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Responsible travel: Hands-on wildlife experiences

Whether it’s birdwatching, diving or whale-watching, a number of wildlife experiences are leading the way in conservation efforts — and recognised in this year’s World Responsible Tourism Awards

Responsible travel: Hands-on wildlife experiences

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REEF CI, BELIZE
Best for: Conservationists
Reef CI aims to reduce the number of non-native lionfish threatening the reef’s indigenous breeds. By joining the team in removing these fish from the waters, visitors help protect native fish populations and contribute to education projects for locals and tourists.

WHALE HERITAGE SITES, WORLDWIDE
Best for: Marine enthusiasts
A new initiative from the World Cetacean Alliance identifies and promotes whale- and dolphin-watching sites that put the marine mammals at the forefront of their activities. A number of new Whale Heritage Sites will be recognised in the coming years for their endeavours to protect the animals and their habitats for future generations.

MISOOL ECO RESORT, RAJA
Ampat, Indonesia
Best for: Divers
Sustainability is at the heart of Misool Eco Resort, whose blue waters and pristine reefs are among the world’s best for diving. Working with local communities to halt extraction of marine resources, the resort has established a 465sq mile Marine Protected Area.

BUSHMANS KLOOF WILDERNESS RESERVER & WELLNESS RESORT, SOUTH AFRICA
Best for: Wildlife lovers
Visitors to this reserve in the Cederberg Mountains can admire ancient rock drawings, endangered Cape Mountain zebras and vast expanses of native fynbos (shrubland). The reserve is being recognised for its responsible employment practices.

SAM VEASNA CENTRE, CAMBODIA
Best for: Birdwatchers
Bengal floricans, giant ibis and endangered vultures are among the characters that can be spotted on Sam Veasna’s birdwatching tours. In return for community development funds generated by tourism, locals are fully engaged in the conservation of these feathered creatures.

National Geographic Traveller (UK) is an official media partner of the World Responsible Tourism Awards sponsored by Belize. The winners will be announced on 8 November at World Travel Market London and on natgeotraveller.co.uk
responsibletravel.com/awards 

Published in the December 2016 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)