First of all, mountain climbing has environmental impacts. All those people climbing causes soil erosion, it causes habitat destruction to a degree, in heavy use areas.. you almost invariably have garbage and it disrupts the animals in the area.. and at certain times, that can have a significant impact during critical times (like birthing times). In addition.. as someone that has been part of search and rescue.. when mountain climbers get in trouble.. or lost, etc.... they can often put rescuers had significant risk.
By the way... most likely in the region that you were watching elephants... they were likely not hunted and therefore have lost their fear of man and often associate humans and food . That's in large part what makes them such easy targets for poachers that venture into these game parks and makes them nuisances to farmers when they wander out of the reserves protected areas and into farmland.
From the South African rules and regulations:
Enclosures, drugs -- No hunting of an animal which is tranquilized or immobilized
by drugs or trapped against a fence or in a small enclosure where the animal does
not have a fair chance to evade the hunter
o [note: “small enclosure” is not defined]
Its why anyone would want to do such a thing in the first place that I take issue with. In this day and age Its quite barbaric frankly.The same with elephants and giraffes etc. the success rates are not 100%.. and again.. if it was just about killing.. then bull, calf, cow.. would not matter. Yet it does... hunters will pay 50,000 dollars to hunt that big bull. And pass up other bulls, and so on... and they will go home without making a kill, simply because they didn't feel that the bull was big enough. Or that they never got an ethical shot off.