Penguins seem to be an exciting vacation ecotourists’ dream come true. For about $2,700 you can fly to South Africa and join the Earthwatch Institute protect the world’s third largest penguin colony. The trip covers meals and lodging for 12 days. Keep in mind that this is not you typical do-nothing-but-eat-and-chill vacation.? You’ll be put to work for a good cause.

You will conduct population surveys on penguins and other seabirds to determine their breeding success and survival and help with ongoing trials of a revolutionary new automatic system being designed to detect and recognize individual penguins as they pass remote cameras.

There are other animals to encounter on the trip as well, including ostriches, ibises, and egrets. On free days visit Cape Town and sightsee. When you return you’ll only be a 15 minute walk away from those cuties in the picture. Ecotourism is not limited to birds if reptiles are more your thing.

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