"Traveling to China was a fantastic and awe inspiring adventure! The San Diego Zoo put together a superb package. They made a seemingly intimidating destination into a wonderful experience of a lifetime. Everything from the culture, people, food, architecture, historical sites, and, of course, the PANDAS were incredible. Getting so close to pandas was something I will never forget! Thanks to the success of this trip I would definitely recommend the Zoo's travel programs."
"The trip to China surpassed all of my expectations. Our guides were superb, as were our accommodations and meals, and my fellow travelers became friends. My favorite experiences included visiting two panda sanctuaries, being photographed sitting right next to a young panda, and tobogganing down the Great Wall. The Yangtze River Cruise was very enjoyable, and being on the ship while it passed through the locks at the Three Gorges Dam was an experience I will long remember. Finally, I feel I gained some perspective on a country that I knew little about.
I would travel with the Zoo again in a heartbeat!"
"My safari in Tanzania was way above my very high expectations. I was taken care of royally from start to finish and witnessed the most amazing wildlife imaginable. Thank you."
"So many wonderful events and people on this trip. My very favorite person is our naturalist, Augustine. He is exceptionally personable and knowledgeable."
"This Safari is full of spectacular surprises and as awesome as a wide-mouthed crocodile! Sensational!"
"This trip has been even better than my highest expectations—we had such great leadership, both on the “road” and at all the fine places we stayed—and in addition, the weather was perfect."
"We had the ultimate tiger experience in Bandhavgarh National Park, one that was even special for our naturalist and guides! Being so close to tigers, rhinos, and other animals in their natural environment was incredible."
"One of my favorite experiences was when our naturalist kept track of all the greater one-horned rhinos we saw in a day in Kaziranga National Park. He could remember each and every one: ‘We’re up to 86 rhinos.’ ‘Now we’ve seen 121!’ Finally, we were up to 157 different rhinos—all in the same day!"
"My favorite experience on the Zoo's Kenya adventure was seeing and watching a cheetah walking down the road in front of us. I had waited 5 years and 4 trips to Africa to see this! "
"The tour greatly exceeded my expectations in so many ways: the cultural and scenic treasures, the four-and five-star lodgings, the gourmet restaurants, and, most importantly, the expert care we received."
My favorite experiences on my WorldWild Tours trip to Africa were:
"The special access we got because we were with the San Diego Zoo was fantastic and we had excellent opportunities to get up close and personal with such a variety of Australian animals."
"The trip to China was a dream come true. I think that anyone going to China to see pandas should go with the San Diego Zoo—your knowledge of pandas and your connections in China are unique. I had thought about going to China for years, and decided to go with the Zoo because you have the most focus on the pandas, as well as a great introduction to China. The experience of playing with the pandas was the best in all my travels, including Antarctica and Africa."
"There were so many wonderful experiences. My favorite camp was the Elephant Bedroom Camp because the accommodations, food, and staff were all great. My favorite animal experiences were all the elephants and a rhino baby and mom right next to the road. I enjoyed traveling with such a delightful group of travelers!"
"Going to China was the trip of a lifetime. Seeing and learning about giant pandas as well as getting up close and personal with them at the panda breeding facility was so memorable. I look forward to many more trips ahead with San Diego Zoo's WorldWild Tours."
"We saw babies of all kinds—elephants, giraffes, lions, and even tiny warthogs. We also enjoyed the lions we saw in a large group: playing, courting, and roaring. I learned so much from our guides!"
“The best thing about traveling with the San Diego Zoo is seeing amazing creatures in their natural environment alongside other animal lovers. Having the travel details taken care of and having access to experienced guides gave us confidence while exploring the amazing Galápagos Islands. There's nothing better than snorkeling with equatorial penguins, sunbathing with iguanas, and doing the 'blue-footed booby dance' to bring you closer to the wonder of the natural world. I can't wait for my next opportunity to travel with the Zoo!”
“Our trip with the San Diego Zoo to the Brazilian Pantanal exceeded our expectations. We would love to return at a different season to see a completely different assortment of migrating animals and birds. The Brazilian guide was very knowledgeable about the birds and animals, which made the trip very special.”
"We've taken two amazing trips with the San Diego Zoo! In Australia, from riding camels on the beach to the splendor of the Sydney Opera House, plus the interaction with the animals—incredible! In China, the Great Wall, the Terra-Cotta Warriors, the local life, cruising the Yangzi, rolling around on the ground with baby pandas at Wolong—priceless! The Zoo's escorts, the accommodations, the itineraries—all top notch! We've made life-long friends from taking these trips and have life-long memories as well."
"These are a few things that will forever remind me of this trip: the smell of the refreshing morning air saturated with wonderful aroma of wild sage, lion cubs frolicking in the morning sun, baby elephants trotting behind their mothers, and the gracious and kind people who made our stay so comfortable and safe."
"My trip to China with the San Diego Zoo's WorldWild Tours was incredible! I thought the trip was extremely well-planned, from our top-notch accommodations and transportation choices to the variety of foods we ate and the places we visited. I would highly recommend the San Diego Zoo's trip to China to anybody interested in visiting the country or simply wanting to hug a panda cub!"
"With all the traveling I have done, I came to realize that the highlights of each trip for me were the wildlife. So I thought: Why not take a trip that focused on animals? This trip certainly fulfilled that desire. It was wonderful to see these wondrous animals in the wild and at the fabulous zoos and sanctuaries, with such attentive care-givers."
"When I went to China with the Zoo, I couldn't have imagined that anything on earth could top holding Hua Mei's first twin panda cubs. Then in June 2010, I went on the Zoo's trip to Botswana, which was absolutely magical. I never imagined we would see so many different species and get so close to the animals—scary at first—and just sit and watch them going about their daily lives. We had the incredible good luck to see an elephant funeral: the elephants mourning one of their own. I think it brought tears to everyone's eyes. It certainly did to mine. Now I am looking forward to going to Australia with the Zoo in the fall of 2012."
"I have now taken 6 WorldWild Tours with the San Diego Zoo—to Kenya, Tanzania, the Amazon, China, India, and my most recent trip, Australia, including Tasmania! Although I have taken several other trips without going with the Zoo, I keep coming back to WorldWild Tours. I've found that that Zoo plans the trips in great detail: where to go, what to see, and how to see it and how to make it the most interesting as well as safe, and comfortable for their travelers. Highlights include holding a wombat in Tasmania, cuddling a koala in Queensland, Australia, playing with panda cubs in China, taking pictures of wild tigers in India, and, perhaps most memorably, seeing the Great Migration in Kenya!
"Although the WorldWild Tours trips tend to be more costly than some, they've been worth every penny. I can't recommend them enough!!"
"The Zoo trip to Botswana was truly an event of my lifetime! The sheer number of mammal and bird species that we were so fortunate to experience were magnificent. The camp accommodations were comfortable and helped me feel connected to the beautiful land. In one word, the entire trip was 'Spectacular!' I can't wait to go again!"
"We traveled with the nicest group of people for 21 days. Everyone was so considerate and thoughtful on the trip, which made this trip that much more exceptional. The itinerary was fast-paced, which made it possible to see all of the highlights of China. Accommodations were superb. Traveling with the Zoo was a truly life-time experience, above and beyond what other tours may offer."
Five Reasons Why I Like to Travel with the Zoo:
1. When we went to the Wolong Panda Reserve with the Zoo we were treated differently from the other tourists who were there. We had inside, behind-the-scenes experiences that I know you can't have unless you have that San Diego Zoo relationship. We were also fortunate to spend time with the Zoo's giant panda scientist, Ron Swaisgood.
2. You get an in-depth, personal experience because of the Zoo's special contacts and expertise, as well as inside, intimate relationships with its colleagues that can bring us closer to the animals.
3. There's a commonality among the travelers—a mutual appreciation for wildlife. Everyone on our China trip was a strong advocate of the San Diego Zoo and its conservation efforts and projects so there was that common ground. The other travelers are not strangers: you go on the tour and within days you're friends because of your shared interests.
4. We have faith and trust in what the Zoo does and feel that we can put ourselves entirely in their hands and not ever worry about one single thing. (because we experienced their service in such a fantastic way.)
5. The Zoo has so much respect in the conservation field that everybody treats you as adjunct to that as if somehow you're part of the whole thing—so we actually become a part of the conservation family!
"The Zoo trip afforded us the fantastic opportunity to not only see pandas surrounded by their natural habitat, but also the unique experience of visiting Tibet. The whole itinerary was delightfully well-organized, accompanied by excellently prepared and personally high-spirited guides who were fun to travel with."
"The Botswana trip with the San Diego Zoo was the most fun and amazing trip of my life. The guide was so knowledgeable! Seeing the lions, elephants, giraffes, and other animals in areas without fences was terrific. Imagine a wild lion walking less than 10 feet by the truck you're sitting in—and sharing it with people who also appreciate animals and find the wonder in seeing them in their natural habitat! "
"We loved the trip and the company was fantastic!"
Highlights of the Galapagos Islands:
My favorite memories:
"My mom and I had a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the Galápagos, sharing the exceptional sights, sounds, and wonders of the nature on these amazing islands. This was one of my favorite trips!"