Lonely Planet does not recommend travellers take elephant rides. Our guidebook content is produced in accordance with our editorial guidelines, which state: "Lonely Planet does not condone animal cruelty. We do not promote elephant rides and/or shows." In order to be a responsible information provider we ensure that sufficient information is provided to allow our readers to understand why they should not ride elephants. Omitting all mentions of elephant rides could see travellers unknowingly cause harm to the animals because they do not understand that the practice is harmful. In instances where it is necessary to include points of interest offering elephant rides - for example, any large tourist attractions that we expect travelers will visit and encounter the opportunity to ride elephants - we include an explanation of the reasons elephant rides are not recommended.
While we recognise that Lonely Planet content has included references to riding elephants in dated guidebooks, Lonely Planet today strives to promote responsible travel and regularly revisit our editorial principles and content. We regularly conduct content assessments to ensure all Lonely Planet writers are adhering to our policies and act on any that do not meet the standard that Lonely Planet expects.
All guidebook content created by Lonely Planet today fully reflects this position and we also strive to provide information for travellers to interact ethically with elephants, either through articles offering advice, or the listing of specific attraction (see links below):