Wildlife tourism can be an eco and animal friendly tourism, usually showing animals in their natural habitat. Wildlife tourism, in its simplest sense, is watching wild animals in their natural habitat. Wildlife tourism is an important part of the tourism industries in many countries including many African and South American countries, Australia, India, Canada, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Maldives among many. It has experienced a dramatic and rapid growth in recent years worldwide and is closely aligned to eco-tourism and sustainable-tourism.
Wildlife tourism is also a multimillion-dollar industry offering customized tour packages and safaris.
Wildlife tourism encompasses non-consumptive interactions with wildlife, such as observing and photographing animals in their natural habitats. It has the recreational aspects of adventure travel, and supports the values of ecotourism and nature conservation programs.
Wildlife tourism can cause significant disturbances to animals in their natural habitats. The growing interest in traveling to developing countries has created a boom in resort and hotel construction, particularly on rain forest and mangrove forest lands. Wildlife viewing can scare away animals, disrupt their feeding and nesting sites, or acclimate them to the presence of people. In Kenya, for example, wildlife-observer disruption drives cheetahs off their reserves, increasing the risk of inbreeding and further endangering the species.