Tag Archives: Animals

4 Ethical ways to see animals when travelling

There are plenty of no-go’s when it comes to animal tourism, like elephant riding or tiger selfies. These practices have been condemned by animal welfare groups and the general population, due to the cruel nature of animals kept in captivity. While tourism can have a negative impact on animals, at Inspired Adventures, we believe in respecting the welfare of all animals. We seek to ensure any encounter with wildlife on our adventures upholds the values in our Animal Protection Policy.

We’ve created this list of four ways to see animals in the wild without causing them harm, so that you can still show your love and respect for animals while travelling.

1. Whale and dolphin watching

These popular tours can bring you up close and personal with two of the ocean’s most majestic and intriguing animals. The key to a great whale or dolphin watching experience is finding a responsible tour operator. An ethical tour operator will always favour education over sensation, and will share their knowledge with you, giving you a detailed talk before and during the experience. These highly intelligent animals will also be watching you at the same time, which is why it’s important to keep a distance away so as not to encroach on their territory.


2. Big Five Safaris

Safaris are a great way to see animals in the wild while supporting the local communities, who often run them. Some safaris will join with conservation charities to educate their workers as well as the tourists who choose to come along. By choosing a safari with ethical credentials you can support animal welfare projects designed to aid the conservation of some of the endangered animals.

3. Orangutan watching in Gunung Leuser National Park

Gunung Leuser National Park is home some of Asia’s most impressive mammals, including the orangutan, tiger, elephant, rhinoceros and vast birdlife. It is known for its fascinating orangutan tour. While sightings are not guaranteed, the feeding platform gives you a good chance to see these inquisitive primates up close.

4. Penguin watching

On Victoria’s Phillip Island, you can see the world’s smallest penguins in their natural habitats from the viewing stands and boardwalks, as they emerge from the water into their homes in the sand dunes. If you live in Sydney, Manly is one of the best places for penguin watching. Between July and February, the Fairy Penguins come to nest by the Manly Wharf. The penguin population in Manly is smaller than the one on Phillip Island, so it’s not always possible to see them in their natural habitat. If you do see a little penguin, avoid flash photography as it disorientates them.

If you’re still unsure about seeing animals while travelling, ask yourself:

  • Does the animal have food and water?
  • Does the animal have shelter?
  • Is the animal in pain or distress?
  • Is the animal behaving naturally?
  • Is the animal living in its natural habitat?

You can read more about how to see animals while travelling, or even join an animal-friendly Inspired Adventure to help support your favourite animal charity.


How to make the most of your visit to the Galapagos Islands

If you’ve ever heard anything about the Galápagos Islands, it was probably somewhere along the lines of “they’re one of the most amazing archipelagos in the world” or “oh my god the wildlife is amazing!” And, if you’ve ever actually been to the Galápagos Islands, you will know that both statements are one hundred per cent true. While the Islands are considered tropical paradises, they aren’t what you’d typically imagine.

A lot of the islands are barren and have more resemblance to the moon than the Maldives. Sitting west of Ecuador (of which they are a part of), the islands are actually an isolated group of volcanic islands with a fragile ecosystem, which has taken on a somewhat mythological status due to its abundance of distinctive wildlife. From sea lions to tortoises, to blue-footed boobies and rare iguanas, you’ll quickly lose yourself in the diversity and magnificence of the wildlife.

The islands remain mostly untouched by hoards of humans, so they truly are a beautiful place to visit. Here is how to make the most of your trip to the Galapagos.

Sierra Negra

On the island of San Isabella you will find an enormous (and active) volcano called the Sierra Negra. It’s the second largest caldera in the world and last erupted in 2005. You can hike to see the volcano, passing short-eared owls, finches and flycatchers along the way. You’ll be mesmerised as you walk through lava fields and giant cones left behind from lava flowing into the ocean. A must-do trip!

Villamil Lagoon

Just a little bit behind the village of Villamil, off the coast of Isle Isabella, is Villamil Lagoon. It’s known for its marine iguanas and migrant birds with more than 20 species reported there. The wooden boardwalk takes you over the lagoon as you pass through lush mangroves and heavy vegetation. The boardwalk eventually leads you into the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre, another must-do in the Galápagos Islands.

Blog Galapagos
Blog Galapagos
Blog Galapagos
Blog Galapagos

Puerto Egas

Perhaps one of the more popular places to visit in the Galápagos, Puerto Egas is a stunning long, flat, black lava shoreline where lava pools and caves are home to an abundance of wildlife. It’s one of the best places to see marine iguanas lying in the sun and Sally Lightfoot crabs scurrying around. The inlets also house the famous Galápagos fur sea lions!

Blog Galapagos
Blog Galapagos

El Chato Tortoise Reserve

A must-do when you’re in the Galápagos Islands is to visit El Chato Tortoise Reserve just South of Santa Rosa. The Islands are pretty much famous for the turtles and tortoises, despite their perpetual catatonic state! If you manage to catch a glimpse of these prehistoric-looking beasts feeding, you’ll be impressed by their long, graceful necks. The reserve is also a good place to see short-eared owls, Darwin’s finches, yellow warblers, Galápagos rails and paint-billed crakes.

Lava Tunnels

Whilst in Santa Rosa, you should definitely visit the underground lava tunnels. They are over one kilometre in length and were created when the outside skin of a molten-lava flow solidified. It’s a pretty impressive sight!

All pictures on this blog are courtesy of Theresa Lord

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