Expedition with elephants in Mane
You merely need to be mentally prepared for an adventure with Hasballah, with activities that will trigger the adrenalin- elephant jungle tracking in Mane. You only need to pay the package for Rp 350.000 per person for riding elephant for about two hours.
Going by a car from Banda Aceh with a distance of 192 kilometers with winding roads and hilly terrain, we arrived at the Camp Conservation Response Unit (CRU) that is located in District Mane, Pidie.
This CRU’s camp is located in District Mane, Pidie. The Camp is not only intended for livelihood activities, but also for trainings, mitigation conflict, patrolling, and monitoring.
“Tourists who come here usually spend at least three days for tracking and playing with the elephants,” said Hasballah to Aceh Tourism some time ago.
He also added that this CRU’s camp is often visited by students for educational purposes, such as some lessons about wildlife elephants, water, and forests.
Well if you are interested in traveling to this place, you can contact Hasballah: +62 812 69311337. Then Hasballah will arrange to pick you up from Banda Aceh using his operational car.
That morning, I saw the fog that blanketed the hills that hugged gardens and paddy fields. Yellow paddy leaf bud dew was slowly running down the stem and into the roots. River watershed divided a paddy field and breezed my feet coolly while crossing the river to get to local community fields. At the foot of the hill, I saw the local community gardens close to the protected forest.
Five elephants have been attached haudah or saddle and ready to go from the Camp for a morning shower before starting their daily activity. Local residents who sometimes passed this area stopped by a moment for watching the elephants for a shower. A toddler hanging on his father’s shoulders looked excitedly at a small elephant in the Camp.
The elephants were already prepared by handlers, but before going out they must bathe the elephants first. After finishing bathing the elephants, we immediately went out bringing some tourists from Australia who were ready for going a tracking with elephants.
A traveler was busy taking pictures to capture the behavior of Basri, a small elephant, while the handler directed the elephant to move in the river. Sometimes we saw local people heading to their fields. We went through local garden with a small cottage in it. Sometimes local people stayed in their small cottage.
“In the past we lived here, but because of the arm conflict, we were forced to leave the garden and paddy fields,” said Norman, a ranger who took us for tracking. He was one of the people who were trained by an environment agency to be a ranger. While he used to be a deer hunter, now he has been in charge of maintaining the forest and wildlife in this area.
Arriving at the river, the elephant handlers respectively bathed their elephants. The tourists brushed elephant skin who was laying in the river. Some people watched elephants bathing from the steel cable bridge while crossing the river.
Then tourists would be taken around the tropical rainforest in Mane that was shady and wet. The handler sometimes stopped by the river to look for the stone rings in the river. While travelers had a time for enjoying Gayo coffee made by elephant handler.
Well, if you are not satisfied with enjoying nature by riding an elephant, you can stay another night in the Camp or you can build a tent on the banks of the river with the handler while enjoying grilled fish that will be prepared by the handler.
The next day, you can enjoy rafting on the River Mane with 3 + grad. Inflatable boat will take you to enjoy the natural beauty of rolling hills, paddy fields and local people who are doing their daily activities.