Get up close and personal with rare Asian elephants—only 1,200 remain in the wild—at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary outside of Kuala Lumpur. Established in 1989 within the Krau Wildlife Reserve, the sanctuary is managed by the Malaysian Wildlife Society and has a goal of taking in elephants orphaned by poaching or logging and raising them until they can be reintroduced to the wild.
The sanctuary is also home to a group of resident elephants. Visitors can come face to face with these gentle giants and get the unique opportunity to join baby elephants for a bath in the river, as long as the water level isn’t too high. If you prefer to just watch and learn about the elephants, the sanctuary has observation points, and a short National Geographic-produced video is often screened, telling about the organization’s elephant translocation project.
The Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary is in the Temerloh District of Pahang, about 10 miles from Lanchang. From Kuala Lumpur, it’s about 1.5 hours’ drive northeast. Day tours make it easy to visit the sanctuary and include transportation, lunch and sightseeing along the way.