11 Top Things To Keep in Mind On Your Wildlife Tour
An undeniable reality: mankind has disrupted our ecosystem – both on land and in the seas – in countless ways. Climate change, pollution, and global warming are just a few of the causes. But it’s time to acknowledge that merely pointing out our mistakes is no longer enough. Now is the critical moment to step forward and become responsible stewards of our environment and its magnificent inhabitants. What are some of the top things to keep in mind on your wildlife tour? We present to you nine indispensable methods that serve as a comprehensive guide during a wildlife tour to help you become a conscientious wildlife traveler.
11 Tips for Responsible Wildlife Tourism
Let’s find below some of the top things to keep in mind on your wildlife tour:
1. Avoid wild animals
It is important to acknowledge that while some animals may appear mischievous, it does not guarantee their safety to interact closely with them, take selfies or feed them. In fact, such actions can potentially harm both humans and wildlife. By avoiding close encounters and refraining from taking pictures and selfies, we can reduce the risk of endangering species and protect their well-being.
2. Follow the selfie code
In 2017, an organization called World Animal Protection initiated the Wildlife Selfie Code. Its purpose was to encourage social media users to pledge against taking selfies with animals. The Wildlife Selfie Code emphasizes that forced selfies, which involve holding, hugging, restraining, or baiting animals, simply for the sake of a photo, should be avoided. A more correct approach is animal observation, without interfering with their lifestyle. This greatly reduces the threat to the animal population.
3. Prepare for the journey
Before you go on a trip into the wild, you need to carefully prepare. It’s good practice to watch all the BBC’s about the region. Don’t worry if you don’t have access to a streaming service. Try BBC iPlayer VPN which unblocks the service for you regardless of your actual region of residence. To do this, you need a good VPN provider, such as VeePN, which can fool the BBC and offer a fairly fast server.
4. Stick to observation-only experiences
Issues of maltreatment and exploitation often arise in hands-on encounters and animal entertainment. For ethical purposes, it is best to avoid engaging in such activities. Instead, opt for observation-only experiences in which you can observe animals from a distance without causing any disruption. Choose from the numerous ethical safaris available, where you can witness animals in their natural habitats, engaging in their natural behaviors. These experiences provide a more authentic encounter, as the animals are not trained and are free to exhibit their natural behavior in the wild.
5. Be against Elephant Safari
Riding elephants or any other animals for amusement is not a recommended activity. Animals are not naturally intended to be ridden by humans. They are captured from the wild and forced into inadequate care and harsh training techniques. Consequently, they frequently sustain injuries while carrying individuals. It is of utmost importance to be a responsible traveler and refrain from endorsing instances of animal cruelty such as these.
6. Resist the urge to feed wildlife
Feeding wildlife might seem tempting and harmless at first, as a way to interact with animals. However, it can lead to serious consequences. When wild animals rely on humans for food, they may choose the easier option rather than hunting or foraging for their natural sources of sustenance. If this behavior becomes a habit, it can have negative effects on their overall well-being.
7. Make your trip educational
Feeding wildlife may seem appealing and harmless, providing a way to connect with animals. However, it can lead to significant repercussions. When wild animals become reliant on human-provided food, they may choose the path of least resistance instead of hunting or foraging for their natural food sources. If this behavior becomes a habit, it can have detrimental effects.
8. Shop for souvenirs responsibly
In certain parts of the world, one might come across souvenirs crafted from endangered animals or habitats such as coral, seashells, elephant tusks, and sea turtle shells. This presents a valuable opportunity to take action through responsible consumerism. By refraining from purchasing these souvenirs, individuals can help drive a shift in the market demand for such items. This indirect yet significant contribution aids in fostering responsible wildlife tourism.
9. Check reviews before booking
Before booking any wildlife or animal experience, it is imperative to thoroughly check the reviews for the tour operator, sanctuary, or organization you are interested in. These reviews can offer a wealth of valuable information. Pay close attention to the 1 and 2-star reviews as they often reveal any potential red flags raised by previous visitors. These negative reviews can serve as a valuable resource to help you make an informed decision.
10. Give respect to the local cultures
When visiting the wild, it is equally important to show love and respect not only for the animals but also for the people and their culture. Avoid behaving disrespectfully towards their religious and cultural traditions, dressing inappropriately, or being loud. Additionally, consider hiring a local guide and purchasing their products to contribute to the local communities while enjoying your eco-friendly trip.
11. Opt for local transport to travel
One of the fundamental principles of responsible tourism is the preference for local transportation instead of flights. Choosing eco-friendly public modes of travel, like buses or trains, is a crucial aspect of the ‘slow travel’ concept, enabling tourists to engage more profoundly with a specific destination. By minimizing your carbon footprint, not only do you contribute to the preservation of wildlife and nature, but you also develop a deeper reverence for the natural environment.
Engaging in wildlife tourism ethically is indeed possible. The most recommended approach is to choose wildlife tourism experiences that focus solely on observation. It is advisable to conduct thorough research beforehand to make informed decisions about tourism options. Furthermore, it is highly recommended to provide financial support to reputable organizations and tour operators. Lastly, when sharing social media posts about wildlife tourism, it is important to do so thoughtfully and responsibly.