Get to know gentle giants at the Sayaboury Elephant Conservation Centre in rural Laos. Over three days, the centre’s expert staff will teach you to bathe and ride elephants, and you’ll have plenty of time to visit an on-site elephant hospital and nursery.
Route: Luang Prabang – Sayaboury Elephant Conservation Center
Day 1: Luang Prabang – Sayaboury Elephant Conservation Center
Day 2: Sayaboury Elephant Conservation Center
Day 3: Sayaboury Elephant Conservation Centre – Luang Prabang
Start your elephant odyssey with a three-hour road journey from Luang Prabang to the Sayaboury Elephant Conservation Centre. Upon arrival you will meet the staff and tour the site, which includes an elephant hospital, elephant museum and an elephant boutique! The centre works in partnership with ElefantAsia, a local non-profit organization that works to protect elephants across Laos.
Take a break for lunch and then meet the center’s herd of elephants. You will learn tricks and tips to help you mount, bathe and care for the elephants. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the center’s facilities at your own speed. You might also wish to help the staff clean the hospital, nursery or yard.
After breakfast, you’ll attend a safety briefing about the elephants in which you’ll learn how to safely handle them. Then comes the fun part, as you choose an elephant to take for its daily exercise in the forest!
Before setting out, take your ‘elephant driving test’ which assesses your ability to control the animal using simple commands like stop and go. Then follow your elephant as it guides you through forest on its morning walk. You will also get to feed the elephants and learn how to ride on their neck just like the mahouts do. Later, visit the elephant nursery to meet a few pregnant mothers and super-cute babies. Then take part in the evening elephant bath before tucking them into bed. Before dinner, take some time to go for a swim or take a boat trip to watch the sunset over the islands.
After an early breakfast, you will return to Luang Prabang with a great photos and a story to tell!