Where to go to see elephants in Laos | Tours laos, Laos travel

Where to go to see elephants in Laos

Shangri Lao Elephant Village
For many travelers, without meeting one of this country’s most famous residents – the Lao Elephant, a trip to Laos would not be complete. Even though it is not difficult to book a tour and get your elephant fix, it is not as simple as that if you are concerned with animal welfare. Tourism and its development can be both a threat and a chance for taking care of and protecting these wonderful creatures. Seeing elephants in the wild is the best way to admire the beauty of these lovely giants in Indochina tours Laos in particular and in Southeast Asia in general. It is important to do your research before you travel if you want to see domesticated elephants in Laos.Elephants in Laos

Elephants in Laos

Elephants in Laos- source: internet

Widely known as the “Land of a Million Elephants or Lane Xang the Lao PDR was historically home to large and widely distributed populations of not only wild but also domesticated elephants. The elephant, as a living symbol with important iconic connotations, is an animal grabbing the hearts of all Lao residents as well as foreigners. Unfortunately, it is not exaggerating to say that this kind of creature will quickly become extinct in the near future if the current mortality rate continues.

The current population of elephants is around 400 wild elephants and 450 domestic ones. Survival of the species in the wild is seriously threatened by loss of natural habitat (the industrial infrastructure i.e. roads and dams; the logging industry; the expansion of settlements and agriculture) and by poaching for the export of living animals or for the ivory trade at a lesser degree. It is the competition for space that is causing increasing conflict between humans and elephants, causing casualties to both sides.

Shangri Lao - Expedition Tour

Shangri Lao – Expedition Tour – source: internet

Meanwhile, logging companies engage most of these domestic in timber harvesting operations and thus, causal to the elephant habitat destruction. Elephants play an important role in the national economy and directly contribute to a community of about 9000 people, depending on income generated by their work. Travel to Laos

Elephants and Tourism

To Ride or not to Ride?

Elephant in the wild is the very best way to see these creatures. Elephants in their own habitat not only display their natural behaviors, but also promise you great treatment.

In Thailand, you should never choose to go to a camp which encourages elephant shows, treks as well as other unnatural interactions. You should avoid any places that take elephants from the wild.

Unfortunately the situation in Laos is much bleaker. Even though this country is popularly known as the land of a million elephants, currently, there are only about 400 elephants left in the wild. Poaching is still a grave issue and there are not many funds to save the remaining elephants and give them a better life.

Elephant in the wild

Elephant in the wild- source: internet

In Laos, the majority of the domestic giants are used in logging, which not only means poor states but also contributes to the loss of habitat, another major reason for the decreasing populations of wild elephants. In this country, there is very little money used for elephant protection and a few sanctuaries which have been established rely on eco tourism to favor the elephants they have. At this point all of them permit travelers to ride the elephants, and while ideally without this activity, they could be financially buoyant enough to look after these elephants, now they are not. As if the sanctuaries were forced to close, the elephants they care for would suffer a far worse fate, supporting these sanctuaries is necessary thing to do.

Where to go to see Elephants in the Wild

Shangri Lao Elephant Village

Shangri Lao Elephant Village- source: internet

Near Luang Prabang, Shangri Lao Elephant Village, which focuses on the protection and rehabilitation of elephants in this Land of Thousand Elephants and providing indigenous people from remote areas with employment, is a place to go to see elephants in the wild.

See more:

A visit to Elephant Village in Luang Prabang

Let’s explore the market in Yangon

A visit to Talat Sao Morning Market and Shopping Mall in Vientiane

Asia Travel Lover

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