18 Oct 2012
Teaching kids about sustainable tourism (and griffon vultures)
I’ve seen a sloth inch lazily through a tree, lemurs leap right onto my head, a bored lioness eyeing up wildebeest and failed to spot a leopard on safari (although after several hours staring optimistically into the bush, I was almost starting to hallucinate big cats when it was only a branch/bush/shadow). I’d love love love to see tigers one day, visit orang-utans, spot almost any kind of bear and go whale watching.
Of course when you’re younger, it needn’t be one of the world’s most exotic animals that gets you jumping up and down – cats, dogs, sheep, bunny rabbits are all pretty fascinating. So I love the new online map from First Choice to encourage younger travellers to be excited about wildlife around the world, from whales in Malta and griffon vultures in the Algarve, to Kri-Kri in Greece.
As well as tips on the best time of year to spot the difference animals, there’s information on everything from appearance and eating habits to weight and size, all part of the company’s attempt to teach children about the importance of sustainable tourism, following on from its Eco-traveller programme.
And as they learn about the different environments, some of them seriously threatened, I can only hope that from this childhood love of animals, the next generation does a bit better job of protecting the incredible wildlife across the world than their parents…