Travel and days out

6 of the Best Wildlife Encounters

Incredible worldwide wildlife experiences and adventures in nature.

Head out on a wildlife holiday for an experience full of beauty and excitement, striking animals, exotic plants and a once in a lifetime adventures. Thanks to the rising popularity of nature documentaries like Sir David Attenborough’s famous Planet Earth, it’s become apparent that wildlife is a really popular holiday type. The global travel industry, with a renewed focus on sustainability and responsible tourism, now offers worldwide adventures that allow tourists to experience wildlife like they haven’t before.

Almost half of global tourism is made up of wildlife holidays, in no small part thanks to the ready availability of long-haul flights to see stunning sights and the unforgettable experiences around the world and in locations that previously might have been harder to reach. The demand to see animals in their natural habitat has grown massively in recent years due to an increasing public awareness of critical endangerment and deforestation.

Although there’s a bit of a public stigma around tourism, eco-travel actually plays a key role in the ability to protect certain species. Sustainable travel, when done responsibly, can have a positive impact on animals, locals and the environment – thanks to volunteering and the economic impact to the local area and businesses.

Whether it’s a luxury holiday in India with trips to see the famous Bengal tigers, an intrepid safari through an iconic African nation, or a trip into the forests of Borneo for a close-up look at the amazing conservation work done there, you can be sure to find a huge range of inspiring and once in a lifetime holidays to choose from.

Read on for a selection of unforgettable wildlife escapes – perfect for your next adventure.

Gorilla trekking at Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge

Nothing will prepare you for the jaw-dropping wonder of coming up close with a gorilla in the wild. Trekking to find them is no small feat, but once you do, you’re rewarded dividends in truly indescribable memories. There are very few places that offer this experience; to get the most out of your visit, the Rainbow Tours Travel Specialists recommend the Uganda Wildlife & Conservation Small Group Tour led by notable gorilla expert Dr Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka. Over this two-week tour, you will encounter a variety of wildlife across Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda, and also have two different opportunities to encounter gorillas.


Swim with whale sharks in Western Australia

At an average of 32ft in length, whale sharks are not only the largest sharks in the ocean, but also the biggest fish on the planet. Despite their size, their solitary nature and deep-diving habits mean that few people get the chance to see one. However, each year between March and June, these gentle giants migrate to Ningaloo Reef on the central west coast of Australia to spawn. While elsewhere you may get the chance to swim with just one whale shark (if you’re lucky), this is the only place in the world you could be swimming with several.


Lemurs in Madagascar

It’s impossible to think of Madagascar without thinking of lemurs. Like 90% of all other wildlife on this spectacular island, lemurs are not found anywhere else on the planet. Although highly endangered, many species of lemur are far from elusive, meaning that you’re virtually guaranteed to encounter at least one of these charismatic animals on a trip to Madagascar. Perhaps you’ll hear a group of indri lemur singing in the trees above, have a ‘dancing’ sifaka lemur cross your path, or even catch a glimpse of the mouse lemur, which weighs just 1.1 ounces.


Jaguars in Brazil


Inhabiting the densely wooded rainforests and wetlands of South America and mostly fearful of contact with humans, jaguars are notoriously difficult to spot in the wild. That said, there is one place where they are spotted almost daily: the Pantanal wetlands in Brazil. While jaguars can remain camouflaged under the cover of trees elsewhere in their range, the waterways of the Pantanal wetlands, where jaguars come to feed and hunt, offer the perfect vantage point for patient and intrepid travellers to catch a glimpse. Although seeing them is never guaranteed, you’ll have a good chance on a cruise at dawn or dusk.


Orangutans in Borneo

Taking a trip to encounter ‘the old man of the forest’ isn’t just about getting to see these majestic animals in their natural environment. With just 100,000 orangutans remaining in Borneo alone, the work of rehabilitation and conservation centres is more important than ever. By visiting these centres, you’ll not only be guaranteed to see an orangutan but will also be able to directly support their conservation. To get the best of a visit to see our orange cousins, the Regent Holidays team recommends visiting a rehabilitation centre as well as a conservation area between April and October.


Tigers in India

There are less than 4,000 tigers left in the wild, but in recent years their numbers have gradually increased following efforts to protect their natural habitat. One of the success stories of these efforts is Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, where there are more tigers than anywhere else in India. Set across dense forest and open meadows, Ranthambore is perfect both for tigers to thrive and for visitors to have a good chance of spotting them. For the best likelihood, the Inspiring Travel Company team will arrange a private game drive for you, either in the early morning or evening when it is coolest.



6 Of The Best Wildlife Encouters


Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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