What is Wildlife Tourism?
Wildlife adventurers are really no different from other adrenaline hungry adventurers. They are still participating in a holiday with a difference. Wildlife adventurers seek the buzz and fear of uncertainty and unpredictability of wild animals. They may trek through impenetrable terrain to find a particular species with many risks involved on the way. They may even handle some dangerous animals during a conservation project or expedition.
Nevertheless, adventures with wildlife are not simply about risk. It is not generally the reason why people seek these experiences. The adventure may be concerned with sighting an endangered species which is rarely observed in the wild, or searching for new species, adding to your personal ‘list’ of species encountered, photography, or simply enjoying watching wildlife in its natural environment. People who take these tours have a genuine interest in wildlife and appreciate their uniqueness. One must not forget that the surrounding environment also creates a sense of awe and a degree of relaxation and relief from everyday demands.
The tourism industry is now recognising that for many people the same fascination that exists for plants as it does for animals. There are variety of reasons for this type of adventure and a diverse group of interests. For example:
- Specialised researchers seeking to discover new species of a particular group of plants (especially in South America or SE Asia where species are still being discovered).
- People with a hobby interest in a certain species, such as orchids, who travel the world looking for different species in various environments.
- People with an interest in natural medicines travelling to the Amazon basin to learn about the use of plants by natives for medicine.
- People tracing the footsteps of past explorers or botanists.
- People looking to harvest parts of plants in order to supply products such as jewellery, perfumes, medicines, food products such as nuts and seeds.
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