Travel can be an extraordinary force for good in the world. One of our favorite aspects about being an adventure travel company is the partnership we have with some incredible conservation groups that help protect, preserve, and nurture fragile places and species around the globe. We designed fascinating journeys that directly support the efforts to protect threatened wildlife and their habitat, and bring you behind the scenes into the vital work being done by leading researchers in the field. These are adventures that make a difference not only for the traveler, but also for the places we visit.
Check out some of our amazing conservation trips below, and be sure to visit our Making a Difference page to learn more about different conservation organizations that we (and you as travelers!) support through our journeys.
The Galápagos Islands | View itineraries
With a vast array of endemic species—and the place where Charles Darwin formulated his theory of natural selection—this treasured archipelago was the second UNESCO World Heritage Site ever to be established. We’ve been bringing travelers here for nearly 40 years, and designed not one, but three different journeys by boat that give you the full experience of this wondrous place. These islands are absolutely unique and are protected by a number of conservation organizations. In fact, Wilderness Travel has been a founding member of the International Galápagos Tour Operators Association, and directly supports the Charles Darwin Foundation in the islands. Our travelers here also have the opportunity to donate to the Galápagos Traveler Conservation Fund, which supports various projects to protect this World Heritage Site.
Patagonia’s Wild North | View itinerary
Still largely undiscovered, Patagonia Park has been hailed as “South America’s Yellowstone” for its epic landscapes and resurgent native wildlife, including puma, flamingo, and vast herds of guanaco. The park is the result of a 20-plus-year dream by legendary conservationists Kris Thompkins and the late Doug Thompkins. In 2017, the land was established as a national park and donated back to the county of Chile—the largest land donation in history from a private entity to a nation. You can read more about the history here. Our journey is part hiking adventure and part celebration of conservation, with a portion of the proceeds supporting Conservación Patagonica, which is dedicated to preserving, “rewilding,” and establishing new national parks in Chile and Argentina.
Wild Zimbabwe & The Great Elephant Migration | View itineraries
Unique safari activities abound in Zimbabwe, from arriving in the park by vintage train to watching elephants up-close from a special underground “look up” hide—the photo opportunities are amazing! Yet there is another unique highlight many of our travelers return with: the cultural aspect of this journey. During our time in Zimbabwe, we often have the opportunity to walk to school with local children and visit a local home. Our presence here helps promote community conservation and it’s a wonderful experience to see the local people engaged in preserving the wildlife. WT recently donated funds to help build a classroom at St. Joseph school, and travelers have the opportunity to visit the school during their trip. Read how one of our adventurers helped start the “Great Chicken Project” and later witnessed an enormous herd of elephants (with calves in tow) congregate near a waterhole. You can read it here.
Snow Leopards and Tigers of India | View itinerary
Our lodge-based journey to Ladakh has us searching for snow leopards, one of the most elusive creatures on the planet, plus exploring in famed Kanha National Park, the great tiger reserve of India. We’ve designed this trip so a portion of your trip fee supports the Snow Leopard Conservancy India Trust, which works to reduce human-animal conflict in the Himalayan region and ensure that the local people benefit directly from protecting their ecosystems and wildlife. Through this program, snow leopards that were once seen as predators on livestock are now considered ri gyancha or “ornaments of the mountains.”
During our time in Kanha National Park, we search for the Royal Bengal tiger, India’s proud symbol and an integral part of Indian mythology and culture. Kanha National Park established Project Tiger in 1972 to help preserve the tiger population within its borders.
Giraffe Conservation and Safari | View itinerary
Namibia has a commitment to conservation written into its constitution, setting more than 40 percent of its land under conservation management. We partner with some amazing local efforts and are proud to offer a once-in-a-lifetime safari that will have you GPS-tagging giraffes in the wild with the team members of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF). Giraffes all across Africa are succumbing to a “silent extinction.” Some giraffe species are even more endangered than the black rhino, but thanks to the important work of the GCF and the generosity of our WT adventurers, nearly $100,000 has been donated to various conservation groups in Namibia since 2017.