Here are 5 adventures from Wilderness Travel that give travelers a front-seat to wildlife in its natural habitat, a look at the work of top wildlife researchers around the world and in some cases the opportunity help fund much-needed wildlife research.
The desert lion;
1. Jaguars of the Pantanal and Hiking in the Chapada Dos Guimarães (NEW), Brazil
One departure in 2020 is already sold out for this new Wilderness Travel adventure with only one departure left that was added to meet demand. Located in Brazil, this is the world’s largest tropical wetland and a UNESCO biosphere, offering opportunities to see wildlife, including jaguars, capybara and toucans. Travelers explore the biosphere on foot, via 4-wheel drive and by boat in search of its jaguars, as well as enjoy hikes through red rock canyons and swimming below waterfalls.
Departure Dates: July 4, 2020 (August 20 departure is sold out)
Cost: Starting at $5,995/person
2. Swimming With Humpback Whales (NEW), Tonga
Snorkel alongside the majestic humpback whale off the coast of the Ha’apai Islands in the South Pacific, while also observing their fascinating behaviors, including breaching, spy-hopping and mothers interacting with their calves. The eight-day adventure also includes kayaking, snorkeling through coral reefs and an opportunity to meet friendly locals — all while staying in beachside accommodations.
Departure Dates: September 10, 17, 24, 2020; September 9, 16, 23, 2021
Cost: Starting at $5,895/person
3. In the Realm of the Desert Lion, Namibia
This 13-day trip sends six participants to Namibia to work with Dr. Flip Stander, who has worked alone in the desert for decades tracking the path of this wild animal to help local communities save their livestock from attack and keep them from killing the lions as a result. Wilderness Travel has successfully funded several seasons of research of the desert lion in Namibia. Travelers also join in an annual medical check of leopards, cheetahs and lions, as well as explore the renowned Desert Rhino Camp to meet the researchers and get a behind-the-scenes look at their efforts to ensure the survival of the black rhino. A portion of the cost of the adventure is donated to the Desert Lion Project and the Save the Rhino Trust.
Departure Dates: June 22, September 6, 2020
Cost: Starting at $9695/person
4. The Great Elephant Migration, Botswana, Zimbabwe
On the 10-day Botswana to Zimbabwe: The Great Elephant Migration, guests experience the ultimate safari timed with the great migration of some 200,000 elephants through Zimbabwe, and spot wildlife by bike, on foot, in a canoe, via 4X4 and even by night. Starting in Botswana, one of the most renowned wildlife destinations in the world, travelers will gain access to some of the least-crowded areas and then cross a remote border into Zimbabwe.
In addition to time spent at Hwange National Park, with its large elephant population, there is an opportunity to explore the most remote camp in Zimbabwe, enjoying views from a below-ground blind to see herds at close range. Safari-goers may be able to see hundreds of elephants at once, as well as lion, leopard, zebra, cheetah and more, returning each evening to comfortable, but remote accommodations that give the best access to wildlife viewing.
Trip Dates: August 1, 20, October 22, 2020; August 3, 24, September 14, 2021
Cost: Starting at $6,995 per person
5. Snow Leopards and Tigers of India, India
Spotting the mysterious and elusive snow leopard is challenging for the most knowledgeable tracker, but Wilderness Travel provides guests with the best opportunity to sight these animals of legend in India on this 16-day adventure. While many people camp in search of the snow leopard, which can prove cold and dark, Wilderness Travel has discovered a lodge built by the Snow Leopard Conservancy of India where trekkers can listen to talks from naturalist guides each evening and sleep in comfort after a long day on the hunt in addition to supporting the efforts to conserve this species.
Spotters take guests by vehicle to the areas where the animals have been most recently been sighted, including exclusive access to the north gate of Pench National Park, using vehicles to hopscotch forward and then hike each area. “It is the absolute best chance for seeing these mysterious elusive creatures,” says Barbara Banks, director of marketing and new trip development for Wilderness Travel. The trip also includes a stop at Kanha National Park, the best place in the country to see Bengal tigers.
Departure Date: November 17-December 2, 2020; February 11, 17, March 16, November 7, 2021
Starting Price: $8,395 per person
For more information or to book any of these trips, visit WildernessTravel.com or call 1-800-368-2794.
About Wilderness Travel
Wilderness Travel, founded in 1978, is still run by Bill Abbott, a consummate traveler, and offers more than 200 trips every year to more than 75 destinations around the world. The company is known for its one-of-a-kind detailed itineraries that take travelers deep into an area’s culture, wildlife and cuisine. AFAR magazine selected the company as having the best walking and hiking trips in the world in 2019, as well as named Wilderness Travel the 2017 World’s Best Tour Operator. Outside Magazine also declared the company the World’s Best Tour Operator in 2016.
There are five ways to travel with Wilderness Travel: Small Group Adventures; Private Journeys; WT Expeditions; Special Events; Journeys By Rail; and Small Ship Cruises. Constantly on the look-out for new adventures and ways to improve existing journeys, the company focuses on quality, design and the uniqueness of its trips. Nearly 70 percent of individuals who travel with Wilderness Travel are repeat guests or direct referrals from past travelers. For more information, visit www.wildernesstravel.com or call 800-368-2794.