Kenyir Elephant Conservation Village
During our recent trip to Lake Kenyir together with other Malaysia Asean East Coast Trail participants, we visited Kenyir Elephant Conservation Village located in the state of Terengganu in northeast Malaysia.
Lake Kenyir or Tasik Kenyir is one of the largest man-made lakes in South East Asia. Being a nature and adventure enthusiast myself, I find Lake Kenyir a calm and relaxing place and a promising eco-adventure destination in Malaysia.
We heard of and planned visits to the nearby fish sanctuary, Bewah Cave, and a few boat trips around some islands, not to forget a food trip in some of the luxurious resorts in Lake Kenyir.
However, the Kenyir Elephant Village day trip I consider one of the most amazing tours we had during our visit to Lake Kenyir.
Kenyir Elephant Conservation Village
With the Temelong River running through it, this elephant sanctuary is home to 11 elephants, allowing them to live freely in their natural habitat. All visitors (depending on their arrival time) can experience the daily lives of the elephants living inside this wildlife sanctuary.
It is best to arrive early in the morning (ask your hotel desk for information) so that you can have a complete experience, from taking a great elephant ride to participating in the elephants’ daily routines, all of which are supervised and guided by trained mahouts of course.
A really high canopy bridge (the first thing you see upon entering the sanctuary visitors) gives an amazing bird’s-eye view of the sanctuary. After crossing this bridge, depending on the time you arrive at, you could either see the elephants being fed (perhaps even participate in it) or see them perform some great tricks, including playing football and music or grab a bite to eat at the restaurant, which also gives a great view of the elephants frolicking, swimming and bathing in the Temelong river.
Where to Stay
You could make Kuala Berang your base camp or choose any of the resorts near Lake Kenyir itself or on any of the nearby islands.
If you want to splurge, try Lake Kenyir Resort & Spa for a luxurious treat. Other available options are houseboats if you are feeling adventurous enough.
How to Get There
It would take you at least 7 to 8 hours from Kuala Lumpur to drive by car. From Kuala Lumpur, take the East Coast Expressway to Kuala Jeneris and onwards to Kenyir.
Alternatively, take the Karak Highway to Kuantan and along the coastal road through Kemaman, Dungun, Kuala Terengganu, and Lake Kenyir.
You could also drive to the Kenyir Elephant Village or catch a bus from Kuala Berang or Kuala Terengganu. The closest airport, Sultan Mahmud Airport, is located near Kuala Terengganu.
If you are flying down to Kuala Terengganu, you could take a taxi from the airport to the main jetty Pangkalan Gawi at Lake Kenyir itself. The rest of your trip is by boat across the Lake. Do remember to check and request the hotel or resort you have made reservations to arrange for airport transportation.
If you want to go there by Bus, the Tasik Kenyir Express departs daily at 9.00pm from Hentian Putra in Kuala Lumpur to Tasik Kenyir. The fare is RM 44.10.
All in all, the Kenyir Elephant Village is a great day trip. So if you plan a vacation in northeast Malaysia or visit Kuala Lumpur and have a couple of days off, Kenyir Elephant Village is an ideal place to visit and get up close with the majestic creatures.
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