World Animal Protection
Although seeing animals in the wild is a joyful experience, many animals suffer unseen cruelty and abuse. Some are taken from their natural environments and exploited for profit; monkeys are dressed in tutus to perform for money, elephants are saddled for rides, and tigers are kept in inhumane conditions. Since 2015, Adventure Travel have worked closely with the World Animal Protection NZ to promote responsible tourism.
We love wildlife encounters, but we don’t support animal entertainment (such as tiger shows), animal products (such as ivory, bear and big cat fur), or animal rides (such as elephants). Responsible tourism is a global movement that Adventure Travel is proud to be part of – more than 100 travel companies around the globe no long support, promote, or sell animal rides and entertainment. “We only send our clients to zoos, sanctuaries and breeding programmes when we are confident they have a good reputation, and we know they treat the animals well,” says Adventure Travel consultant Kathy Twydle. “As a basic rule – touching animals in any way is out, so no riding and no petting. You may think it benefits you, but it certainly doesn’t benefit the animals.”
In 2016, Thailand’s famous ‘tiger temple’ finally closed after two years of controversy. The popular tourism attraction near Bangkok allowed visitors to handle and pose with the animals, take selfies and photos of cubs being bottle-fed by Buddhist monks. Adventure Travel doesn’t sell or support close encounters with tigers – we prefer to send our travellers to view the majestic animals in the wild and in the beauty of their own habitat in places like India.
To see other big cats – did you know that the Ruaha and Selous Game Reserves in the bottom half of Tanzania are arguably two of Africa’s best kept safari secrets? The wild, remote and unimaginably beautiful Ruaha National Park (which is Tanzania’s largest game park, and the same size as the state of New Jersey) is teeming with wildlife.
Our owners have signed World Animal Protection’s elephant-tourism pledge, which means we have committed to not sell, promote, or offer any activities involving elephant rides and shows. We only offer a high standard of elephant welfare and conservation, and the responsible viewing of elephants in wild or semi-wild habitats. For our elephant experiences to have been approved, World Animal Protection must have visited the property and found it to meet its criteria.
We recently sent travellers into the Maasai Mara National Reserve, 1510 square kilometres of open rolling grasslands in the rift valley in Kenya, that is globally famous for its exceptional population of lions, leopards, cheetahs and elephants – as well as its great migration of wildebeest to and from the Serengeti every year from July to October. Travel in 4 x 4 trucks, sleep in tents under the red African sky and experience the incredible wild life up close and personal – ethically and responsibly. Kathy says the team at Adventure Travel always share information on how to travel with animal welfare and wellbeing in mind – whether it’s an adventure to see leopards in Sri Lanka, the polar bears in the Arctic or the gorillas in Uganda.
“Not only are our clients always fully supportive, but many of them go away and do their own research and spread the word among their friends,” says Kathy. “At Adventure Travel we are passionate about animal-friendly travel, and it’s great to see that ethos flowing down to our clients.”