It's easy to fall into the temptation of riding an elephant.
These are magnificent, powerful, grand creatures! Man has been fascinated by them from the beginning of time, for their beauty goes beyond boundaries. Unfortunately, this admiration for the wild world has gotten mixed and confused with a tourism industry that, consciously or unconsciously, harms animals in a pretty serious way.
For you to ride an elephant, they must be captured and trained. In order to subject them completely to men's will, they are deprived of food, water, and social contact with other elephants. They are continually beaten with hooks and whips on the ears, head, and feet, so they will learn to have fear and to obey. They have limited mobility and rests, and their training is not over until the soul of the elephant is completely broken, as dictated by the traditional Thai method.
This practice started in Asia (kingdom of fear for species like the elephant or the tiger), but the "exotic activities" demand and the increasing tourism in Africa has made elephant trekking and safaris expand all over the continent at a breakneck speed.