In the late afternoon, we lined up to board elephants at Chitwan National Park. Our guide, an employee at Sapana Village Lodge, brought us to this location near the jungle where we were assigned an elephant that then took us into the jungle.
Although there’s a negative dialogue going on about the treatment of trained elephants, we weren’t a part of this discussion when we visited Nepal. We walked past the elephant sanctuary on our way to the boarding area and what we saw seemed quite humane. The elephants we rode also seemed happy and docile. The trainer rode the elephant up front. That’s not to say that there aren’t other places in the world where the elephants are domesticated and treated poorly, but at Chitwan, it appears that the elephants are helping in a positive way to keep an endangered area of the world alive and healthy. Watching these gentle beasts walk along the rivers each morning with their human caretakers near Sapana Village Lodge was idyllic…a far cry from anything cruel or unusual.
And the elephant ride was AWESOME! Even our grumpy, resistant 14 year old teenage girl was giddy about it!