Wild life tourism is a great way to be as close to nature as possible amid an amazing mix of flora and fauna. It is a niche tourism whose popularity is immense. It is an eco-friendly venture having huge economic potential. The tourist is exposed to the animal world in the background of nature. He learns about the animal group behavior, their social structure, communication patterns, social code of discipline, and their mode of interaction and interpretation of the same. A keen observation of animals reacting in a specific way to a given environment draws loads of fun and thrill.
Wild life tourism has a long history behind its evolution. It all started off following the trail of big game. Hunting wild life was the chief motive driven by commercial schemes as well as making a specific settlement free from the attacks of wild lions and tigers and herds of rhinos and elephants who had become a potential menace to the cultivated crops . The coats, fur, tusks and horns fetched handsome prices, and as an added bonus the hunter makes a name for himself winning the well wishes of the natives rescued from the assault of wild life. Sometimes the tracking involved hundreds of kilometers on foot or horseback before the hunter confronted the animal stalking behind a bush waiting for the kill.
Even today wild life sightings involve covering large areas before you meet a herd or pride. It is packed with nail biting suspense and sometimes danger lurks when you stumble upon a pride of lion feeding on a zebra carcass under the shade of an African baobab tree. How would you feel to have a charging isolated bull elephant in front of you in the African savannas? How would you react viewing a growling ten foot tall grizzly bear in an attempt to protect its cub in the Yellowstone Park in the US -Canadian border?
It is all daring adventure and you feel the worth of every dime spent. However, the camera has replaced the gun. No one hunts today. The wild life conservation laws are operative to see the animals and their natural habitats do not get threatened. The travel is done over long distances in land rovers, balloons, steamers and aircrafts. There are expert guides to feed you on every minute detail on wild life and the jungle. They are an authority on the subject of wild life having years of practical field experience. In fact, they have an ear to nature and can sniff odors, hear sounds and see the trails with telescoping precision, which you fail to realize. They do carry guns in case required against an attack.
Wild life tourism has expert guides tour package arrangements crafted by tour operators. Your itinerary is lodge based and sometimes camp based. You start off in a safari enjoying the landscapes, thick growth of forests and tall grass land on your way watching herds of gnus and zebra crossing over streams filled with hungry crocks, pods of basking hippos, herds of wild buffalos grazing and the elephants on a group feeding spree. If luck stays on your side, you watch the thrilling spectacle of a bolting cheetah bring down a Thomson’s gazelle or a pride of lions hanging on to a cape buffalo.
It is all thrill and suspense before you reach your lodge or camp where good food, drink and hospitality are waiting to entertain you. As an added bonus, you may relish the legend of a local man-eating lion that had once turned the region into a slaughterhouse! Wild life tourism is an ever expanding billion dollar industry. Africa with her immense wealth of wild life and forest cover has been traditionally a big inspiration in wild life tourism with world famous national parks like Masaimara , Ngorongoro crater and Kruger National Park drawing tourists in flocks . Other notable wild life tourism destinations are Australia, Canada, US, South America, India, Malaysia and Nepal.
Wild life tourism is basically a form of ecotourism where ecological balance is retained. The tourist enjoys his trip within the safety of the tour vehicle. An efficient tour guide accompanies you and your group. Everything happens with thrill and adventure without any harm done to wild life and its natural habitat.