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Conservation Experiences: The Best Accommodation Options
Below are our top picks for stunning accommodation, set near the frontline of wildlife conservation, that helps you have incredible adventures while engaging with pioneering initiatives.
Words by Bella Straker
The trend for mindful travel has only been accelerated by the events of recent years. Many of us looked out and listened to a quieter world around us and understood that change could be brought about, and quickly. With many of us wanting to be the change we want to see in the world, the demand for purpose-driven travel has risen sharply. Here are places to base yourself to embrace this new, more conscious style of travel.
Raja Ampat’s coral reefs are thriving. The health and dazzling biodiversity of the undersea world is the result of impressive conservation work, much of it completed by the charitable arm of Misool—a private resort secreted within an uninhabited archipelago. The Misool Foundation’s extraordinary work has reversed the damage done by shark finning and other destructive fishing techniques in the area. Staying here, you’ll access this protected marine reserve through world-class underwater experiences, swimming with the flourishing shark and manta ray populations.
Within East Africa’s largest rhino sanctuary sits Borana Lodge. Around it, roaming the Lewa Borana Landscape, are over 200 endangered rhinos, both black and white varieties living beyond the reach of poachers. With conservation foundational to its existence, the lodge invests all earnings back into the protection of these animals. Staying at Borana, and whether on a horseback safari or while mountain biking the rugged trails, you’ll know that you’re making a difference to this stunning destination and its majestic wildife.
The creation of Wa Ale Resort, in a formerly inaccessible tropical island chain, is a case study in low impact development. During its sustainable construction, no tree was uprooted, or earth dug. The resort was created to generate income for the Lampi Foundation and its work conserving the Lampi Marine National Park and its at-risk sea turtle population. The nests, often plundered by natural predators and poachers, can now be closely monitored thanks to the establishment of the resort. With a thriving hatchery in place, more than 8000 sea turtles have swum away into the Andaman Sea.
In a dramatic glen in the Scottish Highlands is Alladale—a wilderness reserve with a scattering of retreats nestled amid its pristine landscape. Staying there, you’re immersed in one huge conservation project involving initiatives such as rewilding the area with native pines and creatures such as the Scottish wildcat. Discover more on a guided ranger tour while also keeping a sharp eye for red squirrels, golden eagles, and wild boar. With initiatives like a 1.5-acre aquaponic garden powered by a hydroelectric generator for zero-waste and zero-emissions food production, a stay at Alladale will deepen your understanding of progressive conservation philosophies.
Experience one of Africa’s greatest success stories at Singita Kwitonda Lodge. Rwanda has grown in popularity as a remarkable travel destination as a direct result of mountain gorilla conservation, and Kwitonda is playing a significant role. On the edge of Volcanoes National Park, a ten-year reforestation plan is in place creating a buffer zone between the lodge and the gorillas’ shrinking habitat, thus adding a natural layer of protection from poachers. There is minimal separation between you and these endangered primates, a truly humbling sensation. Trek along rainforest trails, embrace this once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounter and recognise the importance of responsible tourism for the survival of mountain gorillas.
A stay at Lapa Rios is an irresistible blend of isolated luxury and active conservation work. Situated in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, the conservation initiatives undertaken at Lapa Rios help to preserve the endemic flora and fauna of the Corcovado National Park. With macaws racketing overhead and frogs clinging to tree trunks, you’ll set up camera traps for wild cat survival, plant rainforest seedlings, and encounter engaging primates. You’ll leave Lapa Rios enthusiastic for your next conservation adventure.
The Polar Park is the world’s northernmost animal park, home to bears, lynxes, and a pack of 25 Norwegian wolves. The latter has been hunted into endangered status in Norway, and the park exists to educate visitors about these remarkable creatures. You’ll gain the trust of these human-habituated wolves in a close-up, profound encounter before observing their play and behavior while in the midst of their habitat. Afterward, you’ll decamp to luxurious Wolf Lodge, set in the park’s heart, to process your remarkable experience while listening out for the wolves howling in the night.
Set in New Zealand’s verdant mountains, Mahu Whenua is part remote luxury haven and part beacon for natural regeneration. You’ll assist in this eco-sanctuary’s remarkably successful initiative to return a landscape stripped by farming to its natural state. Make your mark by assisting with conservation efforts and learning about their projects, such as breeding native birds. With its name translated as ‘healing the land,’ you’ll relish the opportunity to be a part of that healing, helping to restore New Zealand’s remarkable natural world.
Wake up within Torres del Paine National Park—one of the most visually charismatic wildernesses in the world. With spectacular mountain vistas from your room at Awasi Patagonia, you’ll relish the serenity of your location in the midst of a private nature reserve. The Awasi Foundation helps restore and rewild the habitats surrounding its properties, and while staying there you can explore this remarkable landscape as you assist in their successful conservation efforts. Join a group of guides and scientists as they track pumas, once absent from this area, across the rugged Patagonian wilderness.
With an aim to carry out an internal supply chain sustainability audit in 2022, we are putting the building blocks in place to ensure Pelorus is a catalyst for driving positive and sustainable change in travel supply chains.
If any of the options in this article are of interest, contact us to create customized experiences based on your preferences. Whether becoming involved in hands-on conservation or contributing financially by making an informed choice of accommodation, there are many ways to give back to nature wherever you want to travel to.
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