Animal Welfare Policy

Wildlife has a right to a wild life.

Activities with animals are a huge draw for travellers. (if you’ve never seen a lion of course you’ll want to see one in South Africa.) But how can you tell if you’re seeing wildlife responsibly? Just keep this in mind: wild animals can’t be “tamed” without cruelty.

Protecting animals isn’t just a one-day initiative for us, it’s an every day commitment. To allow our travellers to enjoy the incredible wildlife that we share our world with and protect these animals, we worked with The Jane Goodall Institute, World Animal protection, and The World Cetacean Alliance to create our Animal Welfare Policy to ensure all activities we offer involving animals never exploit wildlife.

Quick tips to help protect animals while travelling

Don't harass animals for photos


Photograph wildlife in the wild and while respecting their space. Don’t support businesses charging for photos with animals.

Help keep animals safe in their natural habitats

Animal care (sanctuaries or work animals)

Sometimes you’ll see animals in sanctuaries or encounter those that are bred for work (horses, donkeys, etc.). If you are in doubt that these animals are well cared for, report it immediately. If you’re on a G Adventures tour please report this to as soon as possible so we can investigate.

Look but don't touch wild animals

Look but don’t touch

Wild animals aren’t pets looking for belly scratches. Holding or petting wildlife is never kind to the animal despite your best intentions.

Don't feed wild animals


Feeding wild animals harms their ability to find food naturally and teaches them to get dangerously close to humans.

Do not ride wild animals, such as elephants

Riding elephants

Elephants are wild animals and can’t be “tamed” without cruel treatment. Don’t try to ride them or visit businesses that offer this activity.

Learn more

Animal Welfare Policy

To view the full policy, download the PDF to learn more. Generally, if you consider how unsafe or traumatic some activities would be if the animal was out in the wild, it will help you start to observe if an animal is behaving naturally. If not, it’s likely cruelty has been involved so the animal will behave this way. Remember, wildlife has a right to a wild life. Download our Animal Welfare Policy.

What you should do while travelling

  • Do enjoy wild animals in their natural surroundings, rather than in captivity, wherever possible
  • Do visit genuine sanctuaries and conservation centres
  • Do avoid activities that involve obvious animal cruelty, like bullfighting, bear baiting, or crocodile wrestling
  • Do only ride domesticated animals such as horses, donkeys, or camels and only if the animal looks well cared for
  • Do respect natural habitats by keeping them litter free and causing as little disturbance as possible

What you should not do while travelling

  • Don’t handle, touch, or have any close contact with wild animals (even those in captivity)
  • Don’t feed wild animals
  • Don’t support the use of animals for soliciting money (snake charming or posing for selfies)
  • Don’t visit any attraction offering performances or shows involving wild animals
  • Don’t consume any endangered species, buy souvenirs made from their body parts, or purchase products that involve cruelty (civet coffee or snake wine)

Thank you to our partners who helped us create our Animal Welfare Policy.

World Cetacean Alliance
World Animal Protection
Jane Goodall Institute