Animal welfare

To us, travel is as much about seeing new places as it is about admiring the wildlife that live there

Whether you’re spotting giant tortoises in the Galapagos or going on a gorilla safari with an expert guide in Uganda, our wildlife trips take you closer to nature. But never at the expense of the animals you’re there to see.

Our trips offer an unforgettable chance to observe wild creatures in their natural habitat because we believe that wild animals should be viewed doing what they do best: living in the wild. If we visit sanctuaries, we ensure they’re operating in the animals’ best interest with the highest animal welfare and conservation standards possible.

Our stance on elephant welfare

We put a stop to elephant riding on all Intrepid trips a decade ago. At the time, it was a bit of an industry-shaking move.

We partnered with World Animal Protection to commission a study into elephant conditions in countries with widespread elephant riding. The research found over 1300 animals suffering in terrible conditions: taken young from the wild, separated from their family groups, abused with sharp hooks and other tools, chained up at night and denied proper nutrition. It changed the way we operated forever.

Why We Stopped Riding Elephants - Be Kind. Be Intrepid

Why we don’t walk with lions

Lion looking out from a cage
Born to live wild

We don’t pet or walk with lions or cubs on our trips. We believe these experiences are unnatural and stressful for the animals.

That’s why we joined forces with the team at Blood Lions. We signed their Born to Live Wild pledge, which commits to never knowingly working with operators offering lion walks, cub petting or other experiences that continue the cycle of breeding and exploitation in Africa.

The Five Domains of Animal Welfare

We measure animal welfare against the Five Domains – universally accepted pillars established to assess an animal’s physical and mental health and well-being.

Lioness and her cubs in Kenya

Does an animal have access to sufficient, balanced, varied and clean food and water?

Monkey lake in Japan

Is the animal comfortable? We consider things like temperature, space, air, cleanliness and noise.

Working horse in Bhutan

Is the animal free of disease and injury and has a good fitness level?

Elephants playing with dirt in Sri Lanka

Is the animal stimulated through sensory inputs, exploration, foraging, bonding and playing?

Camels in the desert in Jordan
Mental State

Does the animal seem happy? Their mental health should benefit from addressing the four physical domains.

Our Animal Welfare Policy

We teamed up with internationally recognised animal welfare non-profit World Animal Protection to create a policy that guides how we conduct animal experiences and interactions on our trips.

Read the Animal Welfare Policy

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