Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary
Demonstration cleaning the elephant by Mahout in Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary

Have you ever dreamed of being surrounded by a herd of majestic elephants? If so, the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary in Malaysia is the place to be! This incredible center offers visitors a unique opportunity to observe and interact with these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. It’s an amazing experience that will leave you feeling amazed and inspired.

Located in Pahang, this conservation center’s official name is Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre was established as part of Malaysia’s commitment to protect and preserve its elephant population. It is also dedicated to educating people about elephant conservation and inspiring them to take action for wildlife protection. In addition, the center provides sanctuary for wild elephants displaced due to habitat loss or conflict with humans. Visitors can observe these gentle giants up close and even feed some of them by hand!

The Kuala Gandah elephant sanctuary is the perfect destination for families and children for an unforgettable wildlife experience. Whether you’re a local or international visitor, this unique center will allow you to connect with nature, discover more about elephant conservation, and witness the bond between man and beast.

Overview Of The Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary

Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Center
Preparing Elephant for the cleaning process
Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary
Elephant ready for next activity after cleaning demonstration

Established in 1989, the Malaysia Wildlife Department fully manages the Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre. It has become one of Malaysia’s most important wildlife conservation centers and the best places to visit in Malaysia. The center provides shelter for elephants from all over Malaysia and educational opportunities for local people.

The primary goal of the kuala Gandah Elephant Orphanage Sanctuary is to protect and conserve the endangered Malaysian elephant population. This includes protecting their habitat, providing medical care and rehabilitation for injured or sick animals, and promoting conservation education. The Centre also provides a translocation process works to develop sustainable management plans for the Malaysian elephant populations and to engage with local communities to ensure successful conservation efforts.

The center offers visitors a unique opportunity to observe these majestic creatures up close while learning more about them and their environment through interactive exhibits and educational programs. Visitors can also participate in activities such as feeding the elephants or educational tours provided by local nature guides. By visiting this fantastic facility, visitors can help support its mission of preserving Malaysian elephant populations for future generations to come.

Getting There

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary is located in Lanchang, Pahang, about 107 km from Kuala Lumpur city center. Here are the different transportation options to get there:

  1. By Car – You can drive to Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary using your own vehicle or rented car. The sanctuary is approximately 1.5 hours from Kuala Lumpur, accessible via the Karak Expressway and, subsequently, the East Coast Expressway. To navigate to the center, assistance can be garnered through navigation applications such as Waze or Google Maps.
  2. By Taxi – You can hire a return trip taxi from Kuala Lumpur or any nearby city to take you directly to the sanctuary. Usually, a taxi driver will give a discount for the return trip. The fare is entirely depending what type of Taxi you use. The SUV Taxi fare is around RM450. The taxi can bring 4 to 5 medium size passengers. Meanwhile, a sedan Taxi fare should be RM350. Although the taxi fare sounds cheaper, tourists still need to pay a separate cost for guided fees, lunch, and others expenses such as elephant food.
  3. By Tour Package – Perfect option for tourists looking stress-free tour. Malaysia private guide service normally provides pre-arranged itinerary, including visiting Batu Caves and combining it with the Kuala Selangor fireflies tour. Besides that, the organized tour will arrange the activity, including assisting tourists to do registration and reserving a nature guide for the educational tour. 
  4. Bus –  Bus is the most hassle way to visit Kuala Gandah Elephant sanctuary because there is no bus service directly to the center. Tourists need to take a bus from Pekeliling bus station to Temerloh town. Most importantly, you must inform the bus driver you want to be dropped off at Lanchang town. From Lanchang town, get a private car or taxi to bring you to the sanctuary. No Grab service is available here.

Once you arrive at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, you must register and sign a disclaimer letter before enjoying various activities such as feeding and learning about elephant conservation efforts in Malaysia.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary is during the dry season, which runs from March to September. During this time, the weather is generally sunny and dry, making it more comfortable for outdoor activities such as elephant feeding and educational tour.

The rainy season in Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary runs from October to February, bringing heavy rainfall and challenging some outdoor activities. However, the lush greenery and scenery during the rainy season can also be quite beautiful.

It’s worth noting that the sanctuary can get crowded during weekends and public holidays, so if you prefer a quieter and less crowded experience, you may want to visit on weekdays. Additionally, it’s a good idea to check with a local tour operator or contact them directly before your visit to ensure that the activities you want to do are available on the day you plan to visit.

How to make use of time?

The activities conducted in the sanctuary are a crucial component of the elephant training and exercise regimen. These activities are available only once a day, and tourists are welcome to visit the center during opening hours from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. However, it is important to note that the main activity commences at 12:30 PM, and visitors must plan their arrival time accordingly. Arriving too early will result in idle waiting, while arriving too late will cause visitors to miss most activities.

To optimize the visitor experience, we recommend arriving at the sanctuary at around 12:30 PM. This will provide ample time for visitors to register, view educational documentaries, enjoy your lunch, and interact with the adult elephants prior to the commencement of activities. Visitors may consider visiting Batu Caves and Kuala Gandah Deerlands before arriving at the sanctuary to make the most of their time. Additionally, the center is a convenient stopover for those who plan to overnight in Taman Negara Pahang.

kuala gandah elephant entrance fee

While the entrance to the sanctuary is complimentary, visitors are encouraged to contribute a donation to support the facility’s efforts in providing care for the elephants. Your donation will assist in maintaining the sanctuary and supporting the continued welfare of these magnificent animals.

Activities For Visitors

Visitors to the Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre can explore a range of activities designed for immersive experiences. From educational tours and interactive sessions with the elephants to opportunities for nature appreciation and connection with local people.

List of Activities Requires Engaging a Nature Guide

Depending on the activities tourists want to do, nature guide fees start from RM50 to RM180 per group. Tourists can share with others as long as your group is ten people.

  1. Educational Tour: Experienced guides provide visitors with information about the history and behavior of elephants and the sanctuary’s conservation efforts. Visitors can access the backend of the center, experience preparing the food, feeding the baby elephant, and cleaning the elephant paddock.
  2. Trekking: The sanctuary offers guided trekking tours through the surrounding jungle, allowing visitors to experience the lush tropical environment. Trekking activities require tourists to be there around 10.30 am.
  3. Bathing with Elephant: Bathing with elephants is among the most popular activities at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary. Visitors can get in the water with the elephants and clean the baby elephant in the river. The experience is supervised by experienced guides who ensure the safety and well-being of both the elephants and the visitors. (temporarily not available until further notice)

Activities without To Engage a Nature Guide.

Ideal for tourists who prefer to roam in the center on their own or for those who like to make a quick stop.

  1. Informative Demonstration: Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary offers informative demonstrations that allow visitors to learn about the elephant’s behavior and capability.
  2. Cleaning The Elephant: Visitors can watch Mahout cleaning the elephant in the nearby river.
  3. Elephant Feeding: Visitors can get up close and personal with the resident elephants and participate in feeding them.
  4. Souvenir Shopping: The sanctuary has a gift shop that sells a range of souvenirs, including t-shirts, keychains, and elephant-themed handicrafts.

Interesting Facts About Malaysia Elephants

  1. The Malaysian elephant, also known as the Asian elephant, is the smallest of the three subspecies of the Asian elephant.
  2. Malaysia has two species of elephants, known as Asian elephants in Peninsular Malaysia and elephants in Borneo island, known as pygmy elephants. Pygmy elephants, also known as Borneo pygmy elephants, are a subspecies of the Asian elephant found only on the island of Borneo in Malaysia and Indonesia.
  3. Malaysian elephants are highly social and have complex communication systems, using vocalizations and body language to communicate.
  4. Elephants in Malaysia are threatened by habitat loss due to deforestation and human development. As a result, there are ongoing conservation efforts to protect these animals and their habitat.
  5. The Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary is a popular destination for tourists to learn about Malaysian elephants and their conservation.
  6. Malaysian elephants play an important role in the ecosystem, acting as seed dispersers and helping to maintain the balance of their forest habitat.
  7. Elephants have a strong memory and can remember the locations of water sources and food, allowing them to survive in their natural habitat even during drought.
  8. The gestation period for a Malaysian elephant is around 22 months, and females usually give birth to a single calf. The calf is cared for by the mother and the rest of the herd and will stay with it until it reaches maturity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I see elephants in Malaysia?

There are several places in Malaysia where you can see elephants. Here are some options:

  1. To observe wild Malaysian elephants in their natural habitat, it is necessary to visit the jungle. However, this endeavor may present risks due to the dangerous nature of the environment and the potential for aggression from wild elephants. Alternatively, tourists can visit the sanctuary or zoo.
  2. Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary: This sanctuary is in Pahang and allows visitors to see and interact with elephants. Visitors can watch the elephants being bathed, fed, and trained by the mahouts.
  3. Taman Negara National Park: This park, located in Pahang, is the oldest national park in Malaysia and is home to various wildlife, including elephants. Visitors can take a trekking tour through the park to see the elephants and other wildlife.
  4. Zoo Negara: This zoo in Kuala Lumpur has a section dedicated to elephants. Visitors can watch the elephants being fed and cared for.
  5. Kenyir Elephant Conservation Village: A sanctuary in Terengganu, Malaysia, that serves as a refuge for elephants rescued from illegal poaching and habitat destruction. The sanctuary spans over 256 hectares and has been designed to resemble a natural habitat, allowing the elephants to thrive in an environment similar to their natural home.

These are just a few places where you can see elephants in Malaysia. It’s important to note that when visiting wildlife parks or sanctuaries, it’s important to follow the rules and guidelines set by the park authorities to ensure the safety and well-being of the animals.

What can do in Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary?

There are several activities that visitors can enjoy at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary in Malaysia, including:

  1. Elephant Feeding: Visitors can participate in feeding adult elephants with fruits and vegetables.
  2. Elephant Bathing: Visitors can help the mahouts (elephant handlers) bathe the elephants in the nearby river. This is an excellent opportunity to get up close and personal with these gentle giants.
  3. Guided Tour: The sanctuary offers guided tours with information about the elephants and their habitat.
  4. Educational Activities: The sanctuary provides educational activities such as documentaries, exhibitions, and elephant conservation and protection talks.
  5. Trekking: Visitors can go on guided treks through the nearby forest to observe and learn about the local flora and fauna.
  6. Visiting the Deer Sanctuary: The Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary is also home to a deer sanctuary, where visitors can learn about and observe various species of deer.

Overall, the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary provides visitors with a unique and educational experience, allowing them to interact with elephants in their natural habitat and learn about the conservation efforts to protect these magnificent creatures.


Visiting the Kuala Gandah National Elephant Conservation Centre is a great way to learn about and support the conservation of endangered Asian elephants. It’s an excellent place for families, with no age or height restrictions for activities, and there are even volunteer opportunities available.

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