Holidays that get us in touch with wildlife have never been more popular! Here are Born Free’s top tips for a wild-animal friendly holiday
International wildlife charity the Born Free Foundation encourages responsible tourism that supports conservation and high-quality animal welfare and minimises negative impacts. Born Free helps the travel industry develop higher standards, phase out bad practices and improve animals’ lives.
• Always use a professionally trained guide
• Keep a good distance so animals are undisturbed; never chase an animal
• Keep noise levels low; don’t make sudden movements
• Don’t feed or touch wildlife
• Don’t approach animals with young
• Don’t approach breeding sites, whether nests, dens or burrows
• No more than three vehicles or boats should view an animal, and a maximum of twelve people on wildlife drives or walks
• Get no closer than 5m to apes and monkeys to avoid disease transmission
• Never support hunting of any kind
• Check that your travel company supports local conservation projects, has good relationships with local communities, trains and employs local staff and uses local suppliers.
Holidaymakers don’t encounter wild animals only in the wild. Captivity is a multibillion pound industry exploiting millions of animals worldwide. Tourists can visit zoos, circuses, aquaria, marine parks, magic shows, swim-with-dolphin experiences, elephant-back safaris, or can pose with animals for tourist photos. But many people don’t realise that wild animals suffer physically and mentally from the lack of freedom captivity imposes.
Born Free works to phase out captive exploitation. Born Free receives thousands of reports from people distressed by animal exploitation or cruelty seen on holiday. The charity’s Traveller’s Animal Alert initiative investigates neglect, fights cruelty and works with governments, tour operators, travel companies and local organisations to take positive action.
Born Free encourages holidaymakers not to buy curios and holiday mementos using wildlife products and other threatened natural materials. These include:
•Tortoiseshell (from hawksbill turtles)
•Bushmeat (meat from wild animals)
•Parts of wild animals (fur, bones, feathers, teeth, claws, etc.)
•Wild animal skin (handbags, belts, drums etc.)
•Coral, shells, starfish, seahorses
•Plant parts (seeds, roots, flower heads etc.)
Please help KQ & the Born Free Foundation to safeguard Africa’s wildlife by placing any loose change in the envelopes provided and handing to a member of the cabin crew. The money received will help us in our fight to ensure a future for Africa’s wildlife. Thank you! www.bornfree.org.uk/about-us/born-free-kenya/