Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Travel: Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, Pahang

The Department of Wildlife and National Parks established Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre in 1989. The centre is a base for the Elephant Relocation Team, which began the elephant translocation programme in 1974.

Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre, or popularly referred to as the Elephant Orphanage Sanctuary, is located within the bio diversified-rich and protected Krau Game Reserve & was set up in 1989 under the DWNP (Department of Wildlife & National Parks, Malaysia), manned by the Elephant Capture & Translocation Unit.

The Teris River acts as a natural border between the  reserve and the Che' wong Orang Asli village - the last tribe of its kind found in Malaysia. The name Kuala Gandah is, itself,  taken from the small stream running near the electric compound enclosure which houses the elephants during the day from 830am to 2pm before they are transferred to the roofed holding area.

The only one of its kind in Malaysia, the team is dedicated to locating, subduing and then translocating problem elephants from areas where their habitats are constantly being encroached by plantations.

As well as being a base for the translocation team and a home for a number of resident elephants, Kuala Gandah also aims to promote public awareness of the elephant’s plight in Malaysian and to support research into elephants translocation and conservation. Visitors are welcome throughout the year to join the elephant activities, help wash them in the nearby river and participate in feeding.

The centre also strives to educate the public about the importance of habitat and environmental preservation. visitors are encouraged to view a video on elephant translocation and special programme can be arranged for school groups.

At present, Kuala Gandah house a number of elephant which were brought in from Thailand, India & Myanmar. The elephants are trained and used in translocation process of wild elephants in problem areas throughout Peninsular Malaysia. The centre also looks after orphaned elephants to ensure their continued survival.

Getting There:

From Kuala Lumpur, take the Karak Highway to Lanchang, passing Karak along the way. At Lanchang, turn left into the road just before the BP station, then follow the ample direction signage towards the Elephant Sanctuary. You will pass by an Orang Asli settlement before  reaching the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary. The journey takes about 2 to 2 ½ hours (roughly 160km from Kuala Lumpur).

Opening Hours:

The centre is open from 8.00 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. daily but activities mostly begin from 2.00 p.m. onwards. Entrance is free. Please be reminded that despite some advise from certain quarters (websites notwithstanding) that the centre needs donations from visitors, this is not necessary as the centre has ample financial allocations for its upkeep. The centre can get busy during the weekends, so it it would be better for you to visit it on weekdays.

Note: Please come early because if the quota for elephant ride is full (120 persons per day), you may be issued with a red pass instead of the coveted yellow pass, which only allows for viewing, hence, no elephant rides.


A visitor information centre provides information and video presentation on the centre's elephant conservation efforts. Visitors can participate in daily activities, like feeding and grooming the elephants and helping with the bathing of each animal in the nearby stream. There is no accommodation at the centre but you may want to stay overnight at Temerloh or Mentakab.


In the morning, visitors can view the exhibition and a video presentation on elephant translocation before proceeding to watch the elephants in their enclosure. Elephant feeding, rides and bathing start after 2 p.m. There is a small warung (cafe)  run by a local where you can get drinks and local food. Public toilets and showers for those who want to have a wash after bathing in the river with the elephants.


Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre,
Jabatan Perhilitan
Kuala Gandah
28500 Lanchang
Pahang Darul Makmur,

Tel    : 09-279 0391
Email: necc@wildlife.gov.my

Office hours:

Monday – Sunday:
 8.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.
 2.30 p.m.  - 4.30 p.m.

 8.00 a.m. - 12.30 p.m.
 2.30 p.m.  - 4.30 p.m.

Food to feed the elephants is provided so there is no need to bring any of your own.

For more info and donation for elephants , kindly visit the website: http://www.myelephants.org/