An elephant in Chobe National Park, Botswana

Over 200 elephant-friendly travel companies


Travel companies worldwide commit to stop elephant rides and shows

Our campaign to end the cruel abuse of elephants in the tourist entertainment industry has secured the help of over 200 travel companies who have committed to stop selling elephant rides and shows to their customers.

We have been engaging with tour operators around the world, revealing the cruelty that goes on behind the scenes at venues where tourists ride elephants and see shows where elephants are forced to perform.

To date, 226 travel companies around the world have agreed that elephant rides and shows are cruel and must end. The travel companies, include The Travel Corporation and its family of 30 brands (Lion World Travel, Trafalgar, Contiki & Uniworld) as well as TUI Benelux and Thomas Cook Northern Europe have all agreed, in a bid to end the cruel practice.


Africa4Us signed the elephant friendly pledge at the Outdoor Adventure Show earlier this year

Josey Kitson, our executive director speaks to this announcement:

"Leading travel brands see the value of animal protection. Companies like G Adventures, The Travel Corporation and World Expeditions and Intrepid Travel, are leading the way to ensure no animals are harmed on their trips.

This year we were thrilled to have Bamba Experience (the first Mexico-based travel company), Exemplary Voyages (the first Sri Lankan tour operator), Roar Africa, Extraordinary Journeys, Do Something Different, Adventure Coordinators, Tusker Adventure Travel, Africa4Us and Zara Tours sign our pledge to never sell elephant rides or shows.”

Despite this large number, there are still travel companies yet to commit to ending elephant rides and other cruel elephant entertainment. In order to make elephants submit to rides and other human interactions they are taken from their mothers as babies and forced through a horrific training practice known as ‘the crush’. This process involves physical restraints, severe pain and the withholding of food and water. By the time tourists come to ride an elephant, its spirit has been broken. 

The cruelty does not end after the crush. When not performing or used for rides most elephants are kept chained and isolated from one another. This is hugely damaging to their physical and psychological wellbeing.

An elephant used for tourist entertainment.

When not performing or used for rides most elephants are kept chained and isolated from one another

"World Animal Protection wants to see this cruelty stop" Kitson adds, "and tourists can help by avoiding animal attractions while on vacation and encouraging more companies to join our movement. Find out more at"

Find out which 214 tour operators have pledged to stop selling elephant rides >

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