Well, the Bali Elephant Safari Walk was an experience, this elephant park is based in Taro, Ubud. I wanted to have an experience of riding an elephant but also wanted to go to a place, where they respected the animals as well. You hear such horror stories of mistreatment of these beautiful creatures, so I asked our driver for the best well-known place that helps, rescues and nurtures elephants. Our driver said this Park in Taro was the best, as the owner was well known in the community for supporting the local community projects as well as his treatment of the animals and their trainers were award winning.
We arrived, and as we walked down to the central part of the park, we passed the cabins where you could stay at the park itself and wake up and be surrounded by elephants, how cool is that.
The elephants at the park are not native to Bali as no elephants are, but been rescued from Sumatra. These elephants are one of three recognised subspecies of the Asian elephant, and native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra. They were saved for many reasons, but deforestation and poaching are their biggest threat.
18 years our ‘driver’ had been with the same elephant!
We met a few of the elephants and their owners as we were allowed to feed them, their favourite is a mixture of fruits, but we fed them these golden plan cane, which they still pushed each other out the way for regardless.
We had just missed one of the daily four shows. But it was awesome to get a bit of time to spend with the elephants that wanted food. There was one who was very greedy and kept muscling in on everyone else’s food. The trainer gestured to Lee to stand next to him and for me to take a photo. The elephant picked up this flower wreath hanging on the fence, and he put it over Lee’s head. It was great, and the elephant wanted to do it again, of course, I obliged. Hehe.
Then it was our turn for a ride of a lifetime; we were standing on a platform that was the same height as the elephant. It was me who had to sit on the purpose made the bench on his back first. It was a little scary to say at least. Firstly, I didn’t want to hurt this beautiful creature and secondly didn’t want to fall off. But after a little wobble, I was sitting on his back with Lee by the side of me.
I have to say, though, it was petrifying. I wouldn’t put my feet on his back, and that made balancing a little difficult, but after about five minutes I calmed down and started to enjoy the walk around the surrounding rainforest. As our elephant’s trainer spoke good English, we asked him a lot of questions, and he was happy to tell us all about his life with this elephant, which he had been with for eighteen years.
The most unfgettable 30 minutes whilst in Bali.
It was an awesome ride, and I’m glad I got to see the environment the animals were living in, I suppose the only problem I would have with this environment was that the elephants that were in the large pens, were chained up. They had plenty of space to move, sit down but couldn’t wander freely but everything was very well maintained, immaculate and as each elephant has a personal trainer who looks after them thoroughly.
It’s a fantastic opportunity. But I would highly recommend doing your research to see if this is something you want to do or not.