World Elephant Day

Today is World Elephant Day, a day to celebrate elephants and reflect on what we can do to stop the cruel treatment of them in the tourism industry.

The Asian elephant is endangered with less than 40,000 remaining worldwide

One out of every three Asian elephants left in the world is a captive animal

Thousands of tourists visit wildlife attractions around the world and are utterly unaware of the abuse wild animals face. While excursions such as elephant riding may not seem cruel to tourists who want to tick them off their bucket list, it is the violence and mistreatment towards the elephants behind the scenes that pose such a threat to animal welfare.

According to World Animal Protection, there is no global regulation regarding how wild animals are used in tourism so it is up to each tourist and travel company to refrain from supporting excursions where animals’ lives are put at risk.

Instead, travellers can engage in ethical elephant experiences which aim to protect these gentle creatures.

Rickshaw Travel has been working with World Animal Protection to refine and implement a new wildlife policy that will extend throughout its entire programme. Rickshaw recommends the following trips where travellers can experience elephants in their natural environment:


Visit The Elephant Transit Home in Sri Lanka
On this two-day bite-size trip, you’ll travel by jeep safari across one of Sri Lanka’s most famous national parks, spotting monkeys swinging through the trees, buffalo grazing, crocodiles lurking along the river banks and elephants strolling close to your jeep as you pass by.

Rickshaw can arrange visits to the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe which is en route to Yala National Park and is a fantastic place to observe elephants living as a herd, from the respectful distance of a viewing platform. The Elephant Transit Home provides a humane alternative to taking abandoned animals into permanent captivity, with the aim of returning them back into the wild when they are ready.

After a fun day of animal-spotting, you can sleep under the stars in a safari tent on the edge of the park before visiting Kataragama Temple and Adams Peak the next day.



Supporting elephants & communities in Indonesia
During Rickshaw Travel’s bite-size trip “Deep into the Jungle” travellers can venture into the raw, remote Sumatran jungle where the trees chatter with monkeys. The untamed heart of Sumatra is packed with exotic birds, monkeys and giant rafflesia flowers and guides patrol the area to protect Gunung Leser National Park from poachers and illegal loggers. Guests will stay in a rustic bungalow on the banks of the Kualsa Buluh River, accessed by crossing a swing bridge, and will feel a million miles away from the modern world.

Instead of elephant riding, you can now treat the elephants to a jolly good scrub down in the river. You’ll also be supporting the local community with a grassroots project that actively hires ex-loggers and trains them up as guides.


For more information, check out our press release and Rickshaw Travel’s blog.


Happy World Elephant Day!