Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation
On our first day in Malaysian paradise we ventured out of town to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre. With limited time in Malaysia, I wasn't sure I wanted to travel 100 km outside of the city to the sanctuary - but it was worth every minute.
We got chatting with a local taxi driver who lived near Kuala Gandah. He agreed to take us to the sanctuary and back for 250 MYR (the equivalent of £50), not bad for a three hour round trip! Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, is home to high rise buildings and busy shopping centres, so it was nice to experience the culture outside of the city. Driving through the country was beautiful, we delved through the Malaysian hills and into jungle territory.
Despite a brief break down in the middle of nowhere, 20 mosquito bites, and crossing paths with a troop of Silver Leaf monkeys, we arrived in fairly good time. Once at the sanctuary we were asked to sign in at reception, but entry was completely free of charge.
The humid heat was intense at times and I was aware I was incurring more and more mosquito bites by the minute (they always seem to pick me...), but nothing too unbearable and it was better than some of the cockroaches we saw in Aus. It seemed odd the sanctuary was extremely quiet considering how large and well kept is was. But, of course, we were visiting out of season - and soon found we preferred it that way, as it meant we could spent time with the elephants.
The workers offered us bags of peanuts for 3 MYR (approximately 60p) to feed the elephants. Needless to say the elephants loved the peanuts, you could place one on your palm and they would suck it up in seconds. It's amazing being so close to such huge animals and it makes me wish I could spend a lot more time here; it's a memory I won't forget in a hurry.
As you can see in the picture above, this baby elephant is missing a foot. We assume this is because he got caught in a poacher's trap. Watching him struggle to walk on that foot was horrible, but it was comforting knowing he was looked after at the sanctuary and had not a care in the world when the watermelon arrived.
The heat and impending flight we had to Singapore meant we couldn't stay much longer... luckily, just as we were leaving, we caught the sanctuary workers taking the elephants for a dip in the river. The elephants kept trying to roll over and knock the workers off - a few times they sprayed the workers in the face with their trunks which was pretty funny to watch and a great way to end the trip. After a taste of the jungle, it was nice knowing we would be back in a couple of days to finish exploring.
For more information on visiting the sanctuary head to www.wonderfulmalaysia.com
Thanks for reading! Megs x