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“Wow, amazing experiance” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Elephant Conservation Center

Elephant Conservation Center
Nam Tien Protected Area | Sayaboury, Sayaboury, Laos
+856 20 96 590 665
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Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Sayaboury
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The newly established Elephant Conservation Center is now open, marking a new era for conservation of the Asian elephant within the Lao PDR and offering a unique experience to visitors wishing to contribute towards the preservation of an endangered species. The first of its kind in Laos, the Center, launched in association with conservation organisation ElefantAsia, is not another elephant camp but an innovative approach that combines conservation of an endangered species with eco-tourism.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Wow, amazing experiance”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

Right from the start we could tell this was a well run and organised operation, before we had even got off the bus from Luang Prabang the tuk tuk driver was aboard to meet us. A short trip to the boat jetty and an even shorter trip on a small long boat and we were at the centre. The staff were there to great us and take our luggage up to the bungalow, where they left us to get settled before checking in.

We booked the two night three day trip well in advance before we left the UK, which was just as well as it's very popular.

The accommodation is a little basic in the bamboo huts but the beds were comfy and warm and we had mosquito nets (not that there were many about during December). Bathrooms are shared and again a little basic but for us this was all part of the experience. The food was great and always plenty of it.

The staff were all very friendly and the three guides were extremely knowledgeable and all spoke very good English. During our stay we never felt ignored and were looked after very well. We got the impression that everyone really cares about the elephants. We learnt that by staying there we were helping to fund the great work they do all over Laos, their vets will travel all over the country providing free treatment and training for anyone with an elephant that needs their help. They also provide a service that a mahout with a pregnant elephant can bring her to the centre and they will provide food and accommodation for both elephant and mahout until both mother and baby elephant are ready to travel back home.

This is not some tourist elephant park where the elephants walk a continuous circuit with a never ending stream of tourists on their backs, they really are doing some great work here to ensure the Asian elephant in Laos doesn't end up on the endangered list.

This was the highlight of our trip so far and would highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys spending time with theses animals in as close as possible to their natural habitat.

Visited December 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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143 reviews from our community

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  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Unforgettable”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2013

This was one of my highlights if living in Southeast Asia. Despite being a remote place, everything is so well organized that it puts a solo travels at ease. The journey to get there from the city is long but worth it! It's very authentic and lots if fun. I learned so much and conquered my fears of sleeping in a remote bungalow by myself in the middle of the jungle! Emile and the staff are lovely. Warm, friendly and accommodating. The food was wonderful. Accommodations basic, but clean with a porch where I watched the sunset. My favorite part about ECC was watching the elephants take their bath. Second favourite- seeing the baby elephants interact with their mothers. I also loved riding an elephant through the jungle-mahout style! I even learned how to command an elephant myself! I recommended some friends to go there and they also loved it. Loved Laos, loved ECC. Best part about it- supporting a wonderful cause!

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Be prepared for an unforgotable experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2013

We wanted to see some elephants and figured Lao, the land of a million elephants, was a good place for that.
However, we wanted to be sure that our money would go to people who took good care of the elephants and who would use it FOR the elephants. After a few research, we got confirmation that most of tours proposed in the area of Luang Pranang are not considering the elephants in terms of work hours, number of tourists sitting on their backs or food needs.

I believe these are important things to consider and you'll definitely realise that you spend good money at the right place in Sayaboury.
Excellent location, friendly staff, interesting mahout courses, nice cruise (we had so much fun with our group on that boat!) And, let's admit it, it is a deep pleasure to see such animals well treated and evolving in a natural environment!
Really unforgotable!

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“experience never to forget; recommendation from a Dutch couple!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

Me and my boyfriend have been traveling in Azie for 3 months and also visited Laos. We wanted to have an eco tourism experience with elephants. We boocked the ECC in an eco tourism office in Ventiane. We went to Luan Prabang with the nightbus and cought a local buss to Sarabouly were the people were not prepared for tourists at all but very very friendly!! there was 1 (fine) hotel (to which a tuk tuk driver brought us; we did not boock anything) and we could eat something in a small local restaurant besides the (high)way. The food there was the best and most fresh food you can wish for and it costes almost nothing. Next morning a man picked us up in a tuk-tuk and brought us to a river were our host of the ECC waited for us with a boat. He brought us to the center. It was paradise on earth. The people were so very kind, they showed us the whole center, all mahouts, all rituals of the elephants, we met all elephants and were alowed to ride on them. We also went to the other side of the island to see the baby elephants beeing washed. The food was outstanding and we were realy sad to leave at the end of the day... but also the ride back was perfectly planned by them. and after a second good night sleep in the hotel we went back with a local bus to Luang Prabang. It was an experience which we realy would not have missed . So we advise you to visit them if you can and meet the wonderfull people and elephants in a not very touristic way! if we go back to Laos we will certainly go back! Hereby we want to thank the crew of the ECC for the incredible stay.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2013

If you are in Laos and you like or are interested in elephants take time out to visit this place, it is well worth it. Situated in the jungle on the edge of a reservoir, the setting is incredible in terms of panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. We stayed 3 days and 2 nights and loved every minute of it. The accommodation is a bamboo room with a balcony, on stilts, set on the hillside overlooking the lake. The toilets and showers are in a small communal block nearby. Meals are also taken in a communal setting in the main building. The food is fabulous and enough for an elephant!
I wont spoil the experience by going into detail, suffice to say that you come away having had a wonderful time with great people and patient elephants, something you will never forget.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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