Photo collage of wild animals.

Wildlife-Friendly Travel

An estimated 110 MILLION people visit cruel wildlife attractions every year. Don’t be one of them.

 

Wild animals have a right to a wild life.

More than half a million wild animals are suffering for tourist entertainment worldwide. Some travel companies exploit animals for profit by selling tickets to captive wildlife attractions, such as dolphin shows or elephant rides. Animals deserve better.

As travelers, we have the power to decide how we book our vacations. Booking only through companies that have animal welfare policies and do not sell any harmful wildlife experiences will help end the wildlife entertainment industry. Forever.

A collage of wildlife friendly company logos

DO book with these companies.

A collage of wildlife unfriendly company logos

DON’T book with these companies.

Learn more by checking out our industry report, Tracking the Travel Industry, and watching our latest webinar.

Tracking the Travel Industry is the only report to compare the animal welfare commitments of the world’s leading travel companies. Check out our features in National Geographic and Travel Pulse.

How responsible tourism can save wildlife

US Wildlife Campaign Manager Nicole Barrantes sits down with Susanne Etti from Intrepid Travel and Kelly Louise from Impact Travel Alliance to discuss animal-friendly travel and tourism.

What to look for

Whether traveling near home or venturing abroad, if seeing wild animals is on your itinerary, make sure the venue does not allow visitors to interact directly with the animals (such as bathing, riding, feeding, touching, or posing with them). Look for one of these types of experiences:

Genuine wildlife sanctuaries: rehabilitation facilities and rescue centers that have the highest possible standards of animal care and where there is no breeding for commercial purposes.

Responsible wildlife watching: where tourists observe animals in their natural environment from a safe and respectful distance without luring or chasing them or in other ways interrupting their natural behaviors.

A collage of companies who certify wildlife friendly companies

Look for sanctuaries and operators certified or endorsed by these organizations.

 

World Animal Protection’s travel recommendations

Dana Point, California  

Home to the first US Whale Heritage Site, Dana Point, California is known as the whale and dolphin watching capital of the world. Here you can experience “superpods,” hundreds of dolphins swimming together at once!

ChangChill 

At ChangChill, an elephant sanctuary in Thailand, elephants roam free and get to choose what they want to do at their own pace. There’s nothing better than seeing elephants just be elephants.

Airbnb Animal Experiences

With Airbnb’s Animal Experiences, travelers can book exciting and memorable animal-friendly activities. Go on a penguin walk in South Africa, visit a farm sanctuary in upstate New York, or study foxes in Ireland. The list is endless!

Wildlife Heritage Areas

A Wildlife Heritage Area is an outstanding wildlife watching destination where local people recognize their natural heritage with a deep sense of pride and play a central role in protecting wild animals and their habitats. In California, the Santa Barbara Channel Whale Heritage Area is renowned for its rich biodiversity and thriving marine ecosystem. It’s long been a haven for over 25 different species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises.

Tiger laying down in a cage.

World Animal Protection’s Groupon campaign

World Animal Protection currently has a campaign urging Groupon to stop selling deals to captive wildlife attractions. This includes SeaWorld, roadside zoos, and illegitimate sanctuaries. You can help by not shopping for any Groupon deals (such as massages, dining, or nail salons!) until the company adopts an animal welfare policy and stops selling animal cruelty.