Wildlife Experiences: Memorable + Ethical to Inspire Your Travels

As vacationers who need to discover the world in a sustainable manner, we’re conscious that the alternatives we make can and do affect individuals and the atmosphere, but additionally the wildlife. Having wildlife experiences is without doubt one of the most rewarding issues any traveler can do, however making certain that you simply’re doing so in an moral manner is much more rewarding. 

Editor’s Note: As locations start to reopen, Impact Travel Alliance is dedicated to persevering with to discover methods to encourage and educate vacationers to make knowledgeable choices when contemplating journey selections. Our purpose is to arm our neighborhood with the instruments and information they want to journey mindfully and have a optimistic affect on our world.

We’ve rounded up memorable and moral firsthand tales from journalists and content material creators in our Impact Travel Media Network to encourage your future wildlife experiences. However, being impressed by these experiences is just one piece of the puzzle when trying to e book moral wildlife experiences.

We really feel it is crucial for each particular person to do their very own analysis earlier than making choices on credibility. Great locations to start your analysis embody the World Animal Protection and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). Also, be certain that to try our tips on booking wildlife experiences in confidence that you’re connecting with wildlife in an moral manner.

Marine Wildlife Experiences

Exploring the oceans presents a plethora of alternatives to have life-changing wildlife experiences whether or not it’s by way of snorkeling, scuba diving, freediving, or different actions. 

Below are some firsthand experiences, however we even have an inventory of tips for understanding how you can enjoy the wonders of the ocean in an ethical and fun way.

Scuba Diving with Bull Sharks in Mexico

Malou Morgan of Skip to Malou shares her expertise diving with bull sharks in Mexico. 

“Diving with bull sharks in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. My partner and I dove with Scuba10, a local dive company.

Between November and March every year, hundreds of female bull sharks arrive in Playa del Carmen to give birth in the shallow waters along the coastline. They come to this area to give birth to their pups in the mangroves so that the baby sharks have a safe, protected area to feed and grow before swimming out to sea. Unfortunately, this coastline has been developed over the last few decades, and the all-inclusive resorts have bulldozed and destroyed a lot of this natural habitat.

There is a fishing ban in place from May to July, which is meant to protect pregnant sharks, but unfortunately, that three-month period does not coincide with the bull shark season.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a young volunteer with Saving Our Sharks at the dive shop, conducting interviews and surveys with the divers. Saving Our Sharks is a local organization working to change the perspective on sharks and raise awareness through environmental research and education, as well as initiatives for government legislation to protect them.

The dive itself was breathtaking, there is nothing more humbling than sitting on the ocean floor, observing a 1000 pound shark peacefully gliding by. We were guests in this space, and we were asked not to swim around too much. The shark was not fed or provoked in any way, simply observed. She was beautiful, and it was an experience that I will never forget.”

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Photo courtesy of malou morgan

Spotting Pygmy Seahorses in Indonesia

Penelope Granycome shares a memorable expertise observing pygmy seahorse whereas scuba diving in Indonesia.

“While scuba diving in Murex Bangka, North Sulawesi, Indonesia in Dec 2019, I was staying at this perfect dive resort which is all about sustainability, income for the local population, no plastic, coral regeneration, and energy conservation. 

On my very first dive, I saw a tiny pygmy seahorse! These were all macro dives (looking for the tiniest creatures) and it sent home the delicate vulnerability of this planet; that such tiny animals thrive and exist is truly humbling. 

It is important as divers to always ‘look don’t touch’ and to demonstrate perfect buoyancy skills so as not to touch any reef or wildlife on accident.”

The pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus bargibanti) is solely on fan corrals within the central Indo-Pacific space and is normally lower than 2 centimeters in measurement. Barely seen to the bare eye, an underwater magnifying glass is useful!

Freediving with Sharks in Jupiter, Florida

Emily De Sousa of Airplanes & Avocados reminisces on her favourite wildlife expertise – shark diving in Jupiter, Florida. 

“My most memorable ethical wildlife moment is shark diving in Jupiter, Florida.

I’ve always loved the ocean, which is why I became a scuba diver and eventually learned to freedive. I love both methods of exploring the ocean, but freediving offers a unique opportunity to get closer to marine life in a way that doesn’t disturb them the way scuba diving does. 

As a result, freediving gave me the life-changing opportunity to safely swim inches away from the ocean’s apex predators. My love for shark diving is what introduced me to Ryan Walton, co-owner of Shark Tours, who I can confidently say is one of the most passionate shark conservationists that I have ever met.

Ryan is so deeply passionate about the ocean and educating his guests about sharks. He has a wealth of knowledge about the local shark species and eagerly shares this information with guests before the dive, as well as all the different ways that they can safely interact with sharks and work to protect them both on and off the tour. 

I have been shark diving with a lot of people over the years and the experience that I have with Ryan is always superior. Not only do we have an absolute blast, but I walk away with a re-energized sense of purpose and determination to protect our oceans.”

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Photo courtesy of Emily De Sousa

Swimming with Whale Sharks in Mexico

Exploring World Cultures with Kristen Gill‘s favourite wildlife expertise includes swimming with whale sharks in Mexico

“Swimming with whale sharks in Baja California Sur, Mexico has been a highlight wildlife experience for me. These beautiful ‘gentle giants’ return to feed on the rich nutrients in and around the Bay of La Paz every year. 

Your chance of seeing these juveniles from November through early April is almost 100% guaranteed. And, because it is a natural protected area, they are likely to remain here in good numbers.

Since my first trip, I have returned many times to snorkel with and observe these incredible creatures, which we just don’t know all that much about. I’ve met with several whale shark specialists here who are now using GPS-tracking to monitor the whale sharks’ behaviors, for example, where they go to give birth.

On each excursion, RED Travel Mexico provides a naturalist guide who will brief you on whale shark ecology as well as on the regulations for snorkeling in the observation zone. 

RED Travel Mexico was a leader in getting the local government authorities, academies, and tour operators united to implement a ‘best practices’ plan, and they also started a Whale Shark Ambassadors program to educate local residents of the importance of whale sharks, and of making sure they remain protected. Today, La Paz is considered an example of responsible whale shark tourism.”

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Photo courtesy of Kristen Gill

Observing Penguins in The Falkland Islands

Nadine Maffre of Le Long Weekend illustrates her expertise seeing these lovable marine birds.

“The Falkland Islands offer wildlife experiences like no other. This remote and wild archipelago located off the coast of Argentina is home to many different species of marine mammals and birds, but most notably it’s overrun with penguins! 

Five different species of penguins can be found on the islands, and they far outnumber the human inhabitants. It’s no wonder then, that seeing them can be as simple as looking out the window. 

From the small yet strong Rockhopper penguins to the Magellanic penguins who burrow into the soft peaty soil, they all have their distinctive characteristics and appearance. But none are more striking than the regal King Penguins. Standing at a meter tall, their metallic grey plumage contrasts with a white belly and a bright orange bill. Their colony is noisy and chaotic, especially when full of fluffy brown chicks, and it’s such an incredible experience to witness them caring for their young.

Take a tour to Volunteer Point where an experienced guide will deliver you to the busy scene. The penguin colony is clearly marked and there are strict rules about how far you must stand back to allow them space. But be warned that the penguins don’t always obey the rules, and their curiosity can get the better of them! The best time to go is in the Southern summer, between when the chicks hatch in January, through to April, when Magellanic and Rockhopper penguins depart for the winter.”

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Photo courtesy of Nadine Maffre

Kayaking with Manatees in Florida

Ashley Hubbard of Wild Hearted shares one in all her favourite wildlife experiences – kayaking with manatees in Florida.

“Manatees are most often found in shallow, slow-moving rivers, canals, coastal areas, and saltwater bays. In the US, they congregate in Florida in the winter – mostly in the springs.

The West Indian Manatees (the ones found in the US) have no natural predators – yay! And, it is believed that they can live 60 years or more. There are natural causes, but a large number of their deaths are due to human-related causes, many of which occur due to watercraft collisions. After seeing them up close and seeing all of the scars, I can totally believe this.

I was so excited to be able to kayak in the springs where they made their winter home. Despite knowing we had six miles of river to paddle, I soon began thinking we weren’t going to see any wildlife. However, it didn’t take long before we started seeing the sought after sea cows.

It seemed like once we saw one, it opened up a flood gate. I wish I had kept count but we so several manatees. We even saw what we believe was a pregnant female and a mother and calf at one point.

It’s highly important to respect their space. You are not allowed to harass, touch, swim with, chase after, etc the manatees.”

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Trekking & Safari Wildlife Experiences

The ocean will be the most unexplored space of our world, however the land nonetheless presents superb wildlife experiences with loads of moral tourism alternatives.

Below are some firsthand experiences, however be certain that to do your personal analysis forward of time.

Learning in regards to the #DontLetThemDisappear Elephant Campaign in Kenya

Kirsten Alana of Kirsten Alana | An Eye for Life shares her expertise studying about this vital marketing campaign.

“I traveled to Amboseli National Park in southern Kenya to learn firsthand about the #DontLetThemDisappear campaign. 

Amboseli is home to an extraordinarily large number of African Elephants roaming free and unconfined; living in family groups with matriarchs. On past trips to Tanzania and South Africa, I had only seen an elephant or two. The healthy elephant population that resides in the area, is due to the work of a few dedicated individuals and the brave rangers on the front lines of the fight against poaching African elephants for their ivory. 

We got to know those who have lived in a camp in Amboseli for 20+ years, studying and naming elephants. We worked with Dr. Paula Kahumbu, of WildlifeDIRECT, who has been successful in making sure that Kenya’s government passed very tough anti-poaching legislation helping to slow illegal poaching within the borders of Kenya; and ensuring that anyone trying to pass ivory through Kenya’s ports for worldwide distribution, will face tough penalties or even fines if caught. 

Together with other efforts, she has helped the population of Kenya’s elephants stabilize and swell and is giving hope to the effort to stop poaching in other parts of Africa. For several days and always at a safe distance we learned, observed, photographed, and took notes to share with readers back home. We got to know Soila, Katito, Oprah, Placida and so many more. The feeling of sometimes being surrounded by more elephants than I could even count is one I will never forget.”

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Photo courtesy of Kirsten Alana

Rhino Trekking in Nepal

Lola Mendez of Miss Filatelista shares her expertise of jungle trekking in Nepal to see the one-horned rhino.

“A few years ago I visited Chitwan National Park in Nepal. I was insistent on entering the park on foot in order to respect the land and the wildlife. I went on an 8-hour jungle trek looking for single horn rhinos! 

At one point we came across two in a river that was a mere 10 feet away from us. We had to climb a tree to avoid certain death. It was terrifying but to watch these majestic animals in their natural habitat from the ‘safety’ of a tree was a magical experience I will never forget.

I stayed at Evergreen Ecolodge which organized the certified local tour guides for us.”

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Photo courtesy of Ashley Hubbard

Tracking Black Rhinos in Namibia

Across the globe, Elaine Villatoro of Live More, Travel More shares a very completely different expertise of monitoring black rhinos in Namibia. 

“Have you ever heard of Rhino Tracking? This is a type of tour where a guide takes you on a 4-wheel drive to search for rhinos in the wild. The guide shall be an expert in these animals so he can search for rhino footprints, fresh poop, and so on to find them. This is also a great opportunity to learn about them and their environment.

Rhinos are my favorite wild animals and being in front of them during a black rhino tracking in Namibia was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I took this tour with a local company called Etangola Tours and had an amazing experience. The tour starts from Swakopmund and requires a minimum of four days, and you will camp in remote places being able to see the whole Milky Way.

This is considered a great option for observation tourism since there is no human interaction with them, the rhinos are in their natural habitat and we leave nothing behind besides our footprints.

By doing this type of tour we also help to protect rhinos since part of the costs goes to an organization that hires guards and because of our presence, it ends up being harder for poachers to act without being seen.”

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Photo courtesy of Elaine Villatoro

Seeing Lions in Tanzania

Anna Kim of My Travelanthropy reveals that sustainable tourism doesn’t at all times look the identical.

“What I especially loved about traveling to Tanzania with &Beyond is its unique blend represents the intersection of luxury travel, philanthropy, and environmental activism in their core values and operates in 29 luxury safari camps and lodges across Africa.

Proceeds from each travel experience go toward &Beyond’s 3C Impact Model – Care of the Land, Care of the Wildlife, and Care of the People.  The Impact Model was designed to create travel that makes the world a better place instead of misusing, wasting, and destroying natural resources. &Beyond is committed to the utmost high standards of sustainability, philanthropy, and conservation.

The Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is situated in one of the best places on Earth to see lions in their natural habitat, so this &Beyond property has a special commitment to the goals of The Lion Recovery Fund. The Lion Recovery Fund was created by the Wildlife Conservation Network in partnership with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, with a goal of doubling the number of lions in Africa by 2050.”

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Photo by Hu Chen on Unsplash

Gorilla Trekking within the Democratic Republic of Congo

Kesi To and Fro‘s Kesi Irvin’s favourite wildlife expertise includes trekking to see gorillas.

“I’ve been backpacking around the world for five years and have had many beautiful experiences. I can confidently say that gorilla trekking in the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the top two activities I’ve ever participated in. 

This memorable wildlife experience was incredible because I got to observe silverback gorillas in their natural habitat for one hour. There are only about 1000 mountain gorillas left, and they can be found in Uganda, Rwanda, and the DRC. These beautiful creatures are similar to humans, making comparing my features to the gorilla’s features fun and interesting. 

Although I was nervous being so close to the gorillas at first, I realized that our presence was not disturbing. The gorilla population has slowly been increasing because of the conservation efforts of parks like Virunga National Park. I chose to visit the DRC because the gorilla permit was the cheapest there, but I also knew that Virunga National Park could significantly use the funds to help support the rangers who risk their lives each day to protect the park and animals. 

A gorilla permit is expensive, but it is well worth it. The park only permits groups of four to six people to visit a gorilla family each day.”

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Photo courtesy of Kesi Irvin

Observing Chimpanzees in Uganda

Melanie van Zyl names observing chimpanzees in Uganda as one in all her high wildlife experiences.

“Kibale (pronounced chibale) National Park in western Uganda is a primate playground and one of the best places in Africa to observe our closest living relatives. There are five kinds of chimps in the world, and this preserve is home to the Eastern Chimpanzee. 

On a guided tracking experience with park authorities and qualified rangers, you can meander through the forest and meet a habituated community. Habituation means that a family of chimps has grown used to human presence after a lengthy process of well-regulated exposure. It’s easiest to find these primates when they’re out and about seeking nourishment, either in the late afternoon or early morning.

However, a chimpanzee trek is no walk in the park. The forest floor is a mash of fallen fig fruits, mossy tree roots, and mulchy leaf litter. Craning my neck back, I watch the creatures shimmy through my camera viewfinder. Some of the trees tower over 40 meters high and, as they pluck fruits from the upmost boughs, I wish I’d packed binoculars. I’m lost inside the frame until a yelp nearby jerks me back to our human pack. Some droppings have landed square upon the head of one intrepid guest, but besides the surprise, he doesn’t seem too perturbed.

Unlike the bigger gorillas (who tend to sit and feed) chimps clamber between trees, feeding, and frolicking, screaming and arguing. It’s a real show, and it’s all on their terms out in the precious wild. Just the way it should be.”

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Photo courtesy of Melanie van Zyl

Spotting the Elusive Goats in Pakistan

Alex Reynolds of Lost With Purpose shares her unintentional run-in with Pakistan’s elusive wild goats.

“In the dry northwestern mountains of Pakistan, Chitral Gol National Park is famous for one thing: markhor. The massive wild goats are found across Pakistan and Central Asia, but their numbers have been in decline thanks to illegal poaching. Small herds of markhor roam through the park, but if a visitor is lucky enough to spot one it’s usually with the aid of old surveying telescopes carried by guides.

After a day of jeep driving and telescopic markhor spotting with a group of male friends, I spent a chilly night in a mountaintop guesthouse inside Chitral Gol. The next morning, eager for some quiet time sans-men, I went out for a solo sunrise walk along one of the park’s few trails.

Rustling bushes shook me from my drifting thoughts. I paused in terror, instantly thinking of the plethora of unspeakable things that could happen to a woman alone, then awe replaced fear. Not one, not two, but an entire herd of markhor climbed up onto the path right in front of me. They were so close I could’ve reached out to brush their fur; their breath seemed loud in the still morning air.

The male head of the herd was closest, his massive curled horns stretched more than two feet long. We locked eyes for one eternal moment before he and the others darted back into the brush, leaving me with nothing but the sound of hooves clattering on rocks as they scampered down the mountainside.”

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Photo through Canva

Witnessing the Great Migration in Kenya

Priya Vin of Outside Suburbia explains why the most important migration is their high wildlife expertise.

“One of our greatest wildlife experiences is witnessing The Great Migration during our trip to Africa. It is the largest mass movement of land mammals on Earth, when more than a million wildebeest, thousands of zebras, topi, and gazelle, stalked by predators circle through the Serengeti plains in Tanzania and Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya. 

Following instinct and the scent of moisture and in a quest for fresher greener land, the herds move clockwise from their calving grounds in the lush plains of the Serengeti and eventually cross the Mara river to Masai Mara.  The Mara River crossing is the hardest part of their journey, where there are vicious Nile crocodiles and territorial hippos in the river waiting to attack.  We caught a part of this migration when we were on a safari with Angama Mara.

Located in the Great Rift Valley, Angama Mara is somewhat isolated. We took a 45-minute flight from Nairobi to the lodge’s private airfield which they share with the giraffes and zebras in the area.  

The view over the Mara from the lodge is beyond breathtaking, the entire safari camp is so unique in terms of design, elegance, and luxury! The tents are made of canvas material but have glass-fronted patios that open to the plains. Every day we woke up to the sounds of elephants and zebras and pretty sunrises.”

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Photo courtesy of Priya Vin

Wild Horses in Turkey

Ashley Parsons of En Selle Voyage illustrates what it was like to see wild horses in Turkey.

“While cycling across Central Anatolia in the snow, we spent three days tracking down a herd of yilki horses (wild Anatolian horses). Despite the cold weather, when we found the herd we were ecstatic. 

Across the plain, at the foot of Mt. Ericyes was a herd of around 35 wild horses, led by a magnificent grey stallion. We were able to approach pretty close before he lost patience with us. Firmly but with grace, he rounded up his mares and herded them away. Others can experience this by booking photo safari tours (mostly in summer) with photographers like Nuri Corbacioglu. 

You can also ride out to them by organizing a custom tour with Ender Gulgen (Kirkit Voyage). I recommend getting in touch with Ender before Nuri.”

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Photo by Mahir Uysal on Unsplash

Experiencing Wildlife within the Ecuadorian Amazon

Sarah Fay of Travels of Sarah Fay spent three days deep within the Ecuadorian Amazon. Here’s her expertise.

“My recent international trip prior to the pandemic, was an ethical wildlife experience in the Cuyabeno Reserve in the Ecuadorian Amazon. I was able to stay for three days in the Amazon at the Guacamayo Ecolodge in Amazon for three days. The lodge was one of the first sustainable lodges set up in the Ecuadorian Amazon and takes a 10-hour overnight bus ride, and a 3.5-hour boat ride down the river to reach the lodge deep in the Amazon. 

Started by professional naturalists, Guacamayo Lodge was everything I hoped for with excursions throughout my stay including swimming in the lagoon with pink dolphins, cayman spotting at night, and hiking through the Amazon wetlands. 

I was able to see five species of monkeys in the wild, swinging from trees, anacondas, tarantulas, sloths, and more. The guides didn’t feed the wildlife, made sure we packed in and out everything we needed, and sustainably collected and used power at the lodge. 

Another great aspect of this company is it’s locally owned and they run trips to the local Siona tribe in the Cuyabeno Reserve where they teach you how to cook something and you learn about their culture.”

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Photo by Vince Fleming on Unsplash

Sanctuary Wildlife Experiences 

Volunteering at an Animal Sanctuary in Guatemala

Lauren Yakiwchuk of Justin Plus Lauren volunteered with animals in Guatemala and shares why this was such a rewarding expertise.

“I traveled to Guatemala with Animal Experience International to volunteer at a wildlife rescue center called ARCAS. They rescue, rehabilitate, and release animals back to the wild that are victims of wildlife trafficking. While ARCAS employs many locals, they rely on volunteers with some of the hands-on daily tasks like feeding the animals, cleaning their enclosures, and creating enrichment activities for the animals (things to stimulate their minds, such as a small piece of banana wrapped tightly in a banana leaf for the birds, so they have to figure out how to open it up).

Helping these animals is an incredibly rewarding wildlife experience. Although it takes a long time to rehabilitate them (between two and four years for a parrot, and up to eight years for a monkey), you are providing assistance to a very special organization. 

These animals are often stolen from the wild to be sold in the illegal pet trade. While it can take years for their rehabilitation, many of them will be able to live in the wild once again. It’s also a fantastic place to meet like-minded people who love to travel and help animals. 

Since I returned home from my volunteer placement, Animal Experience International has informed us when ARCAS has released some of the animals, which were quite possibly the ones that we helped.”

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Photo courtesy of Lauren Yakiwchuk

Seeing a Rescued Pangolin in Zimbabwe

Marielena Smith of Epic 7 Travel illustrates her unforgettable wildlife encounter.

“Having the chance to see Marimba, a rescued pangolin, at Wild is Life in Harare, Zimbabwe, is my most unforgettable wildlife encounter. Sadly, since pangolins are the most highly trafficked animal in the world, glimpsing one in the wild is rare and celebrated by safari guides and conservationists. Despite having no natural predators, one million pangolins have been lost to poaching for unfounded Eastern medicine and bushmeat during the last decade in Asia and Africa.

Wild is Life and Marimba’s caretakers highlight her plight to visitors while providing a glimpse at pangolins’ unique characteristics. Seeing and learning that Marimba tucks her front legs under while balancing on her hind legs and sizable tail to maintain her sharp claws for digging is fascinating. Discovering that her devoted handlers transport her ten hours a day in a backpack to locate the best places for her to scour for ants with her two-foot-long tongue is heartwarming.

In addition to their pangolin advocacy, Wild is Life operates the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery (ZEN) onsite as well. Adopting a similar ethos to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, they rescue, rehabilitate and release orphaned elephants back to the wild. Witnessing the older elephants gingerly caress and comfort the little ones with their trunks touches your soul. These interactions are critical for the traumatized elephants to heal and ultimately transition back to the wild in the Panda Masui Forest Area.”

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Photo courtesy of Marielena Smith

Visiting an Elephant Sanctuary in Cambodia

Lora Pope of Explore with Lora describes what it’s like seeing elephants in Cambodia in an moral manner.

“One of the best regions of the world to see elephants is Southeast Asia, but sadly, many of them get exploited for the tourism industry. I was looking for an ethical way to see elephants while traveling through Cambodia when I came across the Elephant Valley Project (EVP).

EVP is an NGO in the Mondulkiri province of Cambodia that provides a sanctuary for injured and overworked elephants. The elephants that live there are in their natural environment, going about their lives as usual. As a visitor, you get to observe them from a safe distance. There’s no riding, washing, feeding, or handling involved.

You can either visit the sanctuary for the day or spend some time volunteering. As a volunteer, you spend half the day observing the elephants and the other half working on various projects that support the organization.  

It was an amazing experience to see elephants so close on a daily basis while learning about the issues of unethical elephant tourism in this part of the world. If you are looking for an ethical place to see elephants in Cambodia, EVP is a perfect choice.”

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Photo courtesy of Lora Pope

Visiting ChangChill Sanctuary in Thailand

Laura Knudson of GLP Films shares their expertise at a lesser-known sanctuary in Thailand.

“The elephant is a symbol of Thailand. The connections between elephants and the Thai culture are very deep and have evolved over thousands of years. In recent times, elephants have become a key tourist attraction which has often come at the expense of the welfare of these amazing animals.  Thailand is working towards more sustainable elephant experiences and travelers can help by choosing elephant experiences that support elephant welfare and also benefit the community. 

Identified as an elephant-friendly experience by World Animal Protection, ChangChill (formerly known as Happy Elephant Valley) in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, has taken steps towards becoming a truly elephant-friendly venue. Their six resident female elephants have the freedom to roam the valley, graze, and bathe in the river, mud, and dust while socializing with each other. 

Visitors are no longer encouraged to interact with the elephants but are now given the chance to see how the elephants choose to spend their days in the forest. Observe elephants navigate the lush forest, learn about Karen hill tribe culture with local community members, or enjoy the breathtaking view from the elephant observation deck.”

Learn extra about accountable elephant experiences in Thailand:

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Visiting Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand

Bianca Caruana of The Altruistic Traveller highlights her expertise observing semi-wild elephants in Thailand.

“In November 2019 I had the pleasure of joining Biosphere Expeditions on their citizen-science expedition into the jungles of Northern Thailand, to observe and document the movements of semi-wild elephants. We ventured deep into the forests surrounding Thailand’s Mae Cheam district to meet the elephants that reside there, and learn about conservation efforts for these highly intelligent creatures. 

Biosphere Expeditions brings travelers to the Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary (KSES) located roughly five hours drive from Chiang Mai, in Thailand’s north. The sanctuary was founded by Irish-born Kerri McCrea and her partner Sombat, a local resident of the South Naklang village. Kerri and Sombat met while volunteering with elephants in the region. They both share a passion to rescue elephants from the harsh conditions of tourist camps and bring them home to the forests.

Through the partnership, KSES is able to educate visitors on elephant and nature conservations, while raising funds to care for the five resident elephants: two females, Too Meh (58 yo) and her daughter Mae Doom (24), and three males, Too-Meh’s grandsons Dodo (14) and Gen Thong (8), as well as Boon Rott (14) who is not related to the others.

The 9-day Biosphere expedition brings a team of scientists and travelers to the village of North Naklang to observe and document the interactions and activities of the elephants while participating in community-based tourism – providing income to the residents of South Naklang. The combination of animal conservation and sustainable tourism makes this experience enticing for animal lovers and conscious travelers alike.”

Wildlife experiences: memorable + ethical to inspire your travels | latest news live | find the all top headlines, breaking news for free online april 8, 2021Wildlife experiences: memorable + ethical to inspire your travels | latest news live | find the all top headlines, breaking news for free online april 8, 2021
Photo courtesy of Bianca Caruana

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