At Tiger Tops Elephant Camp you will get a rewarding and unique elephant experience from a natural observant perspective. You will literally be surrounded by elephants living chain-free in spacious, naturalistic corrals and immersed in the elephants’ daily life from sun up to sun down. Even after dark the elephants’ presence will be felt as their verbal and infrasonic communications fill the night air. The activities at the Elephant Camp follows the daily routine of the elephants. The activities are similar from day to day, but they will never be repetitive or boring– there is always more to learn and see from each elephant, and they are extremely entertaining to be around. The longer you spend with them, the more interesting and familiar they get.
A day at Tiger Tops Elephant Camp
Prepare to get up early and follow the elephants to the grass-lands, where the mahouts cut and collect the grass for the elephants to eat during the day. This is a very beautiful experience and varies a lot over the different seasons. Mornings are often misty, and to see the elephants move through the grass is a truly magnificent sight. While watching the beautiful sight of the elephants grazing in the morning mist, the you will be treated to a steaming cup of traditional Nepali tea to celebrate the occasion, and one of our naturalists will explain about the wild-life and the ecosystem surrounding you. You may also learn the grass-cutting and binding techniques from the mahouts.
Back in the camp a hearty breakfast will be waiting. The rest of the morning you spend with the mahouts learning how to make kuchis, hanging around and enjoying watching the elephants do their things in the corrals, or follow any activity the mahouts may have planned for that morning. Lunch will be ready around noon, and you might wish to relax and be lazy just like the elephants during the hot midday hours.
In the late afternoon, when the temperature is pleasant, go for a walk in the jungle with the elephants and their mahouts. You will be walking alongside the elephants, watching how they move, what they eat, and listening to their communication, rumbling and trumpeting. On the way, our naturalist will show and tell you about wildlife and vegetation as you move through jungle, grassland, and wetland with the elephants. You will most likely encounter tiger tracks, deer, various species of birds, and maybe a rhino or two, depending on the route.
Another beautiful afternoon activity is to follow the elephants to the Narayani River, where they go to cool down and to drink. While you dip your feet or enjoy your afternoon tea on the riverbank, you can enjoy watching the mahouts scrub the elephants, and the elephants play around in the water. From late November till March the water will be too cold for the elephants for swimming. Back from the walk and/or the bathing, you have time to freshen up before heading to the dining hall for dinner. Enjoy your meal while watching the elephants go about their business inside their corrals. After dinner and a relaxing evening, take a walk down to one of the corrals and let the mahouts show you the elephants sleeping inside their new home. You must make sure to be very quiet, so as not to disturb them in their sleep.
Other activities, subject to availability
You may wish to just be in the camp and hang around with the elephants or you may wish to do other activities during the day. We offer a range of activities from our property Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge, located approximately 500 meters from the Elephant Camp, from traditional safaris to a chilling swimming pool. You can find the rates for each activity in the menu under “Rates”. We offer the following activities, subject to availability:
Rise with the sun to watch animals, big and small, start their daily routine. Guided by an expert naturalist, learn how the interaction of flora and fauna create the ecosystems of the Park. Although we cannot guarantee specific sightings, we are confident you are in with the best chance of spotting the great one-horned rhino, leopards, the mighty Bengal Tiger, sambar deer and the sloth bear.
A boating expedition down the Narayani River can be both a soothing and exhilarating experience. Cruising on the wide expanse of the river, pockets of rapids propel the boats along as gentle waves lap at the sides. Sitting inside a hand-carved boat, keep your eyes peeled for a variety of birdlife and wildlife. Top of the list is the endangered fish-eating Gharial crocodile and its more sinister relative, the Marsh-Mugger. As the Narayani River is the natural border between the National Park and the surrounding villages, boating trips will also give guests a glimpse into village life.
Nepal is considered a bird watching sanctuary, with an astounding 848 species identified across the country. In the company of an expert naturalist, Tiger Tops will guide you through an unbeatable bird watching tour, identifying species from grassland, farmland, forest and aquatic habitats. With a list of birds to tick off as you go, you’ll learn to recognize different species, their whistles and alarm calls. Beyond watching for birds, you’ll develop an insight into how birdlife are an integral part of Nepal’s abundant eco-systems.
Let our local staff take you on a guided tour through the surrounding village, and learn about everyday life in the jungle. Your guide will tell you about local customs and traditions. Visit the farmlands and experience how the locals skillfully go about their daily work in the fields, by the river and in the village.
When it gets hot in the afternoon you might just want to relax and take a swim in the pool at Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge.