WALKING HOME – THE END OF THE ELEPHANTS JOURNEY
Early in October our three resident elephants from the Jungle Lodge made it home. After a three week journey across the hills and plains of the Terai, encountering torrential monsoon rain, road closures and the warm welcome of villages, Ram Kali, Chan Chun Kali and Champa Kali have settled into life at Karnali Lodge.
After a relatively uneventful start, the second week of the journey from Chitwan to Bardia National Park, became quite the adventure. Heavy monsoon rain, while providing cool relief to the elephants, was a challenge for Tim and the team to coordinate. Waterlogged camp sites led to sleeping in the cars, the mosquitos were relentless, the wet inescapable, and threat of landslides always looming. The route had to change several times due to road damage and the bridge the team crossed on day two collapsed!
In Bunbasa villagers gave the crew the keys to the new school building so they could take shelter from the rain for a night. It was quite a scene with the entire team perched at small school desks for their evening dal bhat. Moral was high again, with an extra special meal. Local women, celebrating the Teej festival, also joined the feast on this auspicious occasion.
By the final week the rain had dried up and the dangerous river crossings had all been navigated. Three weeks after setting out from Chitwan, the crew and elephants walked into their new home and stables at Karnali Lodge. Meeting up with some old friends, the small herd settled in with ease.