Just when you think your eyes have been mesmerized for the day by the landscape, arriving at Elephant safari Park and Lodge will make you realize this experience has only begun. You are about to meet face to face with some of the most ancient, graceful and curious giants on this earth: the Sumatran elephant, the smallest of three subspecies of Asian elephants.
These big boned creatures are native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and although they are not as big as African elephants, these fellas can still grow up to 3.2 metres and weigh up to 4000 kilograms.
As a result of human settlement, agricultural development and human greed for their valuable ivory these animals have become endangered, which is why this elephant sanctuary has many ongoing conservation projects which help protect this species. Visit the museum located at the entrance or before you leave to get more information on these projects and perhaps make a donation.
As you enter the sanctuary you will discover thousands of different exotic plants and flowers. Keep a close eye in the ponds as these are the homes to some giant fish and of course, elephants walking around the place, grazing on leaves or carrying tourists on their backs through jungle tours. I have always been in two minds about having an animal carry me, specially if I ignore how they have been trained and conditioned, hence I didn't go on the ride.
This park also has accommodation available so you can wake up to the elephants, bathe them and interact with them. You can choose from simple rooms or more private and luxurious suites. The Lodge has fine dining and more relaxed eateries for guests and day visitors, a souvenir shop and a very interesting museum.
Once you have familiarized yourself with the size of these lovely creatures from a distance, you can spend as much time as you like interacting with them in a designated area. I felt scared and wary at first as their size can be intimidating, but once you see how gentle and curious they are it is easy to want to stay there forever: touching their sandy skin and looking into their wise eyes, or feeding them sugar canes, which they grab with their finger-like trunk and crush between their flat powerful teeth. Baby elephants seem unaware of their dimensions and tend to be a lot more playful and even stubborn when they see food around. They will get a little nervous laugh out of you when they hug you or touch your head with their trunk.
So if you are wanting to escape the buzz and traffic, head to Elephant Safari Park and Lodge to enjoy a full day or two with one of planet earth's most ancient and peaceful creatures amongst dense nature and Bali's exotic presence.