Each tour or National Park will get a rating out of five stars, one star each representing something I feel is important for such places to have.
Stars are awarded for:
- The animals you can see. The range of wildlife you can see.
- How well treated is the wildlife. Meaning did the company disturb them, or can the public disturb them. To me this is the most important part of paying to see animals, both in the wild or in captivity.
- The quality of the information on the animals given to the public. This is another facet of animal experiences that is very important to me, if companies are charging people to see animals, in zoos or in the wild, then I believe it’s their duty to educate people about what they are seeing, to raise awareness of the species and of any conservation issues facing them. On tours or at National Parks this frequently means how good the knowledge of the naturalists is, as they spend the tour educating you about what you are seeing.
- The quality of the boat/jeep/paths and the facilities available to you. Not as important but something that some places really put effort into so I want to be able to show it’s appreciated! Basically means how nice is it to spend time there as a visitor and how easy is it to meet your basic needs.
- How friendly and helpful the staff or company is. Pretty self-explanatory! Includes any staff member of the company or organisation, from the naturalists, boat captains and deck hands, cafeteria staff, the people selling the tickets at the office… anyone!
Coming soon: The rollercoster ride that is whale watching in the Azores with Azores Experiences