Conserve Natural Forests

Intern or visit for an afternoon

Conserve Natural Forests (CNF) is a 30-40 minute drive from Pai Centre. You can get a lift from the team or follow the truck by moped. Be aware though, that the scenery is breathtaking and you may want to stop for photos (which isn't easy whilst following a vehicle!) 

At CNF the main purpose is reforestation. They have a 3 year reforestation project (trees will be self- sufficient after 3 years) which they are currently rolling out throughout the Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai districts. In 2016 they planted 190,000 trees which will create habitats for many species. 

"Yes they can see the elephants but its all about the reforestation"

In 2017, CNF rescued two elephants who were ready for retirement. They were given a stress-free life in the forest but unfortunately were removed by their owners and placed back into a tourist camp (welcome to the reality of 'rescuing' captive elephants). Now, CNF has just one elephant, Mae Kham, who they purchased and are fundraising to get her a companion.

CNF no longer wishes to rent elephants as the risk of those elephants returning to working lives is too high.

CNF has a vision to work with the Queens Reintroduction Project to rehabilitate, breed and reintroduce captive elephants back into the surrounding nature reserves to live a wild life.

They also rescue, rehabilitate and breed other local endangered species such as land tortoises and birds. 

The elephants are accompanied around the clock by experienced Karen (hill tribe) mahouts, and kept in a large space at base during the night.  

Along spending time with Mae Kham, you can relax at the bamboo hut; make new friends and play games, enjoy extremely yummy Thai food and plant a tree whilst learning all about the great work of CNF.

With a one-off donation of 1,000 THB (around £20) you can visit as many times as you like. 

CNF do not take short term volunteers but you can intern from 1-12 months at a low cost to help develop their environmental and wildlife projects. 


"If you're going on holiday to somewhere like Thailand and you can give something back to the ecosystem

- like planting a tree - then in our opinion that's a much better way of spending a holiday"

Miguel Tenorio Tagle, Founder of CNF. 




Mae Hee,

Mae Hong Son,




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