How tourism can support animals and people for future generations
It is very important for African Travels to have an eye for animal welfare and the responsible handling of animals during your travels. This is an integral part of our sustainable tourism policy. With your trip you can play a positive role in this: for example, if you visit a national park, you support wild animals and help maintain biodiversity. But tourism can also have a negative impact on animal welfare. Think of captive wildlife activities, which are set up especially for tourists, and the wildlife trade that is often associated with this.
The extremes of the spectrum are clear: spotting wildlife is fine, but watching an elephant show is not done. African Travels will not send you to accommodations where we know they have captive animals on the property with the wrong intentions. Rehabilitation projects with lodges/campsites on site are different.
Do’s – things you should do in Africa
- spot wild animals as much as possible in the wild
- keep enough distance from animals and prevent wild animals from being hunted/chased
- visit national parks: after all, entrance fees support the conservation of wildlife and their habitat
- only visit responsible centers for shelter and nature protection
- only use domesticated animals (horses, donkeys, camels) if they are well cared for
- always respect the natural environment and follow local rules of conduct
- respect the natural habitat of the animals and clean up your waste and disturb the environment as little as possible
Don’ts – things you should not do
- do not visit locations where wild animals are in captivity, unless this is for a clear purpose and is done responsibly (e.g. shelters and rehabilitation centers)
- Do not engage in activities or interactions with wildlife, including in shelters or other enclosed locations. This means no rides, selfies, feeding, hunting, petting, etc., etc. “if you wouldn’t do it in the wild, you shouldn’t do it all”
- not attend activities where there is clear evidence of animal cruelty (fights between dogs, bulls, roosters, alligator wrestling, etc.)
- not participating in activities in which wild animals are used for something for a fee (‘taking a picture with’, elephant rides, walking with lions)
- do not visit attractions with performances or shows of wild animals (dolphinariums, elephants, circus)
- do not eat endangered animals, do not buy products made from body parts of endangered animals or animals that are being mistreated (civet coffee, snake wine)
- do not visit centers where wild animals are bred for commercial purposes (reptile centers, turtle centers, civet cat centers, crocodile farm)
- do not buy jewelry made of ivory, (rhinoceros) horn, (gorilla) hand or skin
- do not feed wild animals
- do not touch wild animals
We think it’s okay to visit Sheldrick Wildlife Orphanage in Nairobi because the animals are in a rehabilitation project where the animals get enough rest (tourists are only allowed to visit once a day for an hour). Visiting Buffelsdrift in Oudtshoorn where you can have your picture taken with elephants (children love it) is an excursion that African Travels does not promote at all.