Nature Escapes

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary for an Asian Elephant Experience

The wildlife rangers at Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary capture elephants that raid village fields and move them to other areas to avoid conflicts.

The rangers deploy tame elephants, trained in Thailand and Myanmar, to the jungle to calm down wild elephants before trucking them out.

In the past 30 years, over 300 elephants have been relocated to safe havens.

The Asian elephant is endangered; roughly 1000 or so wild animals remain in Peninsula Malaysia. The sanctuary is run by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) and is the base for the Elephant Relocation Team.

Lowland rainforest is elephant habitat. But this jungle habitat is under pressure from expanding rubber and oil palm plantations and human settlements.

That means humans and wild animals clash sometimes. In the past wild elephants were poisoned and shot; now they are sent to protected areas like Taman Negara and forest reserves.

Conservation of these magnificent mammals is the primary function of the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary. Public awareness of the issues related to translocation and research help to educate everyone on the efforts to protect critical habitats for these endangered rainforest animals.

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary Asian Elephant

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary Activities

Asian Elephant

Kuala Gandah is one of the best family travel ideas from Kuala Lumpur. Children of all ages enjoy riding elephants and splashing in the river. A shelter with tables and benches provides good picnic spots. And a few trees shade the riverbank to cool off the young and old.

The afternoons are very hot and tiring, so protect little ones with sunscreen and hats, bring lots of water or move to the air-conditioned visitors centre for a heat break.

Start off with the 30-minute video in the AV room that shows the difficult process of trapping wild elephants and moving them to new locations. Also, take a few minutes to take in the displays and marvel at the skull size of an elephant species.

Register your group at the visitors centre and re-check the programme schedule for changes.

Asian Elephant feeding

There is not much else around the visitors centre, - no lodging and few refreshments - so be prepared. It's best to bring your own food and drink. A few stalls sell drinks and burgers on occasion and a small cafe operates nearby, but don't count on it to satisfy hungry crowds. T-shirts and other items are available at the souvenir shop.

Remember that the sanctuary is a popular destination on weekends and school holidays. If you have a large group, then call to arrange a suitable date.

Visitors are not charged a fee; instead a donation is sought for the Elephant Trust Fund. Conservation funds are always in short supply, so please be generous with your support.

Where else would you get the chance to interact with an Asian elephant!


Riding elephants may not be available at this time. Please be aware of this decision and try to confirm with the Kuala Gandah staff.

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary: Schedule

Visitor Information 1:00 to 2:00 pm Watch the introduction video and visit the exhibition area.
Elephant Feeding 2:00 to 2:30 pm Kids feed the elephants fruit and vegetables while tethered under a covered shelter.
Elephant Rides 2:30 to 3:00 pm Ride the big jumbos for a short jaunt around the compound and get some good family photos.
Elephant Bathing 3:00 to 3:30 pm Get wet with these wild creatures in the river and cool off and be sure to follow park staff instructions for a safe splash.
Picnic Break 3:30 to 4:00 pm Pack a lunch and rest a while by the river before heading out.

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary Information

Open to Public

Daily from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm
  • Advance bookings required for groups
  • Follow staff instructions at all times
  • Bring a change of clothes (restroom and showers available)
  • No accommodation available at the sanctuary

Getting There

  • From Kuala Lumpur proceed to the Karak Highway and then the East Coast Expressway
  • Exit at the Lanchang toll and come to a T-junction
  • Take a right turn and follow the signboards to Kuala Gandah
  • The tarmac road narrows over the last few kilometers, so drive slow
  • An Orang Asli settlement is at the end of the road just before reaching the sanctuary

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