Connect With Animals and Nature While Traveling

Sights Syahirah Mokhtazar 29-Oct-2019

Traveling is much more fun when you create memories beyond sightseeing. It could be connecting with the locals or discovering new cuisines that entices your taste buds. But how would you like to connect more with nature and animals?

Airbnb together with World Animal Protection has unveiled a new category under the Airbnb Experiences that allow people to better understand nature and connect with creatures big or small in an ethical way, thus setting a whole new standard for animal tourism.

Under the new category, there are 1,000 Experiences guests can book from which are co-hosted by over 300 species and their human advocates. Imagine being able to hike with rescue dogs, chill out with alpacas or for those seeking more adventure, guests can discover arctic foxes or even help rescue puppies lost within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

According to its press release, Airbnb Airbnb Animal Experiences are hosted by caring experts as an antidote to typical tourist attractions that are notorious for ethical concerns. Through this platform, activities like kiss a dolphin or ride an elephant won’t be found.

“With technology taking up so much of our lives, it’s easy to feel disconnected from nature and animals,” said Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO and Co-Founder.

“Maybe this is why social media is dominated by animal memes. Life is better with animals, but for many busy people, looking at them through a screen is the closest they can get. With Airbnb Animal Experiences, locals and travelers are just a few clicks away from being alongside them in the real world.“

“We know people love animals and want to see and experience them when they travel, but we also know they most want to see animals in a setting that respects their well-being,” said Alesia Soltanpanah, Executive Director World Animal Protection.

“This new animal welfare policy created in consultation with our animal welfare experts combined with the creativity and dedication of Airbnb will ensure that adventurers have many options to experience the beauty of animals in a way that considers their welfare first.”

To give you an idea of what the Airbnb Animal Experiences are offered, here are some standout Experiences for travelers or locals alike around Asia.

 

GUIDED TOUR OF A DAIRY GOAT FARM IN PENANG, MALAYSIA

Here, guests will get a chance to feed and pat goats while observing their behaviour as part of a dairy farmer’s daily routine. Observe how milking is done by machine, pasteurize the milk in the traditional way and learn how goat’s milk can be naturally preserved. Guests will even get to enjoy a taste of handcrafted dairy goat products before going home.

 

EXPLORE THE REALM OF THE WILD MALAYAN TIGERS IN CAMERON HIGHLANDS, MALAYSIA

Protect the wild tigers, other endangered wildlife and forests at the Yu River Tiger Corridor. On this social impact experience, guests will have a chance to record wildlife signs such as footprints and scratch marks, accompanied by the sounds of gibbons howling and calls from cicadas and birds. Help check a camera-trap, which was set up to monitor presence of wildlife and download the data. The jungle trek covers a distance of less than 10km, through wet terrain typical of a tropical rainforest, including crossing a knee-deep river. End the day by planting water tree saplings as part of efforts towards reforesting the degraded areas.

 

SAVE GIBBONS AND FORESTS IN PHUKET, THAILAND

The Gibbon Rehabilitation Project succeeded in reintroducing gibbons back into the wild after they were poached to extinction some 40 years ago. Guests will step into the shoes of a gibbon research assistant to find out more about the Project’s mission, research work and the gibbons under their care, before learning how to prepare a special gibbon nutrition ball, a supplement food wrapped in banana leaves that is then put into a long-distance feeding system. Lucky guests will also see other beautiful wildlife, trekking through the last remaining rainforest in Phuket.

 

TOKYO CAT TOUR FOR CAT LOVERS IN TOKYO, JAPAN

It’s all about cats! On this Tokyo Cat Tour, cat lovers will visit one of the most famous traditional shrines in Tokyo, known as the birthplace of the maneki-neko – a cat figurine believed to bring happiness into lives by holding up a paw and bringing luck. Visit a cat cafe to enjoy a relaxing teatime surrounded by rescued cats, while learning to create an original maneki-neko to take home.

 

LEARN ABOUT HONEY BEEKEEPING IN THE HIMALAYAS – NAINITAL, INDIA

Along the river Kalsa in the Himalayas, a hands-on experience at the beehive awaits, including suiting up in a beekeeping suit and learning how to care for bees. Guests will be involved in planting pollinator-friendly plants for bees, disease control, helping with colony mention and more.

Find out more here.

 

Courtesy of Archetype Agency on behalf of Airbnb.