One leg from here, one leg from here

The gang waiting for the hoards and their cameras

Elephant safari in Chitwan is invariably a morning affair. Or at least it is for me as both times I was engaged in such an activity I had to wake up around 6 am. There are safaris like this in the afternoon as well but I never seem to work with the right travel agency. Just a warning for the late sleepers.

All aboard and ready to rumble

Otherwise the ride in itself is quite entertaining. Five adults atop a pachyderm (four tourists and the mahout) taking a leisurely stroll in the jungle hoping to see all kinds of animals. If you are lucky, (I was the first time), you might see rhinoceros, deers, peacocks, wild pigs, crocodiles and all kinds of colorful birds. If you are not lucky as I (and 27 others from our group) was the other day you have to make do with deers, peacocks, crocs and the all kinds of colorful birds. You will never see a tiger. Though they say there are at least 250 left in Chitwan. Too lazy to show their faces for some tourists armed only with cameras. Really, now, do not hope for a tiger.

That is real. Someone said it moved. Simon said.

The gang getting wet

And the device that justifies the title of this post

Oh, but the thrill of riding an elephant is an experience in itself: usually it lasts one hour and a half but the mahout is cheating as he knows that after 45 minutes the tourists can hardly feel their butts so he finishes the ride early. Nepali jungle is ugly. It resembles in fact any forest on the outskirts of a big city (say Bucharest?) but here the wilderness is genuine. And it wasn’t only my opinion. It’s not that green, not that dense, not that dark and not that wild anyway. But it’s a great attraction and distraction for the tourists in Nepal, sick and tired (or maybe just tired) of trekking and shivering with cold in the mountain villages.

The wannabe jungle

There’s a certain fare of activities in Nepal and like it or not, most of them are included in your package (together with all the meals you take at the hotel you’re staying). Apart from the above safari, there’s jeep safari, a ride with the canoe on the river – 100% chance to see Gangetic crocs, jungle walking, a visit to the elephant breeding centre, a visit to the village and a dance and music evening with entertainment provided by local artists. Make the most of it and enjoy yourself. I did. Not sure if I’d do it all again for the third time but the experience is entertaining nevertheless.

Elephant down! Ram-pa-pa-pam, Rihanna.

Ever watched those scary beauty contests for little girls? Mums from Chitwan surely did...

The gang calling it a day

As the elephants looked bored munching on something, the mahouts were busy loading them with tourists in the haze of the early morning. Four to one elephant, each taking a corner of the improvised device attached to the upper back of the pachyderms. And in mahouts’ own words: “One leg from here, one leg from here”.

And the Waltzing Matilda, Chitwan style.


Time to move to another land that I haven’t seen before. Time for some guaranteed thrills. Will be there for eight days before returning to Kathmandu for a few days of relax and the flight home. Coming soon right here.

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