Two Mandalay Region elephant camps are preparing to reopen in time for this year’s tourist season and offer new adventure tours to local and foreign visitors.
The elephant camps at Dee Doke and War Nat resorts, which are near the breathtaking Whak Kar waterfall in Mandalay’s Pyin Oo Lwin township, will offer tourists new adventure trips, according to the company that runs the resorts.
U Tin Kyaw Moe, Assistant Manager of Mandalay’s Myanma Timber Enterprise, said the elephants are currently grazing in the forest about five miles from the camp and feeding on donated melons, maize and sugarcane in preparation for their return.
“We don’t know when the camp will reopen,” he said, “but we are planning new elephant tours for October, the start of the tourist season,” he said.
One of the adventure tours will involve riding on the elephants and cycling from the camp to the top of the mountain.
“Mandalay Hill and the whole city can be seen from the top of the mountain,” U Tin Kyaw Moe said. “New services will be offered at the camps if they are allowed to reopen.”
Dee Doke camp has two male and four female elephants and War Nat camp has three male and three female elephants. Entrance fees for locals are K1000 per adult, with children under 10 free, while foreigners have to pay K10,000 each.
Mandalay, which has a low rate of COVID-19 infection, has allowed more businesses to reopen, such as the gems market, gyms, some private classes, parks, futsal grounds, skate parks, billiard and snooker halls, beauty parlours and fitness centres.
The second most populous region in the country after Yangon has four confirmed COVID-19 cases but three have fully recovered and been discharged from hospital. The other patient had recently visited India.