It’s World Animal Day! So, we thought we’d share 9 of our favourite wildlife holiday ideas to inspire you to take a walk on the wild side – responsibly of course!
So, whether you want to mingle with mammals, frolic with fishes, meander with marsupials or potter with primates, we’ve got you covered. Our wonderful world is full to bursting with phenomenal wildlife, just waiting to be responsibly encountered and ready to feature in your holiday highlights forevermore.
Here are 9 wildlife holiday ideas that are all about ambling with the animals.
1. Trek with the mountain gorillas in Uganda
Home to approximately 400 mountain gorillas, your chances of a life-changing gorilla encounter are high in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. However, planning ahead is a must here: Tight regulations on gorilla tracking permits ensure visitor numbers are limited and the gorillas’ habitat and space are protected. This control over the numbers though, means that you’re guaranteed an exclusive experience even in peak travel season.
2. Elephants, monkeys, birdlife and whales on South Africa’s Garden Route
South Africa has to feature on any list of wildlife holiday ideas. Whether you’re keen for a safari to spot the Big 5, a whale watching trip to get as close as possible to the giants of the deep, or a fun-filled family day out at one of the many wildlife sanctuaries, you’re in for a treat here. South Africa’s Garden Route has it all: Brilliant whale watching opportunities (best between July and November), breathtaking scenery and walks, as well as excellent elephant, bird and monkey sanctuaries to enjoy. Get close to these magnificent animals and learn all about what the centres are doing to protect South Africa’s beloved wildlife. Read more >
3. Meet the locals of an underwater world in the Maldives
The Maldives might not come to mind straight away when you’re thinking about wildlife holiday ideas. However, when you look beneath the waves there’s a whole colourful world of magical underwater wildlife to discover. With crystal clear waters and rainbow-coloured fish, our Maldives expert, Rebecca, recommends OBLU at Helengeti resort for the most wonderful coral reef just waiting for you to explore… Read more >
4. Witness the largest gathering of Asian elephants on earth in Sri Lanka’s Minneriya National Park
Throughout the year, large numbers of Asian elephants can be seen in Sri Lanka’s Minneriya National Park.
Minneriya National Park sits to the northeast of Sigiriya and offers a welcome change of scenery from the ancient ruins that dominate the area. The park is home to the large and ancient Minneriya Tank, and it boasts an enormous variety of habitat and wildlife, covered in dry tropical forest, grasslands and wetlands. Its main draw and principle attraction are the elephants, particularly during the dry season. Between July and September, when the smaller water holes have dried up, the elephants gather in huge numbers, more than anywhere else on earth.
Head to Sri Lanka to witness a wildlife phenomenon you’ll never forget. Read more >
5. Spot the ‘Big 5’ and more in Tanzania’s Serengeti
If you’re looking for wildlife holiday ideas that will get you up close and personal with Africa’s Big-5; Tanzania is just magic. Whether this will be your first time on safari or you’re a seasoned pro, your Serengeti experience will stay with you for a lifetime.
Combining wildlife wonders with top-notch comfort, this holiday idea will see you exploring the high wildlife density of Tarangire, the beautiful Lake Manyara National Park, the staggeringly beautiful Ngorongoro crater and the unfathomable vastness of the Serengeti. Talk to our specialists about visiting at the right time of year to witness the great migration too!
6. Cloudforests, the Amazon and the wildlife haven of the Galapagos
Taking in the rich biodiversity of the cloud forest, Ecuadorian Amazon and the fearless animals of the Galapagos, this 14-day itinerary is the dream for wildlife enthusiasts. With incredible wildlife to uncover, dramatic scenery to be wowed by, thousands of different types of flora and fauna to learn about and encounters with some of the most intrepid animals on earth, this wildlife holiday idea really does have it all.
An expedition to the Galapagos islands is something we believe everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. There will be snorkelling trips to see colourful marine life in the morning, strolls through the highlands to spot tortoises and boat rides to see blue-footed boobies nesting in the rocks. You’ll be accompanied throughout by your naturalist guide who is on hand to answer questions and will give details on the geology and wildlife of each destination. Fortunately, there are strict measures in place to protect this fragile ecosystem, so that visitors have as little impact as is possible. Read more>
7. Explore the jungles of Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula
Quite simply the best place to see wildlife in all of Costa Rica, the wild beauty of the Osa Peninsula is unmatched anywhere else in the country. This isolated and remote outcrop of land juts out into Pacific Ocean is blanketed in dense rainforest offering the most intense biodiversity in all Central America. It’s a little tricky to get to, but the rewards make the effort more than worth it.
This wildlife holiday idea has been carefully designed with real wildlife enthusiasts in mind, following a route that showcases a wide variety of natural habitats and some of the best reserves in the country. The Corcovado National Park receives regular acclaim for the sheer number of bird and mammal species recorded here. And exploring the jungle throughout the peninsula provides opportunities to spot all four of Costa Rica’s species of monkey, two-toed sloths and other curious mammals such as anteaters and tayras. Reptiles and unusual insects abound, whilst bird lovers will also delight in the sight of scarlet macaws soaring above black-sand beaches or the opportunity to glimpse unusual species such as the black-cheeked Ant tanager, almost impossible to see anywhere else in Costa Rica. Read more>
8. Hang with the orangutans in Borneo
Borneo is one of the best places on earth to see orangutan in the wild. Sepilok in particular, is famous as one of the world’s best orangutan viewing locations, home to the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre where the animals roam freely in the rainforest and often swing by the centre at feeding time, allowing visitors a heart-warming encounter. Nearby there is also the option to visit the excellent Sun Bear Conservation Centre, and Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary where you will learn more about the vital part these creatures play in the ecosystem and the efforts made to protect them. Read more >
9. Track the endangered black rhino in Namibia
Namibia is an enlightened eco-tourism destination and their Save the Rhino Trust is one of Africa’s most celebrated conservation bodies. Visiting the Desert Rhino Camp in the Palmwag area of Damaraland to track the magnificent black rhino on foot, really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you’ll feel honoured to have.
The 450,000-hectare Palmwag Concession is a remote and very special place, home to Africa’s largest remaining population of endangered black rhino. Guests at Desert Rhino Camp have the privileged opportunity to track these fabulous animals with a skilled guide, often accompanied by a researcher for the Save The Rhino Trust, a pioneering conservation body in Palmwag for close to 20 years.
The excursion begins with a leisurely nature drive, while trackers work in the background to locate rhinos. They will then radio your driver who takes you to within a short distance of the animal without causing disturbance through engine noise. Then comes the really exciting bit, as you leave the vehicle and walk as close to the rhino as possible, without startling it or causing any danger to human life and limb! This is a thrilling activity and a real treat, genuinely one of the most unique and exciting things you can do in Southern Africa. Read more >
We’re at the end of the phone to help you plan that unforgettable holiday, packed to the rafters with pinch-yourself wildlife encounters. So, email us or give us a call on 01242 253 073 to chat to our travel-loving team about your holiday ideas. We’d love to help!