We have been talking about going to the elephant sanctuary for more than a few years. It was always postponed due to a million excuses, until one friday evening when we decided to just wing it and drive the 1 hr 45 mins journey to the place (the next day, Saturday).
Did not do a lot of research for this trip, other than searching the location on Waze and the show times.
Admission is free. Though you have to fill out a registration form. There is a donation form as well, through which you can pay as you wish. You can donate before or after you are done with the place. We donated afterwards, which felt more meaningful as we got to see the animals we were donating for.
There are elephant food (sugar cane and bananas) vendors near the enclosures and a bunch of sugar cane or bananas cost us RM 3.00 per bunch. The elephants were pretty eager for the food and surprisingly gentle.
We reached the place around 12 pm as we planned to catch the 1 pm audio visual (AV) show after which there was to be an elephant show at 2:15 pm followed by bathing baby elephants at 3:00. By the way we skipped the AV show to go feed the elephants instead, as a result we got to beat the crowd and had the feeding area for ourselves.
There are only 15 or so spots for bathing the elephants and you have to call up and book in advance (costs RM 70.00 per person). We unfortunately could not do so.
The elephant show is near the river where the mahuts (elephant handlers) ride the larger elephants down the river for a bit of a scrub down. They had the show at a temporary location (due to renovations) so i don't know how true this would be for the future but personally the best view is from the bridge. The moment and high angle you see the elephants coming around the bend up river, is simply breath taking and straight out of a movie. Wow.
I went down to the river side for some snaps as well. The elephant show kinda made the trip worthwhile for us though we did not get one on one time in the water with them.
There are restrooms and a restaurant as well. Its no fine dining but does the job. I had the nasi lemak (malay rice dish wrapped in banana leaves). It costs RM 2.00 and the place has the usual fresh drinks etc... The shop has snacks and drinks as well (with reasonable prices). The nasi lemak was packed with the spicy sauce (sambal) seperate so that people who can't take the heat can add in as tolerable to them.
We had a great time and visit again, but with more research on the surrounding area, as there is not much to do here if you're looking for a full day trip.
We stumbled upon a great place, called Dusun Cafe', a few kilometers from the sanctuary. We actually stopped there before the santuary as we were not sure the santuary had food or restrooms. Its run by a couple from KL who comeby every weekend. They offer a few activities if you want more bang for your journey. I will review the place in detail in a seperate review.
As for the santuary we were highly satisfied. The signage got a bit confusing as we were unsure where the show happened. For now being on the bridge over the river at 2:15 pm is your safest bet.
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