In honor of Earth Day, WildAid and Choice launched our newest campaign to promote sustainable, humane tourism practices across Vietnam. Launched during peak tourist season, the Wilderness Explorers travel series follows notable campaign ambassadors as they experience the extraordinary beauty of two of Vietnam’s national parks, exploring and learning about wildlife-friendly tourism.

With the slogan “Be a Wilderness Explorer, not a Destroyer—Say No to Bushmeat,” the campaign aims to reduce the consumption of bushmeat by fostering a love of nature among viewers and steering travelers away from harmful behaviors that pose threats to wildlife and risks to their health. Launched late last month with two hour-long reality game show episodes hosted by Miss Universe Vietnam 2017, H’Hen Nie, the campaign also employs video PSAs and print billboards to reach its target audience, and an educational website where travelers can learn about wildlife-friendly tourism activities, take a pledge to stop eating bushmeat, and join a community committed to protecting wildlife.

H’Hen Nie, Wilderness Explorers host

In each episode, the Explorers—comprised of popular Vietnamese actresses, singers, and MC/content creators—trek through stunning parks and complete various nature challenges that require them to learn about wildlife. In episode 1, they immerse themselves in the wilderness of Cat Tien National Park, completing a treasure hunt among the Ancient Tung Tree and trying to spot wildlife at night. In episode 2, audiences follow the Explorers as they navigate the fascinating forests of Cuc Phuong National Park and the picturesque rivers of Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve while trying to photograph the elusive Delacour’s langur and uncover the mysteries of a prehistoric cave.

As of May 1st, the episodes have garnered over 634,000 views and over 5,000 engagements. The campaign ambassadors joined us in posting the content, which has boosted our messages to millions across Vietnam. A short behind-the-scenes clip of H’Hen Nie helping to release wild animals back to the forest elicited over 800 organic comments, predominantly about poaching and why people should not eat the featured wildlife.

Vietnam is considered a hotspot for the transportation and consumption of bushmeat and other wildlife products. According to WWF Vietnam, up to 4,000 tons of bushmeat are traded illegally through Vietnam’s markets, with an estimated 2,000 tons of bushmeat consumed annually. And according to a 2021 survey from WWF and Globescan, 14% of Vietnamese participants had purchased bushmeat and wildlife products in the last 12 months. Additionally, 20% of participants were “very likely or somewhat likely” to buy wildlife products in the future.

The Wilderness Explorers cast explores Vietnam’s Van Long Wetland Nature Reserve in episode 2


The ecotourism and nature-based tourism trend has recently gained traction across Vietnam. The country has nearly 14.8 million hectares of forests and these provide a significant source of income for around 25 million people. To develop sustainable tourism, many rescue centers, nature reserves, and other nature-based entities have begun incorporating wildlife conservation into their tours. National parks such as Cat Tien and Cuc Phuong have implemented experiential and educational activities related to wild animals, allowing visitors to update their species knowledge and contribute to protecting nature. Animal-friendly tourism has also received much attention, as demonstrated by recent initiatives to end elephant riding, improve elephant welfare, and encourage a shift to more positive actions, such as just feeding or taking photos with elephants. WildAid and Choice aim to expand messages of animal-friendly tourism beyond elephants to protect many more wild species.

Each campaign ambassador has their own meaningful motivations for participating in the Wilderness Explorers campaign, revolving around a love for and deep connection with nature. The ambassadors agree that tourism needs to be sustainable and humane, where visitors take nothing but photos, kill nothing but time, and leave nothing but footprints and memories.

Reflecting on her experience, H’Hen Nie said, “I have had many opportunities to go to many forests and have realized that each nature reserve and national park has its own unique value. Only when we respect the forests and nature will their value be elevated. I hope that through these forest trips, tourists will not take anything from nature but photographs and memories.”

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About WildAid

WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to protect wildlife from illegal trade and other imminent threats. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages more than $308 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too. 

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