Africa voted as number one wildlife destination
The UK's favourite wild animal is the tiger, a new survey by Saga Holidays* has found. Recognised throughout the world for its unmistakeable beauty, the big cat was voted the most popular wild animal by one in five people throughout the nation.
The elephant was named in second place with 10 per cent of the votes, with the lion completing the top three with nine per cent. Often associated with its craftiness and cunning, the fox joined the monkey and the panda among the top ten of the UK's favourites.
The research, commissioned by Saga, also found that one in five people take the local wildlife into account when considering where to go on holiday. But not everyone wants to get too close to some of the species in the Great Outdoors!
The lion was named the animal the British public would least like to come face-to-face with, with 15 per cent voting it the world's scariest animal. The bear was voted in second place (11 per cent), and the snake the third most fearsome. Also featuring in the top ten were the crocodile, rat and rhinoceros.
Interestingly, 55% of respondents say they would most like to visit Africa to see animals in the wild, followed by Australasia and Antarctica.
In celebration of the nation's interest in wildlife, Saga Holidays have increased their range of holidays for 2008, enabling more over 50s to visit the world's most fascinating animals in the wild. The "Wildlife Encounters" programme will take adventurous animal lovers into the animals' natural habitats, encompassing unique landscapes and breathtaking scenery. Whilst some of Saga's traditional long-haul tours also include chances to get up close to the animals.
Go Tiger spotting on "Nepal Wildlife Encounters" tour
Experience the majesty of Nepal on an 11 night*** "Nepal Wildlife Encounters" tour, in the company of an experienced wildlife host. Explore the Chitwan National Park, one of Asia's richest and most spectacular wildlife sanctuaries. Ride high on an elephant through primeval jungle, watching out for any elusive Royal Bengal tigers on the prowl, and spend time on Phulchowki, the highest peak on the rim of the Kathmandu Valley, on the look out for the abundant birdlife. Reaching the end of the tour, guests will be led into the Pokhara Valley, gateway to the Himalayas, and home to some of the world’s most spectacular butterflies and forest birds. Priced from 1999 per person, the tour includes return flights, insurance and cancellation cover. Departures from Manchester and London Heathrow start from February 18th 2008.
Catch a glimpse of the big five on "The Great Kenyan Safari"
Head over to Africa on the 13 night** "Great Kenyan Safari" and experience thrilling game drives through two of Kenya's most prolific wildlife areas; the Lake Nakuru National Park and the Masai Mara Game Reserve. As well as the opportunity to seek out the 'big five' game animals of lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino, guests will also get to enjoy two days on Diani Beach with a chance to visit the Ksite-Mpungiti Marine Park with its abundant marine life including sea turtles, dolphins, parrotfish and pufferfish. Priced from 1999 per person, the tour includes return flights, full board and the services of a knowledgeable wildlife host. The next available departure from London Heathrow is 9th October 2008.
Search for the remarkable desert elephant in "A Journey into Namibia"
Take time exploring the amazing diversity of Namibia, one of the world's last great wilderness countries, on the 14 night** "A Journey in Namibia" adventure tour. From the sand dunes of the Namib Desert to the Skeleton Coast of the northern shores, this tour takes in the best of Namibia's landscapes as well the Namibian capital Windhoek. Guests will also take an animal safari at the Etosha National Park, home of the desert elephant, visit the seaside town on Swakopmund and have the opportunity to track cheetahs and leopards in Okonjima. Priced from 1899 per person, the tour includes return flights, most meals and the services of a Saga representative. Regular departures from London Gatwick start from 19th March 2008.
Go Whale & Dolphin spotting on "Hidden Jewels of the Caribbean"
This new for 2008 16 night*** island-hopping adventure takes you on a tour of St Kitts, Dominica and Antigua. On St Kitts you visit UNESCO protected Brimstone Hill Fortress and tour plantations on St Kitts railway, which dates back to 1912. Dominica offers some of the best nature has to offer; the stunning waterfalls at the Mourne Trois Piton National Park, take an aerial tram above the rainforest to spot exotic fauna and wildlife and passengers also have the option to take a whale watching trip around Dominica, where they can spot seven different whale species and 11 types of dolphin. The final stop on the tour is Antigua, where passengers can visit nelson's dockyard or take a boat trip to view the beautiful coral and marine life inhabiting the water surrounding the island. Priced from 1999 per person, the tour includes return flights, insurance, cancellation cover, airport fees and taxes as well as a selection of excursions. Regular departures from London Gatwick start from 15th January 2008.
Further details are available at Saga Holidays 0800 056 5880 or www.saga.co.uk/travelshop.
* Saga holidays are exclusively for people aged 50 and over, a travelling companion may be aged 40 or over.
* Saga holidays are only available direct and not through travel agents.
*Research conducted online by YouGov on behalf of Saga amongst 2,014 UK adults (aged 18 ) between 29-30 August 2007. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18 ). Top 10 animals have been calculated by Saga from the verbatim answers provided by YouGov.
** includes two nights aboard aircraft
*** includes one night aboard aircraft
For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771118.