Dezenas de golfinhos em alto mar, em Algoa Bay, na África do Sul

12 Do’s and Don'ts for an animal friendly travel


Wild animals are captured, taken from their natural habitats or bred in captivity, suffering a lifetime of cruelty and abuse. Some are beaten into submission, deprived of food and water or trapped in concrete cages - all for the tourist dollar.

We know the vast majority of travellers don’t want to contribute to cruel wildlife tourism but it’s not always easy to spot. 

Here are our list of Dos and Don’ts to prepare yourself for an animal friendly holiday:

Things to avoid

A wild pangolin in the dust

1. Get a selfie with a wild animal. Never ‘cuddle’ a lion or a tiger cub.

2. Support attractions that force wild animals to perform tricks and shows. Do not visit dolphin shows and walk away from street shows involving dancing monkeys.

3. Book an elephant ride or visit an elephant show. Sometime these are marketed as ‘Be a mahout for a day’ excursions.

4.Pay for fights between animals, such as bullfights, cockfights and crocodile wrestling. Paying for these cruel performances continues a lifetime of abuse and injury.

5. Buy souvenirs which are made from wild animals, such as a bag made of crocodile leather, a bracelet made of ivory or jewellery made of coral.

6.Say no thanks to local dishes which are preceded by extreme animal cruelty, such as shark fin soup, bush meat, frog legs, foie gras or tiger wine.

Try this instead

A wild pangolin in the dust

1. See animals in the wild ensuring you are always far enough away from the animals.

2. Visit a genuine wildlife reserve or sanctuary, making sure there isn’t direct contact between visitors and animals and animals are rescued not bred in captivity.

3. Buy locally produced, environmentally sustainable souvenirs that are free from animal products. It will support local communities and contributes to the conservation of animals and their natural habitats.

4. Visit a nature conservation project or volunteer at one. By planting trees for example, you help contributing to the conservation of elephant and orangutan habitats.

5. Take part in active eco tours where nature and wildlife are not disturbed.

6. Complain when something does not feel right! If you see animal cruelty, please report this to the (local) authorities or a local animal welfare organization.

Orangutan selfies in Bali

Wildlife tourism

If a venue that houses wildlife allows you to ride, hug, cuddle or take a selfie with a wild animal, cruelty is surely involved.

Elephant riding at Mason Elephant Park. Credit: Andito Wasi / World Animal Protection

Stop travel giants selling cruelty

Help us demand GetYourGuide, Traveloka,, and TUI Musement stop the sale of cruel wildlife experiences.

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