We have stayed at this lodge this year in spring and my children and me felt really comfortable there.
I am very concerned about the recent comment, written by a woman from Australia.
So I would like to write a report about my experiences and also anwer to this recent report.
This Australian woman talks about the way the elephants were treated. The example of an elephant who was forced to leave it' s young alone for a certain time to do the elephant safari really sounds kind of cruel from the point of view of people who are used to treat animals as lovely pets which they caress and treat like family members. Although some peoples' behaviour in treating their pets also sometimes seems to be more or less torture for these lovely animals. I don' t know if, for example, small nice and lovely dogs would feel very happy when they are styled by a dog' s hairdresser, then are dressed with stylish dog' s clothes and finally are put in a small bag to „enjoy“ a bicycle ride, etc.
But back to this elephant mother. This situation must have been hard for her. Especially as elephants are known as very sensitive creatures, who take an immense care for their children. So on the first view this seems to be hard to understand. One could guess what the reasons for this treatment of the elephant might have been, but one does not really know.
Generally I think, when one uses animals to do special works, it' s not always possible to fullfill all their needs.
For this, one could find many examples all over the world. When you look for instance at one of the Aran Islands in Ireland, you see how tourists are transported in horse carriages. The horses don' t have horseshoes, but they must draw the carriages over slippery streets. They are slipping many times, but they are forced to go faster being beaten with horsewhips. It is hurting to see this, but the inhabitants of this Island are so much used to treating their horses as means for tourists transport that they cannot understand, how people could complain about this.
Whereas staying at the jungle lodge, I got the impression, that the staff there is really concerend about the elephants' needs. They know many things about these animals. And when they talked about the elephants' lifes, needs and abilities I noticed that the workers there are aware of the fact that it is not possible to fullfill any needs of them under these lodge conditions. For example talking about the nutrition of the elephants, the staff admitted that they have to give them special food, the elephants normally wouldn' t eat, because it' s impossible for these working elephants to eat many hours per day as they usually would do. I especially noticed the sad, nearly apologizing look of one of the employees there, who in general is very much taking care of others, might it be humans or animals.
And I have to add that there were some tourists who commented the treatment of the elephants in a doubtable way, but the staff didn't.
As you noticed, people who stayed at the lodge were not allowed to visit the elephants at any time, which shows, that the staff made it possible for the animals to recreate. When elephants would always have people around, this would certainly be to much for them.
Reading the comments about the behaviour of the male employees at the lodge I got the impression, that the staff must have been completely exchanged. Because this description doesn' t fit to any worker I have met there 8 months ago.
Staring and snide remarks were common?? Reading this I could hardly believe my eyes!
It was quite the opposite! Hardly ever before I could experience such an extreme kindness, care and patience. It was a kind of care for the people which hadn' t anything to do with paternalism, but it was beneficial assistance.
And concerning the behaviour towards single travelling women (I have been travelling as a single woman with two daughters) I noticed an immense respect towards women, a kind of consideration and empathie which impressed me deeply.
Very often I am thinking of the beauty of this place, these wonderful houses built of natural materials, the things to discovers in the surrounding wood. I would wish many people could enjoy a stay there in the future based on any touristic concept, which would respect as many issues as possible.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Chitwan Jungle Lodge is one of the few select hotels operating inside Chitwan National Park, which is a World Heritage Site rich in unique flora and fauna. Come to CJL for an unforgettable jungle experience. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Chitwan Jungle Hotel Chitwan National Park