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South Africa News: Botswana Stops Elephant-Back Ride As Tourist Activities; Abu Camp Implements ‘Respectful Forms Of Interaction’

Travelers Today       By    Jovie Lyn Alejandro

Updated: Dec 16, 2016 08:52 PM EST

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Botswana holds a vast number of the greatest safaris in the world. Situated in the continent of Southern Africa, this crown jewel is defined by the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta. The abundance of its natural resources became a home of a lot of animals including rhinos, cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes, exotic birds, aquatic antelopes and wild dogs.

This country takes wildlife adventures on a higher level, it is a known sanctuary of the most number of elephants compared to other nations. This mammal became one of its trademarks in terms of tourist attraction. Botswana is perceived as the international custodian of the African elephant and has the planet's greatest herds.

In Asia, there are countries that train elephants to transport tourist as part of their tour package and they are also taught how to paint to able to entertain guests. In Africa, the first commercial elephant rides happened in Zimbabwe in the late 1990s and soon became contiguous throughout the region. According to statistics reported in Traveller24, there are currently 39 commercial elephant sites, managing estimated 215 captive elephants. More than half of these or at least 25 offers elephant rides and seven are forcing these animals to do tricks for tourists as entertainment.

2017 will be a more animal-friendly year for the country because from the end of this month, Botswana will no longer allow elephant rides. The plan is related to a new government policy that will help improve the wellbeing of elephants in captivity. Minister of Environment TK Khama guided the directive. According to the NGO World Animal Protection, most travelers go on elephant rides because they appreciate and love them but they are unaware of the physical and psychological discomfort felt by the carrier. In obedience with the new order,  Abu Camp, the only facility in the country that offers such ride agreed to follow the directives. The company released a press release saying, "Following an extensive review of its programme and in compliance with recent government directives, as of 31 December 2016, Abu Camp will no longer allow guests to ride elephants. The camp will continue to focus its programme on respectful, less intrusive forms of elephant interaction and education ... including its immersive walking-based experience."

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

Tags
Botswana , Southern Africa , Southern Africa News , travel , travel news , Animal Welfare , Kalahari Desert , Okavango Delta , Elephant-Back Ride , Elephant
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