"The Middle Way"

While the market has shifted towards a pure “no riding” philosophy, we have seen the effect on the local culture that this is having.
We noticed that the bond and traditions between mahout (elephant rider) and elephant, was slowly disappearing.

“Elephant Shelter” has decided to go in a different direction. Instead of banning our mahouts from riding their elephants, we are
comfortable to let them continue their traditional ways.

Whilst we still ban tourist rides, the use of the bull hook and any physical forms of control, we believe that the close contact between the Mahouts & owners of our elephants and us, has meant that we have been able to both gain from their knowledge and also be able to educate them about alternative options from logging.

We have learnt a lot from the owners of our elephants, including the
connection between a mahout and his elephant, which is why we so strongly want to keep some traditions alive.

We hope that this can filter down to newer generations of mahout to create a much more gentle form of elephant ownership that can last for generations.

All of our different elephant activities involve the local
communityand respect sustainable and ecological principles.

As part of Chateau Orientale, we have been in Luang Prabang and Laos for nearly 20 years and have a passion for the people and the nature.

Absolutley NO Riding

All of our elephant based adventures do NOT involve riding of any kind. This also includes a complete ban on the bull hook and any other form of physical control.

Comminity Minded

Our "Middle Way" emphasizes not only the welfare of our elephants, but also the welfare of the local villages of ban Xieng Lom. We are always learning from them about how to preserve this beautiful land.


Even though it costs a lot to look after our elephants, our parent company, Chateau Orientale, helps to subsidize the cost with other interesting tours and our luxury resort.

Contact us to find out how you can discover the ancient connection between humans and elephants