Malaysia is home to some of the most amazing floras and faunas that are endemic to this region and crucial to the larger ecosystem of the planet. Despite this, if you are raised in the urbanised cities of Malaysia, chances are you will unlikely get the opportunity to witness the many unique wild species that Malaysia is endowed with.
Being a city folk, where I am surrounded by the familiar concrete buildings and the seemingly gravity-defying skyscrapers, I hardly get the chance to encounter the wild. The closest fauna has always been my neighbourhood’s tubby felines who roam about looking for cramped spaces to sit in. This is why I am glad for animal shelters like the Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre, where I can get closer to animals and observe them in a natural environment.
Located some two hours away from the capital of Kuala Lumpur in the state of Pahang, the Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre is home to orphaned elephants where they are raised and provided shelter.
First established in 1989, the elephant sanctuary is dedicated to the conservation efforts of the magnificent pachyderms and is managed by the Malaysian Department of Wildlife and National Parks (PERHILITAN). The sanctuary now serves a dual function as an animal shelter and a public attraction, after it started opening its doors to the public to learn more and get close to these magnificent beasts.
Since its early days, the sanctuary serves as the base for the Elephant Relocation Programme, where endangered elephants from areas that are encroached by plantations, are rehabilitated and relocated to more suitable habitats primarily in Peninsular Malaysia. Through these efforts, the centre has managed to relocate as many as 800 wild elephants over three decades, thus helping the species thrive amidst our diverse nature.
One of the many initiatives carried out by the sanctuary is to educate the public on this regal species and the importance of protecting its habitats that are constantly being threatened by mindless human activities. The centre has tailored the activities for visitors to advance their awareness programme where visitors will get up close and personal with the elephants optimally, without putting them in danger.
In addition to the video documentary on the translocation of wild elephants to their new habitat, visitors are also welcomed to observe and take photos of the elephants. A mahout, or the caretaker who is responsible in ensuring the welfare of the elephants, will also be briefing visitors on the elephants, as well as the conservation activities that are run by the sanctuary.
Aside from being educational which makes it a great place for families with kids to explore, the centre also provides a fun activity which allows visitors to feed the elephants at certain times of the day.
For maximum experience at the centre, you may utilise the services of Nature Guides at a fee of RM50.00 per guide, who can accommodate up to 12 visitors at a time. The centre does not charge any fee for entry, but visitors are encouraged to donate in support of the elephant conservation efforts.
We advise you to inquire directly for a detailed timetable for visitors prior to visiting.
Monday – Sunday:
8.00am – 1.00pm;
2.30pm – 4.30pm
8.00am – 12.30pm;
2.30 – 4.30pm
National Elephant Conservation Centre (NECC)
Kuala Gandah, 28500 Lanchang
Pahang Darul Makmur, Malaysia
Tel: 013-931 9650 Counter: 013-908 8207