It has been a while since our last blog post. We do our best to keep all our followers updated with all the exciting things we get up to in the jungle and our community through Facebook but behind the scenes from the serene relaxing holidays our guests experience, our 240 strong team of staff are always on the go! We thought before we resume our regular blog updates that we would fill you in on how the season has gone so far.
We kicked off the season in style. All our staff from Kathmandu and Bardia descended on Tharu to celebrate and award 48 members of staff who have worked for Tiger Tops for 25 years or more. It was a simply wonderful occasion, it felt like a family reunion, no less. Tiger Tops chairman Kristjan Edwards and sister Anna Tara presented the awardees with a commemorative silver medal and certificate. Everyone was blessed with a traditional tika to mark the occasion further. Kristjan’s young children were present during the prize giving; a moment we are sure our founder Jim Edwards would have been proud of.
We would like to give a special mention to Dhan Bahadur Tamang, our longest serving member of the team. Danny has worked with Tiger Tops for forty eight years. He started his career as a mahout to the late Sunda Pasath, a big male tusker whom he says he fell in love with and was the reason he stayed in the job so long. Throughout his service he has fulfilled roles as a Wildlife Tracker, a Naturalist, a Guest Relations Officer and is now our Wildlife Manager.
All in high spirits the season commenced. Shortly after the final monsoon rain the grounds keeping team reassembled our 15 luxury tents at Tharu Lodge and The Elephant Camp. All the while our elephants were wriggling and writhing in the muddy areas of their corrals, embracing their new spacious habitats.
In mid September we welcomed back Carol Buckley and together we ran our first ever Elephant Foot Trimming Workshop. When we announced the dates back in June we were overwhelmed with interest; within 24 hours we had arranged for a second workshop to run after the first.
The atmosphere around the lodge for two weeks was electric. So many enthusiastic and vibrant characters came together to not only learn the skill of foot trimming but share knowledge, experiences and anecdotes about how elephants have impacted each of their lives.
Whether they had worked with elephants for fifteen years or never seen an elephant up close before, each and every participant had something to offer. Aside from the foot trimming sessions the groups enjoyed jeep safaris and jungle walks. Part of our new 2016 programme is our Elephant Walks in the Buffer Zone jungle. This is a truly memorable and enlightening experience. Guests walk through the jungle alongside the elephants. We walk at the elephant’s pace stopping to graze whenever they chose…which is frequently! These pauses give our guests the chance to appreciate the stature of our elephants, the enormity of the jungle canopy and the intricacies of the forest floor. Learning about elephants in their natural environment is a the most unique experience we offer at Tiger Tops and believe that this approach marries seamlessly with our pioneering ethos.
Tiger Tops is ever evolving, in the last two months alone ten members of staff have received well deserved promotions and we have recruited four new guest relations officers who have already become part of the furniture.
The tail end of 2016 is set to be busy for Tiger Tops with 2017 looking to be our best year yet, look out for updates!
From The Tiger Tops Team,