Observe rare Borneo Pygmy elephants, a type of Asian elephant, at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary (National Elephant Conservation Centre) outside of Kuala Lumpur. Established in 1989 within the Krau Wildlife Reserve, the Malaysian Wildlife Society-managed sanctuary takes in elephants orphaned by poaching or logging and raises them until they can be reintroduced to the wild.
The elephant sanctuary is one of the most popular day trips from Kuala Lumpur. A typical visit starts with a short documentary video screening about the conservation activities at the park. Visitors then make the short walk to the elephant enclosure, where several rescued elephants live.
Guided tours to the sanctuary often include a stop at the Batu Caves in Gombak and can be combined with an evening firefly boat tour of Kuala Selangor as well.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary is a must-see for nature lovers and families traveling with kids.
- The trip to the sanctuary from Kuala Lumpur takes about two hours by car.
- Most day trips to the sanctuary include hotel pickup and drop-off in Kuala Lumpur.
- Don’t forget to bring rain gear, as showers can happen suddenly throughout the year.
How to Get There
The center sits about 9 miles (14 kilometers) outside of Lanchang. With no public transportation options, visitors either need to drive themselves or join a guided tour.
When to Get There
While the sanctuary is open daily, the best time to visit is during the dry season, from April to October. January and February tend to be the busiest months, so if you’re traveling during this period, plan to book your tour ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
Wild Elephants of Malaysia
While the elephant sanctuary offers one of the best opportunities to see and learn about this rare subspecies of Asian elephant, it’s also possible to see them in the wild. The best place to see them in their natural habitat is along the Kinabatangan River in Sabah on the island of Borneo, as well as nearby Lake Kenyir.