For our last full day before we head home we spent the morning with some Elephants. It was a 40-minute drive to the Elephant Sanctuary and as we stepped off the bus we could already hear and smell the elephants.
After a short introduction form the guides and handlers – during which we were provided with a drink, crisps and a muffin each – we walked through a small enclosure of monkeys to reach the elephants.
We were split into two groups; one had some people that wanted to ride an elephant (for an additional charge) and some extra people to even out the numbers. My group first went to get up close and personal and touch the elephants.
The guides and handlers were very organised, friendly and professional in dealing with such a large number of people and they were constantly concerned with the animal’s safety and well being.
We went in pairs and the handlers would explain different parts of the elephant as you touched them. It was interesting to hear and feel the different skin types on the elephant. We then posed for a picture while holding the tusks. Some lucky people even got an elephant kiss.
After everyone had a turn we walked the short distance to another elephant that was pretty hungry. After a demonstration we all had a few turns of feeding the elephant.
To finish off the visit the guides gave a short presentation on the anatomy of elephant, we were all thoroughly impressed with all our new knowledge of elephants.
We then walked back through the monkeys, but this time they were out to play. We were warned to keep all our belongings close in case of thieving monkeys but they were very well behaved as we passed through to the main reception.
We then had lunch while we waited for the other group to finish their elephant rides, and after a quick (well as quick as 90 odd people in a gift shop can be) visit to the gift shop it was back on the buses for the hotel for some down time before tonight’s Tour Awards.