The Elephant Village Laos is a privately owned elephant village / camp focusing on the protection and rehabilitation of elephants in Laos. The village is set on the banks of the Nam Khan River and is only 15kms southeast of beautiful Luang Prabang. The Elephant Village prides itself on supporting the local community as well working towards the safety and survival of elephants. The Village is run with a mix of volunteers and staff employed from the neighboring villages.
As part of your Laos trip I cannot recommend enough visiting the Elephant Village as it is an extremely well run initiative that has a number of different options as to how you can interact with these majestic animals. You have the option of just turning up at the village on any day and hanging out with the elephants feeding them or just watching them go about their day, you can also relax beside the beautiful Nam Kahn River, have a massage and eat in their onsite restaurant which serves a mixture of western and Khmer food.
There is no admission fee to spend the day just visiting the camp but any donations are happily received and will use to help with the care for the elephants. This is a really great way to check out the village to start with and from there if you wish to spend more time with the elephants you can choose to go back and ride the elephants or do what they call the “Mahout” experience (a Mahout is the person who works with, rides and tends to the elephant).
The “Mahout” experience includes an overnight stay and you get to spend your days riding the elephants, bathing the elephants and learning basic training in how to control an elephant. The accommodation is comfortable and clean and set in a beautiful setting. The Mahout experience includes riding across the Nam Khan River, through teak plantations and surrounding forests and visiting the crystal clear waters of Tad Sae Waterfalls – be prepared to get wet! You can choose to ride on an Elephant seat or be a little more daring and sit on the elephant’s neck.
The Elephant Village was a definite highlight during my Laos Holiday as nothing compares to been so close to these wonderful animals. The elephants are extremely well cared for and the guides and mahouts speak excellent English and are very professional and helpful with a clear passion for looking after the elephants.