This centre, about 3km west of Sauraha on the far side of the small Bhude Rapti River, provides many of the elephants for elephant safaris at Chitwan. It’s fascinating watching the interaction between mother and baby elephants, as well as the multitask use of their trunk (which has a staggering 40,000 muscles), such as covering themselves in dust to ward off mosquitoes or scratching their backside with a bamboo stick.
The elephants spend much of the day grazing in the jungle, so you need to come before 10.30am or after 3.30pm if you want to see the baby elephants. The mother elephants are chained up when they are stabled, which does disappoint many tourists, but it is for their safety and yours. As adorable as the baby elephants may seem, treat them with caution as most have a playful streak and are surprisingly powerful.
Morning is a good time to visit. Not only are there fewer tourists, but you also get to watch the mahouts (elephant carers) prepare kuchiis – elephant sweets made from molasses, salt and rice wrapped in grass. The breeding centre is an easy walk or cycle along the road past Jungle Lagoon Safari Lodge.