The Inspiration

Travels to my Elephant is inspired by Elephant Family’s late founder and passionate conservationist, Mark Shand, and his best-selling book, Travels on my Elephant, which tells the story of Mark’s 1,000-mile journey across India with an Asian Elephant, Tara.

Mark rescued Tara in 1988 from a life of begging and misery on the streets of India. Their adventures together inspired him to write his best-selling book and create Elephant Family – now the UK’s biggest funder for the endangered Asian elephant.

Mark’s philosophy was simple: make people smile, and then ask for help. Travels to my Elephant aims to do just that.

Watch Mark’s  journey from adventurer to conservationist

“Twenty-five years have passed since this meeting with an elephant whom I called Tara. It was a meeting that was to change my life- a life which, although filled with adventure and fun, had been going nowhere. Through Tara, I found a real purpose, more than that – a passion. If it hadn’t been for my love affair with Tara, God knows where I’d be.”

Excerpt from Travels on my Elephant by Mark Shand

Elephant Family Achievements

Elephant Family

On 1st September 2002 Elephant Family was officially registered and a new charity was born. Since then Elephant Family has raised over £10 million to support Asian elephant conservation.

Kerala elephant corridor

A 2200 acre wildlife corridor has been secured in Kerala, India, providing a lifeline between two protected areas for 6,500 elephants, the world’s largest single population of Asian elephants.


Palm oil labelling

In partnership with a number of organisations Elephant Family’s successful campaign ‘Clear Labels, Not Forests’ motivated thousands of people to petition the European Union resulting in new legislation for palm oil labelling.

Wild elephant smuggling

After years of campaigning Elephant Family secured international government support to investigate countries who are part of the illegal trade in live wild elephants.

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