The 186-sq-km Phu Wua Wildlife Sanctuary (เขตรักษาพันธุ์สัตว์ป่าภูวัว) is one of Isan's biggest and best wildlife reserves. With lots of exposed bedrock and some tall hills, it has a rugged beauty. The forest has several large waterfalls only active during or just after the rainy season (July–September mainly) and more than 40 elephants. The elephants are rarely encountered by visitors, though chances are best near Ban Kham Pia village in the rainy season. There are also monkeys, barking deer and a fair number of bird species.
The biggest waterfalls, Namtok Chet Si ('Seven Colours Waterfall') and Namtok Tham Phra ('Monk Cave Waterfall'), are both east of Rte 3024, near Wat Phu Thok. Tham Phra waterfall is reached by a boat (8am to 4pm, per person 30B), and foreigners pay the inflated entry fee of 200B.