Is There Any Elephant Sanctuary in Malaysia

Is There Any Elephant Sanctuary in Malaysia?

Planning to visiting the wonderful country of Malaysia and are now wondering if there is an Elephant Sanctuary in Malaysia. And yes, there is elephant sanctuaries in Malaysia but not as many as Thailand.

In a perfect world we would not need elephant sanctuaries but unfortunately elephants need to be saved or rescued. Elephants are been forced to work, zoos, circus, their habitat been destroyed or have been orphaned or injured.

Checkout our travel tips to Malaysia and things to do in Malaysia before going.

The main aim of the elephant sanctuaries is care for the elephants and to provide a safe home for the elephants.

And to help pay for their care, the sanctuaries supplement their income by providing tours to tourists and help from volunteers.

Quick Information on Malaysia

  • Currency: Ringgit (RM)
  • Language: Malaysian
  • Population: Over 32 million
  • Capital City: Kuala Lumpur
  • Best time to visit Malaysia: For visiting the east coast is from March to September since it is drier. For the west coast is from November to August.
  • How to get there: You can fly into Malaysia as there are flights to most major cities in Malaysia. Also You can enter by land through Thailand or by sea.

Is There Any Elephant Sanctuary in Malaysia?

Yes, there are 3 elephant sanctuaries in Malaysia that can be visited by tourists. With Kuala Gandah elephant center been the most popular because it is 2 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur.

Elephants at Chiang Mai Elephant Sanctuary
Elephants bathing

Are There Elephants in Malaysia?

Yes, there are elephants in Malaysia. The estimated elephant population in Malaysia is between 2,300 to 3,000. Malaysia is divided into two parts by the South China sea, one called Borneo and the other called Peninsula.

The elephant population is split as follows with Borneo having about 1,100 – 1,600 elephants and Peninsula with about 1,250 – 1,470 elephants.

Can You Ride Elephants in Malaysia?

Elephant rides are not common in Malaysia but there are some places that offer elephant riding. Wild elephants will not allow humans to ride on them.

In order to tame a wild elephant, it is tortured to break in the elephant so a human can ride it. The torture involves repeated beatings and stabbings with bullhooks.

This is the main reason NOT to ride the elephants as it will encourage the practise.

Where Are The Elephant Sanctuary in Malaysia?

There are currently 3 elephant sanctuaries in Malaysia that can be visited by tourists. And they as follows.

The elephant sanctuaries in Malaysia help elephants that were injured by poachers or forced to work. They also respond to elephant alerts and relocate captured wild elephants to their safe habitat.

The people who work in the sanctuaries are mostly volunteers. That also help to track down and capture hunters and poachers.

Here is more on the three Elephant Sanctuaries.

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary

The Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary is about 2 hours from Kuala Lumpur. And for that reason it is a popular Sanctuary to visit.

The main aim of this Sanctuary is to protect and help elephants whose habitat is in danger from companies cutting down the forest to replace it with plantations.

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary
Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary

At the Sanctuary you can get up close and personal with the semi wild elephants and also you can help give the elephants a bath.

The entrance to conservation park is free where tour operators charge a lot of money for the tour.

The story on saving the orphaned, injured and stranded elephants and also how tame elephants used in translocation
Good facilities, disappointing first impression but worthy aims of the project

Kenyir Elephant Conservation Village

The Kenyir Elephant Conservation Village ( KECV ) was built in 2012 and covers over 256 hectares of land.

20% of the area is developed and the rest remains untouched with the purpose of keeping the 80% area untouched been for the elephants.

Kenyir Elephant Conservation Village
Kenyir Elephant Conservation Village

The main aim of KECV is to educate the public about the elephants habitat and about elephant behaviour. At the sanctuary will explain and show how the elephants were found, rescued, brought back to health and finally set free.

While at the sanctuary, you will have the opportunity to feed the elephants and get up and close personal.

They look after elephants here
Clean, educational, well maintained..

Borneo Elephant Sanctuary

The Borneo Elephant Sanctuary (BES) is located on 61 acres of land and is the first facility of its kind in Borneo. This sanctuary is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and protection of the Bornean Elephants.

The elephants are cared for 24 hours a day by an on site team and with the plan that the elephants can roam freely in the Kinabatangan Nature Reserve. And returning for food, water and shelter on their own accord.


Wrapping Up

Finally, yes there is elephant sanctuaries in Malaysia but there are not at the same standard as in Chiang Mai Thailand. This either way gives an amazing opportunity to meet the elephants and to interact with them, just don’t ride them.

Remember you will need to do a little research before deciding on the sanctuary you are going to visit.

And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on is there any elephant sanctuary in Malaysia has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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Is There Any Elephant Sanctuary in Malaysia

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