As we travel more and more, so do places suffer. Unthinking and irresponsible tourists, development and the environmental crisis are some of the major causes of the destruction of the world’s marvels. As everyone rushes to see these beautiful places and wonders, they become even more endangered. So when you visit these places, make sure that while enjoying the beautiful view, you are responsible enough not to contribute to their endangerment.

Kruger National Park in South Africa

During 2006, there were only less than 50, 000 lions remaining—a far cry from the 200, 000 three decades ago. Ranchers kill them because they eat the livestock, while poachers hunt them for profit. Unfortunately, even those that are staying in national parks are also suffering due to illnesses. When there is not enough funding the animals naturally become the first victims, and corruption among officials does not help the matter.

To appreciate this, go to Kruger National Park or Londolozi, a private game reserve. Singita Lodges have game drives which will make you see the amazing landscape of Africa, where elephants, cheetahs, lions and giraffes roam. This costs $1, 133 per person.

Tanjung Putting Biosphere Reserve in Borneo

Around 50, 000 orangutans call Borneo their home, but this island is critically endangered. Loggers and palm farmers have destroyed the rainforest, and the Indonesian government claims that it makes jobs for the citizens. But it’s not just the orangutans who are at risk here; the island is also home to the Asian elephant, as well as the Sumatran rhinoceros.

The Rimba Lodge, which is adjacent to the reserve, is a wildlife park. Here you can book for a tour to see these in their natural habitat: orangutans, long-tailed macaques, proboscis monkeys as well as gibbons. Prices start at $49 for two people.

The Taj Mahal in Agra, India

The story of two lovers has never been more tangible than this—a creation borne from a man’s love for his wife. All over the world, the Taj mahal is aa well-known, well-loved structure, and most people have this on their must-see list. If you happen to be one of those people, you might have to hasten that trip, because the world’s best-loved wonder, this majestic mausoleum, is under threat due to environmental damage.

Sadly, nearby factories are the causes, as soot and particulates are beginning to turn the beautiful white façade yellowish. Naturally, restoration is in order, and many people have been thinking of ways to preserve its beauty. One includes a giant mud pack—covering the mausoleum with mud like a facial. For someone who has done so much to concretize his love for his wife, future generations seem to have done a lot as well to destroy its beauty.

At Oberoi Amarvilas, you can book for a room which overlooks the beautiful Taj Mahal. If you want to see it up close, that’s not a problem as this luxury hotel is a mere five-minute walk away. While you still can, get to appreciate the monument during sunrise, when the white marble turns into different shades of pink. A room for two begins at $741.

Northern Manitoba Coast in Canada

Who doesn’t love polar bears? Perhaps best known in Coke ads, everyone has gushed over them for years. These furry, snow-white creatures may seem cute and cuddly, but don’t let their appearances fool you. Today, they are one of the most endangered animals, thanks to global warming. Ice is rapidly melting, which causes the decrease of these beautiful creatures’ food supply. But that’s not the only problem. The Bush administration has leased thirty million acres of their habitat for people to explore for oil. According to scientists, if we aren’t careful—meaning if we do not do our part in staving off global warming—we can say goodbye to these graceful creatures by the year 2050.

During fall, Northern Manitoba will show you polar bears in the wild. Tundra Buggy Lodge is near the Hudson Bay, and there you will see your furry friends hunt together for seals. Including lunches and transportation to and from Winnipeg, a two-night trip in the lodge starts at $3, 350.

The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia

Many people have heard of the infamous Great Barrier Reef, but few realize the danger it faces. This incredible reef is seen from outer space. With nearly 3, 000 individual reefs and nearly a thousand islands, it is located at the Coral Sea in Queensland, Australia. Home to a variety of species, with over 1,500 fish species living there, this is a massive wonder of the world which is, sadly, being slowly destroyed. Climate change and pollution are some of the major factors. Warm water has caused the bleaching of the corals, and as warming becomes a lasting concern, scientists say that the individual reefs that belong in this system might die twenty years from now.

To see this amazing wonder, go to Hinchinbrook Island Wilderness Lodge. It is located at a hundred and fifty-two acres of national park, where you are free to use their snorkeling gear, fishing equipment and even canoes. It generates its own power and water, and takes all the garbage away from the island. Cabins’ costs start at $256.

The Snows of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

If you are familiar with the writer Ernest Hemingway, you know that this is the defining image in one of his stories. Kilimanjaro is the only one out of seven summits which can be climbed, and its beauty is breathtaking. This view is slowly disappearing as the snow melts, and although scientists cannot pinpoint the exact cause, one of the perpetuators is global warming. As the snows melt, more and more people are rushing to climb the mountain, which only causes more strain to the mountain and nearby Serengeti Plain.

Nearby Moshi is where The Marangu Hotel is. Here you can have stunning views of the mountain, and you can have them organize a “fully equipped” trek or one that is done “the hard way.” Room for two, including breakfast and dinner, starts at $120.



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