Blue Sky Wildlife Criteria for Local Wildlife Specialists
Blue Sky Wildlife is an online marketplace designed to help independent eco-tourists and travellers find a specialist wildlife day trip/tour/safari/extended holiday.
We do this by publicising local wildlife specialists or experts, and putting the travellers in touch with these local suppliers who live and breathe their market.
In order to help us uphold our standards and deliver trustworthy information, we therefore ask the local wildlife specialists listed on our site to confirm that they can claim the following:
- That they are a specialist wildlife tour supplier and wildlife observation is a core part of their business
- That at least 75 per cent of their tours are dedicated to wildlife watching (some cultural and historical elements can be included but must not constitute the major part of any tour)
- That they specialise in only one country or region (ie, their own country and those that border it) and have in-depth knowledge of the wildlife of that country/region
- There may be a logical extension to visit their neighbouring countries with similar wildlife
- That they hold the appropriate government licences for conducting their wildlife business
- That the person leading each of their tours is knowledgeable in the wildlife of the area and able to convey anatomical and behavioural information about native species in a language that can be understood by the guest
- That their approach to wildlife watching is ethical and designed to minimise disturbance to the normal activities and behaviour of the animals
- That they actively discourage guests from approaching too close, interfering with or touching the animals, interrupting their natural behaviour or artificially calling them into view
- That they are not involved in any way in the hunting industry or tourism that aims to exploit or harm animals
- That the vehicles they use to transport guests are roadworthy and conform to the licencing requirements of the country in which they are operating, and that the drivers are similarly legally licenced
- That accommodation they supply is well-maintained, clean, accurately described in their tour itinerary and conforms to the licencing requirements of the country(ies)
- That they are involved in the local community and actively provide employment for local people wherever possible
- That they belong to a recognised Ecotourism Association located in their region, country and/or continent where possible (e.g. Africa)
- That they are involved in some way in local conservation and supporting wildlife in their country(ies) of operation
- That they hold clients’ data in a secure location and do not share their details with any third parties
- That they hold the appropriate legally required public liability and indemnity policies to accept international travellers (e.g. Africa)
- That they hold the appropriate insolvency protection to protect the traveller as is available within their region, country and/or continent where possible (e.g. Africa)
- That if they do not hold insolvency protection directly (which may not be possible in some countries) they have agreed to conduct the client travel contract through Blue Sky Wildlife, in order for that protection to be supplied by Blue Sky Wildlife’s Worldwide Traveller Protection
Please note: local wildlife specialists or experts listed on Blue Sky Wildlife prior to 1st April 2020, will have a grace period until 31st March 2021 to allow them to meet all the relevant criteria listed above if they do not already comply.
Originally Published: 15 Apr 2020