As the World Wildlife Day* pursues its 2017 theme ‘Listen to the Young Voice’, give your itinerant spirit a new lease of life with a wildlife holiday
To state the obvious, an African safari is one of the most varied of all wildlife experiences. Responsible Travel, an online travel agency, recommends going for a classic jeep safari in East Africa or a self-drive holiday in South Africa and Namibia. You could opt for a Big Five – lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and black rhino – bush walk with an expert guide or in a pole dugout canoe along the Okavango Delta.
Although tourism poses a significant threat to the delicate ecosystem of Galapagos, this is a must-visit destination for all wildlife enthusiasts. The animals are endemic to the island and, interestingly, are used to the presence of tourists, which makes it easy to photograph them without being intrusive. Snorkelers can also find interesting spots from the beaches.
If bear watching is on your bucket list, why not go on an Arctic cruise to see polar bears, which have become iconic symbols of climate change? Make it into a responsible holiday for the family by doing your bit to minimise environmental impacts and help conserve the creatures. You could enjoy the wild polar bear experience with wildlife experts, researchers and conservationists.
Visit Serengeti for the safari of a lifetime at one of its national parks (Serengeti National Park in Tanzania) and other game reserves. It hosts the largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world and is renowned for its large lion population; it is home to 70 large mammal and 500 bird species. The Great Migration herds typically inhabit the Serengeti from November to June/July, but you will not be disappointed at any time of the year as the region offers year-round game viewing.
Jim Corbett National Park
India’s Jim Corbett National Park, a part of the larger Corbett Tiger Reserve, is well known for its tigers. It has become a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts with its healthy population of tigers, as well as the rare species like Otters and the endemic fish eating crocodile. A visit to Dhikala is prescribed if you are looking to enjoy some scenic delights alongside the abundance of wildlife present. It is also a haven for bird watchers with more than 650 species of resident and migratory birds. Avail the option to stay overnight in the park and increase your chance of spotting tigers.
A holiday in Rwanda cannot be complete without gorilla watching at the safari in Volcanoes National Park; it is the most famous of Rwanda’s three parks. Watching mountain gorillas is described as the most life changing of all wildlife experiences; you could indulge your itinerant spirit with guided gorilla trekking safaris in Rwanda and Uganda. For a more traditional safari, visit the Akagera National Park, which has its share of wildlife opportunities, but has remained popular for its beautiful scenery.
Rainforests in Madagascar
Madagascar’s popularity may have spiralled following the release of Madagascar, a computer-animated film, and the sequels, but wildlife enthusiasts have been flocking the rainforests of the Atsinanana, Madagascar for its diverse and rich ecosystem. There are six national parks in Madagascar and in each of the parks visitors could see as many as ten different types of lemur.
* World Wildlife Day 2017 encourages youth around the world to rally together to address ongoing major threats to wildlife including habitat change, over-exploitation or illicit trafficking. Youth are the agents of change.