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Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, Lanchang
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The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) established National Elephant Conservation Centre (Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary) in 1989. The centre is a base for the Elephant Relocation Team, which began the elephant translocation programme in 1974. The only one of its kind in Malaysia, the team is dedicated to locating, subduing and then translocating problem elephants from areas where their habitats are constantly being encroached by plantations, to other suitable habitats throughout Peninsular, including Taman Negara National Park. Over the past 30 years the 24 strong team has helped to prevent the further decline of the elephant population by relocating more than 450 wild elephants. In addition of being the home to the translocation team and a herd of resident elephants, the centre also carries out public awareness activities related to the conservation issues of elephants in Malaysia. It also supports research activities on elephant translocation and conservation. The centre is open to visitors throughout the year. Visitors can assist in bathing and feeding them.
The awareness activities strive to educate the public about the importance of the species and habitat protection. Visitors are encouraged to view a video presentation on elephant translocation at the centre.
The Resident Elephants at the Centre
The centre houses a number of resident elephants which were brought in from Thailand and Myanmar. These elephants are trained and used in translocation exercise of catching problem wild elephants in throughout Peninsular Malaysia. The centre also looks after orphaned elephants to ensure their continued survival.
The Asian Elephants
The Peninsular Malaysian elephants belongs to the Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) is listed as a critically endangered species, with less than 40,000 wild elephants in Asia, including a maximum of 1,200 wild elephants in Peninsular Malaysia. Protecting the Asian elephants help safeguard thousands of other species within its habitat. The elephant creates vital natural pathways by knocking over trees, allowing smaller species to feed, as well as dispersing plant seeds in its dung. However, due to habitat loss, elephants are forced to hunt for food in convert areas surrounding forest such as plantations, where they raid crops on a massive scale. This is why the translocation team has such a dire responsibility to move these elephants, to prevent them from otherwise being shot by farmers, or simply dying of starvation.
The elephant sanctuary welcomes any form of assistance and support. Contributions and donations can be made directly when visiting the centre in person.
We arrange a day trip to visit the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary in Pahang where you can observe the Asian elephants, and watch a documentary on the pachyderms. It is approximately 2.5 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. On the same trip, time permitting, you will stop by the Deerland Park where you get to see the Malayan Sun Bears, Samba deer, peacocks, pheasants and many other wildlife.
If there is time, you may even wander on your own into an indigenous Che Wong tribe settlement next to the Elephant Sanctuary. Che' Wong Tribe is one of the minority tribes found in Peninsular Malaysia. They are probably the smallest tribe among the few aboriginal tribes that live in the forests of the Krau Forest Reserve. There are several huts in this village, mostly made of bamboo and rattan and built on stilts in case of floods. There is a visitor centre where visitors may learn about the traditions and history of this tribe.
Visitor Timetable at Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary Centre/ National Elephant Conservation Centre
The information provided here is directly sourced from the Malaysian Department of Wildlife and National Parks and do not constitute our program to you
Activities usually begins from 1pm onwards. The centre is not designed for commercial tourism hence visitors should not expect a program designed for visitors comfort and pleasure.
OBSERVING THE ELEPHANTS
Visitors can view and touch the elephants around the centre.
Visitors can participate in feeding fruits to the elephants
Visitors may view a video on issues surrounding wild elephants, their diminishing habitat and a translocation program to improve their lives.
Monday - Thursday
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holiday
First Show - 1.00 pm
Second Show - 1.30 pm
Third Show - 2.00 pm (Friday only)
First Show - 12.30 pm
Second Show - 1.00 pm
Third Show - 1.30 pm
There is no tour guide for this program. This is a self-guided program following the NECC's own schedule. The English speaking driver might only provide casual information on attractions and destinations during the drive.
0830 Pick up from Hotel in Petaling Jaya or Kuala Lumpur
1100 Visit Deerland Park. (Pay own entrance fee RM15 per person)
This animal petting park is an opportunity for animal lovers to get up-close and personal with deers as well as a variety of animals such as Golden Pheasant, Bengal Cat, Rabbits, Parakeets, Phytons and few others
Choose to go direct to the elephant sanctuary to observe elephants roaming freely within the secured electric fencing area
1200 Transfer to Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary / National Elephant Conservation Centre. Have own lunch at local eateries. Visit the information center.
1300 Watch a documentary showing translocation of wild elephants to their new habitat then roam the grounds to see elephants
1415 Observe bathing and cleaning of elephants given by mahouts (elephant guides) with explanations by NECC staff. There are no elephant rides given. NECC might allow visitors to bathe with the elephants.
1600 Meet driver. Leave Elephant Sanctuary. You may choose to leave earlier.
1900 Arrive hotel
Times listed are approximate only. Expect unforeseen delays
Rate in Malaysian Ringgit
RM650 for a 10 seater van
What does it include?
We provide a transfer service only
What does it exclude
Donations, Deerland Entrance Fee(RM15 per person), tips, meals/drinks, insurance
What to bring/wear?
Wear light breathable clothing, strapped sandals
Bring pocket money, snacks/drinks, first aid kit, personal medication, wet wipes and sun block
In case you are permitted to the bathe with elephants, bring a set of dry clothes, towel and a plastic bag to carry wet clothes. There are no proper bathing amenities for visitors.
The Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre is located near Lanchang, Pahang. Drive duration is within 3 hours drive north east of Kuala Lumpur.