I can't speak to this elephant camp because I didn't see enough of it to give a fair review, although I don't have high hopes considering our experience. This review is specifically about the mahout and the elephant we had.
When we first met our elephant, he had a big, oozing gash on his head about an inch and a half in diameter. Who knows how it happened - nothing to worry about, right? During the ride, the mahout seemed pretty agitated and kept hitting the elephant and yelling commands. It didn't seem disobedient but I've never been around an elephant before, and I've heard their hides are really thick. Then we got to the bathing portion and that's when I knew something was really wrong.
In the time it took us to change, there was another chunk of skin missing from the elephant's head near the first injury but this was not as deep. It's not much fun to bath an elephant while an angry mahout is standing behind you, hitting the elephant seemingly as hard as he can and yelling at it. I couldn't determine what the elephant was doing or not doing to displease him. As a tourist, I just wanted to be close to this gigantic, rare creature for a little while.
Back on the dock, we were petting it and the mahout angrily got on the animal and took it back in the river without regard for the fact that we were enjoying ourselves. He then proceeded to beat the elephant in front of us taking it though the same set of tricks. I was so upset I yelled and broke into tears threatening to post a bad review. There was someone else at the dock who had to translate what was happening to the mahout because he was too involved beating this elephant with metal prod portion of the stick. The elephant was then whisked away and we didn't see it again. After we had changed, there was a car waiting for us to take us back to the main buildings. I assume we were supposed to have ridden the elephant back.
I am so upset that I went to this place. I hope my review will get that mahout fired. I'd like to tell you to go somewhere else, but I don't know if the other places are any better.