How to Holiday with an Elephant
Imagine: the quiet of nature, the sound of bird calls, a rustle…then from the trees, silent for such a vast creature, an elephant emerges. Another follows, and another. You sit in breathless awe as the herd passes you by and eventually disappears into the foliage again. Seeing creatures in their natural habitat is one of the most incredible experiences a wildlife-lover can have and there are plenty of projects and safaris which offer the chance to do this.
Sadly, people are still drawn back to tourist attractions where elephants are beaten into submission and used purely for entertainment. In the tourist attractions where rides are offered, the elephants are kept in poor conditions and suffer terrible treatment including stabbings with bullhooks.
Elephants are not domesticated creatures and before they will take part in shows for tourists, they have to go through a ‘breaking’ process where young calves are separated from their mothers and beaten or starved into submission. Research suggests that three in four elephants in captivity across Asia are living in unacceptable conditions.
This is tragic for such a stunning animal. Elephants are beautiful and highly intelligent creatures. They have close family ties, show empathy, and are one of the few creatures which demonstrate self-awareness.
Fortunately, there are more and more opportunities to see elephants in their natural habitat. By choosing the right type of holiday, you can support the projects that actively protect elephants by offering them a safe space away from potential conflict with farmers and protected from poachers.
This Highlights of India tour will introduce you both to the vibrant culture and beautiful landscape of India. You will visit an elephant sanctuary to see some of the work that goes on to protect them (click here to learn more)
For those who like to roll their sleeves up and get involved, conservation projects are an unbeatable opportunity to see animals in the wild, aid in their protection, and learn about them at the same time. We believe that offering conservation projects is a vital part of what we do here because every animal-lover should have the chance to aid in the continued protection of animals in the wild. We have loads of projects and you can have a look at the site for more. A few of our favourites are…
The Desert Elephant Conservation Project, set in the sandy plains of Namibia. Learn to track and monitor local herds and construct wells to provide water, and educate local people on the importance of elephants in the area. (Click here to learn more).
The Great Elephant Project in Sri Lanka will get you up close to Asian elephants. Stationed on the edge of a national park, you will work toward reducing human-animal-conflict. You’ll set camera traps and track the elephants among other tasks. (Click here to learn more)
The Great Orangutan and Pygmy Elephant Project is based in Borneo. You will work on a number of different tasks, take boat trips, and forest treks, and get hands-on experience of monitoring animals. (Click here to learn more).