Sebastian's Ongoing Adventures travel blog


me feeding the retired elephant

Jamie's turn

in the river on the 1 hr trek

my view looking down at my elephant's trunk

coming back from the 1 hr trek

mounting my elephant

lets go!

the boat ride on the river after the elephant cmp

me and the driver of the boat on the Nam Khan river

feeding the retired Mahout


bathing our elephants in the river

me and my elephant

bath time!

Originally I was going to spend Saturday and Sunday with the Mahout Elephants and sleep in a really nice Eco Lodge overlooking the river, but unfortunately they lost my reservation and I was only able to get in a day’s worth on Sunday. Still a great experience regardless.

I chose to book from this Elephant Village sanctuary and resort because of the reputation they had of treating the elephants and saving them from working in the logging industry. They have 8 female elephants in this camp that they bought/saved from the logging industry. One elephant, the oldest one, is retired and she just hangs around the area for the most part. Some or most of the money you put in here goes towards the elephants, taking care of them and ensuring they have proper care and food. These elephants are working, but for the tourist industry, which is a heck of a lot easier than moving, lifting and pulling heavy loads of timber.

Upon arrival at the camp, we got a brief introduction on the elephant camp and how to approach, ride and communicate/command the elephants. Next Jamie and I took about an hour long elephant ride through the area, which included walking in the river. Jamie and I each took a turn on riding the elephant on the neck and giving it commands. After the ride we feasted on a really good buffet that consisted of red chicken curry, veggies and Luang Prabang salad. After lunch and relaxing next to the river, we were each introduced to our own Mahout elephant. My elephant, Mae Kham, was the largest of the elephants and tallest. Once I got familiar with Mae Kham and brushed up on my commands, I hoisted myself up on her neck and guided her into the river where I bathed and scrubbed her with a small brush and got a little wet myself. After the bath, we walked our elephants to the other side of the river, jumped off and watched them walk into the jungle. I really liked being a guide for my own elephant and having contact on a more personal level than just taking a short elephant ride through the jungle. I’ll be interested to check up on this place from time to time to see how many more elephants they save and how long it will take them to set up a breeding program, since there are only females here.

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