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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Time for a Global Code of Conduct for Animal Tourism

Taking guesswork out of wildlife travel

On World Animal Day (4 October 2016), World Expeditions, one of the world's leading adventure and responsible travel organisations, has called for a globally accepted code of conduct for animal tourism, that takes into account the welfare of all animals, not just those that are endangered.

World Expeditions has its own Animal Welfare in Tourism Code of Conduct, developed in partnership with World Animal Protection, which outlines its expectations to operators, staff and travellers, in relation to the treatment of animals on their itineraries.

World Expeditions Responsible Travel Manager, Donna Lawrence, says many travellers dream about encountering a wild animal in its natural habitat, displaying its normal behaviours.

"But many travellers are unsure how to achieve this in a safe ethical way that doesn't bring harm to the animals," Ms Lawrence.

"This is why we've taken the guesswork out of animal friendly wildlife experiences, joining forces with World Animal Protection to develop four carefully crafted itineraries that offer some of the world's best wildlife viewing opportunities.

"If animal encounters are high on your list for your next adventure and you want to make sure your experiences aren't harmful, then these adventures are perfect for you.

"All come with the stamp of approval from World Animal Protection."

World Animal Protection has endorsed four World Expeditions itineraries to some of the world's hottest spots for wild animal encounters – Kenya, Thailand, India and Romania.

And they are now available for animal lovers looking for their next adventure.

"These are the perfect experience for animal lovers who want to travel responsibly, appreciating but bringing no harm to the animal they encounter," Ms Lawrence said.

"The bonus for travellers is that by booking on one of these trips they will be helping animals around the world since World Expeditions will donate a percentage of each trip to World Animal Protection to support their work to save animals from abuse and neglect"

Performing elephants (source: The Telegraph)
Wild Animal Encounters in India

14 days | Departs Delhi on 24 February 2017

Set off on wildlife excursions to some of India's best National Parks spotting tigers, jungle cats, rhesus monkeys and more, all in their wild habitat. Packed with wildlife spotting opportunities this itinerary also includes some icon spotting to see some of India's famous landmarks like the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and the Pink City of Jaipur. Wild Animal Encounters in India costs from $3590 per person.

Wild Animal Encounters in Thailand

12 days | Departs Bangkok on 03 March 2017

Journey by 4WD and foot through Thailand's top National Parks spotting wild elephants, tigers, gibbons, macaques as well as a plethora of birdlife, culminating at the Surin Islands in the Andaman Sea, to swim with sea turtles. A day is spent at the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand wildlife rescue centre to learn about the plight of elephants in the tourism industry in Thailand and how this wonderful organization is offering elephants and many other animal species a better future. Wild Animal Encounters in Thailand costs from $3950.

Animal Encounters in Romania

11 days | Departs Bucharest on 14 May, 2017

This carefully crafted adventure includes a visit to a bear sanctuary in Brasov and a dog shelter in Constanta, both supported by World Animal Protection. There's also a four-day walk exploring the stunning mountain landscapes, deep forests and preserved mediaeval towns of Transylvania including the famous Bran Castle, connected through folklore to the fictitious character, Dracula. Wild Animal Encounters in Romania costs from $2680.

Wild Animal Encounters in Kenya.

11 days | Departs Nairobi on 07 July, 2017

Wildlife sightings will be plentiful and natural when you visit Kenya's most sustainable national parks and conservancies. Travellers can expect to see rhinos (black, northern white and southern white), lions, cheetahs, the elusive leopard, spotted hyena, black-backed jackal, caracal, bat-eared fox, African wild dogs, elephant, zebra, flamingo, antelope, giraffe, impala, mongoose, porcupine, yellow baboon and more. This adventure culminates at the David & Daphne Sheldrick's Elephant Orphanage. Wild Animal Encounters in Kenya costs from $5850.

Ms Lawrence said she would also urge travellers and all involved in the wildlife travel industry to read World Expeditions' Animal Welfare in Tourism Code of Conduct (in conjunction with World Animal Protection) and a Responsible Travel Guidebook. World Expeditions has been operating small group trekking and adventure travel holidays for more than four decades and is widely recognised for its ground breaking Responsible Tourism initiatives.

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The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
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