This excursion wouldn’t normally be on our list of things to do, but we elected to join the 30 min trek to accompany a relative who was keen to have some close contact with elephants. The experience was made extremely easy by the mahout, such as mounting and being secured into the seat on the elephant’s back. The trek was a slow and careful climb through shrubs and trees until the summit was reached, when the mahout dismounted and proceeded to take photographs of the rider with my own camera as the elephant did the downhill climb. This was a bit precarious for the rider, as the seatbelt comprised a piece of narrow rope, and I had to hold on to the side of the seat to prevent myself from sliding forwards out of the seat. At the end of the trek, we had the opportunity to feed the elephants with bunches of bananas – these were available for a donation.
I really can’t enthuse over the trek, as I found it uncomfortable with the elephant swaying back and forth, and having to grip the sidebar of the seat to retain my balance on the uphill and downhill climbs – I’m sure the British Raj travelled in more comfort than we did! Nevertheless, our keen relative loved the experience and would, no doubt, love visit an elephant sactuary where she could have a different type of experience with maybe young elephants.
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