The term “adventure holiday” is bandied around a bit too loosely these days, it seems. Believe even half of the tour operators you find and you’ll quickly end up believing that anything is an adventure holiday as long as it is a) really expensive and b) quite muddy: even if all you’re really doing is driving a tiny little quad bike around someone’s farm. No – real adventure lies in uncertainty; in going out and tracking stuff you don’t know if you’re going to find; in sharing real beauty with the natural world. Real adventure holidays take place when there are bird watching afoot, or wildlife tours on hand.
The thrill of seeing a bird or beast in its natural habitat, in sitting as quietly as you can even though eight beetles have fallen down the back of your t shirt and your foot has gone to sleep – that’s proper adventure. Getting up before dawn’s light has even spread its fingers over the hills; stumbling around making coffee in the chill predawn air; trying not to trip over the remains of a fire; and then tramping for an hour before daybreak to some lonely spot where, if you’re at all lucky, you might just get to see a leopard, or surprise a nesting godwit: now that’s real adventure. Professionally run bird watching holidays and wildlife tours bring their guests right into the natural world, safely guiding them through some of the most stunning habitats on earth to share time and space with some of the most inspiring living things in the world.
Here’s a quick quiz question: what do you remember for the rest of your life – a go kart race, or the hour you spent watching a jaguar climbing its prey into a tree? Quite right. There’s “adventure” and then there’s Adventure. And the one with the capital A is what anyone gets when they sign up for the kind of bird watching holidays and wildlife tours that responsible carriers like Brit-born Limosa Holidays run. Companies like Limosa use professional native guides, which means that guests get to experience the real culture of the place they are visiting, while also assuring themselves that their money is being used to help people in that area, rather than lining the pockets of some corporation that doesn’t need it. Proper birding and wildlife holidays are as environmentally friendly and ethical as they are exhilarating – and they have the added attraction of actively spreading the word about conservation and nature management. Anyone taking a bird watching trip, or going on wildlife tours, sees the value of land and wildlife management first hand – which makes every trip fertile ground for collecting converts to a cause that badly needs more exposure.
Wildlife holidays are affordable, sustainable, ethical and eye opening. They’re also way more exciting than any pre-packaged “adventure” one might find in one’s local travel agents. Next time, go looking for that capital A – and wake up to the wonderful world outside the window. Happy holidays!