How to recognise a good venue

If you're planning on visiting a venue with elephants, use this guide so you can spot the difference between good and not so good.

Top five things to avoid

  1. Avoid venues that are hands-on with the elephants. Generally, the less hands-on the staff and especially visitors are, the more freedom the elephants have.

  2. Avoid venues that offer riding or bathing - unless they are on our recommended venue list.

  3. Please don't visit venues where elephants perform (i.e. riding bikes, painting, circus tricks, playing football) or are made to pose for photos with tourists. 

  4. Be wary of venues claiming "no riding, no chains, no hooks". Venue owners are aware that Westerners frown upon such things, but riding is often on offer if requested, elephants will likely be chained at some point, and bull-hooks or hidden nails may be used when tourists' backs are turned. 

  5. Be wary of reviews or ratings on review sites - there have been instances of bad reviews being removed and fake good reviews being written. If you do read reviews, also read the 1 and 2 star reviews. 

If you visit a venue that has elephants, please complete our survey so we can continue to educate other tourists. 

Tap on the images below to find out what to ask your guide, local contact, or travel agent to ensure the venue you're visiting is striving to provide adequate care. These nine questions can be applied to any venue, anywhere in the world.

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