Monday, October 26, 2009

Thekkady: Jumbo safari = 100% natural rip-off

The elephant safari promised a ride on elephant back “through 100% natural forest”. What we got was a ride on an elephant through a 100% cultivated cardamom plantation. For someone who has been reared in 100% plantations all her life, I was 100% super let down. So much for my envisioning us chancing upon an angry tiger who’d then send the elephant scurrying in terror with little old me clinging to its big ears for dear life.

All I did was cling on for dear life. I found myself seated right atop the elephant’s shoulders which wasn’t comfortable at all, especially when “Rooba” ambled down slopes. All I could do was pray that Ducky would grab my jeans if I fell down headfirst. 100% wishful thinking. He’d probably grab the camera first to capture the moment before hooting with laughter.

Nonetheless, despite the disappointing environment, I was cheered up by the prospect of being able to interact with the gentle four-legged giants. We fed them and patted them, amused with their names: Rooba, Shankaran Kutty the tusker and the little rascal whose name I have now forgotten. Someone doesn’t have an elephant’s memory, that is for sure.

The highlight of the trip was when Shankaran Kutty showered a squealing foreigner who’d opted to bathe him with water, twice. 100% natural shower. At least somebody got their money’s worth.


  1. You got lucky with Rooba, Shankaran Kutty and the little rascal - or maybe they just took to their training well.

    I've been struck on the nose by a middle-aged tusker in Mayapur and head-butted by a juvenile in Bandipur. Both were supposedly domesticated.

    Perhaps my experiences were the exception, yours the rule. Or maybe I just smell wrong...

  2. Hahaha!

    It's possible that every time I've been near the pachyderms I've had bananas, pumpkins and other offerings, so they tend to view me with some benevolence!


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