Next year onwards, wildlife enthusiasts can opt for a camping trip to Tanzania as part of Bombay Natural History Society's (BNHS) eco-tourism project.
Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), one of the oldest non-government organisations for nature conservation in the city, has been organising such camps for wildlife enthusiasts at 20 domestic destinations and six international destinations.
In 2011, it added Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Madagascar to its list of international destinations. "We have seen an exponential rise in the participation for both domestic and foreign camps. Regular participants initiate their relatives and colleagues into it. Recently, we have also started one-day camps in Maharashtra for corporates," said Isaac Kehimkar, general manager (programmes), BNHS.
The Tanzania camp in March 2012 will include a visit to the famous Serengeti National Park, home to the largest migration of wildebeests and zebras. Other attractions include sightings of the African lion and the African elephant.
A guide from BNHS accompanies each group comprising a maximum of 30 participants on each tour. "It is BNHS' expertise in wildlife knowledge and the well-organised trips that have hooked me on to these camps," said
Peter Hill, 67, a UK resident who lives in Mumbai. Hill has been a part of every trip organised to foreign destinations. "BNHS provides a wholesome experience of animal sightings, information and a comfortable stay," he added.
In 1990, BNHS organised its first foreign camp in Kenya. This year, 350 participants enrolled for the domestic camps while 100 signed up for the international camps. Trips are organised depending on the best season to spot the animals.
"It is difficult for individuals to get permits to enter national parks abroad. BNHS' expansive network and reputation makes every process smoother," said Martin Correa, 48, a hotelier in Malad. Correa went to Kenya with BNHS last year.
"The BNHS guides explain the animal breeds, their breeding pattern, lifestyle and other minute details of various birds. BHNS' special tour for children helps initiate students into being more aware about nature.
The trips are hassle-free and they take good care of you," said Nayana Shanbagh, 58, from Vile Parle, who returned from a bird-watching trip at the Jamnagar Bird Sanctuary earlier this week.