- Discover some of the most diverse, exotic and incredible wildlife travel adventures that take you across the globe
- From tracking the Big Five on safari in Africa to tiger spotting in Nepal, experience the awe of some of the world’s most endangered creatures
- Inspirational ideas of where to go and what to see including incredible national parks teeming with wildlife
Wildlife travel adventures can take you to fascinating destinations all over the world in search of memorable moments observing some of the planet’s most exotic and diverse animals. No wonder that animal lovers are happy to explore an incredible array of destinations for the prospect of watching wild creatures in their natural habitat. Keen to see the Big Five on safari? Holidays to South Africa will be a joy. Or maybe you’ve dreamed of whale watching, in which case Iceland is the country to visit.
If you’re looking for genuine wildlife travel adventures, there are some must-see destinations to explore. We’ve collected together some of the most magical animal encounters – from orangutans in Borneo to watching penguins in Antarctica – to give you some ideas for your next animal adventure.
Wildlife travel: Orangutan antics in Borneo
Holidays to Malaysia can include a few days in Borneo, a large neighbouring island that’s world-famous for its biodiverse rainforest. A nature lover’s paradise, Borneo is home to thousands of species of animals, including the orangutan. Catching a glimpse of this great ape swinging through a jungle canopy is sure to be a highlight of a wildlife holiday, as will a visit to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Orphaned, injured and displaced orangutans are cared for here before being returned to their natural habitat. A particularly heart-warming sight is watching youngsters in the ‘nursery’ learn skills essential for jungle life, such as building a nest and finding food.
While in Borneo, also visit the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre – sun bears are the world’s smallest bear and an endangered species.
Wildlife travel: Big Five safari in Africa
Seeing the Big Five – lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and African buffalo – while on a safari is on many a traveller’s bucket list. Spend time in Chobe National Park in northern Botswana and your dream may come true. The park boasts some of the highest game density in all of Africa – there’s usually exceptional sightings in August, September and October. Not only home to the Big Five, on a Chobe safari you may also spot giraffe, impala and incredible birdlife, such as the African skimmer, brightly coloured bee-eaters and graceful fish eagles.
A Botswana Big Five safari can be combined with a longer holiday to Africa, where you can visit the Victoria Falls, stay in Cape Town and tour the beautiful Winelands.
Wildlife travel: Penguins on parade in Antarctica
Antarctica is one of the world’s best wildlife holiday destinations and travelling to the bottom of the globe is an adventure like no other. There’s a good chance you’ll encounter penguins up close here, either as they swim in the water surrounding your Zodiac dinghy or as they parade across frozen shores. There are 17 species of penguin, but only two — the emperor and Adélie — make the Antarctic continent their true home, though the chinstrap, macaroni and gentoo breed in the area. Penguin rookeries are huge, and can be home to over a million nesting pairs.
While on a voyage to Antarctica, you may also spy dolphins, humpback whales, orcas as well as leopard, fur and crabeater seals. Don’t forget to look up for the chance to marvel at an albatross soaring above.
Wildlife travel: Amazing Amazon animals in Peru
A stay in an eco-lodge in the Amazon forest will be forever etched on your memory if you’re a fan of wildlife holidays, especially if you combine this with an escorted tour in Peru where you may also spot pink flamingos and Andean condors. At Tambopata Nature Reserve in the Amazon basin board a motorised canoe and explore on the water – look out for the endangered giant river otter, black caiman and the paiche, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish.
A canopy walk in the rainforest is an awe-inspiring experience, allowing you to share the treetops with red howler monkeys, white-throated toucans, trogans and blue and yellow macaws. Lazing around may also be a quirky-looking, three-toed sloth.
Wildlife travel: Whale watching in Iceland
Keep your eyes peeled. On a whale-watching trip in Iceland, you never know when a fin may dart out of the water, revealing the location of a humpback, orca or minke whale. While staring at the surface of the sea, it’s thrilling to think about the magnificent mammals lurking beneath. With expert guides on hand who know the creatures’ whereabouts and behaviour, if whales are in the vicinity, you’ll see them. Humpbacks are known to breach more frequently than other whales, and witnessing this leap is a truly mesmerising sight.
Playful dolphins are prevalent in the water too, and often swim alongside boats. Time your holiday in Iceland to coincide with the puffin-nesting season (April to September) and you’re in for yet another wildlife treat.
Wildlife travel: elephant encounters in Nepal
While seeing elephants enjoying a river bath, splashing around and using their trunks to sprinkle cooling water over their bodies is undeniably a glorious sight, there are many other wildlife highlights to relish in captivating Nepal. Watching rhino and wild boar rise from their sleep on an early-morning safari in Chitwan National Park is one, stumbling upon an elusive sloth bear is another. And you can combine all this with a visit to Kathmandu and a once-in-a-lifetime scenic flight above the white peaks of Mount Everest.
Holidays to India are often included in this exciting escorted tour too, allowing you the chance to explore both New and Old Delhi, the temples at Khajuraho, Agra Fort and the iconic Taj Mahal.
Wildlife travel: Tiger spotting in India
Big cat lovers will be enthralled on a four-wheel-drive safari in Ranthambore National Park, a vast wildlife reserve in Rajasthan, northern India. It’s one of the best wildlife holiday destinations in the world to spot tigers, with around 70 beautiful royal Bengal tigers prowling the grounds. Thanks to years of conversation work that number is on the rise. Open from October to June, the best time of year to visit the national park is between November and April when the weather is mild.
Wildlife travel in India is not only about tigers though, and Ranthambore is also home to leopards, jackals, desert cats, blackbucks and the Indian flying fox, a large fruit bat. The park has an additional 300 species of bird including painted stork and crested eagles.
Plan your wildlife travel adventure
From penguins and whales to tigers, elephants and rhino, there are so many species of animals – some prospering, some endangered – that can be seen on wildlife holidays. And when you do catch a glimpse, it’s a delight like no other, enticing animal lovers to seek out more walks on the wild side, whether it’s an elephant encounter on a tour to India and Nepal to exploring the Amazon on a Peru with Amazon holiday.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.