The elephant freedom project housed me and two of my girlfriends when we came to Sri Lanka for a month. We spent 5 nights with the family and it really felt like home right away.
The program which isn't the elephant part consists of cooking classes (ask to see the recipe cards to take photos of after if you don't want to write it down as you go!), visit to the dung factory (really interesting) , tea factory, English conversation classes at a local school (very sweet kids eager to learn), we also went on a hike.
These were all activities on each seperate day between the elephant parts. These were all run by very keen and informative guides who always had genuine smiles on their faces. Thanks Kasun - we all miss you!
You'd wake up and walk the elephant chain free with the mahout (like an elephant keeper) who would use his words to direct the elephant around. He has to have a bull hook as safety precaution but never had to use it! You would also bathe the elephant daily and Nilame looked so relaxed having the water flow onto him.
The EFP included three amazing meals a day and we tried some wonderful Sri Lanka meals.
We ate with the family and found a real friendship within them and I would highly recommend staying with them! To be welcomed into a home in such a way and share stories with honest people is something not to be missed. You can tell that what they are doing with the elephants here is to give them a better life from those they have to rent them off.
Thankyou for the whole experience! I hope I can come back one day!