Elephant Village supports the local community and increases the people’s wellbeing while working towards the survival and safety of the elephants.
Elephant Village employs inhabitants of the neighboring village Ban Xieng Lom as Elephant Lodge staff, maintenance workers, cooks and guides. A few also train to become mahouts. Elephant Village encourages locals to revive traditional skills and sell handicrafts in our camp.
The History of Elephant Village
Elephant Village founder, Markus Peschke, first dreamed of establishing an elephant camp amid the jungle, cliffs and waterfalls of Ban Xieng Lom village on an exploratory trip down the Nam Khan River in 2001.
Behind the Elephant Village, Mr. Peschke came across temple ruins. He discovered that these bricks were once part of a settlement known as Baan Xang (Elephant Village). According to local sources, this village was established in the 1890’s for the capture, training and care of royal services elephants of Luang Prabang the capital of Lane Xang Kingdom.
The Elephant Village was founded in October of 2003 after intense preparations that included the mapping and creating of a special elephant trail to the Tad Sae Waterfall. Starting such a project was possible only because its founder, Markus Peschke, who has had a long history in the local tourism industry. He had already founded the Indochina Spirit restaurant in the center of Luang Prabang as the base of operations. The concept was well received so Mr. Peschke believed there was a good chance to attract customers for elephant riding.
At the beginning, the camp rented two elephants from nearby Hongsa district. But this turned out to present some difficulties, since none had ever rented an elephant for that purpose before. It was not certain weather the elephants would be suitable for tourist rides at all. So the camp started to buy its own elephants.
In 2015 Elephant Village was sold to a Lao family from Vientiane. We are now a 100% Lao owned and operated company.
The Care and Share philosophy
Elephant Village’s mission is to provide a peaceful home and sustainable future for elephants in Laos. Tourism activities contribute to the elephants giving them the opportunity to support themselves and neighboring local villages.
Elephant Village is managed in a sustainable and fair manner that actively benefits both elephants and local villages. Most of the camp staff come from nearby villages. Supplemental elephant food is purchased from villages around the camp.
At Elephant Village, safety comes first. Therefore, not only the humans (especially the Mahouts), but also the elephants are trained for tourism activities.
Why book with us?
- We are the first and only elephant camp NOT to use the howdah (elephant seat) in Laos
- Help elephants earn their own living / we provide a viable alternative to harsh logging
- Help stop brutal logging work
- We provide rehabilitation for old and handicap elephants
- We support our local communities
- We have access to professional veterinarians
- We provide elephant education and awareness through our information center and tours
Elephant Village invests in sustainable tourism and treats the areas we visit and their residents respectfully and responsibly. We provide a higher standard of service and charge slightly higher prices to provide local communities with assistance and capital.
So, what is the difference?
- We provide a permanent, safe and secure home to our elephants and create local jobs.
- We DO NOT use the howdah (elephant seat)
- We grow and buy elephant food to discourage slash-and-burn farming.
- We have an elephant care staff of professionals from around the world.
- We created a village fund, to fairly distribute the income from our tours.
- We cooperate directly with villages and donate school supplies and other necessities.
- We develop exciting new ideas and products and bring them to the local markets.