Every day in Chitwan National Park people can go on an elephant safari at 7 or 8am. It is a fun activity lasting about an hour that people need a National Park Permit for. Chitwan is in Sauraha, Nepal. The park permit is 1500 rupees per person. Children are free.
There are lots of people there. Some people are tourists and some people are Nepalese. Behind the fence there are lots of elephants with people on the front and the passengers behind in a sort of box with a cushion on the floor for the people to sit on. Some have riders, some don’t.
The elephants are coming and going – elephants appearing out of the forest and elephants walking away into the distance as far as these visitors can see.
When you get on an elephant is best not to spoil anything except that on the ride you get hit in the face by branches and that sometimes the wildlife is there and sometimes not. It is a very bumpy ride but you get used to it.
As you wait to go up on your platform, from which you must step carefully onto the elephant’s bottom and into the box, you can smell the hot air and the elephants all around you. When you go onto the elephant, however, you can smell sweet air through the desert of leaves. As you wait you also hear the shouting of mahoots as they urge their giant shopkeepers to the desk! There is also the noise of people chatting as they feed bananas to the elephants who are sticking their heads over the fence to say hello to the newcomers!
On the elephant you can hear the chattering of birds and occasionally the mahout telling you the name of wildlife. As the people chatter they are too busy to notice the gentle touch of the elephant and the cool breeze brushing your face, asking you to follow it to the place far from the pouring sun.
As you ride the trees shade you but it is hot. Bumping and jumping you can taste the sweet, sweet air. The elephant’s scent covers up the scent of the human so the wildlife isn’t scared away.
It makes a lot of people feel like they want to it to carry on forever but towards the end, they start getting hungry and want to get off.
It is 1000 rupees each. To get there you need a jeep for 50 rupees. The jeep is extremely fun but also extremely bumpy.
[This was Jemima’s ‘Write a Newspaper Article Challenge’. It was typed up, paragraphized and spelling-corrected by Dad but otherwise all Jemima’s work. Only 6 wrong spellings, too, which is brilliant.]
This is a superb description of your elephant rides. I am very impressed by your references to the smelling of sweet air through the desert of leaves and of the way that you get onto the elephant. Is it similar to the way you get onto the back of our settee? Love you very much indeed and I am missing you so much.