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Unique safari and wildlife trips for true animal lovers
How can you enjoy a unique wildlife or safari holiday experience and help the wildlife into the bargain? ‘Wildlife Encounters’ with The People's Trust for Endangered Species could be the answer. PTES Wildlife Encounters are offered in the UK and overseas to destinations such as Africa, India and Europe. They offer specially tailored trips and truly unique opportunities to view wildlife and conservation projects.
The People's Trust for Endangered Species
The People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is a registered charity, founded in 1977, with the aim of helping to ensure a future for endangered species worldwide. The Trust raises funds to support specific research projects, commissions and publishes research on key conservation issues, manages and supports field projects involving volunteers, purchases and manages reserves for wildlife conservation, and runs events and educational visits.
Not only is the Trust actively involved in projects to protect British endangered and threatened species such as the hazel dormouse, red squirrel and stag beetle, but is also involved in a wide range of overseas projects. Fundraising to support this work includes animal adoptions, supporter donations, Trust grants and the running of the ‘Wildlife Encounters’ programme in the UK and abroad.
Wildlife Encounters – for anyone
The PTES programme of events, ‘Wildlife Encounters’ serves a dual purpose; firstly to raise money for specific projects (profits from each event are donated directly the project involved); equally important is the desire to offer loyal supporters a chance to see where their donations are going and learn at first hand about the work being done.
Wildlife Encounters has now been running successfully for several years and the Trust feel it’s now time to broaden its audience and offer these one-of-a-kind events and expeditions to anybody who would enjoy a wildlife watching experience.
Totally unique wildlife experiences
As they fund the projects many of the events and venues are exclusive to PTES and so offer a totally unique experience. For example one project is conserving wild dogs in Namibia; on this expedition visitors will join scientists, trackers and local guides to search for and learn about these extremely rare and elusive animals. Under normal circumstances a sighting would be almost impossible but having the extra advantage of remote sensing through GPS collaring increases the chances dramatically. In addition there are plenty of opportunities to observe and photograph the rest of the African wildlife, which is ever present throughout the trip – see elephants, lions and zebras bathing and drinking at watering holes.
Closer to home, but still just as fascinating, is the project to protect the Imperial Eagle in Bulgaria. This trip offers visitors a chance to take in the unspoilt beauty of Bulgaria whilst visiting colonies of white storks, griffon vultures and heron. This extraordinary tour will also visit secret conservation hotspots for the many native raptors including the imperial, golden, lesser spotted and booted eagle, along with other birds such as bee-eaters, woodchat shrikes and semi-collared flycatchers, to name but a few. Bulgaria is rich in its diversity of bird species, but its varied landscape also makes it a haven for other rare fauna and flora such as wild cats, mountain molerats, soulsliks, Bechstein, Barbastelle and Schreiber bats.
Whilst their first concern is wildlife conservation PTES do not believe that this goal should be taken in isolation, they always operate within the guidelines for Responsible Tourism, ensuring their impact on the local population, economy and environment is a positive one. Their maximum group size is 6 – 8 people at any time and this helps to minimise any disruption caused to the communities visited. They use local guides who are an invaluable source of knowledge and where possible their accommodation is local or family-run independent hotels where the personal touch is ever present. All the profits go back into the conservation projects, and these projects are actively encouraged to employ local people where possible.
Text © Travel-quest
and The People's Trust for Endangered Species 2008
All photos by Zoe Roden. Photos © The People's Trust for Endangered Species and Zoe Roden 2008
The People's Trust for Endangered Species programme of unique UK and Overseas Wildlife Encounters are listed in the Events section of their website, offering visitors the chance to see spectacular landscapes and wildlife, as well as meeting local wildlife and conservation experts.
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