Places to visit in Pahang

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary
4
About
You'll never forget the day you helped give an elephant a bath (additional request with the help of a guide). Currently elephant riding has been temporary stopped until further notice. Get up close and personal with the amazing semi-wild elephants at Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary. Be sure to book in advance because the center has strict daily visitor quotas.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
885 reviews
Excellent
441
Very good
252
Average
98
Poor
35
Terrible
59

pianocello
Shah Alam, Malaysia1,367 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
This is our 2nd time here with our 1st time being 5 years ago. There are more souvenir stalls this time around. The exhibition is rather basic but you get to be up close and personal with the elephants without paying a bomb like the many elephant parks in Thailand.
Written 8 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jonathan G
Leicester, UK1 contribution
Jul 2023 • Family
The elephant sanctuary is amazing, You can pay a small fee for a tour guide who will tell you everything and will help you on your journey. We had a lady named "Di" (not sure how to spell, but it is pronounced "Dee"). She was amazing and kind and really helpful throughout the whole thing.
Written 21 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gecko-Toes
Surrey, UK66 contributions
Apr 2023
You can visit the sanctuary as a tourist but you won't get as much out of it as if you visit with a guide. We had seen Zali's name pop up on numerous reviews and contacted him via whatsapp (Hsi number: +60 17 616 2105) we were lucky enough to find he had availability for a trip for 3 of us. It is 200RM per person which includes return transfers from the outskirts of KL to the sanctuary and Lunch.

Be prepared to work hard with Zali, you are basically helping the keepers and it is physically hard and hot. The reward though is that you spend a full day with the beautiful elephants learning about them and being up close with them. It was one of the best days of my life honestly. We helped chop their food and wash them. There is no elephant riding by tourists here. The focus is on caring for the elephants. There is a small museum also which charts the history of the sanctuary. Zali is a mine of information and can answer any questions.

Practical notes - bring toilet paper / tissues & hand sanitiser. There are toilets and hand wash facilities but toilet paper was scarce. Lunch was chicken and rice at the cafe and was tasty and there is a shop to purchase drinks, snacks and ice cream.

What makes the trip so special, aside from the beautiful elephants is Zali. Book him in advance and you won't regret it. He made our holiday to KL exceptional. He has volunteered there for decades and loves the animals so much.
Written 20 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Fra
Province of Verona, Italy17 contributions
May 2023 • Family
I understand that people want to be near to elephant and enjoy them in water, but when you see people sit down on elephant’s back, elephant tied with chain you have to go away and don’t give money to this terrible place. Please, don’t support this place for an Instagram photo.
Written 16 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Scott P
4 contributions
May 2023 • Friends
This is not a sanctuary for elephants. Please think about your visit here. We hoped to see elephants in a natural and caring environment. The moment we entered the park we saw two elephants being ridden by men with bill hooks, they were being used to clear trees from a river. The elephants were silent and had wounds on their heads from the hooks. We reported the treatment to reception who tried to say the elephants have boils on their heads. We left. Nope, nope goodbye.
Written 3 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cilli s
3 contributions
Apr 2023 • Couples
Yesterday we visited the Elephant conservation centre Kuala Gandah. And had a guided tour. In my opinion it's great that it's sponsored by the government, that you need a permission to keep elephants in Malaysia and that elephant riding and touristic shows are forbidden for more than 10 years now. Which is quite an achievment in comparison to its neighbour country Thailand. I also appreciate that they release elephants back to nature after they recovered when they need special treatment and remove elephants from places where they are not wanted and take them to a safer place to prevent them of getting harmed.
But I felt a bit sorry for those who have to stay for several years like the babys/young elephants or even a life long like the disabled and working elephants. I completely understand why it's necessary and we asked many questions to get a better understanding for the whole situation. But I've also been to the Elephant nature park in Chiang Mai in Thailand and therefore I know how much more life could improve especially for those elephants who are spending a longer period in captivity. We haven't seen the big place, where most of the elephants are kept, but we were told that they are also locked separately in a small place during the night. We felt sad for the young elephants, because they are only allowed to play and walk outside for 2 hours a day, which means they are locked separately for 22 hours a day with no real activity opportunities to keep them busy. We were told they get "chain bracelets" if they are too active and full of energy to calm them down. As a vet I don't think the animals are the problem, when damaging the enclosure because of being together or wanting to get rid of their energy which is only natural especially for young animals. I guess it's more about the money which would be needed to build safer and bigger compounds for more animal enrichment. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying, that the elephants are suffering and living in bad conditions! It's so important someone takes care for them, rescue and protect them as you do! As far es we know they get baths/showers up to 3 times a day, time together in an enclosure during the day (the young ones a 2h morning walk together), attention and treats through their personal keepers and of course visitors, meals, medical check ups, including blood sampling every third month. But I'm saying there is room for improvement and enrichment for the elephants who spend a long time/ their life there due to fact some of them have already behaviour disorders. They are weaving most of the time (shaking their head from one side to the other, swaying from one side to the other, sometimes also forwards and backwards), even during the time in their enclosure. Our guide told us it's nothing bad, it's because they are standing a lot instead of walking serveral kilometers looking for food but it's not necessary here so they do it to stretch their muscles. True, it's not bad for them in the first place. Over a longer period it can cause problems to the joints and feet. They do it because they can not walk long distances, but not to stretch their muscles instead. They develop this stereotype because of boredom, plain environment, frustration or if their needs aren't satisfied. There are several studies about this topic. I guess every elephant organization, especially when sponsored by the government, sets an example for others and therefore should have the interest in keeping their elephants as good as possible to enable them to live a interesting, fulfilling and diverse life without behaviour disorders :)

Oh and I would definitively recommend to spay all the cats hanging around with their kittens in the restaurant to prevent more uncontrolled reproduction and to decrease the amount of stray cats.
Written 11 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

665suresh
12 contributions
Mar 2023 • Family
We visited the Elephant sanctuary in Mar 2023. Thanks to previous reviews here, we contacted Zali who was very helpful and organised a driver and guide for us at very short notice. The guide, Kalim, works at the santuary and was excellent.
We paid MR550 for day and was worth every penny. You can get fully involved with the elephants (wash, feed, etc) or simply watch them.
An excellent day out. Beware - Zali is a Liverpool supporter :)
Written 17 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kamelia K
Sofia, Bulgaria9 contributions
Jan 2023
Visiting the sanctuary is one of the best things one could do with kids around KL.
We booked a day trip with Zali, whom I found based on the comments here. It was definitely the best choice, as without him the day would not have been that interesting for our kids. Thanks to him, we prepared the food for the baby elephants, we fed them, then bathed and played with them. It was a memorable experience for all of us!
We paid 500 MYR for the guide, trip + basic lunch there. We left KL at about 10 and were back around 4pm. It was money well spent!
Written 6 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

S M
Sydney, Australia59 contributions
Jan 2023
Highly recommend the elephant sanctuary - very much surpassed expectations. Our guide Mirul was excellent and provided great knowledge of the elephants and the work the sanctuary does to conserve and protect the elephants. We got up close with many elephants - quite an experience to place food directly in an elephant's mouth and give her a pat.
We found this to be a genuine experience, not something just put on for tourists (which is what we expected).
Thank you Mirul
Written 8 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stef M
2 contributions
Jan 2023 • Couples
Highlight of our trip to Malaysia. Elephants are well cared for and the experience was second to none. Would recommend as a worthwhile tour.
Written 8 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary (Pahang) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

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