Elephants in Cambodia
Elephants in Cambodia are a bit like temples in the fact that they are everywhere.
Below are the listings for some of the supported elephant projects. As with everything in Cambodia, it’s not always as it seems so we list the ethical projects and certainly don’t approve of elephant riding. The following listings are all elephant sanctuaries. There aren’t any wild elephants left in Cambodia.
The three main elephant experiences are:
All of them are in Mondulkiri, and whilst the number of elephants varies they are all essentially offering the same experience. You get to see the elephants up close in what is the closest thing to their natural habitat, their impact and relationship with the local community and learn about why they are here and their history.
Pretty much all of them were once captive elephants that have now been ‘retired’ and are looked after by volunteers and people from the local community. They do occasionally wander out of the community project and the forest into farms and destroy crops. The bunong people get understandably upset and generally, there’s a fee to pay for ruined crops.
However, its definitely an experience of a lifetime and well worth the time and travel from Siem Reap or Phnom Penh to your chosen elephant sanctuary. You can get up close and hug an elephant, how many people can say they’ve done that.
The Mondulkiri Elephant & Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected forest area and eco-tourism wildlife conservation center near Sen Monorom, Mondulkiri province, Cambodia. Visitor contributions directly sponsor working elephant retirement, local reforestation & captive / trafficked wildlife rescues.
"The Elephant Valley Project is a bit of an abstract experience, you walk off into the elephant’s natural habitat and watch them being elephants. There is no riding, no tricks, no shows, just elephants being elephants in their own natural space. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?" (Jack Highwood - Founder of EVP)
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