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Our Policy on Wildlife Projects and Sanctuaries

Selective Asia is committed to the protection of wild animals by supporting the protection of habitats, ensuring ethical care, and encouraging education.

In an ideal world, all touristic wildlife experiences would be just that – wild. Sadly, many natural habitats have been reduced to the point where they cannot support completely wild populations without human intervention, such as rehabilitation programmes and support for breeding animals. Worse, a number of wildlife experiences are run by people who prioritise profit and visitor numbers over animal welfare. This is why we are committed to ensuring that all our wildlife experiences are fully responsible , with no grey areas.

We find that this can be an emotive subject, and rightly so. We hope, therefore, that a transparent policy will help you make an informed decision about whether or not to include a wildlife experience in your own holiday.


We removed all experiences that offer elephant rides some time ago, as we have seen evidence that these are fundamentally harmful to the elephants, and only benefit the tourist. We do offer several experiences where you can observe elephants, both in the wild and in camps where their welfare is put first, and the focus is on research, education and conversation.

We dedicate a lot of time to research within our destinations. We're in constant contact with our partners on the ground, and always take seriously the feedback we receive from our clients. Our selection and audit criteria are comprehensive; put simply, their end result is that we offer experiences where animal welfare is the prime consideration, and the provider can tangibly demonstrate that venues are truly animal-friendly. We work with a very small number of elephant organisations, all of which focus on education, welfare and conservation. Our managing director has personally visited all but one of these, and both our UK and local teams visit the organisations on a constant basis.

We regularly (on average, annually) carry out an extensive audit of our wildlife programmes. This assesses the experience of our staff whilst “on the ground”, our local partners, and comments we receive from clients. In the past, this had led to several changes to our programme, along with identifying camps and experiences with which we would never do business in the first place.

For our wild experiences, we ensure that the operator behaves responsibly in the ways detailed above, and that the wellbeing of wildlife and protection of the natural habitat are at the heart of everything they offer. For camps, lodges and sanctuaries, the criteria are more complex. In summary, we look for: responsible sourcing of animals; on-going welfare of animals; a focus on education and conservation, not tourism or entertainment; a commitment to local communities; and independent accreditation by the foremost international animal welfare authorities.

We believe that this is a personal decision, and we know that many of you are passionate about animal welfare. Should you want a wildlife experience, we have done everything we can to ensure that we only offer those providing the highest standards. The world changes quickly, and sadly there will always be unscrupulous people out there, so our monitoring is stringent, on-going and non-negotiable. Ultimately, the natural world is irreplaceable, and we believe that experiences and education, delivered ethically and responsibly, are incredibly powerful tools for protecting it. We feel that our approach is the best way to help ensure the welfare of animals, support local communities, promote awareness, and identify and report those who abuse their position.

If we’re not entirely confident that a wildlife experience adheres to the highest ethical standards, we simply won’t include it in our programme. We would also report anything of concern that comes to our attention to the necessary authorities.