Gondwana Ecotours is committed to responsible, sustainable ecotourism. Over time, we have embedded procedures and guidelines into our company to reflect this ethos. For example, all of our tours are carbon neutral, and we have committed to promoting responsible ecotourism in our practices such as running low-impact tours and working with local communities. Most recently, we’ve even been recognized for our sustainable travel commitments by Sustainable Jungle.
The latest step we have taken in our responsible travel commitments is to formally develop an animal welfare policy. The policy states how we observe and encounter wildlife and domestic animals on our tours in a safe, responsible way.
One of the thrills of our tours is the chance to experience wildlife and nature in its untamed form. However, we believe this must be done responsibly and safely for both animals and humans.
We offer opportunities for responsible wildlife watching, where guests can observe animals in their natural environment from a suitable distance without interrupting their natural behaviors or disturbing their routines.
Some of our tours offer visits to genuine animal sanctuaries, rehabilitation facilities and rescue centers that have the highest possible standards of animal care. Often these sanctuaries are certified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS).
When we work with partners who have animals in their care, those animals must be provided with the highest possible welfare in line with the Five Domains of Animal Welfare. These include adequate nutrition, an appropriate environment, factors that enable good health, factors that provide engaging behavioral opportunities, and situations that enrich the mental state of the animals.
Gondwana Ecotours also recognizes that the needs of wild animals in particular can never be fully met in captivity, so we never visit or support any places that keep wild animals in captivity.
Animal Welfare and Our Partners
At Gondwana Ecotours, we adhere to strict guidelines when deciding which partners to work with. We choose to work with local partner organizations that have a similar ethos to us—providing incredible experiences in a responsible, safe and sustainable way. We would never promote any of the following activities:
- 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, orangutan boxing;
- Close encounters with big cats, sloths, or primates, tiger selfies, dolphin kissing, or selfies with gorillas. Photo opportunities with wild animals are always done at a safe distance to avoid harming or disturbing animals;
- Watching animals fight or race, or being used in other sport 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, turtle farms;
- Trophy hunting, canned hunting, or sport fishing.
We believe that traveling is one of the best things people can do to learn, grow, and gain new experiences. By working with World Animal Protection, we are helping transition the travel industry towards a wildlife-friendly future. We’d like to thank every Gondwana guest for taking part in positively impacting the destinations we travel to. None of these efforts would be possible without our guests who choose to travel with us.