5 of the best ethical elephant experiences around the world

Elephant lovers, rejoice. Sunday 12 August marks World Elephant Day 2018, a day where we can unapologetic ally celebrate, embrace and champion the marvellous creature that is the elephant.

Few species can master the art of being giant, wildly boisterous and cute all in one. Yet somehow, elephants do it effortlessly. From their adorable trunks to their Dumbo ears, there’s everything to love about them. So if seeing elephants is on your bucket list (it’s certainly on ours) but you want to do it with their best and safest interests at heart, here are five entirely ethical places you could pay them a visit around the world, courtesy of World Animal Protection.

1. MandaLao Elephant Conservation (Laos)

World Animal Protection

At MandaLao, you can experience an intimate non-riding experience focused on education and elephant welfare. Walk in the jungle with rescued elephants and learn how they communicate with people.

Book your visit here.

2. Elephant Valley (Thailand)

World Animal Protection

As Chiang Rai’s first sanctuary, Elephant Valley is made up of 40 acres of lush habitat for their six resident elephants to live independently and behave naturally in a stress-free environment.

Book a visit here.

3. Mahouts Elephant Foundation’s Walking with Elephants (Thailand)

World Animal Protection

At Walking with Elephants, visitors get the unique experience of observing elephants in their natural habitat, foraging for food, wallowing in mud and wrestling and playing. You also get to camp with the Karen Hill Tribe (indigenous tribal people) and experience elephants at a safe and respectful distance.

Book your visit here.

4. BLES (Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary) (Thailand)

World Animal Protection

BLES is known as a safe haven for abused elephants that have been rescued from situations of daily brutality and distress which they experience when forced to carry out elephant rides and other forms of tourist entertainment. Visitors can accompany the 14 resident elephants on walks, gather food for them and camp in the jungle.

Book your visit here.

5. Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge (Nepal)

World Animal Protection

Here, visitors can experience daily life in a Nepalese village and meet the 14 resident domestic elephants. From following them to the grasslands where their keepers (mahouts) cut and collect grass to feed them, to accompanying them on walks in the jungle.

Book your visit here.