With renewed focus on endangered species highlighted by Endangered Species Day in the USA on May 18th; the recent release of the film ‘African Cats’ endorsed by Prince William, and new figures from South Africa indicating rhino horn and ivory poaching are their highest levels since bans were introduced in 1990.
PlanetWildlife is promoting experiential group and tailor-made safari itineraries aimed at increasing public awareness and support. Apart from the black rhino of Africa, some of the most threatened creatures on the planet include the Asiatic Lion of India, the Chinese Panda bear (now bred largely in controlled environments), and the spectacular Blue Whale, most commonly seen in the waters off Sri Lanka.
Priced at £1,327 per person, the eight-day tailor-made Kenyan Safari and Explore Kenya (for small groups) reasonably priced from £1,555 per person, allow wildlife lovers to get close to and observe lion, elephant and, in the case of the latter itinerary, the threatened black rhino which can be spotted in the Nakuru National Park. Statistics from South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs indicate that 170 rhino have been poached since January this year…. Last year a total of 252 animals were poached in the Kruger Park, up from 146 in 2010.
In Asia, particular concern is directed towards the Asiatic Lion which are thought to number just over 300 and are to be found in their natural habitat only in Northern India’s Gir Forest National Park. PlanetWildlife offers an extensive 15-day Royals in the Jungle itinerary priced from £1,897 per person which departs from Mumbai to Gujarat and takes in Velavadar National Park, Gir National Park, and Kanha National Park, where elusive Indian leopards can also be spotted.
PlanetWildlife’s seven-day Images of China itinerary offers numerous opportunities to observe the Giant Panda at close quarters. The nation’s most famous native mammal thrives in over 60 designated reserves in South-West and Central China, mainly Sichuan province. Although numbers have gradually increased over the last few years due to raised global awareness – with current estimates of around 1,600 pandas in the wild – the Giant Panda is still listed as an Endangered Species. The Images of China programme, priced from £1,893 per person, commences in Sichuan’s capital, Chengdu, and includes visits to the Bifengxia Panda Reserve, and the Dapingyu and Foping Nature Reserves where both the endangered Giant Panda and Golden Monkey species are protected.
Sri Lanka’s second largest wildlife destination is the Yala National Park, home to a variety of animals and birds including elephants and leopards – sections of Yala are home to some of the greatest concentrations of leopard and in the world and therefore offers the best chance of viewing them in proximity. However, it is the spectacular Blue Whale (and Spinner Dolphins) that many wildlife enthusiasts come to Sri Lanka to see and PlanetWildlife’s nine-day Blue Whale and Leopard Experience planetwildlife priced from £1,738 schedules days on the ocean at Weligama where Blue Whales – and sometimes the Sperm Whale – can be observed closely.
For other endangered species itinerary ideas, call 0845 519 4948 for a copy of the new PlanetWildlife brochure containing in all over 300 exciting safari itineraries available at no cost online and in print on request. The brochure comprises over 200 colourful pages packed with itinerary suggestions and travel ideas designed to appeal to a broad global audience of nature lovers and adventure travellers. PlanetWildlife itineraries are mostly all-inclusive from point of departure but do not include international flights and are classed as Basic, Moderate, High or Advanced in terms of levels of fitness and activity demanded and/or required by travellers.
PlanetWildlife is committed to responsible tourism, and in particular: minimising negative environmental impact; contributing to the conservation of natural and cultural heritages and embracing diversity; providing rewarding experiences for visitors through meaningful interaction with local communities to the economic benefit of those communities; and promoting a greater understanding and respect for local cultural, social and environmental issues. It is part of PlanetWildlife’s corporate policy to fund selected awareness drives and wildlife conservation programmes.
For further information, please visit planetwildlife.com or contact a PlanetWildlife office for over 300 creative itineraries in 26 countries around the world catering to a wide range of interests and budgets.