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TRAVEL RESPONSIBLY

African Travel  and our partners take wildlife protection seriously. We are here to guide you in the best ways to experience Africa's animals ethically and responsibily.  

ANIMAL WELFARE POLICY

In cooperation with our partner World Animal Protection, we are pleased to support a tourism industry free of animal cruelty. All wildlife experiences across The Travel Corporation (TTC) and its family of brands must adhere to TreadRight’s policy, which is based on the Five Domains of Animal Welfare.

NUTRITION

Factors that involve the animal’s access to sufficient, balanced, varied and clean food and water.

MENTAL OR AFFECTIVE 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.

ENVIRONMENT

Factors that enable comfort through temperature, substrate, space, air, odor, noise and predictability.

HEALTH

Factors that enable good health through absence of disease, injury, impairment and good fitness level.

BEHAVIOR

Factors that provide varied, novel and engaging environmental challenges through sensory inputs, exploration, foraging, bonding, playing, retreating and others.

Keep up with how we #MakeTravelMatter TreadRight.org All wildlife experiences across The Travel Corporation (TTC) and its family of brands must adhere to Tread-Right’s policy, which is based on the Five Domains of Animal Welfare.

 

WHILE ON SAFARI

Poachers are now using unsuspecting tourists to hunt their prey. While on safari, tourists post photos of animals to social media sites, not realizing that embedded within the post or the photo is a geo-tag containing the GPS location of the photo or poster. This allows poachers to track animals of value. Here are some tips on how to keep your posts private and remove any geo-tags, just go into your phones settings to turn off your GPS location.  We want to ensure that our guests have a magical experience, while preserving this wonderful continent. 

iPhone: Settings > Privacy > Locations Services. You can turn off Location Services entirely or just on your phone’s camera.

Android: Settings > Geotags disable. OR Settings > Locations > Tap on the green button to turn off tracking completely. 

Twitter: Geotagging will only be turned on in the app on your phone if you have done so manually in the settings menu under Privacy > Location Services. If posting from a computer click on the gear icon in the right corner and go to settings to check privacy settings.

Facebook: Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Facebook > Select ‘Never’. Within the Facebook application, tap the menu in the top right-hand corner. Go to Account settings > Tap location > Disable location history. 

Instagram: Settings > Private Account is ON, and only people you approve can see your photos/videos. When posting a photo, do not < Add Location.

Pinterest: Click on your profile picture and select Settings to see what the public can view, who can search for you and what if any social networks you have associated with your account.
 

DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN DOMESTIC AND WILD ANIMALS

Domestic animals have been selectively bred over many generations for specific traits that make them better suited to living alongside humans. Because of this, with the right care and conditions they are able to live with humans in captivity without suffering. Domesticated animals may include dogs, horses, donkeys and camels, among others.

Wild animals have not been domesticated and flourish in their natural environment with room to roam. These animals are observed without being enclosed, for example on safaris, or in their natural habitat.

 

UNACCEPTABLE PRACTICES

The Travel Corporation and its family of brands view the following types of practices unacceptable and will not offer them as part of our tours and activities, either as inclusions or as optionals:

  • Any activity involving animals performing for entertainment or other human interests (ie. elephant, whale, orca or dolphin show, animal circus). 
  • Any activity involving animals that were purchased, traded, bred or held captive for the purposes of tourism.
  • Any activity involving riding or sitting on wild animals (ie. elephant, dolphin or ostrich rides).
  • Any activity involving walking with big cats.
  • Any type of sport or trophy hunting.
  • Consuming meat or other products from endangered or threatened animals (ie. shark, tiger, puffin, sea turtle etc.)
  • Baiting animals for entertainment or to lure them into closer view.
  • Any activity that supports the breeding, display and trade of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) for entertainment.
  • Any activity involving the use of animals for fights (bullfights, cockfights, crocodile wrestling, bear baiting).

 

RIDING ANIMALS

We will not offer opportunities for our guests to ride wild animals under any circumstances, including elephants, ostriches, big cats and dolphins.

On our tours there may be opportunities for guests to ride domesticated animals such as horses, camels, donkeys etc.

In such opportunities, our teams must ensure:

  • Facilities possess all relevant licenses.
  • Working animals are kept under acceptable conditions that meet the Five Domains of Animal Welfare.
  • Working animals appear in healthy condition, are not overloaded, and have adequate water and rest periods.

 

VIEWING ANIMALS IN THE WILD

Seeing wildlife in their natural habitat or on safari is a thrilling and unique experience each time.

To protect our wildlife, our guides will ensure that guests:

  • Maintain a respectful distance from wild animals and create minimal noise so as to not disrupt natural behaviours.
  • Do not touch, feed, chase, or harass wild animals (with the exception of wild birds where supervised feeding may take place).
  • Do not take wildlife selfies that encourage close encounters with wildlife.

 

SANCTUARIES & REHABILITATION CENTERS

The Travel Corporation recognizes sanctuaries and rehabilitation centers can play a crucial role in wildlife conservation and education when they serve the right purpose – that which is in the best interest of the animals.

Some itineraries may include visits to wildlife sanctuaries that:

  • Do not use wild animals for entertainment (rides, shows, or tricks).
  • Do not keep wild animals solely to make a profit.
  • Exist to rescue and help animals.

 

ANIMAL WELFARE POLICY

Keep up with how we #MakeTravelMatter, when selecting such an experience, at minimum our teams must answer “yes” to the following questions.

Any animal sanctuary or rehabilitation centre that does not meet these requirements will not be integrated into our tours:

  • Purpose of the facility: Does the facility exist to address a specific problem and is it in the best interest of the animals? (Ie. for rescue, rehabilitation, release programs).
  • Source of the animals: Were the animals sick, injured, orphaned, donated or abandoned when they arrived at the facility?
  • Animal Behaviour: Are the animals able to act and behave naturally?
  • Facility credentials: Are the correct permits and licenses in place?
  • Breeding: If the facility has a breeding program, will the animals bred in captivity be released into their native habitat in the wild?

The following guiding questions are used by our teams to help them assess new wildlife experiences:

  • Are the animals able to behave naturally?
  • Are the animals being coerced or forced to participate in an activity?
  • Are animals negatively affected in any way prior to, during, or after an activity or interaction?
  • Is the sanctuary/rescue center accredited by Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), or recommended by other sanctuary experts such as the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA), the American Sanctuary Association (ASA), or animal welfare experts?
  • Is there a licensed veterinarian accessible to all animals 24/7 and evidence to prove so?
  • Is there an educational component to the experience?

 

QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS

Guests and our teams are encouraged to contact us at animalwelfare@treadright.org if they feel an experience does not meet this Animal Welfare Policy. The African Travel team takes these concerns seriously and will investigate concerns as soon as possible.

 

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