Established in 1989, the Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre in Pahang, which lies within the Krau Wildlife Reserve, is the only one of its kind in Malaysia.

The centre has been locating, subduing and then translocating elephants whose habitats have been encroached by development.

Over the past three decades, more than 700 wild elephants have been successfully relocated to more suitable venues such as Taman Negara. Many orphaned elephants are also raised and given shelter here.

The centre is open to visitors throughout the year and conducts public awareness activities.

Why you should go

The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry’s website stated that there are fewer than 1,200 wild elephants roaming in Peninsular Malaysia. Protecting these gentle giants are crucial to prevent them from being pushed to the brink of extinction.

One of the ways the public can help with the elephant conservation initiative is to learn and understand the hard work that goes into protecting the animal. Participating in the awareness programme here should give visitors a clearer sense of the importance of the species and habitat protection.

Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre

Visitors enjoying their time in the river with a baby elephant during a bathing session.

What to do

A variety of activities are lined up for visitors from 10.30am onwards. Prior to visiting, it’s a good idea to refer to the visitor timetable available online.

In the morning, do some elephant observation along the interpretive trail. Many of the young elephants roam freely in certain compounds during the day. You’re also encouraged to watch a documentary on elephant translocation activity that was filmed in collaboration with National Geographic.

Elephant visits take place in the afternoon and visitors will be able to get up close with the animals under close supervision of the mahouts. There, conservation talks at an interpretive stage will be held later in the day that introduces the background and abilities of some of the trained resident elephants.

After the talk, there’s usually a chance for visitors to feed the elephants. Visitors are encouraged to contact the centre to facilitate arrangements if you are coming in a big group.

Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre

Theres also a chance to feed the elephants at the centre.

Who will like it

Families with children should make a stop at the centre. The close interaction with elephants will certainly leave a lasting impression on the young ones. For those travelling along the East Coast Expressway, the sanctuary is a worthy stopover before you continue your journey.

Those curious about nature conservation work might also benefit from interacting with the elephants as well as chatting with the friendly staff that work here.

Getting there

The centre is located about 15km from Lanchang town within the Temerloh district in Pahang. It’s about a two-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. Ample parking facilities are available here.

Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre

Address: Kuala Gandah, 28500, Lanchang, Pahang
Tel: 013-908 8207
Opening hours: 10.30am to 4pm