Responsible tourism and how to NOT support animal abuse

Welcome to Indonesia! While you travel this amazing rich archipelago, please keep in mind that responsible tourism only will enable to preserve the beauty and richness of Indonesian Wildlife and nature.  

Here are some notes:

  • Zoos in Indonesia are badly run and still have animals shows in them. Taman Safari is always most recommended yet Taman Safari still operates the worlds last Dolphin Travel Show/Circus, they also run a circus with wildlife named the ‘Oriental Circus’ in which Chimpanzees, Orangutans and other endangered and precious animals are forced into unnatural behaviors.
  • Therefore we recommend to not visit Indonesian Zoos, unless you are prepared to observe cruelty and then report about it. We beg of you, as action is much needed to change the conditions for the animals confined in Indonesian Zoos, where the basic standards are often not even fulfilled.

But we know everyone wants to see beautiful animals and encounter them so instead, we recommend you to visit the Indonesian National Parks filled with Wildlife such as Gunung Halimun-Salak (Java), Menjangan (Bali), Rinjani (Lombok), Komodo National Park (Flores) where an encounter with animals living in the wild is much more exciting and also has no negative impact on them.

Remember, we are visitors, so we have to respect them and their habitat the fullest and carefully follow the guidelines of the National Park to allow a positive benefit for everyone, the animals included.  Wildlife rescue centers also allow visitors on appointment; this is a great educational trip and also helps the Indonesian wildlife centers to continue their important work.

  • Surely its very tempting to visit the captive dolphins and enable a close encounter with them. But please, for the sake of the dolphins, don’t go. Visit Indonesian Marine parks instead such as Kiluan Bay, Sumatra or the Thousand Islands (Jakarta), Karimun Jawa (central Java), Lovina (Bali) where it is easy to spot dolphins happily in the ocean, where they belong.
  • JAAN can recommend great bird watch tours for you, a list of rescue centers and dolphin watch tours with traditional fishermen. Do contact us: /
  • Report to JAAN when you encounter suffering of animals during your travels.


Why you shouldn’t observing captive Dolphins:

  • It provides a negative economic, environmental, and social impact.
  • It generates no economic benefits for local people (only the businessmen owning the commercial ‘swim with Dolphins’ programs) and doesn’t enhances the well-being of host communities.
  • Does not involve local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances.
  • You are bluntly supporting animal cruelty and encourage more wild Dolphins to be caught from the ocean to be used to make money. If you don’t know the terrors that happens to these innocent Dolphins, Click here to read more.

In Lovina, Bali, the Melka Hotel keeps captive dolphins, tourists can visit this facility instead of supporting the local fishermen community who could take tourists out to see dolphins in the wild; 

  • Does not makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world’s diversity; Captive dolphins you visit in Indonesia were all wild caught, ripping the families of dolphins away from each other and having a huge impact on the population of wild dolphins as dolphins die an early death in captivity as well
  • Does not provide more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues; Visiting captive dolphins does not bring any educational value at all. Tourists wont learn and understand anything of importance about dolphins as dolphins in captivity life a miserable life from every angle
  • Is not safe for people involved ; people who pay to go Swimming with captive dolphins are in real risk of getting harassed and even raped (in 2014 JAAN received 12 reports from tourists visiting Melka Hotel alone about the lonely male who was trying to attack any female entering the pool; which is not strange as this male is lonely and is a warm blooded mammal, just like us. The dolphins in Keramas, Bali even had their teeth removed by the owner of the commercial resort to prevent the dolphins from being able to ‘bite’ the tourists. That’s the ultimate limit of cruelty to animals happening right here in Indonesia.