Gondwana Ecotours' Animal Welfare Policy


Gondwana Ecotours is committed to responsible tourism and protecting animals that are impacted by the travel industry. We have developed this animal welfare policy to clearly state how we observe and encounter domestic animals and wildlife on our tours.
Gondwana Ecotours believes that all animals should be respected for their intrinsic value and that the best way to experience animals while traveling is by seeing them in the wild. When under human care, both domesticated and non-domesticated (wild) animals, must have ‘a good life’ by enjoying good physical and mental health.

The conditions they are provided must favor positive experiences over negative ones within an environment that encourages making choices and enables them to express the widest possible range of natural behaviors.

Gondwana Ecotours only works with suppliers if the animals under their care are provided with the highest possible welfare in line with the Five Domains of Animal Welfare:

  1. Nutrition – factors that involve the animal’s access to sufficient, balanced, varied and clean food and water.
  2. Environment – factors that enable comfort through temperature, substrate, space, air, odour, noise and predictability.
  3. Health – factors that enable good health through the absence of disease, injury, impairment and good fitness level.
  4. Behavior – factors that provide varied, novel and engaging environmental challenges through sensory inputs, exploration, foraging, bonding, playing, retreating and others.
  5. Mental State – by presenting positive situations in the previous four functional domains, the mental state of the animal should benefit from predominantly positive states, such as pleasure, comfort or vitality, while reducing negative states such as fear, frustration, hunger, pain or boredom.

Our Guidelines

At Gondwana Ecotours, we never patronize or promote venues and/or activities that offer travelers any of the following experiences:
Close interaction with wild animals, such as touching or riding, including but not limited to elephant riding and bathing, swimming with dolphins or walking with lions.
Watching wild animal performances, including but not limited to dolphin shows, circuses, and orangutan boxing.
Photo opportunities with wild animals are always done at a safe distance to avoid harming or disturbing animals. We never participate in or condone behaviors such as close encounters with big cats, sloths, or primates, tiger selfies, dolphin kissing, or selfies with gorillas, and so on.
Watching animals fight or race, or being used in other sports or cultural events that cause animals to suffer or die, including but not limited to bullfighting and running, crocodile wrestling, dog fighting, rodeo, elephant polo, and horse racing.
Visiting facilities where captive wild animals are bred and kept for commercial products, including but not limited to crocodile farms, civet coffee farms, bear bile farms, and turtle farms.
Engaging in trophy hunting, canned hunting, or sport fishing.
When not in conflict with any of the above guidelines Gondwana Ecotours does offer and/or promotes the following venues and activities where our guests can experience animals:

  1. Genuine animal sanctuaries, rehabilitation facilities and rescue centers that have the highest possible standards of animal care. E.g. sanctuaries certified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) or elephant venues following World Animal Protection’s Elephant-Friendly venue guidelines.
  2. Responsible, wildlife watching where a visitor can observe animals in their natural environment from a suitable distance without interrupting their natural behaviors or disturbing their routines. E.g. whale watching experiences certified by the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA).

    To join us in traveling ethically and responsibly, check out our various tours.