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Elephant trekking in laos

laos_elephant_2 Elephant trekking in laosBeyond the charming small towns and the buddhist temples, snuggled within the mountainous landscape, and usually along one of the many major rivers, you will find small elephant camps. The camps have been set up and supported by Lao’s tourism industry. What is great about them is that they add a unique experience to your southeast asia trip, and help in protecting these magnificent creatures.

In Luang Prabang especially, there are countless options for elephant riding, trekking, and viewing. Almost ever tour operator has created an extensive list of options. The camps are located about an hour from town. When there they offer a up-close-and-personal chance to get to know the elephants.

Footprint Vietnam Travel, had the recent opportunity to visit one of these camps. Run by Jewel of Asia, the camp is the home of three elephants. The elephants were bought and saved from elephant logging camps located in southern Lao. Their new lives in the camp see that they are well fed and appropriately taken care of. When they are not eating or resting, the elephants are playing and exercising with the tourists. Swimming (3 times a day), meandering through the jungle, and posing for pictures are part of these elephants’ daily routine. Local mahouts ensure the safety of the tourists, and help teach tourists about how to care for and work with the elephants.

The elephants have also brought in a new economy for the local farmers and local villages in the area. Elephants eat around 300 kg per day! To feed them the camps buy the wasted leaves from the pineapple plants. Jewel of Asia tour company also has said that they are seeing an increase in home stays, further supporting the local economy.

Combination tours are also available. Elephant treks can be designed to include kayaking, trekking, zip lining, camping and home stay options.

For more information about how you can link your Vietnam trip up with Lao contact Footprint Vietnam Travel. After our trip to Lao, we are more than excited to pass on what we have learned, through our new partnerships there, to our friends and clients.

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