The Department of Wildlife and National Parks established Kuala
Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre in 1989. The centre is a
base for the Elephant Relocation Team, which began the elephant
translocation programme in 1974.
The only one of its kind in Malaysia, the team is dedicated to locating, subduing and then translocating problem elephants from areas where their habitats are constantly being encroached by plantations.
As well as being a base for the translocation team and a home for a number of resident elephants, Kuala Gandah also aims to promote public awareness of the elephant’s plight in Malaysian and to support research into elephants translocation and conservation. Visitors are welcome throughout the year to ride the elephant within the centre, help wash them in the nearby river and participate in feeding them.
The centre also strives to educate the public about the importance of habitat and environmental preservation. visitors are encouraged to view a video on elephant translocation and special programme can be arranged for school groups.
The Elephant at the center
At present, Kuala Gandah house a number of elephant which were brought in from Thailand an Myanmar. The elephants are trained and used in translocation process of wild elephants in problem areas throughout Peninsular Malaysia. The centre also looks after orphaned elephants to ensure their continued survival.
The Asian Elephant
Currently the Asian elephant is listed as a critically endangered species, with less than 40,000 wild elephants in Asia and a maximum of 1,200 wild elephants in Peninsular Malaysia. Protecting the Asian elephants help safeguard thousands of other species within its habitat. The elephant creates vital natural pathways by knocking over trees, allowing smaller species to feed, as well as dispersing plant seeds in its dung. However, due to habitat loss, elephants are forced to hunt for food in convert areas surrounding forest such as plantations, where the raid crops on a massive scale. This is why the translocation team has such a dire need to move these elephants, to prevent them from otherwise being shot by farmers, or simply dying of starvation.
Visitor Timetable at the Center
Visitors are encouraged to participate in activities from 1.00pm onwards.
1.00-2.00pm: VIDEO SHOW: Visitors may view a video on issues surrounding wild elephants, diminishing habitat and translocation
2.15pm ELEPHANT FEEDING & RIDERS: Visitors are invited to ride and elephant around the centre. Visitors can participate in feeding the elephants, their dinner of banana, carrot, papaya etc.
2.30pm BATHING: Visitors can join the elephants as they bathe and swim in the river under staff supervision.
3.45pm VIDEO SHOW: Visitors may view a video on issues surrounding wild elephants, diminishing habitat and translocation
* Picture update of 3 baby elephants in the Sanctuary (Date: May 2007) bathing with the visitors.
Getting there and away
By Road : From Kuala Lumpur, proceed to Karak Highway, head to Kuantan, turn into Lanchang town center and take left turn into Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre. It's about 2 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur.
By Rail : KTM Berhad provides train service to Bandar Jengka and Jerantut, from here you need to take local bus or charted taxi to the center.
By Bus : Kuala Lumpur to Jengka Town, or Kuantan to Jengka town, from here you need to take local bus or charted taxi to the center.
Source from http://www.wildlife.gov.my/
Tabur Hill, Quartz-Rich Ridge
Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary
Sungai Chilling Waterwall Trekking
Gua Batu Maloi Caving New
What Sue's Comments
"I have forwarded your company
(Endemic Guides Eco Tour) to
quite a few colleagues and
friends so hopefully they will
come out to the Elephant Sanctuary that we so
much enjoyed. The kids still
talk about their day there so
that is the main thing.
I have recently been to our local zoo here in Perth
and our daughter was once
again telling all of her class
mates that she rode and played
with the elephants in Malaysia. I once again thank you for a
wonderful trip and yes if I am
ever there again, I would
certainly try and get back to
Sue Walters Australia, 2006.
Photos Album Updated and Comment -
Finding a tour to Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary
near Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, proved a little difficult .The travel agent
could find nothing so I resorted to the internet, where I too was left none
the wiser. I did however find information about the sanctuary and was lucky
enough to notice a photograph credited to Endemic Guides.
I contacted them and booked a tour through internet.
Our guide Lee arrived punctually in an air conditioned car and drove us to the hills about 1 ½ hours from KL. He was happy to stop should we need to, and at Karak Village he stopped and bought us their local specialty, custard tarts, delicious! The next stop was at a roadside stall to purchase local fruit. The rambutans were a treat and after our visit to the sanctuary we called them “baby elephant” fruit because of their long spiky hair. We also stopped to take a closer look at a tree full of hornbills, 14 in total.
Our first official tour stop was Deerland hidden away in the countryside near Kuala Gandah. Here we were able to hand feed deer, monkeys, ostriches and mouse deer. We were privileged to meet Hitam (black) the baby sun bear and to be able to hand feed and pat him. His large father Muda, enjoyed the milk and nuts we were given to hand feed him and while he was engrossed in the consumption of food and milk we were able to rub his big bear belly.
The manager and keepers were friendly and informative and they obviously cared greatly for their animals.
From Deerland we continued on to Kuala Gandah, the reason for our holiday in Malaysia. We were not disappointed. We watched a video about elephant relocation, followed by a tasty local lunch cooked fresh at the café. Drinks and choice of menu were included in the tour price. Lee looked after us considerately but not intrusively and he allowed us all the time we wanted.
We fed the older elephants by hand, rode the larger one on land and then in the river, before being ceremoniously dumped in the water when he lay down on command. The baby elephants were so adorable! Wiry black hair about 5cm long covered them completely and they were tubby and curious. I could have watched them forever. One thought my skirt looked worthy of further investigation and I have a photograph of me standing with my arm around his neck and his trunk holding my skirt.
Lee kindly took photographs all day with his own camera and we now have them on disc as a wonderful memory. After a magical day with the wildlife of Malaysia we headed back to KL. The next day I booked to take the same tour a second time because Ihad enjoyed it so much. We were lucky enough to have Lee as our guide again, and every minute of the tour was just as wonderful as the first one.
Thank you Endemic Guides!
What Maya Said about Endemic Guides (2007);
I did the Kuala Gandah/Deer Park tour in May this year, with my husband
and 4 year old daughter, Nina. The tour was definitely one of the
highlights of our trip, which says a lot as we were on a 2.5 month
round-the-world trip which included stops in Europe, USA and French
Polynesia. Lee is a great guide - friendly, easy to talk to and is very
knowledgeable. I grew up in KL, and had been to Kuala Gandah before, so it
seemed strange to be booking a tour when I could've organised it myself....
but it was much easier having someone else organise everything and, as there
were just the 3 of us on our tour, it really just seemed like we had a good
friend showing us around.
We enjoyed both of the main attractions: holding a python and feeding sun bears, ostriches, rabbits, Javanese deer and mouse deer at Deer Park; and feeding, riding on and bathing elephants at the sanctuary - being able to get so close to all those animals was truly a magical experience. I agree with your previous clients that some of the animals (especially the adult sun bears, and the monkey) at Deer Park need larger cages, and we thought the elephant rides could've been a bit longer, but the great thing about both places is how low-key and relaxed they are, and we hope they stay that way. We also enjoyed the documentary on the elephant relocation programme.
We will definitely do more tours with you when we are next in Malaysia, and will recommend you to our friends and family. Everyone who sees our photos is amazed. Thanks to Lee for such a fun day, and also for taking some great photos of us (and to Jen Ney for sending us the photos on CD).
Maya - Australia 2007
Elephant Sanctuary News