Written by Sarah Lafontaine
There’s little doubt of our collective fascination with wildlife the world over. But as we’ve seen in recent news, our fascination can also lead to their demise. However, our curiosity about creatures great and small can be satisfied responsibly, by traveling with tour operators that take the welfare of animals seriously. You don’t have to travel far to have an unforgettable wildlife trip and we’re here to help!
Check out our choices of fantastic, responsible wildlife trips close to home:
Photo credit: Tundra North Tours
A truly unique experience! Discover Canada’s Great North and only reindeer herd, while herding alongside traditional Inuit and Sami herders. Enjoy the stunning landscapes, breathtaking Northern Lights, all while taking in the culture of this beautiful, Arctic region. Lead by a local tour operator, Tundra North, which pays special attention to the footprint they leave on the area, as well as the wellbeing of the wildlife.
Photo credit: Natural Habitat Adventures
Venture to an island off the Yucatan Peninsula to explore the untouched beauty. Get up close and personal to the gentle giants of the ocean, whale sharks, while discovering the crystal-clear waters. Enjoy the road less traveled while on this eco-friendly, small group tour alongside whale shark experts! You can take comfort in traveling with Natural Habitat Adventures, a World Wildlife Fund travel partner.
Photo credit: Mountain Travel Sobek
Mountain Travel Sobek has been pioneering adventure travel in Alaska since 1972 and continues to work closely with the Alaska Conservation Foundation to provide responsible wildlife vacations. On this trip, you’ll experience remote areas of Southeast Alaska with highly knowledgeable local guides, who are committed preserving this beautiful region for future generations.
Photo credit: G Adventures
Can you imagine watching polar bears in their natural habitat with an expert naturalist at your side? This opportunity is yours in the extensive wilderness of the Canadian Arctic. Enjoy a lunch out on the tundra or take on a thrilling day of dogsledding in this awe-inspiring landscape. This experience is offered by G Adventures, National Geographic Journeys and is part of their Jane Goodall Collection.
Photo credit: Wildland Adventures
Nearly 200 years ago all of Alaska was covered by ice, which will be hard to imagine after you visit the now transformed area covered with greenery and crawling with wildlife. During this trip, you will see Alaska from all angles as you hike, fly and boat around the beautiful wildlands. Located in the lowlands, Denali National Park is the perfect place for a grizzly bear sighting along with many other animals such as wolves, caribou, black bears and mountain goats. Hike around the glaciers of Glacier Bay National Park and take in the breathtaking views which often include whales. From the park, you will be able to see humpback whales and harbor seals among a variety of birds and other wildlife.
Wherever you choose to go, or whomever you choose to travel with, it’s increasingly important to ensure they have the best interests of wildlife and the environment at heart. You can find these partners and more on the KEEPitWILD Pledge page, along with SEEtheWILD’s growing community of citizen pledges and Travel Media pledges. Find out more at https://seethewild.org/keepitwild-pledge.
Sarah is an independent contractor with specialization in content writing and social media management for the travel industry. After many years as a travel agent, she switched gears to focus on promoting responsible travel through Holidays for Humanity. Sarah currently writes content for and manages social media for all Holidays for Humanity brands including SEEtheWILD, Trek Union and GoVoluntouring. When not working, Sarah can be found searching for her next travel destination or exploring Vancouver’s dog-friendly parks and trails with her dog, Otto.