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Best places to see endangered wildlife in 2021

What are the best places to see our world’s endangered species of wildlife? How can we ensure that we help their fragile situation by travelling to see them? We are featuring five amazing creatures which live in five very different habitats; snow leopard, rhinoceros, polar bear, jaguar and orangutan.
 
The best way to help their survival is to see them with an organisation that actively protects their habitat and restricts the numbers of visitors. These organisations usually employ guides who are remarkable for the knowledge and in their passionate concern for the animals. As these animals are usually in remote locations, the price of visiting them can be high, but by seeing them in this way you can enjoy an amazing safari in relative privacy and in the knowledge that you are helping the animal’s wellbeing.
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Snow Leopard - Ladakh, India
The snow leopard – “ghost of the Himalayas” - is perfectly adapted to live in the icy mountains of Ladakh. Their habitat could hardly be more different from the hot savannahs of their African cousins.
Snow Leopard - Ladakh, India
Her deep fur, broad paws and thick muffler-like tail help her to thrive and hunt on the steep icy slopes. The best time to see snow leopard is late winter, January to March, when the colder weather encourages them to follow the Tibetan antelope and blue sheep into the lower valleys.
Snow Leopard - Ladakh, India
The best base is Snow Leopard Lodge, a two-hour drive from Leh in the beautiful Ulley Valley. The lodge is simple, a home from home with just five rooms. Your guide has an intimate knowledge of the remote Ladakhi valleys and an understanding of the behaviour and favoured haunts of these beautiful, elusive cats. Snow Leopard Lodge gets booked one or even two years in advance, so you need to talk to us now for winter 2021/22.
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Rhinoceros - Lewa, Kenya
Until the 1960’s, hundreds of thousands of rhinoceros roamed the African wilderness. Their size, “armour plating” and fearsome horn offered good protection from predators. Today only 2% of that original population survives as demand for rhino horn fuels relentless poaching by that top predator - mankind.
Rhinoceros - Lewa, Kenya
In Kenya, the Craig family decided to do something to help and in 1986 set up the 5,000 acre Ngare Sergoi Rhino Sanctuary in Lewa (now Lewa Wildlife Conservancy). Over the last three decades they have expanded the protected area to nearly 100,000 acres and pioneered the conservation of black rhinoceros. This work is so effective that other private wildlife reserves as far away as India now follow their practices. We can arrange for you to be guests of the Craigs at their Lewa Wilderness Lodge, the perfect base from which to seek out the extraordinary, thriving wildlife of Lewa.
Rhinoceros - Lewa, Kenya
See lion, leopard, elephant and rhinoceros by open vehicle, on foot and on horseback with the Craigs and their enthusiastic Samburu guides. Witnessing cutting-edge conservation first hand while enjoying a thrilling private safari makes Lewa one of our top choices for a family safari holiday.
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Polar Bears - Canada
There are 23,000 polar bears spread across 19 population groups throughout the Arctic. For now, numbers of these magnificent creatures are stable but they are vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Many polar bears depend on floating sea ice for hunting, which is becoming increasingly scarce as the Arctic becomes warmer.
Polar Bears - Canada
More than half the world’s polar bears live in and around Canada. Each October and November, these awesome predators migrate through “polar bear alley”, heading for Hudson Bay where new sea ice forms. Journeysmiths can arrange for you to stay in this “alley” in Arctic Kingdom’s Polar Bear Cabins. You can only get there by light aircraft and you stay in simple, cosy cabins.
Polar Bears - Canada
During their autumn migration, polar bears can pass very close to the cabins, giving you a chance to take amazing photographs. Inuit guides also take you on short treks and snowmobile safaris where you might see arctic fox and wolverine. Contact us early because the season is short and there are only four cabins.
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Jaguar — Pantanal, Brazil
The jaguar is the largest cat in Latin America, and third only to lion and tiger worldwide. They are immensely strong and often take on caiman in a fearsome battle of the beasts! It is thought that 140,000 of these magnificent cats live in the Amazonian rainforests and the wetlands of the Brazilian Pantanal. But logging and commercial farming is reducing their habitat at an alarming rate and jaguars are often shot by livestock farmers.
Jaguar — Pantanal, Brazil
The Pantanal is the world’s largest tropical wetland and similar in size to England. A breathtakingly beautiful network of lakes, looping waterways, forests and savannah plains. Much like Botswana’s Okavango Delta, the water levels rise and fall seasonally, continually changing the landscapes.
Jaguar — Pantanal, Brazil
Researchers with the Onçafari Project and expert guides at Caiman Ecological Refuge will take you deep into the Pantanal and, in our experience, on a three-day safari there is a strong chance you will see several jaguar relaxing, hunting, even swimming.
Jaguar — Pantanal, Brazil
This watery paradise is also home to countless capybara, macaws, tapirs, giant anteater and butterflies which you can seek out by vehicle, boat, on foot and even on mountain bikes.
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Orangutan - Borneo
Orangutans are endearing with their orange fur, seven-foot armspan and human-like features – including four fingers and a thumb. But their numbers in Borneo alone probably reduced by half from 1999 to 2015.
Orangutan - Borneo
Between 2010 and 2030 it’s estimated that Borneo will lose 220,000km² of rain forest, leaving the remaining approximately 100,000 orangutans under threat. Much of the forest is being logged and replaced by palm oil plantations, while baby orangutans are also hunted for the pet trade.
Orangutan - Borneo
The good news is that orangutans are thriving in protected areas of Borneo. We can arrange a journey along the Kinabatangan River, one of the best locations for seeing orangutan in the wild, staying at lodges such as Kinabatangan Wetlands and Sukau for a few nights each.
Orangutan - Borneo
As you cruise along the river, your guide will point out pygmy elephant, sometimes swimming in the water. Proboscis monkeys sit in the trees amid a spectacular array of birds and butterflies, but the highlight of your safari is sure to be the sight of “the old man of the forest”, swinging through the canopy on those long furry arms.
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Your time is precious and with a world to see, we understand the importance of getting it absolutely right for you first time. We would love to hear from you.

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