Day 351: Safari on the Zambezi River

The Zambezi River is Africa’s fourth largest river, running through six different countries on its way to the Indian Ocean.  Much of the Zambezi is undeveloped and retains its raw beauty.  Its biggest claim to fame are the gorgeous Victoria Falls, which we blogged about a few days ago. While in Zambia, we had the opportunity to enjoy several safari cruises.  The scenery was stunning, but the wildlife even more amazing.  Our highlight was spotting a huge herd of elephants satisfying their thirst riverside.  We were all surprised to see this, as… Read More

Kathryn’s Experience with the Elephants

Elephants are amazing. They are beautiful creatures. Intimidating, yes, but beautiful all the same. And when you get to ride them…well, I’ll get to that later. The first elephant park we visited was called Elephant Nature Park. Of course. Here they brought the fortunate rescued elephants from their abusive Mahoot.  (In Thai, Mahoot means the owner of an elephant.) Or they come if they have been injured while mining or in traps. Or if they have been rescued from one of the worst of the abusers. There is an awful way some… Read More

Riding Elephants with Ryan

Riding, cleaning and feeding the elephants in Thailand was an experience I’ll never forget. We started by listening to one of the workers there give us a quick (10 minute) talk about safety, like not standing behind an elephant when it is unaware of your presence. We also talked about facts, and how the number of elephants in Thailand is skyrocketing (or should I say ground rocketing) downwards. There were over 100,000 elephants in Thailand a couple of years ago, but now there are only 3000 left! After the quick talk we had about the elephants,… Read More

Danny and Mecan

Patara is a nice place where the people give you lessons on how to treat, and take care, and ride elephants.  For the day, you get your own personal elephant to bathe, ride, and feed.  My elephant was called Mecan, and the way I remember Mecan, is the word mechanical. In the first 20 minutes, you feed your elephant bananas and sugar cane.  When you wanted them to open their mouths, you would say:  “Bone”.   And if they obey, and eat what you give them, you say:  “Dee dee”.  Deedee means… Read More

Socializing with Thai Elephants

In Chiang Mai, my family and I visited two elephant organizations.  It was our first time actually getting to interact with elephants…and it was pretty amazing! The first place we went to was at Elephant Nature Park where they took care of abused elephants.  Many people have abused their power over the animals and have taken it way too far, leaving the elephants wounded, severely scarred, and damaged for life.  The owner of this organization is an incredibly sweet lady who has taken in these poor elephants and mended them with her… Read More

Day 275: Playing with Elephants – Patara

I never knew how much I would love elephants until Ryan and I went on safari in East Africa about two years ago.  It was there that I discovered how special they were.  They are powerful yet gentle, large, loving, and protective.  Just watch them when they think their babies are being threatened and you’ll see what I mean! Babies:  We met two newborns, just a few months old.  The male was quite aggressive while the female was docile and sweet.  It was amazing to see the difference in their personalities at… Read More