Endangered Species Day (in the USA on May 18th) coincides with both the release of new figures from South Africa indicating rhino horn and ivory poaching are their highest levels since bans were introduced in 1990.
Now 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 endangered species 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) from £1,555 per person, allow wildlife lovers to get up close and personal and to and observe lion, elephant and even 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 concern is being directed towards the Asiatic Lion (which are thought to number just over 300) It can be found in its 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 superb 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 the Sichuan province. Although numbers have gradually increased over the last few years due to raised global awareness (current estimates of around 1,600 pandas in the wild) the Giant Panda is still listed as an Endangered Species. The 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 in the world and therefore offers the best chance of close-up viewing. However, it is the spectacular Blue Whale (and Spinner Dolphins) that many wildlife enthusiasts come to Sri Lanka to see. PlanetWildlife‘s nine-day Blue Whale and Leopard Experience priced from £1,738 schedules days on the ocean at Weligama where Blue Whales – and sometimes the Sperm Whale – can be observed.
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 the planet’s most endangered species.
PlanetWildlife is an international travel company based in India with sales offices in UK, India, Australia, Hong Kong and Sweden.It is managed by a professional team who arepassionate about wildlife and have been involved in a variety of nature conservation activities over the years. Their website features over 300 itineraries to Africa, India, and South America comprising a diverse range of photography safaris, hiking expeditions and bird-watching adventures, including ocean cruises to the Arctic and Antarctica.
Most tours offer daily departure dates and each is well-organised, competitively priced, environmentally responsible and tailored to suit the requirements of group or individual travellers. In all instances they are led by highly qualified and experienced leaders.
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