Deeply rooted in the foundations of Buddhism and local folklore, elephants have attained an almost mythical status across much of their ancestral lands. Laos became known as the “Land of One Million Elephants” or “Lan Xang” from fabled accounts of a procession of them crossing the Mekong River not far from Luang Prabang continuously for three days. By all accounts humans and elephants have worked side-by-side in the region for nearly 2000 years.
Ranging from nearly 1 to almost 60 years of age, MandaLao’s seven elephants have spent the majority of their lives working together in logging camps. With new regulations limiting logging operations across Laos, and concern over elephant welfare, we have been able to bring these amazing creatures home to where we offer them a dignified and comfortable life in harmony with nature.


Have you ever wondered if elephants smile because they are happy?
Or cry when they are sad?
While their manner of expressing emotions may be different from ours, it is undeniable that we share many of the same feelings. We invite you to learn how to recognize a wide range of emotions, just as these elephants have learned to recognize them in us.



Only 9 months old when he came to MandaLao, our baby, nicknamed “Kit,” has become a key part of our future plans. Using new training techniques pioneered largely by Prasop Tipprasert, Kit will stay with his mother (when most babies are separated) and be raised using only positive reinforcement and tender care. Happily, this is a far cry from the traditional fear techniques where hooks, hammers, and abuse predominate.



As we are all aware, even the most remote pockets of wilderness left in the world are quickly disappearing. Laos has been gifted with an abundance of ecological diversity and spectacular landscapes that few places on earth can rival. It is our aim to expose travelers to these wonders and put value on protecting them. Without intent and action from Lao citizens and international visitors, the things that make Laos such an amazing place may quickly vanish before our eyes.
Situated approximately 150km southwest of Luang Prabang, Nam Poui National Protected Area remains one of the last strongholds for wild elephants in Laos. Forty to fifty elephants call it home, as do many other species iconic to Southeast Asian jungles. Unfortunately, the area remains very vulnerable to poaching and illegal logging. In order to help combat these threats we will begin to offer guests tours of the park to view wildlife and assist the World Wildlife Fund in data collection. It is our hope to bring attention and funding to Nam Poui so that it is better able to protect the land and its inhabitants and ensure its long-term survival.


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