While some travel for culture and adventure, others are obsessed with wildlife. They explore the world to see their favourite animals in the wild. Yet, with so many incredible destinations to choose from, it can be daunting to decide where to go. So, to help you plan the trip of your dreams, here's our list of the most incredible destinations for a wildlife vacation.
5 Incredible wildlife destinations
1. The Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands are renowned for their unusual animal life, making them one of the most incredible destinations for wildlife vacations. Located off the coast of Ecuador, the archipelago features diverse landscapes, from arid lands blanketed with cacti to lush greenery. Such diversity forced animals to branch off into various subspecies to adapt to natural conditions.
The Galápagos archipelago is famous for the presence of unique subspecies, with giant tortoises and marine iguanas being the most popular. You can enjoy close encounters with these incredible species on your tour of the islands. One of the best ways to explore the Galapagos is on an island-hopping cruise. You can choose from four days to a couple of weeks, with boats ranging from a dozen to more than a hundred passengers. Cruise itineraries include exploring the main islands and taking up activities like kayaking and snorkelling.
Another option is to stay ashore and book a hotel on the populated islands, such as San Cristobal, Isabela, or Santa Cruz. From these islands, you can take day trips to the other islands. You can take speed boats or public transportation and enjoy activities in the places you will visit.
Beyond India's bustling cities and magnificent temples, wildlife lovers can discover lush national parks teeming with wildlife. Those looking to travel in style will find some excellent luxury vacations to India, best suited for those looking to spot wildlife while indulging in some upscale experiences.
While the iconic Bengal tigers are the biggest draw for safari-goers to India, you can spot an impressive array of wild animals in India's grasslands, rivers, mountains, and forests. Many of the country's wildlife sanctuaries used to be hunting grounds for the maharajas who once ruled the land.
If your main goal is to spot the famous Bengali tigers, head to Bandhavgarh National Park, a wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh having the region's highest density of tigers. The park covers an area of over 100 square kilometres, housing more than 50 tigers. Aside from Bengali tigers, the park is also home to leopards. Many of these animals find refuge in the rocks around the centuries old Bandhavgarh Fort.
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for spotting leopards. It stretches for almost 600 square kilometres across the Aravalli hills of Rajasthan. Aside from leopards, keep your eyes peeled on hyenas, wolves, and the four-horned antelope called chousingha.
Tanzania is a majestic African country famous for offering the best safari experiences. It boasts stunning natural beauty with varied landscapes, including savannah, forests, and woodlands. Noted for its sheer number of wildlife, Tanzania is home to more than four million wild animals so a safari in Tanzania is amazing.
The Serengeti National Park is Tanzania's most popular destination for safari. It's famous for the great migration, where millions of wildebeest migrate to search for grazing pastures in Kenya's Masai Mara. Along with wildebeests, gazelles, zebras, and other elephants will join in the rigorous journey.
The Selous Game Reserve is four times bigger than Serengeti, but it only receives a fraction of its visitors. It's a great place to visit if you want to spot Africa's largest population of buffalo and lions. Occupying 50,000 square kilometres of land, it is amongst the largest protected areas in Africa, largely undisturbed by human impact.
Tanzania is also a popular destination for tracking chimpanzees. It's home to Gombe Stream National Park, which was made famous by Jane Goodall, an English primatologist who was the first to observe chimpanzees creating and using tools. While the chimpanzees are the main attraction of Gombe, it is also home to baboons, which you can find crowding around the lakeshore.
Antarctica is one of the world's most unique destinations for wildlife vacations. Aside from being the coldest place on Earth, it's also one of the most wildlife-rich continents. Here, you could come across penguins on a day trek, catch sightings of seals and orcas, and paddle alongside whales while on a kayak. To take the stress out of planning a trip to this incredible continent, consider booking some excellent travel to Antarctica, perfect for those who want to explore with ease.
The Shetland Islands are some of the best places to spot Antarctica's wildlife. It's home to numerous wildlife species, including penguins, dolphins, whales, and albatrosses. If your idea of a wildlife vacation is encountering a colony of penguins, viewing seabirds, and spotting whales, you should consider a trip to the Shetland Islands.
South Georgia is another Antarctic Island blessed with a profusion of wildlife, home to over 40 bird species, including albatrosses and seabirds. You can also catch a glimpse of the only meat-eating duck in the world and the continent's famous songbird.
5. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is famous for being one of the best destinations for wildlife vacations. The country is astonishingly diverse, boasting a variety of landscapes ranging from swamps to mangroves, rainforests, and grassy plains.
Sri Lanka is home to a national park with the world's highest density of leopards, the Yala National Park. Located on the island's east coast, Yala has a varied habitat ranging from open parklands and dense jungle to flooded lagoons and high coastal dunes. Such variety supports a wide range of flora and fauna. A safari adventure in Yala National Park is a must for wildlife lovers. Aside from leopards, you can spot deer, crocodiles, wild boars, monkeys, sloth bears, snakes, and more!
Another fantastic wildlife activity to experience in Sri Lanka is whale watching. The county is known as one of the world's best places to spot sperm whales and blue whales, which you can book on a shared or private boat trip. The best places for whale watching in Sri Lanka are Mirissa, Trincomalee, and Kalpitiya.