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There’s a new type of travel that has been rising in popularity. Ecotourism continues to grow globally each year by 10-15% and for good reason: you can see some spectacular natural sights without damaging the environment and supporting local communities in the process.

While there are a number of stunning destinations around the world, we thought this blog we might focus on Africa for the sheer diversity it offers its visitors. There’s everything from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the Rainforests of the Atsinanana on the east coast of Madagascar.

Because the African continent, occupies such an immense land mass, there’s an amazing diversity of natural flora and fauna to explore including the wild animals that almost everyone dreams of – such as lions, elephants, cheetahs and giraffes. Ecotourism in Africa is all about seeking your very own ‘David Attenborough’ safari experience. And who wouldn’t want to see animals in their natural habitats? Watching herds of wildebeest do what they do on a wide open plain in the early light or at sunset is simply breath-taking.

Fortunately the accommodation options are almost as vast as the biodiversity itself! For the adventurous, there are plenty of safe camping, even glamping spots. You can also go on longer hikes to see more exotic flora and fauna located away from roads, houses, or civilization of any sort.

And it’s not just ‘wide open spaces’ either. There are some magnificent walks along volcanic beaches, wandering through a more dense jungle or following the steep hills of a cloud forest. And each has such a unique atmosphere – the experience can seem like you’ve switched countries or even continents.

If you’re looking for a more relaxing stay or maybe you’re travelling with children, there’s everything from jungle lodges to rainforest resorts, allowing day trips to national parks and wildlife reserves. It’s vital to have a guide if you want to see as much wildlife as you can during your trip. They know the best spots and can turn an otherwise uneventful trip into a flurry of exotic wildlife spotting.

For first-time safari enthusiasts, travelling as part of a tour group often means you’ll meet and bond with other travellers, often discussing the day’s shared experiences over a glass of wine in the evening. Of course if you’re an experienced traveller and want to spend longer in situ just you and your travelling companions, working with an experienced travel agent will help you make the most of your next trip of a lifetime.

Because eco-tourism means you’ll be treading lightly throughout your travels, it’s worth bringing a good pair of binoculars along on your travels.

Photography enthusiasts should avoid using lenses that are smaller than 200mm. Instead, aim for 300mm or up if you intend to capture plenty of birds or recreate national-geographic-style photos. For most however, a smartphone should suffice to get the bulk of your safari snaps and the beauty of that is you’ll have them all on your phone to show your friends when you get home.

Finally, when you engage in ecotourism, you can rest assured knowing that you are helping the land to be preserved for future generations. Most tour operators direct a portion of their income back to land and wildlife conservation projects. And that’s not all. You’ll also get to learn about the local African cultures and the beautiful natural environment around you.

So if you’re thinking about planning your next holiday, or you’re just looking for a little further inspiration, we’d be delighted to chat! You can always give us a call on (02) 6041 5577, call into the office at 601 Dean Street, Albury or book an appointment via the form below with one of our expert travel agents today.

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