We tried to choose an elephant day trek where the elephants were treated well. We choose the Thai Elephant House as we thought the elephants would get something out of the day as well as us and you are one on one with the elephants.
When we arrived at the elephant camp, we changed into our mahout outfits ready to spend a day on the back of an elephant. Revi was a natural, however I was not comfortable being on top of the elephant, so I walked with my elephant instead.
Along the way Revi's elephant decided it wanted to eat a banana tree so it proceeded down a step bank and started to rip the tree out of the ground. Revi on the other hand was screaming in fear that the elephant was going to take her further down the step bank and she would fall off. The mahout managed to get the elephant back on track much to Revi's relief.
They had little stalls a long the way at elephant height where you could buy banana's and sugar cane for the elephants. Revi bought both but her elephant wouldn't let the stall seller give the cane and bananas to us...so she just threw the large bunch of sugar cane into the elephants mouth so we could get the bananas. The elephant swallowed it in one big gulp!
We stopped on a hill top for lunch with awesome views over the river, camps and fields below.
The elephants were left to roam the hillside to eat to their stomachs content. They eat approximately 200kg of food a day!! ...more than twice my weight! On their return from eating they played in the mud created by the hose.
After lunch we headed up the hill to the mud bath where we watched the elephants cover themselves in thick black mud (elephant moisturiser).
Revi was covered in mud and had the biggest smile on her face as she road her elephant.
They absolutely loved the mud! The next stop was the river below so the elephants could have a bath and wash all the mud off. Down at the river the elephants had the biggest smiles on their faces as they rolled around in the river while Revi helped bath them.
I was trying to give one of the elephants some apple and the other elephant who had just demolished the first apple I had, got upset that he wasn't getting any so he filled his trunk with water and squirted me in the face...cheeky thing.
The day came to an end and whilst we weren't totally happy with the way the camp was run, we felt that the elephants enjoyed their day out and most of the mahouts did love the elephants. During the day we passed other elephant companies where they had up to 3 people on a chair on the back of an elephant plus the mahout sitting around it's neck. We were pleased that we did not travel this way. It seemed cruel and their elephants did not enjoy the day like ours.
There are loads of wonderful elephant photos in the photo gallery.