Sleepover at Elephant Sanctuary | Pt 1.
It’s taken me a long time to write this – it’s so difficult trying to sum up these two days into one blog! But one thing I can say, is that I feel very privileged to have had this experience, and it’s one I think anyone should be able to do at least once in their life.
Staying at an elephant sanctuary in Northern Thailand allows you to to feed, play and bathe with these gentle giants. The sanctuary we visited is split into different camps, and we were put in Camp 1, a hidden valley in the mountains that felt like something from the Land before Time. I might be biased, but we saw another 4 camps throughout our trip, and Camp 1 was by far the most remote and the most beautiful. A fast flowing river carved it’s way through the bottom of the valley, rushing over rocks and spilling out into large, lazy pools that were made for jumping in, shaded by banana groves.
The elephants themselves were nothing like I expected. But then, I don’t know what I expected really. They were huge! I was a little wary at first because of their size, but you quickly realise how gentle and aware they are. They are happiest when being fed (aren’t we all) and are more than happy to chill there while you stroke them/give them a hug/be overly needy with them. It was heartbreaking to think of what abuse these elephants had been through, but so rewarding to see how much love and affection they now get.
After a full day of elephant loving, we journeyed to another camp back down the mountains, where we would stay overnight. Our accommodation was a shared wooden hut, which sounds awful, but was actually really cosy, and felt like a den! There were only about 8 of us staying overnight, which made for a fun evening camp of food, drinks and games. Come 9pm, we were all ready to drop, and with weary bodies we climbed into bed. The next day would bring us jungle treks, natural water slides and of course, more elephant adventures.