Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Elephant Safari Dos and Don'ts

The following lists of elephant safaris tourism “Dos and Don’ts” were developed by Dr Deepani Jayantha together with the participants of the October 2010 workshop held in conjunction with Jetwing Travel and the Department of Wildlife Conservation. They were specifically developed for the Sri Lankan situation, but the general principles can be applied to most safari / photo tourism activities. The lists are not comprehensive, but address the most common and most disruptive problems encountered in the experience of the workshop participants.


  1. Learn and obey the rules and regulations of the national park
  2. Make sure your safari vehicle is in good running condition
  3. Always follow the instructions given by the accompanying wildlife guard / safari guide
  4. Stay inside the vehicle throughout the safari
  5. Leave enough space (20-25 metres minimum) between the vehicle and elephants before stopping
  6. Learn something from the safari trip about elephant ecology and conservation
  7. Appreciate the jeep driver and the accompanying staff if they completed the elephant watching safari responsibly :-)


  1. Don't use alcohol and drugs in the national park and make sure your jeep driver and the accompanying staff are not on alcohol or drugs
  2. Don't overload the jeep – 10 tourists is manageable
  3. Don't encourage speeding – 25km/hr is the recommended speed inside the national parks
  4. No off-road driving!
  5. Don't drive into elephant herds and don't block their movements
  6. Never raise the engine when the elephants are around
  7. Don't shout or scream while watching elephants – silence is rewarding!
  8. No tipping for close-up shots of elephants
  9. Never encourage the jeep driver and the accompanying staff to rush between locations inside the park for elephant viewing opportunities
Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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