Ian & Donna were my first American tour participants and I couldn’t resist sharing their romantic background story.
They met at a Starbucks coffee-house… Ian was an expert in the Starbucks system as he studied there using their wifi and naturally had tried many of their products…Donna was a novice in desperate need of a caffeine fix. Ian walked Donna through her first Starbucks experience and the rest, as they say, is history.
On that first meeting, Donna was wearing a t-shirt with an elephant motif. Attention to detail is one of Ian’s strengths and he soon realised almost all her t-shirts featured elephants. When the time came to ‘pop the question’ Ian knew he wanted a unique ring to commemorate the occasion and sourced a wonderful double-headed elephant design that Donna would not be able to resist. Ian then set about finding his “trip of a life-time” and cemented his offer to Donna by booking a pre-honeymoon holiday with www.elephant-encounters.com so that Donna could experience her first hands-on contact with elephants. Irresistable!!
I wish them every happiness together.
In August, I added two new National Parks to my travel itinerary and what a wonderful discovery they were!
Kui Buri is beautifully managed with visitors only able to access the Park for 4 hours of the day, always accompanied by a ranger and with the added security of footbaths on access and departure.
Along with my eight guests, I saw many elephants…families with calves, solitary bulls (both tusked and tuskless) and interesting interaction between bulls and families. Matriachs led their groups to and from waterholes and gathered calves to prevent clashes with bulls intent on accessing fertile cows within the groups.
We witnessed waterplay, dust-bathing and feeding.
Apparently, there are approximately 237 elephants in the Park with an estimated carrying capacity of 400. The human-elephant conflict on the Park borders is minimal and with no known poaching for the past few years, the outlook for these wild elephants looks good.
We even had the added bonus of spotting Gaur!
It was an absolute pleasure to bring in some tourism dollars to support the rangers and help secure a sustainable future for elephants in Thailand. This National Park will definitely be in my itinerary for July 2017!
The youngest mahout
Traditional blessings for all
National Elephant Day
I visit Thailand with a small group of tourists every year to celebrate this special day surrounded by people who value and appreciate elephants, who devote their daily lives to the care of these unique creatures in a modern setting.
Few who have had a close experience with an elephant could doubt they have great intelligence and complex emotions.
I like to pay my respects to the expertise and elephant knowledge built up over many centuries and the best way I can do that is pay for the experience, thereby ensuring elephants and their human carers continue to thrive.
We’re staying next door to an Alpaca Stud at the moment. Most of the males are housed separately from each other to avoid fights. Fighting can involve ‘necking’ but can escalate to trying to bite off the testicles of the opponent!