The Greatest Wildlife Locations within the World – Wild Junket Journey Journey Weblog


Final Up to date on June 9, 2023 by Nellie Huang

From the jungle of Madagascar to the icy realm of Antarctica, I convey you a round-up of the very best wildlife locations on this planet. 

As a serious wildlife buff, I like touring to locations which can be brimming with wild animals. There’s one thing particular about coming head to head with animals within the wild. In right now’s world, such encounters are sadly turning into increasingly uncommon.

I’ve been fortunate sufficient to have had many intimate wildlife encounters all over the world, from the savannas of Zimbabwe to the the Galapagos Islands off Ecuador and tundra of the Arctic. Primarily based on my private expertise, I’ve compiled an inventory of the very best wildlife locations and nationwide parks on this planet.

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Greatest Wildlife Locations within the World

1. Antarctica

Antarctica stands sturdy as my #1 wildlife vacation spot. From the second we crossed the Drake Passage into the Antarctic waters, we had been actually surrounded by pods of whales, fur seals, elephant seals and hundreds of penguins.

Antarctica is distant, harsh and actually far past. One can actually get a way of being on the fringe of the world right here – there’s hardly any signal of humanity, solely animals roaming freely. Antarctica makes you are feeling such as you’re the primary individual ever to have arrived, even on a ship with 120 different passengers.

I traveled to Antarctica on an expedition cruise with G Adventures and up to now, it’s nonetheless the most epic journey I’ve carried out. Every day of our Antarctic expedition introduced it with completely different experiences: whether or not that was watching leopard seals feeding, strolling amongst hundreds of penguins, or cruising alongside playful orca. 

Watching the penguins at Cuverville

2. Galapagos Islands

Among the best locations on this planet for wildlife watching is certainly the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. This group of islands shaped thousands and thousands of years in the past from volcanoes, and have been separated from the mainland since then. By way of the years, wild animals slowly arrived to the islands by air and by sea. These creatures ultimately tailored to the circumstances of the tiny islands, and advanced into endemic species which can be discovered right here and no the place else on Earth.

Due to how remoted the Galapagos Islands are, Galapagos wildlife by no means developed a worry of people. Don’t be stunned to search out sea lions mendacity by the streets and big lizards swimming round your boat within the Galapagos. They aren’t in the least afraid of us. Examine my expertise touring the Galapagos Islands with youngsters.

At present, over 97 % of the land is nationwide park, and Ecuador limits who might stay there and what number of vacationers might go to. The Galapagos Islands are a number of the most unspoiled locations on Earth because of safety legal guidelines and conservations efforts. 

The Best Wildlife Destinations in the World

3. Kenya

Kenya is the most well-liked journey vacation spot in East Africa, receiving round 2 million worldwide guests per 12 months. It’s straightforward to see why: the extraordinarily various nation is filled with wildlife, from the Massive 5 that roam its savannas to the marine animals that inhabit its shoreline.

I’ve traveled throughout Africa (to round 30 nations within the continent) and the Maasai Mara positively ranks as one of many greatest safari parks on this planet. Probabilities of seeing the Massive 5 are very excessive, particularly if you happen to time your journey to the annual migration. You don’t even must go far to see animals: in Nairobi, you’ll be able to feed child elephants on the orphanage or hang around with giraffes on the Giraffe Centre. And if that’s not wild sufficient, head into the Nairobi Nationwide Park and also you’ll be driving subsequent to wild rhinos and wildebeest very quickly.

rhino at nairobi national park - best wildlife destinations

Cheetah spotted in Serengeti

4. Costa Rica

One other place I’ve discovered to be among the finest locations to see wildlife is Costa Rica. The Central American nation actually has all of it: lush rainforests, volcanoes, seashores, and distinctive wildlife (suppose howler monkeys, anteaters, inexperienced tree frogs and sloths). The Central American nation can also be residence to a number of the world’s most protected nationwide parks, the place animals are literally ensured of a brilliant future.

On our household journey to Costa Rica, we had been blown away by the biodiversity and environmental consciousness throughout the nation. Costa Rica has gone to nice lengths to guard its nationwide parks and wildlife reserves. Regardless of receiving round 1.7 million vacationers annually, the nation has carried out such a fantastic job in guaranteeing that tourism right here is sustainable and useful to native communities.

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best wildlife photos - sloths in costa rica

frog in costa rica - best places to see wildlife

5. Madagascar

Distant and remoted, Madagascar is a hidden paradise little recognized to the surface world – making it all of the extra fascinating and alluring. We selected to honeymoon in Madagascar and I fell head over heels for this distinctive island.

Positioned within the Indian Ocean, Madagascar is situated 250 miles (400 km) off the east coast of mainland Africa. Having been remoted from the African continent 165 thousands and thousands years in the past, Madagascar’s weird wildlife have been evolving ever since. At present, there are over 70 species and sub-species of lemurs in Madagascar, and they’re really easy to identify you’ll be able to actually see them in every single place.

The preferred and well-known lemur species is the ring-tailed lemur. It’s thought-about to be one of the clever of them as properly. Different lemur species that I like are the Verraux sifaka (that may dance sideways) and the tiny gray mouse lemur (smallest primate in Madagascar). 

lemur in madagascar - best wildlife destinations

6. Svalbard

One of many world’s northernmost inhabited areas, Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole. Svalbard is the polar bear’s kingdom: there are extra polar bears than people residing right here. 

Apart from polar bears, Svalbard’s rugged, distant terrain of glaciers and frozen tundra additionally shelter seals, whales, Svalbard reindeer and Arctic foxes. My expedition cruise was filled with thrilling wildlife encounters: at one level, I noticed 11 polar bears feeding on a whale carcass, a harp seal floating on an ice sheet with its calf, and over 100 walruses, piled atop each other, lounging about below the solar. My Arctic cruise in Svalbard was actually among the finest wildlife experiences I’ve ever had.

A polar bear in the Arctic

7. South Africa

 South Africa is without doubt one of the most various nations I’ve been — with cosmopolitan cities alongside dramatic coastlines that fringe wild savannas and rugged mountain vary. You possibly can simply go from game-driving within the African bushveld to browsing on the seashore or wine-tasting at lush vineyards in a matter of hours. Plus it’s residence to many historic websites which have witnessed some main turning factors in world’s historical past.

I like South Africa a lot that I’ve been 4 occasions! For wildlife lovers, it’s paradise on Earth. From the sealions off V&A Waterfront in Cape City, to the cute African Penguin colony at Boulders Seashore, cage shark diving in Gaansbai, and wildlife safari in Kruger, the most important and hottest nationwide park in South Africa.

african cape buffalo in south africa - best places to see wildlife

Shark cage diving

8. Australia

Dwelling to a number of the most unusual animals on this planet, Australia is undoubtedly among the finest locations to see animals. About 50 million years in the past, Australia cut up from Gondwana, the massive super-continent of the southern hemisphere. Since then, adjustments in land formation and local weather led to the distinctive natural world that we all know in Australia right now. Greater than 80% of our crops, mammals, reptiles and frogs are distinctive to Australia and are discovered nowhere else on this planet. 

It’s straightforward to see wildlife in Australia: in lots of parks and reserves, you’ll discover kangaroos hopping freely, koalas hanging onto eucalyptus bushes, wombats snoozing in bushes, and emus sauntering leisurely on their very own turf. Kangaroo Island and Rottnest Island are a number of the greatest spots to see Australian wildlife.

koala bear in adelaide - australia - best wildlife in the world

wildlife national parks - kangaroos in australia

9. Uganda

Mountain gorillas are a number of the world’s most endangered animals on this planet, with simply over 1000 left on Earth. Being of their presence is an absolute privilege, and a once-in-a-lifetime expertise. There’s something humbling and transferring about coming so near an animal of this dimension and stature within the wild — with no fence or cage between you. 

Mountain gorillas can solely be discovered within the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Uganda. In line with the 2019 gorilla census, there are 1063 mountain gorillas left on this planet. Uganda holds 60% of the full mountain gorillas left on this planet, with Bwindi Impenetrable Forest being the most well-liked alternative for a gorilla trekking tour. 

Gorilla trekking is an costly expertise — with permits costing upwards of $500. However when you lock eyes with a gorilla, you’ll comprehend it’s properly definitely worth the cash. Sure you solely spend one hour with the gorillas, however it’s an intense, exhilarating and deeply soul-stirring hour.

A Silverback up close

10. Mexico

Mexico is without doubt one of the world’s most biologically various nations. The nation’s location gives a plethora of climates and habitats, thus the world’s second highest variety of mammal species for its dimension (round 500) and greater than 1,000 species of birds. 

There’s a formidable myriad of wildlife to be seen right here: from the gray whale migration of Baja California to swinging spider monkeys of the rainforests and inexperienced iguanas within the Yucatan Peninsula, hundreds of turtles that nest in Puerto Escondido and whale sharks that cross by Holbox Island yearly. 

We at present stay in Playa del Carmen within the Riviera Maya, and nearly on a regular basis we spot the coati (a ring-tailed shut relative to the racoon), the sereque (guinea pig relative), and spiny tailed iguanas in our neighborhood.

iguana in mexico - best wildlife trips

11. Tanzania

When most individuals consider an African safari, they consider the Serengeti in Tanzania – and rightly so, because it has impressed many movies and books.

Over 25% of Tanzania is designated to wildlife sanctuaries and nationwide parks. The overall space is larger than the dimensions of the entire Germany because the nation. Between the Serengeti Nationwide Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Space, they defend the best and most various assortment of land animals on Earth. 

Each October and November, over a million wildebeest and 200,000 zebras come south for the rain earlier than heading northwest about six months later. It’s additionally a fantastic place to catch cheetahs and lions in motion as they prey on the herbivores within the space. 

A mother and son lion duo in Etosha

12. Palau

Positioned within the western nook of the Pacific Ocean, Palau is an archipelago nation within the Federated States of Micronesia, sprinkled with a whole lot of world-class dive websites. It’s among the finest scuba diving locations on this planet, with a mind-blowing array of marine animals inhabiting the waters surrounding Palau.

Within the week that I spent exploring Palau, I did loads of dives and noticed a whole lot of sharks, hawksbill turtles, and big bumphead parrotfish. Let’s not neglect the distinctive jellyfish lake, the place I swam amidst thousands and thousands of translucent white jellyfish. This lake was one of the magical locations I’ve ever been — as there isn’t any the place else fairly like this on this planet.

scuba diving in palau - best wildlife vacation

13. Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is a landlocked nation in southern Africa recognized for its dramatic panorama and various wildlife, a lot of it unfold over 11 nationwide parks. With the tip of controversial President Robert Mugabe’s 37-year reign in 2017, Zimbabwe welcomed a brand new chapter within the nation’s tourism business and it’s now thriving as safari vacation spot. 

Throughout our time in Victoria Falls Non-public Sport Reserve, we had been actually stunned by what number of spectacular wildlife sightings we had: from herds of zebras grazing on the grasslands, to kudus galloping amidst the bush, and vultures eyeing the savanna from the highest of the Acacia bushes. Out of the six black rhinos that decision this reserve residence, we noticed 4 of them, as they linger simply inches away from our jeep, oblivious to our presence.

Zebras in Victoria Falls Nature Reserve

14. Sri Lanka

Lush jungles, rural villages and wild seashores — Sri Lanka is the Backyard of Eden of southern Asia, quietly tucked away in secrecy away from the vacationer path. It’s only a leap away from the chaos and insanity of India, and but it looks as if a world away. 

The island could also be small in dimension, however  it’s bought an extremely wealthy wildlife, together with a few of Asia’s final remaining leopard, bear and elephant populations. Simply 197km away from Sri Lanka’s largest metropolis, Colombo, is the Kaudulla Nationwide Park the place you’ll be able to see wild elephants and different wildlife.

The perfect time to go on an elephant safari in Kaudulla is between August and December, when as much as 2 hundred congregate on the tank for the annual “gathering”. Apart from elephants, there’s a slew of different wild animals that may be discovered within the park – together with Sri Lankan sambar deer, Sri Lankan axis deer, chevrotain, wild boar, Sri Lankan leopard, and sloth bear.

elephants in sri lanka - top wildlife destinations

top wildlife destinations

15. Botswana

Botswana stands out for its various ecosystems: on a wildlife safari in Botswana, you’re by no means restricted to only one transport mode. Apart from game-tracking by 4WD, you’ll be exploring Botswana’s combination of salt pans and savannahs by mokoro (dugout canoe, Botswana specialty) and riverboat.

Locations to not miss embody the Chobe Nationwide Park, residence to the world’s largest herds of elephant, and the Okavango Delta, an beautiful wetland space. Gliding by the calm waters of the Okavango Delta, watching hippos and crocodiles from afar, is an extremely surreal expertise. 

BEST WILDLIFE PHOTOS

16. Brazil

Taking over half of South America’s landmass, Brazil is without doubt one of the most biodiverse nations on this planet. It’s residence to the world’s largest rainforest – the Amazon and the world’s largest wetland – the Pantanal. Along with the Atlantic rainforest and cerrado grasslands, these ecosystems include an astonishing abundance and variety of wildlife.

Plan your complete Brazil itinerary round recognizing wildlife and exploring Brazil’s jaw-dropping pure landmarks. In the event you do, be certain to incorporate a Pantanal jaguar safari; Caraça Sanctuary to see maned wolves; Paraty to see spectacular range of birds; and Iguazu Falls – one of many most stunning waterfalls on this planet.

jaguar in pantanal brazil - best wildlife experiences

17. Borneo

As the most important island in Asia, Borneo is politically divided amongst three nations: Malaysia and Brunei within the north, and Indonesia to the south. Borneo is without doubt one of the world’s nice biodiversity hotspots, boasting an intriguing array of species together with; frogs that ‘fly’, fish that ‘stroll’, monkeys that ‘dive’, crops that eat bugs, lizards, snakes and, in fact, orangutans and lots of different mammals.

A few of the greatest spots for watching wildlife on the island are situated within the state of Sabah: Kinabatangan River, Danum Valley and Deramakot Forest Reserve. Whether or not you dream of seeing Orangutans, Pygmy elephants, flying frogs or the elusive wild cats of Borneo, take a tour to one in every of these locations and also you received’t imagine what number of animals you’ll be able to spot.

orangutans in borneo - best places for wildlife viewing

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My Prime Journey Sources

Through the years (and touring to 140+ nations), I’ve realized a factor or two about journey planning. I’ve put collectively this checklist of journey assets that I personally use to search out the very best offers and e book journey! For extra particulars, take a look at my journey ideas useful resource web page.

  • Reserving Flights: Kayak is sensible for locating the very best dates to fly because it lets you seek for the bottom airfares inside a 3-day interval. Then I take advantage of Skyscanner as they’ve constantly given me the bottom airfares. 
  • Lodging: I all the time use Reserving.com to e book motels, primarily due to the versatile cancellation coverage and good customer support. It’s also possible to discover short-term rental residences there (I choose to not use Airbnb as a result of additional prices).
  • Journey Insurance coverage: It’s essential to have journey insurance coverage, no matter whether or not you’re touring for a number of days or months. Security Wing is the most well-liked journey insurance coverage firm for COVID19-coverage. I take advantage of their Nomad Insurance coverage plan, which covers any healthcare bills I could have worldwide. Confer with my journey insurance coverage information for extra particulars.
  • Well being Recommendation: I all the time discuss with the journey guides on the CDC web site for really useful drugs and vaccines. You will get them at your journey physician’s workplace or a walk-in pharmacy.
  • Excursions: In the event you’re in search of all-encompassing excursions, I like to recommend small-group journey tour clothes shop, G Adventures. I’ve traveled with them to Antarctica, Mongolia, Svalbard, and Nepal, and cherished each single journey. For day excursions, I all the time e book with Viator and GetYourGuide; they’ve straightforward reserving programs and free cancellations.
  • Automotive Rental: I all the time e book automobile leases on Uncover Vehicles, as they’ve constantly given us the very best charges and customer support (with free cancellations). We’ve used them in Seychelles, South Africa, Spain, Peru, and Mexico.
  • Transportation: Every time attainable, I e book native transportation on-line utilizing Bookaway and Busbud. They’re extra dependable than many native transport web sites and canopy trains, buses, and automobile rent. 
  • Eating places: TripAdvisor is my go-to useful resource for restaurant critiques and bookings. I additionally make restaurant reservations on OpenTable.
  • Web/Knowledge: Get an eSIM on Airalo earlier than your journey to remain related wherever you go. Simply obtain the app earlier than your journey, buy an information package deal and voila! No want to vary SIM playing cards or go to a telco retailer.

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