Elephant Village Sanctuary, Luang Prabang
Centuries ago, Laos was known as the land of a million elephants. But it is not the case now. According to the Laos government and conservation groups estimate, there are only about 800 elephants left in the country with 400 in wild and the rest in captivity. Due to the fact of that, many organizations have done something to give them a better life and Elephant Village Sanctuary is founded with this mission.
Elephant Village Sanctuary is located about 15 km out of Luang Prabang, on the bank of the Nam Khan river. It is well built in unspoiled nature, in the middle of misty mountains nearby the river. It aims to offer elephant interaction programs and outstanding activities for both young and old people. So, here is a perfect place where animal lovers can have a close contact with elephants.
History of Elephant Village Sanctuary.
The Elephant Village was founded in October 2003 by Mr. Markus Peschke. He planned to build this Sanctuary after he explored the old village where local people trained and took care of royal elephants. With his experience in tourism industry, he was mapping and creating of a special elephant trail to the Tad Sae Waterfall which is special thing in his project in just 2 years. At the beginning, the camp rented two elephants from nearby Hongsa district. But this caused some difficulties, so the camp started to buy its own elephants. In 2015, a Lao family from Vientiane bought the Elephant Village from Mr. Peschke, made it a 100% Lao owned and operated organization.
Why you should choose Elephant Village Sanctuary?
The main mission of founding the Elephant Village is to save elephants. They give a new home for rescued elephants and create a safe environment for ex-working elephants and their children. The elephants no longer work in the harsh and abusive environments. By providing elephant experience to tourists, elephants have easy work that allows them to sustain themselves by earning their own living in a safe and secure environment. The elephants are taken care of in the sanctuary with lots of food, veterinarians, and freedom to roam in the jungle after half day’s work.
Elephant Village has been supporting indigenous people in remote areas by the creation of jobs under fair social circumstances. Besides, it helps to preserve a pristine river valley by signing a multi-year agreement with the Laos government to establish a sustainable tourism project.
What to experience at Elephant Village Sanctuary?
At the moment, Elephant Village offer 3 tour options every day. You can choose to spend half day, full day or two days there. Basically, you will be provided all necessary services for one trip: pick-up & drop – off at hotels, meals, entrance fees and activities suitable for the time you have. In all options, you will experience to be a mahout and enjoy a boat trip to Tad Sae Waterfall. Upon arrival, you will join quick training course for a mahout: learn Laotian words the mahouts use to speak with the elephants. Following is to practice it with lovely elephants. The course ends by feeding elephants with bananas. After that, strolling around to visit elephant hospital, museum and especially learn how to make dung paper.
Here they make paper by elephant dung and sell souvenirs made from paper. It sounds strange, so let’s try. A boat trip to Tad Sae Waterfall is another highlight in Elephant Village. You will take a short boat trip along Nam Khan River to visit one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Luang Prabang. You can spend time to swim at turquoise water and drink Laos beer before coming back to the Sanctuary for a buffet lunch at restaurant. If you book a full day trip, you will have a couple of hour to trek through the jungle to reach Tad Sae Waterfall instead of taking a boat. Boat trip will be provided for a return way. With this option, you will have picnic lunch on the way.
In case you want to interact with elephants longer, 2-day trip is better option. In this trip, you will have extra time to walk with elephants in the late afternoon on the way to their home after working hours and join with mahouts to bathe them in the river. You will spend a night at beautiful Elephant Lodge which is connected by a small path just a few hundred meters from the Elephant Village. Elephant Lodge offers a nice and simple place to stay with furnished rooms in colonial style.
In general, a trip to Laos is incomplete without a trip to one of Elephant Camps. If you need further information, Laos Travel team is happy to assist you. Contact us whenever you start your plan.