Do‘s and Don’ts
Wild Times supports a number of organizations and charities that are committed to the preservation of our planet and nature. There are also some things that you should stay far from in our view as a concerned traveler. We have listed some great organizations here whom we support. And also some things you should watch out for either do not have to engage in.
Green Seat, compensate your safari
You go on holiday for the experience, for adventure, to meet new people or for a well-earned rest. Naturally, you do not want to cause a negative effect on the climate. Unfortunately we are all responsible for climate change and we all must be part of the solution. If you want to travel green now, you can act now! GreenSeat makes it simple for anyone to offset their carbon emissions. Through GreenSeat CO2 offsetting, you ensure that the greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere do not increase. GreenSeat provides access to sustainable energy in developing countries. Our projects not only reduce CO2 emissions but at the same time improve the standard of living for households in developing countries. Please check their website greenseat.nl.
Pack for a Purpose, make your travels meaningful
Have a big impact in the communities you visit. Simply use a small amount of space in your luggage to pack supplies needed by community projects around the world. We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travellers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for area schools or medical clinics in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Please read more on Pack for a Purpose.
Visit and support conservation projects
There are nature conservation projects in each country, some on a general basis, some specifically for a species. In Kenya for example there is the Watamu Turtle Watch and Local Ocean Trust. This is a private, non-profit organisation, that aims at protecting the sea turtles. When in Watamu or nearby, please visit as it is not only fun, but you support a good cause! Read more on Watamu Turtle Watch.
Also ask us about other options in other countries!
Don’t ride on elephants
Riding elephants is NOT OK. First of all training is done while inflicting pain. Next to that elephants have very sensitive soles and their feet are hurt by walking over hot tarmac. We do not offer this option. Also so called elephant orphanages are hardly ever OK, because they want to generate business over conservation. Rescue centers are usually OK since these animals are saved from tourism industry or logging companies, where they are kept under pitiful circumstances and being trained under harsh conditions. There are a couple of organisations that you can support: Safe the elephants in Thailand and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya.
Don’t visit cuddle farms
Please do not visit cuddle farms. In many places in Asia and Africa you can cuddle or take care of lions or tigers, feed them or walk with them or simply take a picture. Having young animals on the premises always, means that this is most probably a cuddle farm. Such a farm usually presents itself as an orphanage for orphaned animals or as a breeding project. The aim would be to set them free in the wild later on. But the reality is much different. Lion cubs are being bred and taken from their mother just for being able this kind of activities. These cubs can NEVER go ‘back’ to the wild. The animals live in captivity and usually end up as hunting trophies. This causes a lot of animal suffering as well as an increase in poaching, while the lion is already threatened with extinction. Wild Times will not ever include such cuddling farms in whatever shape or form into any itinerary. More information can be found on
We do not need to elaborate on this. Hunting wildlife is a NO. Whether in Africa or in Asia, Wild Times does not support this. The argument that revenues (approx USD 20,000 to shoot a lion for instance) would be used for the conservation of lions, is certainly not true, the revenues are solely used for profit. Ivory, bones and skins of cats are sold on the Asian markets and this threatens the animals in Africa due to poaching. And for the people that are still contemplating: lions that are used for cuddling on these farms, are being used for hunting, they are like meek sheep… Not very flashy or cool, is it? It is just as hard as shooting your golden retriever…
Volunteer work at orphanages
Take extra care when working at an orphanage as a volunteer during your gap year or sabbatical. Again: this is big business. Unfortunately. In many third world countries children are exploited for financial gain in orphanages. Volunteers pay between USD 3000 and 5000 per month to take care of these children and teach them, without any degree and knowledge. The so called orphans lose their parents and are the victims. Oh, and the parents are under the impression that they have given their children a better life and future too… Read up on this at Safethechildren
Taking souvenirs home is one of the fun things to do and to remember your awesome holiday by. Often you support the locals too. We love that. But… be careful. Do not buy shells for example, buying them means encouriging locals to get them out of the sea and this does not help biodiversity. Explain to sellers why you are not buying. On the other hand this also means that you yourself leave them where they are and do not take them…
Always ask too if the item is made out of hardwood. If yes, then also explain to the seller that this is not a good thing to do either.
Think before you buy!
Het Jane Goodall Instituut Nederland
Het Jane Goodall instituut is een wereldwijde organisatie opgezet door de bekende primatologe Dr. Jane Goodall. Van oudsher is de organisatie gericht op de bescherming van chimpansees en hun leefomgeving. Wereldwijd inspireert het instituut jong en oud tot acties om dieren en hun leefomgeving te beschermen. Karin Bloem is in Nederland voorzitter van het Jane Goodall Instituut. Meer over het Jane Goodall Institutuut
Spots – Save and Protect our Treasures
At the end of 2006/beginning of 2007 the number of wild cat species was set on 36. Many of them are endangered and of those a lot are threatened with extinction. In the Netherlands there was no NGO specifically aiming at the protection of wild cats. This led to the start of Foundation SPOTS in 2004. It is impossible to actually do something for all 36 species. Hence the focus of Foundation SPOTS currently lies in the protection of the cheetah, the lion and the leopard. But, through our Dutch website we are also giving a lot of education about all cat species and we name projects that are busy protecting those specific felids. In this way we hope to put the spots on all cats worldwide. Foundation SPOTS has chosen three ‘focus species’: the cheetah, leopard, and lion. We support projects who have these animals as focuspoint. Please check the website Stichting Spots for more information to get involved.
Travel Operators for Tigers (TOFTigers)
To advocate and support better tourism practices in wilderness areas, with specific best practice guidelines for tour operators, destination management companies, agents, service and accommodation providers and visitors. To empower local communities to become involved in wildlife tourism projects and initiate low impact and sustainable development which helps conserve the parks and benefits the communities through employment and business opportunities. To catalyse initiatives through the lodge community that enhance wildlife conservation and community support, including waste and water management, trade cooperatives, local employment, fair wages and local enterprises and service.