Travels in Nepal # 61 Elephant ride
I found that using an elephant to travel through the Royal Chitwan National Park was an excellent way to safely cover some of the national park. I say some because it is rather slow, but perhaps no slower that walking. It has other advantages too. It gives one an elevated view of the surroundings and the wildlife, decidedly advantageous when meeting a rhinoceros (which we did – twice) and tigers (which we didn’t). It is also great when crossing rivers; the elephants don’t mind getting their feet wet. (As an aside, the elephants we travelled on preferred to use the river as a toilet stop.)
There are disadvantages of course. The platform they provide as a seat is rather uncomfortable after an hour or so, and rather cramped. The seating we had was designed for four people. We only ever had three on board and it was still crowded. The constantly lurching animal beneath you makes good photography something of a challenge.
By the way, the woman next to the elephant is Jade. She and her husband Kane had also been on the trek with me. We were the only ones to add on the Chitwan leg to the trek, so we got to know each other quite well.