Have you ever wondered what it would possibly be like to command the largest land animal on earth? Or perhaps learn up close and personal what it takes to care for a Sumatran elephant for a day? Bali Zoo is proud to feature a remarkable and one of a kind experience that you won’t soon forget with our signature Mahout For a Day program; the only one of it’s kind in Indonesia. Derived from the Hindi word mahaut, a mahout is traditionally a person who rides, handles and cares for an elephant for most of its life. At Bali Zoo, most of our professional mahouts are from Sumatra where our elephants originate and for one day they will show you what a day in the life of one of these amazing creatures.
Bathing an elephant Your day as a mahout begins with an early morning transfer from accommodation to Bali Zoo where you will be greeted by a guide for orientation and start the day with a Balinese breakfast at our Elephant View restaurant. After your meal you’ll board your elephant from our 100-year old traditional Sumatran Buffalo House for a morning ride with your personal mahout to the nearby scenic Wos River where your training begins with a lesson in how to bathe and scrub an elephant. Then hop back on your pachyderm and head over to his pad for more tutorials beginning with cleaning duties followed by more mahout instructions on how to behave around the elephant, learning basic vocal commands, and proper riding methods. After an introductory Mahout 101 course, you will accompany your elephant back to the starting point for an opportunity to feed our African lion family, have a stroll around the zoo and then a private animal encounters session where you may have your photo taken with our tame tiger cubs, crocodiles, binturongs, pythons and more. Then it’s on to our famous "Lunch With The Lions" at the WANA Restaurant, where you can enjoy our western-influenced cuisine in full view of our lion enclosure. After lunch, it’s back on your elephant for a 45-minute Elephant Expedition where you will journey across the Wos River, through the zoo’s surrounding wilderness and grassy valley, a short stop at our Bale Bengong for a refreshing and healthy young coconut drink and then finally a short trek up to the oldest village temple in the area that dates back almost 300 years. Once back at the buffalo house disembarkation point you will be treated to a sumptuous Jungle SocieTea at the WANA Restaurant followed by an hour relaxing Balinese massage before transfer back to your hotel by late afternoon. Bali Zoo’s Mahout For a Day experience is designed to not only enlighten you on the behavior of these magnificent mammals and what it entails to command and care for them, but also leave you fulfilled having participated in probably one of the most unique outdoor adventures you will have on the island during your visit.