Elephant Beach is one of the most popular destinations in Havelock Island, due to its serenity, clear water, and water sports. The beach is located 8.6 KMs from the jetty and is considered the water sports haven of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
It is located at a secluded part of northern Swaraj Dweep, which has to be reached either via a boat or trekking through the forest. The area itself is quite mesmerizing. Placed between dense tropical jungles, the beach is covered by tall trees and greenery from all sides, which opens into a wide beach, complemented by white sand.
The beach has wooden seatings and benches where you can sit back and enjoy the view with a bag full of snacks and watch the sunset after a long day of adventure. The sand is soft and water currents are not harsh at the shoreline, making it a great place to enjoy for kids.
The water at the beach is shallow, starting at just 1-meter depth. These shallow waters are free of rocks and hard corals, so you can easily swim in the water without a second thought. Adults who know swimming are advised not to go too far and swim only at a 10-meter radius, while kids are advised to play only near the shoreline, under the supervision of an adult.
The most prominent reason why Elephant Beach is adored by adventure enthusiasts is that the beach offers one of the widest selection of water sports activities on the island.
The waves are medium and lively, which makes adventure sports like Jet Skiing, Kayaking, Speed Boats, Banana and Sofa Boat Rides, much more enjoyable.
The sea is crystal clear and allows for an ample underwater view. The corals and underwater diversity in the deeper seas here are unmatched by any other spot at Swaraj Dweep. With the combination of both hard and soft corals housing colorful fishes of varied species, the beach is one of the best places for activities like Sea Walk, Glass Bottom Boats, and Snorkeling.
There are numerous water sports booths available at the beach itself offering tickets for all the available activities, so you can get a guide and negotiate the price of water sports before buying the tickets. Prebooking is not required but is available online.
There are lifeguards stationed at the beach and the crocodile population is all but null, so you can go for hours and hours of play in the water without any worries. Moreover, the beach also has proper changing rooms, lockers, and bathroom facilities for further safety and privacy.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND TIPS:
The trek for Elephant Beach starts near the Radhanagar Beach and ends near the Elephant Beach. The trekking trail takes follows the dense forest near the beach, located by the guide who will walk in front of you at all times. This 2 km trek is preferred by adventure enthusiasts who like exploring the serene jungle under the inviting sound of birds and crickets. Guides can be found near the starting point who charges ₹200 ($3) for the complete trip.
Sea Walk is done at the 10 meter deep waters near the shoreline of the Elephant Beach at specific spots, which offers a wonderful view of the underwater world. The corals at these spots are vibrant and the fish population is high. Moreover, you will be given fish food to feed the dwellers underwater, making them surround you from all sides. The best part is that the complete experience is recorded and given to you after the trip ends. You can learn more about Sea Walk here.
Thanks to the shallow waters lining the shoreline of Elephant Beach, it is one of the best places to enjoy snorkeling on the island. There are specific spots near the right side of the beach, where the coral population is good, and water is crystal clear, making it an experience worth remembering. You can easily rent out the equipment and a guide from the booths located at the left side of the beach near the gate.
If you like exploring the water and look forward to visiting the lagoons surrounding the Elephant Beach, Speed Boats should be your go-to choice. The trip starts from the beach and takes you through the shoreline and other small islets located nearby, all while you enjoy the splashes of waves on your body. A truly refreshing experience to have. The vendors can be found near the boat parking, on the left side of the beach.
Banana Boats are suited best for families as the seating are designed to make sure everyone fits perfectly. The boat then takes you around the beach into the deeper seas and lets you enjoy those cold splashes of water, riding the waves. The wave amount at the deeper seas are far more high, making it an exhilarating experience to have. There are 2 booths at Elephant Beach where you can get the tickets. All of them are located on the right side of the beach. Make sure to negotiate the price before you go. You can learn more about it, here.
Glass bottom boat rides are perfect for people who don’t know swimming and don’t like to get wet. As the name explains, the boat is fitted with a dense glass at the bottom, which helps you see corals and fishes dwelling under the sea. The boat roams around the shallow waters near the shoreline of Elephant Beach, specifically the areas where the biodiversity is abundant. A great activity to enjoy with your friends and family. Tickets can be bought by visiting the booth on the right side of the beach.
Jet Skiing is a fast paced activity that is both enjoyable and exhilarating, when combined with the energetic waves of the Elephant Beach, it is much more adventurous. All Jet Ski rides here come with a guide that rides the ski with you for maximum safety and convenience. You can easily get tickets by talking to the vendors lining the shoreline.
Parasailing is one of the most thrilling experience you can have in Havelock Island. The activity is only available at the Elephant Beach here, and is adored by adventure enthusiasts. The ride takes you to the deeper sea where the air is aggressive, where you are tied to a parachute connected to the boat.
As the boat speeds up, you are taken almost 10-20 meters above the sea, where you can enjoy the spectacular view of the beach and nearby areas. Small dips are also made throughout the ride, so you can touch the sea surface and glide again. Tickets can be purchased from the Coral Safari booth at the beach, or can be booked online, here.
There are two ways to reach Elephant Beach, i.e, by trekking through the forest or by taking a ferry/ boat. Most tourists visiting the islands prefer a boat to reach the island.
Ferries and Boats to the Elephant Beach are available daily in the morning from 8 AM to 12 PM. The boat leaves from the ferry ghat near the Havelock jetty and reaches the beach in 20 minutes or less, covering a distance of 9 KMs. The price for the tickets is ₹1,050 ($15) per person for adults and there is no charge for children below 3 years of age, depending on the boat/ ferry. The ticket can either be booked online or can be negotiated on the spot at the jetty.
There are a lot of vendors dotting the left side of the jetty area, near the shoreline. The view from the boat is amazing, as it pushes through the water near the lagoons. Most of the ferry riders offer complimentary Snorkeling with the trip, so make sure to check with them before you leave the jetty. This is the most comfortable way to reach the beach and is used by both tourists and locals looking to explore the beach.
Trekking is the only other way to reach the beach and is mostly preferred by locals, and deferred by tourists due to the additional effort. Besides this, there are no official roadways or connecting paths to the beach. The trekking path to the beach is located 8.6 KMs from the Havelock Jetty which has to be reached by bus (₹10, $0.14) or cab (₹700, $10). The start point is marked by a large sign near the right side of the road reading “Way to Elephant Beach”.
The trek itself is almost 2 KMs long which takes you from between the dense rainforest of Swaraj Dweep. The pathway is muddy and really narrow, sometimes pushed by trees and plants. It is advised to hire a guide for this trip as its easy to get lost in the jungle. Another thing to note is the mosquitos in the area are active even in broad daylight, so make sure to pack a repellent and wear boots for additional safety from crawlers.
The best time to visit the beach is throughout the year, because the weather is mostly clear here. The most preferred time is from November to February. During this time the season is mostly sunny and therefore perfect for water sports. Moreover, the travel to beach itself is great as the waves are not that harsh during this time.
You should avoid planning a trip here in monsoon, as most water sports are not available at that time and boat ride to the beach is jumpy.
It is always advised to visit the beach between 10 AM and 3 PM as most water sports vendors and booths are open by this time, and you will have enough hours to enjoy the whole experience.
The mangrove forest is located almost 1.5 KMs from the Elephant Beach and can be easily reached by walking down the road. The forest is rich with indigenous flora and fauna engulfed within the shady green canopy of the mangroves. Guides are available at the beach who can take you there and charge ₹200 ($3), for the whole trip. The trip includes trek to the Mangrove Forest and exploration with return.
Rated among the top beaches of Asia, Radhanagar Beach stands out from all the others, thanks to its unmatched beauty and landscape. The beach is located just 2.2 KMs from the Elephant Beach and can be easily reached by walking roadside or taking a cab from the “Elephant beach trek point”. There are more than a few restaurants on the way, where you can eat and relax for while before continuing the journey. Its best to visit Elephant Beach first and make time for the Radhanagar Beach in the evening.
As the beach is secluded from the rest of Havelock, there are no hotels at walking distance from the beach. Nearby hotels can either be found at the Radhanagar Beach if you plan to take the trek route or near the Swaraj Dweep Jetty, if you’d like to travel here by boat.
Although, there are no notable restaurants near the beach within the walking distance there are a lot of small chat shops offering refreshments and snacks for everyone. Snacks like Samosas, Pakodas, Vadas, Tea are available here.
For full meals, you will either have to go back to the Swaraj Dweep Jetty or visit Radhanagar. Most of the tourists visiting here, either come here after lunch, or go back to the jetty for it. There are a lot of restaurants and hotels near the jetty, which makes it easy for you to eat where you see fit.
POPULAR MYTHS AND MISINFORMATION ABOUT ELEPHANT BEACH:
In light of misinformation about the beach on the internet, please note that water-sports and activities like Scuba Diving, Kayaking, Surfing/ Surf Riding, Fun Diving, and Bird Watching are not available at the Elephant Beach. The only activities available here are listed above.
Currently there are no elephants at the Elephant Beach. Last one was seen in fall 2017.
Why is it called the Elephant Beach?
The beach is called Elephant Beach because there were 3 elephants here in the past. Chains were attached to their legs and a rider sat on top offering rides near the beach. The last of these elephants expired in 2017 and there are no elephants here currently.
Is trekking the best way to reach the Beach?
It can be, but most tourists visiting here prefer direct boats because the pathway is raw and the trekking path is not official. It was merely a path used by local shop keepers traveling to mend their shops at the beach.
Is it worth visiting Elephant Beach?
If you like the idea of enjoying water sports at a secluded location, far from the road, then Elephant Beach is worth visiting. The beach is mostly famous for activities, and therefore if you are not planning on it, its best to visit Radhanagar, as its better in terms of scenic views.