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Hi, I'm William Gray. Welcome to Wildlife Wishlist – my nature travel blog for all lovers of wildlife. As a zoologist, travel writer, photographer and conservationist, I've spent the last 30 years or so tracking down some of the world's best wildlife experiences. It's a work in progress!
My aim is to make this blog wider-ranging than a blue whale and more densely packed than a butterfly migration. I hope you'll dip in to find ideas for your own inspirational wildlife holidays.
You can also use the Wildlife Travel Guide to search for species, holiday types, wildlife travel on each of the continents, plus a directory of top wildlife destinations around the world. The blog highlights environmentally responsible travel operators that support conservation efforts and give local communities an incentive to safeguard wildlife – in the wild, where it belongs.
"Wildlife holidays offer a privileged opportunity to immerse yourself in some of the world’s last remaining wildernesses. And, perhaps most important of all, they can provide a lifeline to the creatures themselves.
By supporting responsible tourism projects that not only have minimal environmental impact, but also put funds back into conservation and benefit local communities, your wildlife holiday can (and should) make a positive contribution."
THE THRILL OF WILDLIFE TRAVEL
You can never predict what, if anything, is going to happen... Whether you’re slip-sliding through a Rwandan jungle in search of gorillas, staking out a salmon-choked stream in Alaska waiting for a hungry grizzly bear, or watching a swarm of mobula rays in the Sea of Cortez, there’s no guarantee you’ll see either. Wildlife travel is supercharged with anticipation. It can also inspire a spectacular array of experiences, from kayaking with whales and tracking big game on foot to scaling a canopy walkway in a tropical rainforest. Deciding where to go and what to see can be a real dilemma.
WHAT MAKES A GREAT WILDLIFE HOLIDAY?
You might have firm ideas of what makes a dream wildlife trip... Perhaps it revolves around a single charismatic species, like a big cat, whale, ape or bear. Or you might be looking for a more general natural history tour that encompasses several habitats and a rich diversity of wildlife. A journey across the Andes, for example, could include everything from alpine desert and cloud forest to river and jungle – each with their unique cast of creatures. Alternatively, you could time your trip to coincide with a wildlife spectacle, such as the Serengeti-Masai Mara wildebeest migration in Kenya and Tanzania or the mass arrival of monarch butterflies in central Mexico. At the other extreme, a fleeting glimpse of a lone orang-utan, jaguar or other rarity can be just as riveting. And for the ultimate adrenaline rush, there are plenty of opportunities for coming face-to-face with some of nature’s top predators, like great white sharks and saltwater crocodiles.
RESPONSIBLE WILDLIFE TRAVEL
Wildlife holidays can sometimes prove frustrating – disappointing even... But more often than not, you will return home feeling enlightened and humbled. Don’t worry too much if the tigers, whales or gorillas elude you. An awareness of the beauty and importance of a wild place can be just as rewarding. Wildlife holidays offer a privileged opportunity to immerse yourself in some of the world’s last remaining wildernesses. And, perhaps most important of all, they can provide a lifeline to the creatures themselves. By supporting responsible tourism projects that not only have minimal environmental impact, but also put funds back into conservation and benefit local communities, your wildlife holiday can (and should) make a positive contribution. Whether we like the idea or not, wildlife increasingly needs to pay its way in order to survive. Visionary, sustainable tourism can transform a poacher into a wildlife ranger, a dynamite fisherman into a turtle-watching guide. It can be the catalyst for community-run lodges and a cornerstone of local employment. Responsible wildlife travel could hold the key to survival for some of our most endangered species.