Responsible tourism: Wildlife conservation holiday in India
This voluntour is conducted in conjunction with organisations like 'Wildlife SOS' and 'Tiger Watch'. Travellers will be able to spend two completely unforgettable days at the 'Agra Bear Rescue Centre'. Founded by 'Wildlife SOS', a charity established in 1995 to preserve and conserve India's natural heritage, forests, and array of flora and fauna, and supported by 'International Animal Rescue', this centre now holds the title of being the world's largest sanctuary for sloth bears. All of these bears have been rescued from the horrific 'dancing bear' trade, and during their time here travellers will be able to help out with the feeding of the resident bears, the construction of hammocks for them, the creation of enrichment for them and the cleaning of their enclosures. After their time in the bear sanctuary, travellers will be able to visit the Mathura Elephant Rescue Centre - another of Wildlife SOS's ventures and India's first chain free elephant camp. Here, they will be able to walk with the elephants, create enrichment for them and help in the preparation of their food. What's more, direct donations to the sloth bear sanctuary (U$100) and the Mathura Elephant Rescue Centre (U$ 50) are included within the project price.
This voluntour allows travellers the opportunity to get fully integrated into local community life, incorporating visits to both the 'Moghiya Hostel' and the 'Dhonk' village - both local initiatives founded and conceptualised by the NGO 'Tiger Watch'. Travellers will be able to spend time with the children being educated at the Moghiya Hostel, helping to educate them in the importance of wildlife conservation and habitat preservation. The Moghiyas, a local tribe, were declared by the police as a criminal tribe, and they were considered to be the centre of all poaching in and around Ranthambore. The hostel then is an essential way of trying to change their lifestyle and showing them of other ways of making their living. 'Dhonk' village is a similar local responsible community initiative formed with the support of ‘Tiger Watch’, whereby local villagers and ex-poachers are taught how to make and sell handicrafts in and around Ranthambore. Travellers will be able to interact with villagers, learn about the art and culture of their region and even help to suggest new ideas for them. What's more, a donation of U$50 will be donated to the Moghiya Hostel and U$50 to the 'Dhonk' village will be made for each individual traveller on the voluntour.