Our top tips for responsible wildlife viewing

The opportunity to spot new and exciting wildlife plays a big part in people’s decision-making when it comes to choosing their next adventure. With these tips, you can ensure it doesn’t come at the detriment of the animals you’ve come to visit.

Our top tips for responsible wildlife viewing

Keep the experience wild

The best experiences are those in which animals can exhibit their natural behaviours in a natural environment. They’re better for the animal’s welfare and create a more fulfilling experience for you, the visitor.

 

Stick to designated viewing areas

Most national parks or reserves will offer guidance on how animals should be observed and where from. This is to ensure your safety and that of the animals, as well as keeping the landscape intact.

 

Keep disturbance to a minimum and maintain distance

Try not to make a lot of noise when there is wildlife close by. Speaking in hushed tones and avoiding sudden movements can help keep their stress to a minimum whilst giving you more time to take in the view before they scurry away. This is especially important when parents are with their young who may be more susceptible to loud noises. Make sure that you don’t come between the two either as it may place you in danger. Another thing to avoid is surrounding animals as part of a group as this can be stressful for them.

 

Don’t feed or touch the wildlife

While it may feel like you’re helping them out, feeding wild animals can make them dependent on humans and may cause them to alter their behaviours, bringing them into harm’s way further down the line as they begin to associate humans with food. The same applies for touching animals.

 

Consider your souvenirs

Be careful that you aren’t creating a market to destroy the very thing you came to see through the souvenirs that you buy. Objects such as shells, coral, feathers, bone, and ivory are generally ones to avoid. In some instances, trade of these items may be prohibited, meaning that you could face a fine if found in possession of them.

 

Support local communities

By staying in locally owned accommodation and using the services of local guides, you can get the best experience of your destination from someone who knows the area like the back of their hand. You can also make sure that the local community has a stake in preserving the wildlife there as it becomes the indirect source of their income, thus leading people away from activities that might otherwise harm it, such as logging and poaching.

 

An opportunity to learn

Wildlife holidays are a brilliant opportunity to learn from our expert guides, about the animals and environments you’ve travelled to see. They’re an opportunity to learn about new ecosystems, the potential threats that they’re facing, and how you can make a difference in your day-to-day life.

For more inspiration on how you can view wildlife responsibly during your next holiday, contact your Travel Counsellor.

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