Napal Safari Ends Elephant Rides

Nepal’s Chitwan National Park is well known for it’s successful animal conservation and anti-poaching patrols.The park attracts tourists all over the world and for years the most popular safari in the area by far has been to explore this region on elephant back. Although this is a picture many see as commonplace, many do not realize on these safaris elephants often carry up to eight people, a load much too heavy and leaving sores on their backs.

Over the last several years over 100 high profile travel operators have stopped offering excursions featuring this practice and TripAdvisor stopped any mention or promotion of elephant rides in 2016. Tiger Tops Elephant camp is now offering a more humane alternative that will actually allow you to have a more meaningful experience with the elephants. With the help of Elephant Aid International, the mahouts no longer use bull hooks, sticks, or chains on the elephants. They are allowed to wander freely in large paddocks and travelers have the chance to interact with the herd. The mahouts still ride them to offer direction while travelers walk alongside as part of the herd, feeding and even camping with them overnight.

This allows for a much deeper connection between the elephants and travelers, they are no longer just a mode of transportation but instead a more natural interactive experience. Tiger Tops Elephant camp hopes other lodges in the area will follow their lead and they can be a model for change. Eventually they hope Nepal as a country bans the practice completely.