Walk an Elephant at Millennium Elephant Foundation
Elephants are synonymous with Sri Lanka. A trip to the Emrald island is incomplete without a visit to at least one of their numerous Elephant parks where you get to walk an elephant. You will find multiple places offering interactive experiences with elephants. We (Me, my wife and our 3 year old son)were also looking for ‘an elephant experience’ when we were planning our vacation to Sri Lanka. We came to know about Millennium Elephant Foundation online. They have a ‘ Elephant Walk Experience’, which though costlier than the ‘elephant ride’ experience they offer, is much more fulfilling and compassionate.
Walk an elephant experience is best to observe a elephant in her elements as she goes around breaking twigs and generally enjoying herself. The walk started with our guide, Ruwan, explaining the role of MEF in elephant rehabilitation. They have an open museum where they explain in detail about elephants, their quirks, care and future plans. With the museum done, we went on a walk with our assigned elephant, Rani and her Mahout. The bond between an elephant and her mahout is precious and lovely to watch. An elephant won’t listen to anyone but her mahout. Letting Rani walk in front with her mahout, we walked behind her, watching her enjoy her freedom, taking her own time, breaking a few branches for snacks. You can also see the other elephants, either resting in their open designated enclosures or roaming in the common free area.
The walk depending on your elephant’s mood can last between 30-40 mins. Once back, get ready for a bath. Of course, knowing the drill, Rani got into water. We went and changed and joined her. She allowed us to scrub her back. She just laid down and enjoyed it all. I think, my son had the most fun, giving bath to a BIG elephant. In the end she went and sprayed us with water, I guess, so as to return the compliment.
Once we changed back into something dry, we got to feed Rani too. Fruits it was for her and she devoured them.
As we had taken the package which included lunch, we were treated to this awesome Sri Lankan lunch spread at this huge colonial house. You can read more about it here.
All in all it took 3 hours for the whole trip including lunch. A stop which will remain one of the highlights of your vacation in Sri Lanka.
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