Land Cruiser vs Elephant

November 13, 2006

Elephant ATVWe spent a pleasant pair of days in Chitwan National Forest in Nepal where I saw my first live Rhinos. While Chitwan can’t compare with Africa, it was nice to get away from the constant honking and trash of Kathmandu. We also tried wildlife viewing from the “comfort” of an elephant. Previously I have always used a Land Cruiser. In case you should ever need to elect between the two I thought I’d offer a chart for easy comparison.

Elephant Land Cruiser
Speed With passengers generally 10 MPH or less. Comfortable up to 60 MPH or faster depending on the age of the car.
Comfort My arms and shoulders were sore for days afterwards. Excellent unless you get the middle seat in the back, but even then no bruising.
Handling An elephant is the clear winner in mud and high water, but if your ride is feeling playful you may get a quick shower. Despite what you may have seen on TV, these are not really designed for deep mud or water. Even with a snorkel attachment it is like comparing junior varsity to the NBA. See my previous post: Stick in the mud.
Fuel / Emissions Zero emissions, runs on eco-friendly bio mass and constantly tops itself off as you travel. Unleaded or diesel requires refuelling every 250 miles.
Lifetime Up to 50 years of service with little degradation in quality of service. At best a lifetime of 35 years and there in decreased reliability and comfort after the first 15 years.
Cool Factor Have you ever seen an Indian groom arrive atop a Toyota? I think not. Even when pimped out, this is a high function low style ride.
Notes Best for approaching rhinos and hippos even in water, but lousy for taking photos due to the rocking motion. Easier to handle without extensive training and much more stable as a photographic base.


  1. Whats the resale value on those there elephants?

    Comment by Andrew — November 13, 2006 @ 3:26 pm

  2. I think there are some “emissions”.

    Comment by Chuck — November 19, 2006 @ 8:06 pm

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