Responsible Tourism and Animal Encounters

At Khiri Travel, we believe that viewing wild animals in their natural habitat is the best way to experience the incredible biodiversity Asia still has to offer. However, when not managed responsibly, wildlife encounters have the potential to harm animal welfare and conservation efforts.

Off the beaten track - Deer - Sri Lanka

Potential negative effects of poorly or inappropriately managed animal encounters can include the disruption to a wild animal’s normal patterns of activity, which would include feeding behavior and breeding success. An example of a negative impact would be when wildlife viewing becomes overly intrusive. A degradation or change in natural habitat can also lead to an animal’s increased vulnerability to predators and an increase in competition between species. Zoonosis, disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans, can also be a serious issue. Lastly, accidental injury and killing of wild animals can be a serious consequence of poorly managed human animal interaction.

Other seemingly less serious environmental impacts include poor waste management in natural areas, trampling of vegetation and irresponsible construction. Safety of visitors in natural habitat can also be an issue if there is feeding of wild animals and humans are allowed to get too close to certain animals.

With all animal encounter experiences, Khiri Travel believes that contact between wild animals and travelers should be actively discouraged and the right distance should be maintained for both the safety of visitors and the animals concerned. Suppliers should have all the correct permits and licenses, while ensuring that appropriately trained guides accompany travelers at all times. Additionally, it is essential that the size of groups and their activities do not affect the natural behavior of the wild animals. In order to ensure customer health and safety, there must be effective communication on how to view wildlife responsibly for both staff and visitors. This also helps ensure minimal environmental impacts in wildlife viewing destinations.

Managed responsibly, wildlife encounters can contribute to the conservation of threatened species and their habitat. With this in mind, we have put together a list of acceptable animal encounters per country that we recommend in our destinations. You can find these lists via the links below:

For questions regarding the Khiri Travel wildlife encounters policy and other responsible tourism topics, please contact [email protected].