Day 1: Sayaboury: Elephant Conservation Center Discovery Tour
Early this morning you will be met by your guide at your hotel in Luang Prabang to head out for your 2.5-3 hour drive into the beautiful Laos countryside towards the Sayaboury Province. When you arrived at the pier at Nam Tien Lake, you will be transferred to the Center by boat. Install yourself in your private bungalow before your guide takes you to the forest. Along the way, you walk pass the different enclosures where our main activities take place. After enjoying a Laotian style pick-nick, you will see the resident mother and baby at the nursery. The mahout of the mother stays close by while she and her baby have a bath and play. The mother trusts him around her offspring and even lets him play with her a little bit. When the mother and baby have had enough to drink and have returned to the forest, you will take the boat back to the center for a visit to the elephant hospital. Our Laotian vet assistant or the biologist will take you into their world and tell you more about common and uncommon injuries and their respective treatments. It is also the perfect time to ask any questions you have about the biology of the elephants.
Please Note: Medical Care of the elephants at the Elephant Hospital is only carried out by qualified vets.
You will then observe the elephants’ daily bath and learn more about our giant guests’ playful characters. Elephants are surprisingly good swimmers and love water. They also use this time to socialize and strengthen ties in the herd.
After the elephants have washed themselves, you will have the opportunity for interact with the elephants with the mahouts at your side. Get a feel for the elephant’s amazing skin and prickly hair, and experience up the dexterity of their trunks up close. The guide will tell you a little about the background of each elephant. They have all worked hard before they came here. See if you are already able to recognize the elephants just by looking at them! The elephants will be walked back into the forest for the night and after a short trek, the mahouts will decide on a place where the elephants can graze for a while.
Before dinner, take a moment to take in the surroundings from one of the viewpoints. You can also go for a swim in the lake or visit the museum where one of the staff will give a small presentation on our conservation efforts. During meal time, feel free to ask your unanswered questions to the staff or share one of the Lao style cocktails!
Please note: The center adapts to the rhythm of the animals so schedules and activities may vary so be ready for a flexible program. Accommodation is a rustic lakeside bamboo bungalow with private terrace. Bathrooms are communal with hot water. Please be sure to bring appropriate footwear as the footpaths through the jungle can be steep and muddy if it rains.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight at Sayaboury Elephant Conservation Center
Day 2: Sayaboury: Elephant Conservation Center Discovery Tour
On the second day, you will meet up with the elephants in the forest. After spending the night grazing in the jungle, it is time for another bath. Enjoy strolling together with these magnificent creatures in their natural environment. When they have had their fill of water they are brought to the Socialization Area. This is an area where the elephants can freely interact during a big part of the day, recreating a semi-natural living environment. Here the elephants can enjoy simply being elephants, as they would without humans present. Follow the guide around the perimeter to learn more about the group and its dynamics. Take your time on the different platforms to see how a new herd is being formed. This rare opportunity will bring you closer to their natural life, something which is very special about our program and difficult to find anywhere else. Lunch is served at the center. You have some time to relax before we bring you back to Luang Prabang by minivan. You can say your goodbyes to the staff at the restaurant or walk around the center one last time before you will be transferred by boat back to the mainland for your car ride back to Luang Prabang.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
This touring is designed to be combined with any larger itinerary package, and can be adjusted to include either private or group transfers to and from the Center. The price for this touring will vary depending on the number of travelers.
Click this link to read our blog about the Sayaboury Elephant Conservation Center.