Riding elephants at Borobudur

Man feeding an elephant

Did you know how fun elephants are? Much more than I could imagine in a circus or in a zoo. You don’t see much activity from them there, eating being by far the only one they enjoy. This part remains largely unchanged, as elephants eat A LOT – as I was told it is around 300kg of grass and 200l of water every day plus fruits which they receive during walks. What is different, however, is how they behave and how active they are when they are out in their natural environment.

In Borobudur village you can reserve elephant tours with various duration and destinations. For the price of 1 photo with an elephant in a circus in Europe one can enjoy an hour-long ride around temple surroundings. This opportunity was too tempting to be missed, so after early breakfast we were already on our elephants ready for an exciting journey.

On an elephant
It was my first time on an elephant and I was super excited about it

The timing of the tour was perfect – it was early morning and the air was not as hot as at noon. Instead it was clean and fresh, which after Jakarta’s air pollution was like a gift from heaven. Also the nature is splendid – palms, mountains, volcanoes all around you. It creates a feeling as if you traveled inside a Windows HD wallpaper, or you are taking a real-time part in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie on a deserted island.

Surreal landscape in Borobudur
The landscape was surreal, as if from a wallpaper
Borobudur village
The views around only added excitement to the whole experience
Palms and mountains
I couldn’t stop taking pictures of this beauty

We each had an elephant – I had a 28-years-old boy and Kristine had a younger girl. The funniest thing was to watch this pure girly temperament in action. Like any other woman, she tried to bring the attention to her – she made unexpected stops, so that the boy elephant needed to turn to look for her, she tore down palm leaves to make sounds and emphasize her presence. Then she needed to eat, then she did not want to go the same route as others did, then she wanted to lead the way. Women…

Elephant fighting a tree
Kristine’s elephant fighting trees
Making way on an elephant
Fighting our way through the “jungle”
Elephant in borobudur
Rare shot when Kristine and her elephant are going close to me
Elephant feeding
One man was walking alongside and gathering food for animals to eat – they consume a lot of it

It was great that both elephants were very active and, fortunately, not as tired, as they would be towards the end of the day. They obviously enjoyed themselves and the company of each other very much. You could see that the boy elephant also got sensitive and gave his honey a kiss as we stopped.

It’s amazing how smart these animals are. When stopped and started taking pictures, they understood it and made happy faces for us.

Elephants at borobudur
It seemed that elephants understood that they were being photographed, as they started to cheer each other
Elephants having fun
It seemed that my elephant was even giving a kiss to Kristine’s one

I’m not sure if all elephants are so happy and friendly, or there is Indonesians’ achievement in that. In any case, not only people are welcoming in this country, but also animals.

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