With his well-documented travels around the globe to look at different species – decades before the term ‘safari’ entered the English language – Charles Darwin could be considered one of the world’s first wildlife tourists.
Nowadays, as Darwin’s bicentennial approaches, exotic wildlife is considered a key motivator to travel. Here, The Adventure Company lists its top trips for wildlife encounters this year, including two new trips.
• MONKEYS IN SRI LANKA – NEW FOR 2009
Spend two days at the Polonnaruwa Primate Camp and help with research into the local populations of torque macaques and purple faced and grey langurs. Well over 1,000 monkeys live here among the ruins of an ancient city. This trip also includes an elephant back safari, dolphin watching (in season) and a nature walk along Habarana Lake where over 130 bird species have been recorded.
Primate Paradise (for travellers aged 18+) departs 15th – 20th August 2009, with a further departure in December 2009. Flight-inclusive prices start from £1,279 plus £100 local payment per person.
Monkeys in the Jungle Family Adventure (minimum age: five) has its first departure 24th July – 7th August 2009, with further departures in August and December 2009. Flight-inclusive prices start from £949 per child and from £1399 per adult.
• BEARS AND WOLVES IN SLOVAKIA – NEW FOR 2009
Sleep in ranger cottages and explore areas almost completely unexplored by tourists whilst helping experts at the High Tatras bear project with their research into bears, wolves and other wildlife in the area. Travellers will be fully integrated into the study, tracking the movements of study bears wearing GPS transmitters and with access to the latest data collected. This is another of The Adventure Company’s Hands on Adventures, new for 2009.
The trip: Bear Tracking in the Tatras (for travellers aged 18+) has its first departure from 23rd – 30th May 2009 with further departure dates available in June, August and September. Flight–inclusive prices start from £1,249 per person.
• BIRDS IN THE GALAPAGOS
Discover what fascinated Darwin about the wildlife of the Galapagos Islands. Frigate birds, waved albatross, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds, oystercatchers, Galapagos hawks, Galapagos doves and large cactus finches are just some of the huge variety of birds found in the Galapagos Islands. With marine iguana, lizards, sea lions and, of course, famous giant tortoises also to be found, the Galapagos Islands are the ideal destination for wildlife lovers.
Galapagos Islands (for travellers aged 18+) departs from 20th – 30th April 2009, with further departure dates available between May and December 2009. Since time is spent on board a motor yacht, there are limited spaces available and customers are advised to book early. Bookings made before 28th February 2009 will receive a £50 discount, so flight-inclusive prices (including discount) start from £1,749 plus US$210 local payment per person.
Galapagos – Enchanted Islands Family Holiday (minimum age: five) has an Easter departure from 6th – 20th April 2009 and further departure dates in the school summer, October half-term and Christmas holidays. Prices start from £2,759 per child and £2,829 per adult plus US$110 local payment per person.
• GORILLAS IN UGANDA
Exploring the Kibale Forest on foot allows travellers to find chimpanzee and other monkeys, before a boat trip on the Kazinga Channel to observe wallowing hippos. But the highlight for most will be the chance to come face to face with great silverback gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Gorilla Safari (for travellers aged 18+) departs from 20th June – 5th July 2009, with further departure dates available between July and December 2009. Bookings made before 28th February 2009 will receive a £50 discount, so flight-inclusive prices (including discount) start from £1,799 plus US$665 local payment per person. Permits are required, so early booking is advised.
• LEMURS IN MADAGASCAR
Trekking in the Isalo National Park brings the chance of finding ring-tailed lemur, while Ranomafana and Perinet National Parks are home to the indri, the largest of the lemur family.
In Search of Lemurs (for travellers aged 18+) departs from 24th May – 7th June 2009, with further departure dates available between June and December 2009. Flight–inclusive prices start from £2,219 plus €300 local payment per person.
Animal Magic Family Holiday (minimum age: five) departs from 29th July – 9th August 2009, with further departure dates available in August and December 2009. Flight-inclusive prices start from £2,599 per adult and £2,119 per child.
• TIGERS IN INDIA
Ranthambore National Park is one of the premier national parks of India – The Jungle Book brought to life. It is the habitat of Bengal tigers which survive among the ruined forts and temples; and also of nilgai, sambar and chital – types of antelope – sloth bear, jungle cat and crocodile. Early morning and late afternoon game drives give the best chance of animal sightings.
Wildlife and Moghul Cities (for travellers aged 18+) departs 30th March – 9th April 2009, with further departure dates available between April and December 2009. Flight-inclusive prices start from £1,049 per person.
Tiger Trails and Taj Mahals Family Holiday (minimum age: five) departs 6th – 16th April 2009, with further departures available in July, October and December 2009. Flight-inclusive prices start from £1,149 per adult and from £1,069 per child.
• THE BIG FIVE IN EAST AFRICA
Visiting the most renowned national parks of Kenya and Tanzania, including the Masai Mara, the Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Arusha, this trip contains excellent chances of seeing Africa’s big five – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo.
East Africa Wildlife Adventure (for travellers aged 18+) is a new trip for 2009. Its first departure is from 5th – 21st June 2009 to coincide with the Great Migration. Further departure dates available between August and December 2009. An early booking discount of £50 is available on bookings made before 28th February 2009. Flight-inclusive prices start from £1,919 per person including this discount.
Rift Valley Adventure Family Holiday (minimum age: eight) spends time in Tanzania with equally amazing animal encounters. The trip departs 22nd – 31st May 2009 with further departure dates available in the summer and October half-term holidays. An early booking discount of £50 is available on bookings made before 28th February 2009. Flight-inclusive prices start from £1,299 per adult and £1,129 per child including this discount.
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For more information contact Kate Popham or Kylie Jenkins at The Saltmarsh Partnership on 020 7928 1600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
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