Elephant Riding, Kayaking & Tad Sae Waterfall

  • Tour code: Lg17
  • Duration: 1 Day
This is a highly-praised daytrip from Luang Prabang, especially for travelers wanting to see the Lao countryside from a different perspective -- from the back of an Asian elephant and from the top of a kayak! The elephant camp visit includes learning experiences and an exciting elephant ride. The visit of the Tad Sae Waterfall (seasonal) and the refreshing kayaking tour on the Nam Khan river are great highlights of the day.


  • Visit: the Tad Sae Waterfall, Henri Mahout’s, the local Ban Noun village
  • Activities:  kayaking, the elephant riding


High water season, August to January

You’ll meet early and drive 30 minutes outside Luang Prabang to the elephant camp on the banks of the Nam Khan River. There, you’ll learn about and ride Asian elephants in the magnificent Nam Khan River Valley.

Then you’ll enjoy a 15 minute boat ride to the Tad Sae Waterfall (seasonal) for swimming in the refreshing waters and exploring the surrounding jungle. Water conditions vary, from strong impressive currents during the height of the rainy season to inviting crystal-clear pools after the rainy season. We’ll have lunch at the waterfall before return by boat to our Tiger Trail Adventure Camp to prepare our kayaks.

The kayaking is a beautiful stretch 20 km (12mi) easy-to-medium trip normally taking 3-4 hours, suitable for beginners. The scenery is stunning jungle and agricultural land with local villagers fishing and making their living the length of the river. We’ll kayak to just outside the city and return by vehicle to Luang Prabang city.

Low water season, February to July

During the low-water season, the elephant riding and kayaking itinerary is similar with the exception that we will not visit the Tad Sae Waterfall if it is too low or dry. Instead, the river is low and exposes white sand beaches and riverbanks where we can stop for photo ops, river-jumping from trees, and to visit Henri Mahout’s resting site in the jungle a short walk from the river.

Kayaking ends at Geng Noun just below the local Ban Noun village and is about 11 km (7 mi) easy kayaking with some rapids, normally taking about 3 hours with breaks included.

What's Included


  • English speaking guide
  • Elephant riding
  • Kayaking and gear rental (paddle, helmet, life jacket)
  • Set lunch and fruit
  • Drinking water
  • Entrance fees
  • All permissions and taxes


  • Specialty drinks
  • Elephant bathing