Elephant Village Sanctuary & Resort, Luang Prabang

4.0
#1 of 99 in Tours in Laos
Nestled near the winding banks of the Nam Khan River, Elephant Village Sanctuary & Resort provides a safe haven for the rescued elephants of Laos. The village focuses on the rehabilitation and integration of the elephants, many of whom are victims of severe brutality within the logging trade. Start your visit with an elephant walk, then initiate your self with some simple "mahout" training--learning commands and gestures to communicate with your elephant. Take a rest in leafy surrounds at the Elephant Camp restaurant, then walk down to the river’s edge for elephant bath time, and be prepared to get wet. Contact the village to arrange your full- or half-day experience, which includes transport to and from your hotel. By using our Luang Prabang trip tool , you can arrange your visit to Elephant Village Sanctuary & Resort and other attractions in Luang Prabang.
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Elephant Village Sanctuary & Resort Tours
Elephant Village Sanctuary & Resort Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,810 reviews
Google
3.8
TripAdvisor
  • Elephant Village was located along the Mekong River tributary, a 40-minute drive from Luang Prabang. Ten elephants were bred here, but one two-year-old elephant was so cute. I did not ride the elephants, but they gave me the experience of feeding them.
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  • I would not recommend this place. During my visit I was always having this uncomfortable feeling that something was not okey. Seeing elephants constantly being ridden by tourists, going on their knees...  more »
  • We spent four days at Shangri-lao elephant camp and were very impressed. Having been involved with animals great and small all my (long) life, I know the elephants are luckier to be there than slaving...  more »
Google
  • idk what everyone is saying about how these elephants are being tortured. the whole experience was very peaceful. i guess riding elephants is kind of taking advantage of the creatures but they seem to be taken care of really well by the village. also the elephants only work a few hours each day and then are walked back to the jungle where they spend most of their day/night. my brother and i had a really nice time and our tour guide mac was awesome.
  • Please do your research before you visit any sort of animal exhibit (especially elephant camps). Make sure they are ethical and that the animals are being treated well. We went to one run by the Treasure Hotel Laos in Luang Prabang. Here, I was told at first that the elephants have been rescued from logging and are living happy, carefree lives. When I visited in 2015, I was so blinded by my joy of seeing elephants that it didn't really dawn on me that there were obvious signs of "showcasing" the elephants for tourists. Though they did seem to be well-fed and happy, many of them had chains around their ankles or ropes around their ears. Not only that, but some guides were riding on the elephants and they also insisted that it was okay to ride the elephants in the water to help with their "bath time". Looking back, I can see now that this was just a lie to ease my bad feelings about riding an elephant. If you want to see elephants in an ethical, helpful way, of course do not go here. While the damage that I saw wasn't as bad as other places I've heard about, I still do not know the full extent of abuse for showcasing that these elephants have gone through.
  • If your care about elephants please don’t go here. The elephants have been abused and electrocuted behind the ears and inside the top of the legs, where tourists can’t see, that’s why they have allowed people to ride them. They suffer a lot of pain when they are ridden, unlike horses, their spines can not cope with someone sitting on them. This is not a sanctuary, real sanctuaries do not allow people to rude the elephants. Since writing this review I have come across a real sanctuary in Luang Prabang where they don’t ride the elephants. If you want to meet happy elephants, look it up on google and go there!
  • As you can see on previous posts... it’s not a sanctuary but a prison + torture camp for elephants. Don’t help this business.
  • Elephant village is one of the best activities you can do with elephants in Luang Prabang. The staff is super nice, from the office to the mahouts and of course the guides, answering tons of questions about the animals and their well being. The resort is very luxurious, if you decide to stay overnight. I got a room upgrade despite I traveled alone. As for the elephants, I felt they are treated very well. They are howdah free (no seats), only ridden by a person at once (two with the Mahout) and for short distances, not chained, well feeded and they have a hospital with a mahout vet. If you are thinking: they should be free in the jungle, not being ridden by tourists! Well, I agree, but here is the thing: these are rescued animals from the lodging industry, if they were freed they would probably die or be recaptured. With tourists support more elephants can be bought or rented (as they don't always want to sell them) and have a better life. As they don't live in the jungle, they need to be controlled to avoid damages to the neighbour fields and the mahouts make a great job doing so with only voice commands. If you still think an elephant will care about person in his back crossing the river a couple of times a day I'm sure you'll find an option to skip the riding, or maybe try Mandalao. Overall a great experience and good money investment to help these noble creatures.
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