Kuala Gandah Elephant Reserve

The Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary is a great place to get up close and personal with nature's majestic giants.

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The Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary is a conservation centre dedicated to the preservation of the elephants and its habitat. The centre strives to enhance the public's knowledge, awareness and support on the importance of elephant conservation. Located near the Krau Wildlife Reserve, the centre was established in 1989 by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks and is currently staffed by personnel involved in Elephant Capture and Translocation Unit. The team locates, subdues and then transports problem elephants from areas where their habitats have been violated by plantations to an area deemed suitable without any conflict with humans. The only captured elephants brought back to the centre are those which are seriously injured or those which are separated with minimal chance of survival if left on their own.

Guests are given the chance to see and be with these beautiful pachyderms up close, and numerous activities await them at the centre. A great way to get really close to the elephants is to go on an elephant ride. Feeling the elephant's rough skin brushing against one's leg and its calm breathing as it strides around the compound make this a ride to remember. Visitors are also allowed to feed the elephants with fruits provided by the centre.

Then, it's bathing time! ...For the elephants, that is. Armed with scrubs, guests make their way towards the river where an elephant will be waiting for them with its keeper. It's another great way to experience these creatures up close and have a little fun, too!

Although these activities may have caused some to question the centre's goals as a sanctuary, the interaction between humans and these elephants does allow the general public to better understand these magnificent animals and correct misconceptions that elephants are cute and cuddly creatures. The general public's fascination with and sometimes callous treatment of the elephant is a consequence of the constant portrayal of elephants as lovable and simple-minded creatures; people often forget that elephants are also intelligent creatures with feelings that deserve to be treated with as much love and respect as any other living creature in this world.

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary is located in a small town known as Lanchang, which is situated between Mentakab and Karak in Pahang. It is accessible by road. Most tour agencies arrange trips to the sanctuary from Kuala Lumpur, which is a 2 and a half hour journey by road.