I have to be honest I didn’t know what to expect about the Mahoot day at the Elephant Village near Luang Prabang………… but it turned out to be one of my best travel experiences, certainly up there with snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef.
The day started early with a pickup from our hotel lobby joining six other wannabe mahoots. A mahoot is an elephant keeper and that’s what we were for the day.
It was clear on arrival that we had hit the jackpot. Elephant Village is located by the Nam Khan river and restricts the visitors to about 30 a day from what I could see. We were taught the words necessary to guide our elephant and before we knew it we hoisted ourselves onto a neck of an elephant (with a little help from the staff) and we rolled around the grassy area swinging from side to side as the patient elephants lumbered their load with just a flick of the tail. It’s not the most elegant of mountings to sit astride an elephant but losing a little pride is well worth it.
After lunch the fun began as we got the chance to wash and scrub our elephants in the water, being close to the Lao new year meant that the keepers encouraged the elephants to squirt us for good luck and the shouts and screams from us motivated the guides to soak us all the more.
I liked the fact that tourists were restricted and I could see these creatures were well looked after and clearly enjoying a nicer option than the jungle jobs they had been rescued from. I can not fault the day and if my dollars help to keep people employed and these animals comfortable then I’m a happy mahoot.
Book online at Elephant Village you will be made very welcome!