How to improve holidays with children

Help save endangered animals. Wild!
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The Independent Travel

How much do your kids really know about endangered species? Mine still have rather a lot to learn: they're such diehard urbanites that they think wildlife is something that happens in the school playground when the teacher's not looking.

Time, then, to consider a conservation holiday that will offer the chance for your tribe to see vulnerable species in their natural habitats and at the same time do their bit towards protecting them.

Operators worth checking out include the Adventure Company (0845 450 5316; adventurecompany. co.uk), which is offering a new Borneo family trip, including a stay at the famous Sepilok Orang-Utan Rehabilitation Centre. Here your little monkeys will get first-hand experience of caring for orphan orang-utans before their return to the wild.

Audley Travel (01993 838000; audleytravel.com) runs a unique family trip to Thailand, which includes several days helping out at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai. Sleep in bamboo rooms on site and spend your days helping to feed and bathe these free-roaming giants.

And for families who really want to make their mark, you can't beat Hands Up Holidays (0800 783 3554; handsupholidays.co.uk), which specialises in incorporating hands-on development projects with once-in-a-lifetime holidays: offerings include an Australian experience where you help Aboriginal park rangers rescue sea turtles, and an Indian adventure helping tiger conservationists.

That should impress them at school, if nothing else, and after adventures like these, even playground life will seem rather tame.

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