Wilderness travel in remote areas is one of the major categories of adventure tourism, and the remote areas traversed may often provide habitat for a variety of animal species which tour clients are keen to see. In contrast to the tour products outlined in the previous section, however, for these tours it is the place and the activity which form the primary focus, with the wildlife as an unpredictable bonus component.
For example, one may be lucky enough to see a wolf, grizzly bear, or Dall sheep whilst hiking or rafting in wilderness areas of Alaska or northern Canada, but there is no guarantee of this.
In addition, since these animals are hunted throughout much of their range, they are likely to run away at the first sign of humans, and close encounters are unlikely. Of course, it is still a good idea to carry capsicum spray, and in some national parks it is a mandatory requirement. In this category of adventure tourism, the principal adventure component derives from remoteness rather than risk from the animals themselves.
Whilst some of the animals seen may potentially be dangerous, such as polar bear or indeed brown or black bear, other animals species which do not pose any immediate threat to human safety may be an equally important component of the tourism experience. Visitors to Svalbard may be particularly keen to see polar bear, for example, but would also be glad to see reindeer, walrus, Arctic fox, snowy owl, and a wide variety of seabirds.
Most tours of this type cannot guarantee that clients will see any particular species, so they tend to phrase their marketing materials in somewhat guarded terms. They might say, for example, that the group will look for a particular animal or that they hope to see it.