For outbound travel agents, wildlife tourism is a growing sector as more and more Indians are pacing towards adventurous holidays overseas, exploring foreign wildlife. Moreover, when it comes to naming a favourite wildlife destination among Indians, the trade’s verdict is South Africa, while India still needs to up its game in this sector.
Siddharth Jain, Director, Click2Travel.in and Sapphire Ventures
Kenya and South Africa undoubtedly rule the roost for wildlife tourism. South Africa offers a variety of gaming experiences, with so many national parks available in the entire country from north to south. Besides national parks, there are also private game reserves. A lot of game reserves also have Big 5. The wildlife experience here is like nowhere else and the entire world knows about it. Thus, in South Africa, wildlife, combined with a variety of other tours, makes it a great experience. Apart from South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana are also coming up.
Suzanne Pereira, Senior Vice President, Trade Relationships & Communications, Thomas Cook
While traditionally Kenya has been one destination that has captured the imagination of Indians, for an authentic experience as well as a lot of enriching opportunities, South Africa seems to be the flavour of the season. There are diverse safaris offered here with a range of price points, catering to different markets and segments. While there is also Tanzania and many other places in Africa, according to me, South Africa has caught the attention of the Indian imagination.
Chitra Bhatia, Managing Director, Aashman Air Travels
There are many destinations around the world that interest Indian travellers for wildlife specifically. Indians are warming up to the idea of this kind of adventure holiday and it is visible. A number of Indians are choosing wildlife-specific itineraries. Kenya and Tanzania already have many takers. Now, even Rawanda is picking up for the guerrillas. In South Africa, apart from the usual parks there are game parks, close to Durban as well, where tourists can spot the Big 5. Wildlife tourism is only going to increase from India.
Sandip Shaw, MD, Capital Tours
There are many products in India for wildlife tourism, and Indians can easily explore each to view the myriad flora and fauna that the country is blessed with. Ranthambore, Kanha and Bandhavgarh are the most popular destinations in India for wildlife tourism. However, there are not many good jungle or wildlife resorts to support wildlife tourism in India. Hence, most Indians prefer to go to South Africa, Kenya and Latin America for safaris because the infrastructure and facilities provided there are highly developed.
Sanjay Aggarwal, Proprietor, Sun and Sand Tours and Travels
Wildlife tourism in India is still in its nascent stage, so people are exploring destinations in other parts of the world. One of the many popular destinations for wildlife tours and experiences is Kenya. South Africa also interests a lot of Indians. This is because the wildlife parks there are exceptionally good. There is complete differentiation as compared to any other wildlife destination. There is a huge variety of animals there and the arrangements to take a look at them are very good. People enjoy the kind of safaris they get in these countries.
Sandeep Jain, President, Ad-Voyage Travels
South Africa and Kenya are undoubtedly the top-spot holders in the list of best wildlife tourism destinations in the world. Indians love to experience the safaris in these countries, as they offer unforgettable sightings of many rare animals. In fact, these countries have seen a huge growth in Indian tourists coming to experience their wildlife products, especially because wildlife tourism is growing within the country as well. A lot of new resorts and sanctuaries are coming up in all the states and are being promoted on a national level.