In Mondulkiri, western Cambodia, immerse yourself in the simple yet amazing daily routine of elephants and their mahouts while supporting more sustainable elephant care practices, alternate income generation, natural resource management and protection and preservation of Asian elephants.
What to experience ?
The Elephant Valley Project, 11km from the town of Sen Monorom in Mondulkiri Province, provides a place where tourists and long-term volunteers can come and visit, interact with and learn about elephants in their natural environment.
Your day visit to the Elephant Valley Project is both exciting and meaningful. Each guest is assigned their own elephant and will work closely with the mahouts (elephant handlers) who always accompany the elephants. Spending time with the mahouts gives you a chance to chat to them, share language and give something back.
In the mornings you will be able to walk with the elephants and learn about their fascinating past and current rehabilitation process. In the afternoon, pitch in with some hands on volunteering work such as gardening, farming, construction, cleaning and sweeping.
Those wishing to experience more than a day with the elephants can stay at the simple but comfortable accommodations at the Project site. Upon arrival you will be appointed to a secluded self-contained jungle lodge built in the traditional Bunong (local minority tribe) style.
Each bungalow is basic but with comfortable furnishings such as a double bed with mosquito net, tables and a chair, and has a solar heated shower and western toilet.
The project has seven elephants at the moment, each with their own stories and personalities. So come visit soon and say hi to Bob, Buffet, Easy Rider, Gee Nowl, Happy Lucky, Milot, and Onion.
How does it help ?
In 2006 the Elephant Livelihood Initiative Environment (E.L.I.E) started working with the local people of Mondulkiri Cambodia to provide a better level of care for their elephants and mahouts (keepers).
In the following year, the Elephant Valley Project was launched to provide a long-term option for elephant care. By providing sustainable incomes to mahouts and families that own elephants, they do not need to use the elephants for harmful and sporadic practices such as logging the forest.
The Project rents the land from the local Bunong minority people, providing them employment within the project and other related means of income generation activities. Using their land for the Project site contributes to protecting it from destruction, while allowing the local people to continue their cultural ties to the forest and maintain their traditional agricultural practices and lifestyle.
The Project also runs a forest programme, undertaking activities including seed collection, reforestation and education of the local people on conservation and alternative options to cutting down the forest.
Elephant Livelihood Initiative Environment
Spean Meanchey Commune
Phone: (+855) 99 696 041