Under the High Patronage of His Majesty NORODOM SIHAMONI, King of Cambodia


Elephant Safari

We leave Banlung towards the Okatieng forest, which is located about 12km South of the city. On the way we visit two waterfalls before reaching the small traditional village of the Aïravata Foundation. We have a look around the huts then we sit down for picnic. When lunch is over we have a little siesta, those who which can have a refreshing shower in the nearby small waterfall. We meet the ranger who will take us elephant spotting into the forest about 800 meters south from there.
We first encounter clear forest, then timber forest and finally bamboo forest, that’s the kind of environment where elephants can usually be spotted when they are at rest. The forest is quite hilly, we walk up and down, and that’s why guests need to be in decent shape for this tour… Elephants change “pasture” twice a day so they can feed enough and they can be quite far from one another. The ranger will do his best to find them all but we cannot guarantee that you will see the four elephants. During this tour, which is carried out without the presence of qualified mahouts, all interaction with the elephants is forbidden, security first !
Duration of the tour : one day but can also be done in ½ a day.

Elephant «fun time» in the forest

Small trip towards the South of Banlung, we stop at Okatchagn and Okatieng waterfalls before reaching Airavata. Introduction to the elephants and their mahouts before you offer the elephants a «recreation», they will wander in semi freedom in the forest, eating and scratching at leisure while you walk besides them listening to the guide.
Duration of the tour, about 3 hours and a half.

Elephant “Spa”

Small trip towards the South of Banlung, we stop at Okatchagn and Okatieng waterfalls before reaching Airavata. Introduction to the elephants and their mahouts before going down to the river to wash and scrub the elephants then give them a treat of bananas. Duration of the tour, around 3h.

The elephant ride or the «fun time» can easily be combined with the «Spa», in this case the tour lasts about 4 hours.

Elephant Ride

Petite excursion vers le sud de Banlung, arrêt aux cascades d’Okatchagn et d’Okatieng avant d’arriver à Aïravata.
Présentation des éléphants et des cornacs avant de monter en selle pour une heure et demi de promenade à la découverte de la forêt environnante.
Durée de l’excursion A/R, environ 3h30.

Elephant “Mahout for a day”

Go to “mahout school” in the morning and learn the basics of riding an elephant, do a little test ride in the nearby forest before lunch then proceed with a siesta to avoid the hottest hours before undertaking a long ride in the forest in the afternoon to master what was learnt in the morning. Back from the ride we wash our friends in the small river nearby and reward them with treats before we leave.
Duration of the tour, about 7 hours, back in the afternoon.

(145$­­­­­­­­/person, transport & lunch included, 115$­­­­ for guests staying at Terres Rouges Lodge (for groups of minimum 3 people), 40% off for children below 12 years of age.)

To ride or not to ride an elephant ?

Some people think that being a wild animal the elephant shouldn’t be ridden, they think it is cruel and physically damages the animal.
We believe that only abuse is bad, making elephants carry heavy loads for long hours is bad, this is not what we do.

We can’t help but notice that the champions of the elephants’ rights do not seem to care so much about the fate of the horse which was not born to carry people on its back but still does it everyday with loads that are much heavier in comparison to its size…

Our elephants were already tame when we acquired them, they can’t live in the wild any more, they are not afraid of man and if we set them free they would destroy people’s crops and houses and be killed for that.

Ours is a pragmatic approach but it is also a cultural one, the link between man and the elephant has existed for five thousand years and is an integral part of Khmer Culture.

We continue this tradition.

What to wear and bring with you ?

Clothes that do not show dirt (like army fatigues for instance) and thick enough as elephant hairs can prick, two pairs of shoes or at least one that can go in the water.
Maybe a pair of shorts or a swimming trunks for the elephant bath.
Some mosquito repellent, sunscreen, a hat and a raincoat during the rainy season.

Khmer Traditional Weddings

Putting the elephant back in its proper place in Cambodian society is one of the main goals of Aïravata !

It is now possible to organize a wedding in the purest Khmer tradition, with elephants!

For that you must of course come to Ratanakiri where the teams of Airavata and Terres Rouges lodge will join hands so that the most beautiful day of your life is placed under the best omen and enjoys the blessing of the largest animal of the earth.