Mind Blowing Adventures that Protect our Planet: Custom-Designed Trips Incorporating Luxury & Conservation
Epic Road custom designs bespoke travel that blends high-end luxury with some of the most exciting conservation efforts around the world. If you're looking to expand your horizons and go beyond the quintessential safari in Africa, beyond the regular dive in the Maldives and beyond the leisure cruise through Antarctica, we've got you covered. Help scientists satellite collar an endangered species, help marine biologists reconstruct coral reefs, and climb glaciers with experts to learn all about climate change and glacial retreat. We've compiled the following list of some of the most exhilarating and rewarding conservation experiences around the world.
1. Satellite Collar a Wild Predator (Lion, Cheetah, Buffalo, Wild Dog)
The African Wild Dog is an endangered species, and lion, cheetah and buffalo are sadly hunted and killed by poachers every day. This had led us to pair with reputable conservationists, scientists and organizations across the African continent - all with the shared mission to protect certain species from extinction and prevent others from ever nearing that point. One way that we work with these groups is to secure satellite collars around the species in question. Epic Road sets up an experience where you have the ability to track an animal and help experts place these collars around their necks so that scientists can then analyze and study the animals' behavior. In many of the regions implicated, the government lacks the funds necessary for such initiatives, so by you dedicating one of your travel experiences to wildlife conservation, the species has a better chance at survival. The data provided by these collars is invaluable and the thrill of getting hands on with some of the greatest animals on the planet is unprecedented.
Visit our 25 Signature Experiences by Epic Road to learn more and watch additional live footage of the above!
2. Hands-on Interaction with & Adoption of a Wild Orphaned Baby Elephant
The Ithumba Camp is a small mobile tented camp located in the Tsavo East National Park in Kenya, where young elephants are reintroduced into the wild after being rescued and rehabilitated. The camp is run in partnership with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a truly incredible rescue organization and one of the most revered in the world. Ithumba Camp was specifically built to satisfy avid travelers who crave intimate and authentic interactions with majestic elephants in their natural habitat, meaning virtually every experience you have here will involve the incredible species in question. The synchronized trumpeting of an elephant herd will take place of your morning alarm, you will spend the day observing the animals as they roam about, feed and take exciting mud baths. And you won't be watching from the distance that you might expect, you will be close enough to really grasp what makes the elephant so special, how the species interact with each other and most importantly, you'll witness the moment where rescued baby elephants are accepted by their adoptive families. At that moment, your entire perspective of the elephant species will change.
Visit our sample itineraries involving elephant conservation:
3. Scuba Dive and Grow Coral with a Marine Biologist to Build a Maldivian Reef
Stay at the 4 Seasons in the Maldives and work side-by-side with marine biologists and local environmental consultancy Seamarc. They will happily introduce you to their underwater office and put you to work, giving you the opportunity to help transplant coral frames. In 1998, 90% of Maldivian shallow water corals were wiped out due to the unusually warm waters caused by El Nino. Since then, Seamarc has helped to regenerate the population, transplanting more than 60,000 fragments of coral between 2005 and 2009 alone. Beyond coral reefscaping, make sure to sign up for the 'Manta-on-Call' service where the resort will immediately notify you of ray sightings, get you on a speedboat and in the water to swim with these massive gentle creatures topping out at 30 feet. The diving on its own in the Maldives is of course phenomenal, some of the best in the world, and most luxury properties feature their very own house reefs...all you have to do is walk down from your beachfront villa.
Visit our page on Luxury Travel in the Maldives.
4. Track Faux Poachers in the Bush with Anti-Poaching Teams and Their Dogs
Link up with a renowned anti-poaching team and their K-9 unit. Watch as the dogs track a faux poachers' scent through kilometers of wild bush until it successfully and impressively finds the elusive person of interest. In recent years, poaching methods have become increasingly sophisticated, both within expansive parks and smaller private reserves. In response to the continued threat to Africa's remaining wildlife, many properties and parks have started working with highly trained tracker dog units. Their keen sense of smell is unparalleled and there are very few obstacles they can't overcome as they can easily sniff their way through the dark and across long distances. Furthermore, once one poacher finds out that dogs have been deployed, the news rapidly circulates and though it is hard to quantify, most will agree that poaching has seemingly decreased.
5. Climb Ice Glaciers in the Arctic & Antarctica While Learning about Climate Change and Glacial Retreat
Experience the real Arctic up close, fully escorted by the most knowledgeable Inuit guides. Aside from ensuring that you don't get lost out in the Arctic expanse, they will also teach you everything you need to know with regard to the land, the animals, and issues such as climate change and glacial retreat. Same goes for Antarctica - hike up a turquoise glacier and learn all about what you see - and if you get thirsty on your way up or during the explanation, simply reach down and eat a handful of the cleanest snow on the planet.
6. Adopt an Aldabra Giant Tortoise
The famous Giant Aldabra Tortoise is native to the Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. Despite weighing upwards of 600 pounds, they are completely harmless and will happily eat a handful of leaves right from your hands. To prevent poaching, many of the islands host secure tortoise enclosures where the young are fostered until the age of 3 when they can safely be released into the wild. You also have the ability to adopt one of these friendly vegeterians and contribute to the ongoing care and breeding programs dedicated to conserving the Aldabra Giant Tortoise. (FUN FACT: The oldest Giant Tortoise, named Jonathan, is 182 years old and though he now lives in the British territory of St. Helena, he is originally from the Seychelles)
Visit our page on Luxury Travel in the Seychelles.
7. Scuba Dive with a Marine Biologist and Work with Sea Turtles
One of the most threatened forms of marine life is the sea turtle. The species is constantly threatened by pollution, fishermen and of course natural predators. During your visit to Kenya or the Seychelles, you can work with local organizations to search for nesting turtles along the beach as well as help monitor incubating and hatching. Watching baby sea turtles hatch and take their very first steps is a truly unforgettable experience.
Visit our page on Luxury Travel in the Seychelles.
8. Trek Volcanoes in Search of the 900 Remaining Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda/Uganda/Democratic Republic of Congo
We're talking about singularly exceptional access to one of the planet's most extraordinary species - the Mountain Gorilla. We're also talking about one of the most dramatic landscapes on the African continent: the mighty Virungas, a chain of 15,000 ft. volcanoes stretching across Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Your visit contributes significantly to the conservation of the species so make your way to this fascinating corner of Africa and come face-to-face with one of the most endangered species in existence.
Visit our sample itineraries involving gorilla trekking:
9. Get Hands-on with Penguin Conservation with a Biologist on the Beaches of Antarctica
Escape the presence of man and explore the last and largest unspoiled wilderness on Earth, the last frontier, Antarctica. Work with dedicated biologists to learn about the many penguin species and the threats they face on a daily basis from commercial fishing accidents to global warming. Make sure to swim with these curious creatures at Deception Bay, because lets face it, when and where else will you be at arm's length from thousands of penguins?
Visit our page on Antarctica.