MandaLao Elephant Conservation

MandaLao Elephant Conservation

MandaLao Elephant Conservation
8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
8:30 AM - 9:00 PM
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OUR MISSION To demonstrate respect for and understanding of elephants by providing our guests a wholly educational and interactive experience. OUR GOAL To help visitors connect with elephants in the most natural way possible in elephant tourism today. It is our hope that this knowledge will spread, promoting increasingly humane and ethical treatment of elephants across Laos and beyond its borders WITH YOUR SUPPORT We preserve and protect both captive elephants and those who remain in the wild. We do this through responsible tourism, education, and sustainable relationships with the local community.
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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530 reviews
Very good

Sally W
Ajijic, Mexico124 contributions
Feb 2023 • Solo
This is a must do! I signed up for the all day experience & had the good fortune to have Aeung as our guide! He was incredible, very friendly,knowledgeable & a wonderful photographer 👏👏 It was a wonderful day. The drive out to the property was fairly close… and it was a scenic place in itself. Everyone was very friendly, they got us set up with some trekking boots for water crossings etc that were very nice, water bottles for us etc. Then a short boat ride across the river and we were there with our 2 special elephants! We spent some time feeding them bananas and then started our walk. We had a nice lunch at at camp with a toilet and more water … there were 6 elephants at the camp including the 2 that came with us. We had a lovely time seeing all their different personalities. We walked to a beautiful waterfall without the elephants then started to walk back to the original sight. It wasn’t the 7km that I thought it was going to be but it was a nice walk, crossed 3 or 4 streams not too hot or cold👏 And the boots were a God send. This was way different than any of my other experiences with elephants in Thailand, not near as orchestrated & much more natural for the elephants. There were just 4 of us so it really was a nice size group. I can highly recommend this company for an ethical treatment of the animals & the $$ you spend is well worth it as they can save more of these wonderful creatures ❤️
Written February 3, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lois v
Rotterdam, The Netherlands8 contributions
Mar 2023 • Couples
We chose to do the full-day tour with Mandalao and we loved it. We were picked up by our wonderful guide Lan. He did a great job explaining the whole day about the elephants, Mandalao and Lao culture.

We got to see elephants up close and roaming around in the forest. We saw them walk, eat, cool themselves with mud. We got to feed them which was a cool experience.

Would highly recommend if you are looking for the most ethical option for the elephant's well-being.
Written March 21, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Malmesbury, UK11 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
We booked a new tour called Feeding the Elephants which involved a good half day of feeding elephants, walking with them and having a delicious Lao lunch, wrapped up in palm leaves, in the jungle. It was an expensive tour, as tours go, costing $130 each plus 3% bank charge if paying by credit card. (N.b.: if you pay by cash you still pay 3% when you withdraw cash from an ATM.) However, the tour is exclusive, max. 4 persons, and where else could you learn so much about these fascinating creatures and interact with them in such a natural way. In my home city of Bath, England you could easily spend as much on a trip to the theatre and eating at a restaurant. We “prepared“ for the tour beforehand by watching a free film called The Song of the Lao Elephant by Adri Berger in the gallery at the The Big Tree cafe in Luang Prabang. I highly recommend doing this and the coffee and food are delicious too. At both the beginning and end of our tour we were lucky enough to be met by the project director, Mr Prasop Tipprasert, a world authority on elephants who both educated and entertained us. We learned so much on this tour: for example how riding elephants is often worse for them than logging. In any case walking along jungle paths is better for you as well as for the elephants! Mandalao is doing such impressive work and must be supported. Do this tour, you’ll not regret it!
Written February 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Ellie L
13 contributions
Jan 2023 • Couples
We had the most amazing day with MandaLao, one that won't be forgotten. We went for the full day experience and I can't recommend it enough! The staff were amazing, compassionate towards the Elephants and very educated about all Elephant matters. They taught us so much, and answered any questions the group had. They keep the groups small so it isn't overwhelming for the Elephants, and means you get a more personal experience. We fed the Elephants, walked freely with them, and stroked their trunks, it was truly magical.

The lunch provided was delicious, and you also got provided anything you would need for the day, boots, water, water holder, bananas as snacks and free tea and coffee. I would 100% recommend if you would like to do an ethical Elephant experience.
Written February 6, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mumbai, India180 contributions
Nov 2019
The only reason I paid for this trip is coz my wife is fond of animals and I wanted to keep an open mind,

But as a true animal lover and having done African salaries, I would avoid going to any place like this where animals are contained in a particular area and are expected to follow a certain routine for every batch of tourist that visit them and cause a lot of human interference in their daily activity.

The company obviously showcase and glorify what good they do compared to other elephant sanctuaries around- which is impressive that they cause no harm and don't allow elephant rides etc.

But some of the important facts are not mentioned like having only female elephants in their sanctuary thereby depriving them of an important instinct and necessity for any animal.

This is an opinion from a compassionate animal lover and I believe that every living being's birth right!!
Written January 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We're sorry to hear that your visit to MandaLao wasn't what you had hoped. You are clearly an advocate for elephants and for that we thank you. The issues related to treatment of captive elephants vs wild elephants are quite complex, as we're sure you know. Should all elephants be wild? Yes. Are there many captive elephants that, literally for the sake of their survival, need to be cared for in the most ethical and humane way possible? Yes. MandaLao is committed to doing its utmost to ensure that captive elephants live a life as close as possible to the one they would live in wild. Unlike most other conservation program in Southeast Asia, we are completely chain free (night and day), use no hooks, hammers, prohibit riding or bathing, provide professional vet care, constant access to healthy, nutritious food, and land to roam with their herd. They take a walk with guests once a day - through the jungle streams, with their closest friend. In terms of having only female elephants in the sanctuary, this is typical in the wild. Herds are matriarchal and the females stay with females - older males do not live with the herd. Just to clarify, as well, we are opposed to captive breeding. As we've said, ideally, elephants should be born to be wild. In fact, we will be reintroducing our young male elephant, Kit, back to the wild, along with a small bachelor herd over the course of the next few years.
Written February 19, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Christchurch, New Zealand1,811 contributions
Jan 2020
I think this was probably my favourite thing in all Laos. This elephant camp offers no riding, no bathing, just walking with and being with the elephants. The welfare of the elephants rather than the tourist experience is paramount, so if you don't like wandering around in a jungle, sloshing through streams and getting showered with falling debris as the elephants pull vines out of the arborial canopy to snack on as they mooch along, then don't come. I just loved this. We spent a whole day just mooching along with up to four elephants at a time. We did feed them some bananas at the beginning of the day, in order t introduce ourselves and then at lunch time the mahouts chopped up banana trees and sugarcane to supplement the enthusiastic jungle foraging.
We all stopped at the mahouts camp for a really delicious Lao lunch, which was carried along with us in a palm leaf basket and all wrapped up in banana leaves. There was masses of food for the four of use doing the whole day trek, the half dayers having peeled off earlier to return to the reception area across the river.
These elephants seemed delighted to have us along on their day. They weren't all bathed and cleaned up for tourists but were happily dust covered. I don't know when I've had a more joyful day. I have to say that I did a lots of research before I even decided to patronise an elephant camp and in the end I decided that tourists are probably a necessary evil for the elephants in Laos these days. They have never been wild elephants, there is now no natural habitat anyway, so visitors are their best bet at survival. But I can't see that the camps have to offer rides and other abusive practices. Mandalao seems to have found a way to support their elephants in a very gentle, friendly way and my concerns were allayed and I felt so happy being there.
Just on a practical note - we ditched our own shoes at the reception area. Lockers were provided for personal belongings and we were given knee high waterproof boots with sock liners so that we could splash in and out of the streams along the way.
Loved it.
Written January 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chase B
9 contributions
Feb 2023
If visiting Luang Prabang do not miss a visit to MandaLao. The elephants have been rescued from riding camps, logging etc and are now live surrounded by people that adore them, To listen to the guides speak about elephants was so heartfelt. We watched two beautiful female elephants bathe and then had the opportunity to feed them and not one banana but heaps. We patted, kissed and hugged them and then walked with them through the jungle. In 58 years I have had many wonderful experiences but this is definitely at the top of the list. And best of all some of the ticket cost goes to feeding and caring for these beautiful creatures that sadly are still ridden, causing them much pain and distress. Do yourself a huge favour and visit this memorable haven.
Written February 24, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Salobrena, Spain109 contributions
Mar 2020
We were in Luang Prabang and went to the Mandalao office to inquire. The guy behind the counter patiently explained to us various options so we booked the half day, “walking with elephants” tour limited to 4 people, and we were not disappointed. From hotel pickup to arrival, the car ride from Luang Prabang to Mandalao, the orientation, the walk itself, the goodbye, and finally lunch back at the camp, everything was just amazing and very professionally done. Our guide was “Yeng?” (We think, sorry for vague memories and we didn’t write down his name, but it was March 3 morning). He was very knowledgeable, witty, patient, and willing to share his knowledge and answer questions. He also gave us clear instructions and appropriately prepped us what to expect every step of the way, and helped us get outfitted with socks and boots. The orientation session was informative and appropriately timed. The walk was amazing and it is beyond description, you really need to experience this for yourselves. Those looking for entertainment or some other form of selfish enjoyment should not do this. But if you really want to learn about elephants and what they have been forced to do throughout history, ie. Being used as slaves in the lumber industry, and as entertainment for rides in zoos and in circuses, and what Mandalao is now doing to change that by rescuing elephants and giving these beautiful, lovely, innocent creatures the best life that they deserve, then you should definitely sign up....and sign up again whenever possible. We read in the Lao airlines inflight magazine that there is another elephant conservation camp, NW of Luang Prabang?, which also has a similar mission as Mandalao’s. We walked with a mother and daughter pair and fed them breakfast bananas, and walked through the forest with them. Later they helped themselves to more leaves from the forest, and bathed themselves in the river (although we learned that their idea of “bathing” was slathering mud on each other with their trunks. Regardless, it was a lot of fun to watch and needless to say we didn’t participate). Walking with them was sheer joy and an experience you would not forget. After saying goodbye, our group of four came away completely energized, happy, and grateful knowing that these elephants will be free for as long as they live, and that they will never be subject to abuse, misuse and ill treatment by humans. Thank you Mandalao for undertaking this enormous mission, for not only saving the elephants, but for creating amazing opportunities for people like us to be educated and to have unforgettable experiences. Last, the lunch was very delicious.....and we highly recommend this tour!
Written March 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jean Voller
7 contributions
Feb 2020 • Friends
To spend a day here was amazing. The talk at the beginning about elephants, their well being and their conservation really set the scene. The boat ride across to the elephants was full of anticipation and then the first siting, wow. To spend several hours walking in the jungle with these majestic, gentle animals, walking down rivers with them, feeding and cuddling them was magical. To see the special relationship between elephant and mahout was moving. It was an utter privilege to do this and to have lunch in the open, with banana leaves as a “table cloth”, with 2 elephants watching you while they munched on sugar cane was almost surreal. The guide for the day was exceptional and carried our lunch wrapped in banana leaves in his rucksack! He was able explain things about the elephants behaviour and actions and answer any questions. He showed such respect and love for the elephants, he was an excellent photographer as well. I cannot recommend this experience highly enough and if the opportunity ever arose to do it again I would jump at it.
Written March 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Berkeley, CA15 contributions
Jan 2023
We really loved our day walking with the MandaLao elephants. Our guide was great, the lunch on the deck was delicious, and i got to feed bananas to our ellies! Such a beautiful memory to bring back from Luang Prabang. The fee is not cheap but the service is top notch and the experience was very intimate, just a group of 8 of us. Totally worth it! We will probably come back to Luang Prabang next winter and while we are there, I'm sure we'll be going back to MandaLao.
Written February 6, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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MandaLao Elephant Conservation (Luang Prabang) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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MandaLao Elephant Conservation is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:30 AM - 9:00 PM

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