On Thursday 23rd of February, we experienced perhaps the most interesting half-day in our 30 years old lives. With that being said, we spent a wonderful, ethical afternoon with elephants organized by Loolu Tour. So without further parley, let’s dig into our Loolu Tour review!
Flowing Firm’s Loolu Tour review
We booked the elephant tour with the assistance of Boyd, the owner of ZZ House Guesthouse. The reason for choosing this tour organizer was that we had heard nothing else but great things about this project of sustainable eco-tourism. They allow visitors do only ethical and acceptable matters with the elephants. The destination, Elephant Dream Valley, is located approximately 65 kilometers in the southwest of Chiang Mai at Maewang District, near Doi Inthanon mountains.
The friendly tour operator, Loolu, picked us up by himself from ZZ House at 12 pm with his own car. Since he doesn’t want to bring too many guests at the same time to the elephant park, there would be no other people joining us to the tour.
Let’s begin the ethical afternoon with elephants!
We began the ethical afternoon with elephants by getting some fruits to the two residents we were going to meet soon. In other words, Loolu bought 20 kilos of bananas, apples and sugar canes. As a matter of fact, elephants can eat up to 200 kilograms per day depending on the size of the animal. After getting the fruits, our 90 minutes ride to the Elephant Dream Valley was ready to begin.
During the road trip, Loolu told us many fascinating details about the elephants and their life. For example, elephants need the day or two off from working just like humans do – every week. Furthermore, they can live up 80 years old. A big part of the life expectancy comes from the condition of their teeth.
When we reached Elephant Dream Valley around 1.30pm, there were two full-grown elephants greeting us together with their keepers. The names of the elephants are Mali and Champoo. According to Loolu, these huge animals on their twenties weight at least 3000 kilograms. In addition, Mali was pregnant and should be ready to give a birth after six months or so.
Content of Loolu Your review
First of all, in the beginning of this Loolu Tour review, we kicked off the tour by feeding the fruits Loolu had grabbed from the fruit market in Chiang Mai. It was a bit scary to stretch your hand towards the mouth of the hungry elephant in the beginning. Anyway, it quickly became clear that their soft but slobbery mouths desired only fresh, juicy fruits instead of my bony arm.
Furthermore, when the elephants had gotten their bellies full of fruits, we continued to the healing mud spa. Mud is a great medicine for the thick elephant skin. While Mali and Champoo enjoyed the mud spa, Loolu shared more knowledge about the life of elephants with us. He told us many things about the training of an elephant. There is one elephant training school in the whole Thailand. Elephants will be taken there in order to learn the manners of being an elephant – an ethical way, of course.
Moreover, after elephants were all over the mud, we had a chance to join their bathing and brushing process in the river nearby. It was very important to let elephants see you all the time during the bathing. Since the eyes of the elephants are very small, they don’t observe the environment well and will get scared easily. In addition, they see everything in black and white. That’s why the proboscis plays a big role in an elephant’s life.
This was certainly one of the greatest moments of our traveler lives.
The elephants really loved brushing. In addition, the keepers asked us to pick some sand from the river and spread it all over the animals. They enjoyed very much that as well. Our Loolu Tour review is almost coming to its end.
Saying goodbyes to Mali and Champoo
After spending two wonderful hours of feeding, playing and bathing with the elephants, it was unfortunately already time to say goodbyes to our new friends. Mali and Champoo needed to rest – just the same way we do.
Meanwhile, Loolu had prepared us a tasty mixed fruit plate. We were starving at this point since we “forgot” to eat the lunch before starting the ethical afternoon with elephants. The wife also showed her support to the Karen Hilltribe by buying a handmade elephant figure for her goddaughter as a present. Based on some rumors, that kind of souvenir might be cool amongst the first-grade girls back in home…
We began the ride back to ZZ House at 4 pm. With one stop strategy, we arrived at ZZ House around 5.30 pm. After a special and ethical afternoon with elephants, we felt privileged to be taken a part of Loolu Tour instead of choosing some cheap and unethical service provider. We paid for the half-day package 1600 baht ($46) per person. Part of that amount goes straight to Mali and Champoo. And what makes the paying a bit more for Loolu Tour more special is that a part of the money goes to rescuing new elephants from the dangers of jungle such as poachers.
I hope you have liked this Loolu Tour review. If you are looking for an ethical visit with elephants, I can sincerely recommend Loolu Tour for your pleasure!