Animal Rescue Centres (Like Vantara) Around The World: Guided Tours 2024

Animal Rescue Centres (Like Vantara) Around The World: Guided Tours 2024

Tucked in Gujarat’s Jamnagar, Anant Ambani’s visionary project, Vantara has been making waves by becoming the world’s largest animal rescue and rehabilitation centre, sprawling a vast 3,000 acres. Vantara claims to be at the forefront of animal conservation efforts, boasting a dedicated staff of 2,100 experts, a state-of-the-art hospital and medical research facility spanning 1 lakh sq ft, and a 14,000 sq ft kitchen serving specially-curated diets tailored to the health needs of the animals.

Inspired by this ambitious endeavour, we delved into extensive research to uncover similar initiatives that share a steadfast commitment to wildlife conservation across the world. In this feature, we present eight remarkable animal rescue centres that offer guided tours, providing an enriching experience for your next rest and relaxation getaway.

Animal rescue centres around the world

Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation — Panbari, Assam

Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation in Panbari, Assam | Image Credit: Kaziranga National Park

Established in 2002, the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation is strategically located in Panbari, Assam, near the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve. Since its inception, the centre has rescued and rehabilitated over 7,000 distressed animals, successfully releasing approximately 65 percent (about 4,490 animals) back into their natural habitat post-recovery. With a focus on healing animals across 357 species, including clouded leopards, rhinos, elephants, tigers, and black bears, the centre has become a sought-after destination for those eager to observe wildlife up close and learn about rehabilitation efforts from expert professionals. The Kaziranga Wildlife Rehab Centre collaborates with three partner organisations: the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), the Assam Forest Department, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

Elevate your vacation with our guide to the most beautiful places in Assam.

How to reach: Tezpur Airport is the nearest, roughly 71.5 km away.

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust — Nairobi, Kenya

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya | Image Credit: Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

A haven for elephants and rhinos, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was established by Dame Daphne Sheldrick in 1977 in memory of her late husband David Sheldrick, a renowned naturalist and the founding warden of the famed Tsavo East National Park. Since 2001, their daughter, Angela Sheldrick, has assumed leadership of the trust, which operates extensively across Africa to rescue orphaned African Bush Elephants, South-Central Black Rhinoceroses, giraffes, hippos, and Southern White Rhinoceroses. Each rescued orphan begins their journey at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s nursery and eventually reintegrates into the wild.

The nursery welcomes visitors from 11 am to 12 noon all year round, except on December 25. During this time, guests can observe the mid-day milk feeding and mud bath session for the orphans. A Senior Keeper provides insight into the history of each orphaned animal and discusses broader conservation efforts in Kenya.

How to reach: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is the nearest, 27.1 km away.

Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary Plettenberg Bay, South Africa 

Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa | Image Credit: @saasa_monkeyland/Instagram

Established in 1998 by Tony Blignaut, Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary is the world’s first-ever free-roaming, multi-species primate sanctuary. Home to over 550 primates spanning nine species, this rescue centre is dedicated to raising awareness about our primate relatives and the challenges they confront. Guests can partake in hour-long, multilingual monkey safaris, accommodating groups of one to sixteen individuals per tour. Visitors can observe various primate species, including Spider Monkeys, Squirrel Monkeys, Brown Hooded Capuchins, Hanuman Langurs, Ringtail Lemurs, and White-handed Gibbons during these safaris. Notably, entry tickets grant access for the entire day, allowing visitors to enjoy multiple safaris at their own pace. Additionally, guests can purchase tickets for private tours when the sanctuary isn’t crowded.

How to reach: Plettenberg Bay Airport is the nearest, 31.7 km away.

The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Brisbane, Australia 

The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Australia | Image Credit: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary, boasts over 90 years of expertise in koala care and related research. Established in 1927 by Claude Reid, the sanctuary remains dedicated to the preservation of native Australian wildlife. Visitors can immerse themselves in a variety of wildlife encounters, including the rare opportunity to hold a koala bear and interact with these iconic animals up close. Additionally, the sanctuary offers meet-and-greets with owls, raptors, and snakes, along with playful interactions with sheepdogs and dingoes. Families travelling with children can enhance the experience by participating in the barn encounter, where kids can feed friendly goats and sheep, as well as hold guinea pigs and fluffy chickens.

If visiting “The Land Down Under” in summer, make the most of the sun, sand, and sangria at Australia’s best beaches.

How to reach: Brisbane Airport is the nearest, 23.5 km away.

Elephant Nature Park — Chiang Mai, Thailand 

Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand | Image Credit: Gregory Zamell/Shutterstock

Founded by renowned elephant rights advocate Saengduean Chailert, also known as Lek, the Elephant Nature Park is dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating elephants that have suffered mistreatment, including physical injuries and psychological trauma, from circuses, elephant riding, and street begging. The park provides a safe haven for a diverse group of elephants, including those who are crippled, orphaned, blind, or elderly, offering them a peaceful and nurturing environment.

In addition to elephants, the park extends its compassion to various other animals, such as dogs, cats, horses, buffalo, cows, goats, pigs, and birds, among others. Visitors can observe the herds bathing in the river and enjoy playful interactions during the Half Day Morning and Half Day Afternoon visits to the Elephant Nature Park.

How to reach: Chiang Mai International Airport is the nearest, 71 km away.

Wolf Haven International — Tenino, Washington

Wolf Haven International in Tenino, Washington | Image Credit: Wolf Haven International

Previously known as Wolf Country and Wolf Haven America, Wolf Haven International is a sanctuary for captive-born and displaced wolves. Established in 1982 by Steve and Linda Kuntz, the 82-acre property is committed to providing educational programmes about wolves and advocating for their protection. Additionally, the sanctuary actively participates in captive breeding programmes for two endangered wolf species: the Red Wolf and the Mexican Wolf.

Visitors to Wolf Haven International can enjoy guided walking tours through the Patrick Vance Dunn Memorial Prairie and other publicly accessible areas of the sanctuary. At the Visitor Centre, guests can view the Wolf Haven Video and, with luck, observe up to 14 sanctuary residents.

Please note that Wolf Haven will be closed to visitors during April and May 2024 due to the breeding and whelping season. The sanctuary will reopen to visitors in June 2024.

How to reach: Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, roughly 102 km away.

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The Sloth Sanctuary — Cahuita, Costa Rica, Central America 

Spread across 320 acres, the Sloth Sanctuary is a healing oasis for injured, orphaned, and abandoned sloths. Established by Judy Avey-Arroyo and Luis Arroyo, the sanctuary specialises in the rescue, rehabilitation, and research of these solitary creatures. In addition to providing accommodations at the Buttery Inn for visitors, the Sloth Sanctuary offers guided tours, including the Buttercup Tour and Insider’s Tour.

Explore our guide to the country’s finest beaches, hot springs, and markets to experience Costa Rica like a local.

How to reach: Limón International Airport is the nearest, 27.3 km away.

Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary — Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand

Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary in Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand | Image Credit: Tiritiri Matangi

Moored near the Whangaparoa Peninsula, Tiritiri Matangi Island can be reached via ferry service from Central Auckland or Gulf Harbour. Once brimming with foliage and wildlife, the island was excessively cleared for farming, costing the region its native fauna. Since 1974, concerted efforts have been made to restore the island’s natural landscape. With a focus on conserving native bird species, the island has been transformed into an ‘open sanctuary’, inviting people to participate in its ecological rejuvenation.

The restoration initiatives have borne fruit, and visitors now have the opportunity to encounter endangered native species such as the little spotted kiwi, kokako, and saddleback (tieke) on the island. Overnight accommodation is available at the former lighthouse keeper’s fully-stocked cottage, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in bird-watching and embark on walking trails like Hobbs Beach Track, Wattle Track, Kawerau Track, and Ngāti Paoa Track, among others.

How to reach: Upon arriving at Auckland Airport, take a 75-minute ferry ride from Auckland CBD across the Hauraki Gulf to reach Tiritiri Matangi Island.

(Feature Image Credit: @vantara/Instagram)

Related: Study Reveals The World’s Best Wildlife Photography Destinations & Singapore Is Among Them

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– What services do animal rescue centres in India offer?
Animal rescue centres in India assist displaced, injured, and orphaned animals. They offer medical care and rehabilitation, to release the animals into their natural habitats. Additionally, these centres often have dedicated hospitals and research facilities that promote animal conservation and raise awareness among visitors.

– How can I contact an animal rescue centre in India for help?
You can contact an animal rescue centre in India by using the contact information provided on their official website. Most rescue centres have phone numbers, email addresses, or online contact forms for inquiries and assistance.

– Which is the oldest animal care facility in India?
The Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre (SGACC), established in 1980, holds the distinction of being the oldest animal care facility in India. Located in Delhi, it is also the largest animal care centre in the region.

Animal Rescue Centres (Like Vantara) Around The World: Guided Tours 2024

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