MandaLao Elephant Conservation

MandaLao Elephant Conservation, Luang Prabang: Address, Phone Number, MandaLao Elephant Conservation Reviews: 5/5

MandaLao Elephant Conservation

MandaLao Elephant Conservation
5
About
We are Luang Prabang's first and only non-riding elephant experience. Please join us for an unforgettable trip that will not only benefit the well being of our elephants but be a highlight to any Southeast Asian adventure.
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More than 3 hours
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5.0
498 reviews
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467
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17
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9
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4
Terrible
1

cuy2019
Siem Reap, Cambodia18 contributions
Holiday and bustiness trip
Jan 2021 • Business
Great place , good view and a amazing time spent with the elephants . The elephont was so friendly and my colleagues just had so much fun in that place
Written January 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

skyisblu
Montreal, Canada2,538 contributions
Walking with happy elephants? Best day ever.
Jan 2020
We chose to spend our day with Mandalao, one of the most reputable sanctuaries in Luang Prabang, taking a walk with the elephants. Our activities are based around the THEIR schedule and their well-being, since happy elephants are healthy elephants. We are introduced to two older females, and given bunches of fingers bananas and sticks of sugar cane to bribe them into liking us. The adage when it comes to elephants is "NO FOOD, NO FRIEND," and this is especially true of our two graceful grey beasts. They gently remove the snacks from our outstretched hands, drooling on us in return, and as soon as they realize we have nothing left, they are no longer interested, moving on the next person with food. Now, this is merely a snack, as the average elephant will eat AT LEAST 250 kg of food each day!

The day continues in much the same manner: the elephants go for a walk in the jungle, snacking on trees and plants along the way. Along with their "keepers" and our guide, Noi, we walk with the elephants, leading, following, moving out of the way, stopping for them when they eat. We arrive at a small camp halfway through the day, and the elephants are given several banana TREES to munch on. Afterwards, they head to a small watering hole to splash in the mud - elephant sunscreen and bug spray, we are told. While they eat and play, we have OUR lunch, a Lao feast packaged in banana leaves, and Noi shows us how to eat with our fingers and make balls of sticky rice. It is the most delicious picnic in the jungle I have ever had.

While the elephants relax at the jungle camp, we take a small walk through the jungle to a nearby village, and then to two small waterfalls. There has been no rain for a month and a half, so the waterfalls are more like trickles - not very impressive. In the village, we sit with some of the locals while Noi talks of daily life of the Hmong who live here. We look on as one man builds a new home on the outskirts of the village, brick and mortar with handmade wooden doors, so new compared to the homes of bamboo and thatch that surround him. As we sit listening to Noi, one of the older women points to my skin and compares it with her deep colouration - we both laugh, because even after 3 weeks in the sun, I am still white as snow compared to her dark brown tint. It's funny how you never really need words to communicate.

Back at the elephant camp, we begin the walk back with our two pachyderm guides. They continue to rip vines from trees and shred leaves from branches as we go, one even removing an entire tree as though is was a toothpick, and happily walking up the path like a dog with a bone. It has been an awesome day, but we have to part ways, so we get one last chance to pet and hug and be with the gentle giants, and then its back to the city.

I absolutely LOVED my day at Mandalao. I learned so much about the mistreating of elephants in Southeast Asia, and the felt the love and positive that every person working here exudes. There is a real desire to change the system coming from these people, and the elephants that have been saved so far are so lucky to be here. I am lucky to been here and felt it, even if only for one day.

Also, EXCELLENT service from everyone from pick-up to drop-off and everywhere in between. Superb clean washrooms at the main building AND at the jungle camp. Water and jungle boots are provided, so no need to worry about appropriate footwear. And getting recognized by our guide, Noi, randomly in Luang Prabang the following day? Clearly Mandalao and its staff have as much love and attention for its visitors as its elephants.
Written June 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Susan H
Buckhurst Hill, UK62 contributions
Amazing Intimate Experience
Mar 2020
We spent a day here with another couple and enjoyed a lovely time walking with and feeding two elephants. The handlers were very gentle and caring with the animals and the guide supported us to engage with the elephants. The lunch was fabulous and beautifully presented. A tad pricey but it left us with lovely memories
Written June 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Scott R
7 contributions
Walk with them don't ride them
Mar 2020
Incredibly moving experience being able to see and touch the elephants in their habitat as they enjoyed a walk and snack. Never done anything like this.
Written April 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CoddiwompleBlues
Salobrena, Spain109 contributions
Phenomenal, enlightening experience.....highly recommended!
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.
Thanks so very much for your kind review. You are an elephant lover, that shines through. Thank you for caring about these most special animals - particularly those who were captured from the wild before it was illegal and forced into a life most unnatural to them. Until, and IF - big IF given what humans are doing to the jungle lands through which elephants roamed freely...) over time elephants in captivity are no more, we have a sacred obligation to do everything possible to make sure they are given a life as close to one they would naturally live. At MandaLao, we're proud to say, that elephants come first. Always. We are in the midst of very scary times with this virus. MandaLao, thankfully, has the means at present to be able to continue to provide plenty of food, water, health care and herd time for our 13 elephants. While we have closed our doors for the duration of this pandemic, our elephant care continues just as strongly as ever - with mahouts for every elephant, plenty of time in the jungle to roam. And still, of course, no hooks, no hammers, no chains, no riding, and strong security to protect them from any harm. Please do follow us on Facebook or Instagram (mandalao_elephants) to check in on how thing are going over the next few months. And please stay safe and healthy and continue to advocate for the ethical and humane care of elephants!
Written March 27, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jean Voller
7 contributions
A never to be forgotten experience , a privilege to have done it.
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.
Thank you so very much for your kind review. The experience of walking with elephants - fat and healthy and happy - watching them interact with each other, their mahouts, and the environment is one that too few people will ever be able to experience. Elephants emanate a special energy - and those people who are intuitive and respectful of them leave touched and moved by their encounter. It sounds like you went quite a ways up into the jungle and ate lunch in the raised sala out there. We're glad you enjoyed the food, that your guide was wonderful (we do believe we have 8 of the most amazing guides in Lao :)) and that you were able to simply watch the elephants as they munched on trees and other delicious fruits of the jungle. Again, so glad you came to visit - and once this pandemic ends - and people can once again freely travel, we hope you can come back again to say hello to your new friends!
Written March 27, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Andyonhishols
Warrington, UK203 contributions
Unique fantastic experience
Mar 2020 • Couples
We were so lucky to have the elephants to ourselves. We crossed the small river by long tail boat, fed them and joined them on a walk through the jungle. Whenever we stopped they stopped, we stroked and hugged them for photos and apart from getting swatted by an ear flapping they were very gentle and careful. An amazing experience and the people there do amazing work so it’s worth supporting their efforts.
Written March 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks so much for choosing to visit us at MandaLao. There is absolutely nothing like being in the presence of an elephant who is happy and healthy, well loved and cared for, is there? They carry with them the history of the ages, a collective unconscious or archetype that humbles us mere humans! We'd love you to share any of your favorite photos so we can post to our FB and Instagram (mandalao_elephants ) sites, so if you have any you'd be willing to share you can send to sally@laoelephantinitiative.org. Thanks again for your review! Please keep in touch and come back to visit if you're ever again in the area;
Written March 27, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JJ Antonio
Belgrade, Serbia36 contributions
Walk beside the elephants
Dec 2019 • Friends
Prior to experiencing the MandaLao Elephant walk, I've always wanted to ride an elephant. However, after learning about the cruelty inflicted upon these gentle creatures by elephant rides, I'm glad to have opted for this experience rather than my initial desire. Yes, $100 USD is not a price to sneeze at, but if you think about the upkeep required to feed, support, care, and rehabilitate these elephants (having been rescued from terrible conditions), then the price is more than fair. You get served delicious food on top of petting (sometimes also getting petted) and feeding the elephants, how many people can say they've experienced something like this?
Written March 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
We can't thank you enough for your kind and thoughtful review. Your words and sentiments reinforce to all of us working at MandaLao that what many people want isn't to ride an elephant, or to watch them do tricks, but rather simply to spend time walking beside them, watching them in a natural environment, and being happy that they're happy! We thank you also for being an advocate for the ethical and humane treatment of these amazing animals. As you know, so few of those who live in captivity get the food, health care, freedom from chains, hooks, hammers and saddles, time with their beloved herd family. etc., that they need and deserve. It's going to be people like you who will help ensure that they not only survive, but thrive in the crazy world in which we live!
Written March 27, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Manos Mitikas
Fourni Korseon, Greece24 contributions
Mandalao treats elephants as they deserve!
Feb 2020 • Couples
The definition of ethical elephant tourism.
No riding, no hammers, no chains.
They love and treat these animals as they deserve to be treated.
Educational information and amazing food!
A wonderful team of people and an unforgettable experience!
Written March 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
We cannot thank you enough for your review. Yes, at MandaLao, elephants are everything. We put all of our energy into making sure that they are well fed, have plenty of time to spend with each other, are always unchained, that our mahouts are re-trained such that no traditional tools are used to control elephants (hooks, hammers, etc.) and offer no riding. Captive elephants can't help that they were taken by humans from their jungle homes and forced to live a very unnatural and often very harsh life. At MandaLao they have a little slice of heaven and with the help of advocates like you, we will continue to do that until captivity is a thing of the past!
Written March 28, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Patty S
Boca Raton, FL3 contributions
BEST EVER!
Feb 2020
This was one of the most amazing experiences that I have ever had. The guides are incredible, you learn a lot about the elephants and understand the care they receive. Meeting the elephants is an experience that will last a lifetime! They are so wonderful, if you have the opportunity to do this, do not miss it.
Written March 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The fact you felt that your visit to MandaLao was 'one of the most amazing experiences you've ever had' touches our hearts and we are most grateful for your kind review. These amazing animals are so at-risk. It seems everywhere they live the human-elephant conflict escalates in severity. And, more often than not, they are poorly treated. It will take a whole army of advocates working to ensure the ethical and humane treatment of elephants to help them not only survive, but thrive. Thanks for your support of what we're doing at MandaLao and please do stay in touch with us, by visiting again, or via social media (we're on FB and Instagram (mandalao_elephants). Stay safe and healthy!
Written March 28, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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