the sunrise with tea and coffee served)