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Reviews (167)
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All reviews the river bukit lawang wonderful experience fruit my opinion washing elephants a lot of money almost hours negative reviews wild elephants special experience jungle trek male elephant sumatra mahouts trunk handlers
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Reviewed July 7, 2019 via mobile

We were a bit sceptic about this, because we think all wild animals should be in the wild. But after local people telling us about the history and how they treat the elephants, we wanted to go there. It was a good experience and I am happy we’ve done this. The animals look happy, although the washing 2 times a day is too much in my opinion.

Date of experience: July 2019
Thank MelindaMuller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2019 via mobile

Went there with a private guide, first we were welcomed and given some information and also were able to buy some local goods or give a donation. The money is used for the elephant program.
Then we got to see the elephants and wash and feed them. So amazing!

Date of experience: June 2019
Thank 136pietm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2019

Would not recommended at all, first the elephants are rode by 2 mahouts out of the jungle and forced into the water when some don’t look like they want to go. It felt like a circus, they were forced to do tricks for us and were poked with bull hooks and sharp wooden sticks when not doing as told. They were being kicked and roughly pulled at by their ears to go the direction as told. It was disgusting to watch, then the elephants are made to lie on their sides for up to 15 minutes in the water so they can get washed even though they are naturally able to clean themselves in the water. In addition they’re fed a very unnatural diet of palm tree leaves which makes them so constipated the people have to put a hand up there to manually remove the poo, it’s degrading and horrible to watch. Most people are not aware and don’t have an understanding of why the elephants even do they tricks, they looks scared and frightened even the babies as they obviously have been tortured and scared into following the rules. No positive reinforcement at all, look up elephant crushing to see how this is done. In addition they are made to carry leaves and plants up and down the hill and people are allowed to ride on them which is what we saw on the way out. This is in no way a sanctuary but a working park and tourist attraction

Date of experience: June 2019
8  Thank Libby N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2019

Tangkahan is an amazing alternative to crowded Bukit Lawang, where foreign tourists are aggressively harrassed by tour guides and pushed into overpriced guided walks into the nearby jungle. Avoid the hassle and travel to Tangkahan instead, a calm and peaceful oasis where you can witness the amazing elephant bathing. I did not see more than 2 other western foreigners during my stay in April in Tangkahan. I stayed at the friendly Green Forest Tangkahan, a clean and peaceful hotel just a 5-10 minutes walk from the elephants along the main road in the village. The owners treated me like family, their kindness was amazing. The only regret I have is that I did not stay longer in this oasis.

Date of experience: April 2019
Thank TUNNELVISI0N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2019

We did the elephant trek through the jungle with Eva the Mom and Chris the baby. It was amazing to watch the elephants gracefully , quietly walk through the Jungle. The Mom set the pace and the baby followed. You can tell our guide and the mahout really cared out the elephants. The baby was really playful and funny. The Mom always had a close eye on the baby but let him do his own thing. Then they gave the elephants time to relax on their own in the water. This was really fun watching them interact with each other. We finally gave them a scrub before departing. I cant say enough about the mahout and guide of how nice they were and really cared about the elephants. They are hoping more people will do the jungle trek with elephants. They believe this is the best way to see the elephants and I totally agree. Don't hesitate to do the trek with the elephants. This not only provides for the elephants and mahouts but helps supports the ecotourism in the village.

Date of experience: March 2019
1  Thank dboyle30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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