Everyone loves a good holiday and when that holiday is spent enjoying the wildlife around you, there is nothing like it. A perfect wildlife holiday would entail magnificent landscapes, gorgeous sightings and the thrill of seeing the wildlife in its natural habitat. There are places all over the world that promise to give you a complete packaged filled with thrill and excitement set against the serenity of a salubrious lush green backdrop. We have for you here a list of some of the greatest locations where travelers have had their best wildlife holidays.
The thrill of Madagascar
If you are traveling with your tiny tots in tow, they would love to see a real-life King Julien (Madagascar movies have made sure everyone loves Lemurs, especially the ring-tailed ones). What you see in the jungles of Madagascar is hard to spot anywhere else in the world. The amusing list includes hissing cockroaches and spiders that weave gigantic webs. And don’t even get us started on the different types of Lemurs, some cute and some scary as hell, but isn’t that thrilling!
The gorillas of Uganda
Wouldn’t you love watching these giant beauties scratching their bellies while basking in the sun? These Gorillas are intimidating but once you observe them closely, you will see them move around with utmost grace. While Bwindi Forest will give you a glimpse of the gorillas, the chimpanzees of Kibale Forest are not to be missed either. Avid bird watchers, however, find it difficult to move their gaze away from the Shoebill at Uganda’s Mbamba Swamps. Make sure you buy a good camera before you embark on your adventure.
Yellowstone it is for the Grizzlies
Yellowstone Park never disappoints despite being one of the oldest National parks in the world. It’s got the thrill factor, great scenery and above all – Grizzly Bears! These majestic creatures are in the must-see list of anyone who loves wildlife. Their daunting size doesn’t stop you from falling in love with them while they scour for berries, preparing for their hibernation. Don’t miss out on Mountain Goats, Bison, birds like Great Grey Owl and the wolves on a run in the Lamar Valley.
Fall in love with the Galapagos
The island archipelago of Galapagos has always attracted wildlife lovers and rightly so because of its unique populace of wildlife. Galapagos Penguins, Tortoises and Mockingbirds are some names that should make you sit up and book your vacation to this island. Made famous by Charles Darwin, when he visited this island and got inspiration for the theory of evolution, it continues to enchant the world with its diverse wildlife.
Having become a part of the endangered species list owing to the palm-oil plantations, Orangutans are now found only in a few places like Borneo which includes Sabah, Sarawak (Malaysia), Kalimantan (Indonesia) and little of Brunei Darussalam. The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Borneo becomes home to injured Orangutans who are released into the wild after treatment. You can see these beautiful animals up close here while observing their behavior.
The frozen wilderness of Antarctica
You can call Antarctica a ‘No-man’s land’ since this white heaven is uninhabited by humans but is home to several species of penguins, seals, whales and albatrosses. These creatures thrive here in colonies and you can hop aboard small cruise ships along with several marine biologists, environmentalists and fellow travelers to enjoy seeing them slide across the snow or dive into the icy cold water for a fish lunch. The landscape will present you with hues of blues, whites and greys but you hardly miss the greens when you see pods of dolphins, orcas, Leopard Seals and Snow Petrels all around you.
The Arctic is not too far behind
You have to see the polar bears at least once if you are a wildlife traveler, for these white beasts are going to give you some survival complex. Living in extremely harsh conditions, these bears feed on seals and survive only on their hunt. A polar bear sighting is not easy and you might have to spend some time, even days trying to see one. But trust us, the sight is worth the wait! This is not the end of your adventure at the Arctic for there are Arctic Foxes, Blue Whales and Puffins to watch out for too.
Thailand and Srilanka for the elephants
How about giving the tusked giant a good bath while he showers you too with some water? That’s what Thailand promises to offer at its Nature Park in Chiang Mai. Asia has several wildlife locales and this place is one of the most popular ones on the continent. This park is home to rescued elephants and gives visitors a chance to feed and bathe the elephants. Udawalawe or Yala National Park in Sri Lanka is where you would get to feast your eyes on some majestic Asian Elephants.
You can’t miss the tigers of Botswana
Wildlife and Africa are words you can utter in the same breath. These marshlands are home to tigers, leopards, cheetahs, and lions stalking their game with stealth, giving you the experience to cherish all your life. And while you are intently watching the predator stalking its prey, you might also spot a giraffe in the distance or a Hippo waddling through the swamp to greet you with its snort. The African safaris are known for their Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and black rhino) and spotting them is what makes it a complete wildlife adventure trip. You can even get down from your vehicle for the Big Five Bushwalk along with an expert guide.
Tiger Safari in India
A tiger prowling around in the wild or perched high atop a tree is a sight you would cherish at the national parks of India such as Kanha National Park, Bannerghatta Park and Ranthambore to name a few. Going on a tiger trail, watching out for pug marks or being joined by a tiger striding along with your vehicle is something that gives you both a scintillating experience and butterflies in the stomach at the same time. These big cats are found in a good number in India now after having gone through an endangerment phase.
We all love whales, don’t we? Creatures that make us realize how even the mightiest of animals leave you awe-struck with their grace. Iceland is one of the prime places in Europe for whale watching with almost twenty species swimming in the water and seven to eight that can be easily sighted. Humpback, Harbor Porpoise and orcas are some of the commonly spotted species here.
So which of these destinations are you heading to next for your tryst with wildlife?