PRWeb Published 11:00 a.m., Sunday, May 13, 2012With renewed focus on endangered species highlighted by Endangered Species Day in the USA on May 18th; the recent release of the film ‘African Cats’ endorsed by Prince William, and new figures from South Africa indicating rhino horn and ivory poaching are their highest levels since bans were introduced in 1990, PlanetWildlife is promoting experiential group and tailor-made safari itineraries aimed at increasing public awareness and support. Apart from the black rhino of Africa, some of the most threatened creatures on the planet include the Asiatic Lion of India, the Chinese Panda bear (now bred largely in controlled environments), and the spectacular Blue Whale, most commonly seen in the waters off Sri Lanka.
Priced at US$2,150/£1,327 per person, the eight-day tailor-made Kenyan Safari (http://www.planetwildlife.com/uk/travel/itineraries/kenyan-safari and Explore Kenya (for small groups) http://www.planetwildlife.com/uk/travel/itineraries/explore-kenya-0 reasonably priced from US$2,520/£1,555 per person, allow wildlife lovers to get close to and observe lion, elephant and, in the case of the latter itinerary, the threatened black rhino which can be spotte in the Nakuru National Park. Statistics from South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs indicate that 170 rhino have been poached since January this year.... Last year a total of 252 animals were poached in the Kruger Park, up from 146 in 2010.
In Asia, particular concern is directed towards the Asiatic Lion which are thought to number just over 300 and are to be found in their natural habitat only in Northern India’s Gir Forest National Park. PlanetWildlife offers an extensive 15-day Royals in the Jungle itinerary priced from US$3,074/£1,897 per person http://www.planetwildlife.com/travel/itineraries/royals-jungle which departs from Mumbai to Gujarat and takes in Velavadar National Park, Gir National Park, and Kanha National Park, where elusive Indian leopards can also be spotted.
PlanetWildlife’s seven-day Images of China itinerary offers numerous opportunities to observe the Giant Panda (http://www.planetwildlife.com/travel/itineraries/images-china) at close quarters. The nation’s most famous native mammal thrives in over 60 designated reserves in South-West and Central China, mainly Sichuan province. Although numbers have gradually increased over the last few years due to raised global awareness - with current estimates of around 1,600 pandas in the wild - the Giant Panda is still listed as an Endangered Species. The Images of China programme, priced from US$3,067/ £1,893 per person, commences in Sichuan’s capital, Chengdu, and includes visits to the Bifengxia Panda Reserve, and the Dapingyu and Foping Nature Reserves where both the endangered Giant Panda and Golden Monkey species are protected.