Whether African or Asian, elephants around the world are revered for their majesty, intelligence, and as an example of astonishing sensitivity in one of the world’s largest creatures.
Seeing elephants in their natural setting remains a touchstone of travel for many who have African safaris on their bucket lists.
August 12th is World Elephant Day, which celebrates these magnificent creatures. It also asks people the world over to come together to conserve elephant habitats in the wild, and protect them from threats to their survival.
In addition, it’s a reminder for travelers fascinated with elephants to commit to experiencing them in non-exploitative and sustainable scenarios so they thrive - and are not abused while under human care for the entertainment of paying tourists.
One travel company is highlighting the role of travel in protecting elephants – and is trying to be part of the solution.
The Travel Corporation (TTC) is parent company of Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold, Red Carnation Hotels, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, Trafalgar Tours, African Travel, Inc. and many more.
TTC also created the TreadRight Foundation, with a mission to “MAKE TRAVEL MATTER” for the planet we call home, the people its guests visit, wildlife, and guests. It has partnered with more than 55 projects in 26 countries in destinations TTC travel companies visit.
Nat Geo Filmmaker and TreadRight’s Wildlife Ambassador, Ami Vitale, is helping orphaned elephants through a new documentary short film, ‘Shaba’.
‘Shaba’ shares with viewers the ground-breaking work of Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in Kenya. It’s the first Indigenous owned and run sanctuary for orphaned elephants to rehabilitate them back into the wild.
“At the Reteti Elephant Rescue in Kenya, a sanctuary dear to my heart, I’ve had the honor of documenting a story from the beginning in 2016, when their first matriarch named Shaba arrived,” Vitale says about her film.
“This MAKE TRAVEL MATTER Experience provides guests the opportunity to visit the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, which takes in orphaned and abandoned elephant calves, rehabilitates them and eventually releases them back into the wild.
“The experience allows travelers to connect with and learn from the keepers of the sanctuary, who are all from the local community and formally trained in the care of the elephant calves. Through these opportunities, livelihoods are improving, and wildlife is returning, proving that wildlife and humanity can work in harmony to provide support to the populations that occupy nature’s magnificent ecosystems.”
WATCH THE TRAILER TO ‘SHABA’ ABOVE
At a virtual pre-screening of ‘Shaba,’ hosted by Lion World Travel and African Travel, Inc. for travel writers, the TreadRight Foundation donated ticket fees totalling $2,525 USD to the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary. This donation will help fund milk mixture for baby elephants, and veterinarian and medical bills for all the elephants at the Sanctuary.
If you dream of a future with elephants in the wild to inspire future generations of travelers, ‘Shaba’ is a film you don’t want to miss – or miss supporting.
You can learn more about Reteti Elephant Sanctuary and watch the entire film by clicking here. Ticket purchases are donations to the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary.