Nothing can match the experience of observing animals in their natural surroundings and playing and interacting within their natural surroundings. It is no wonder to find a steady rise in the wildlife vacations segment of the tourism sector. After all, there are so many fabulous locations across the world that promise incredible and unforgettable experience to the wildlife enthusiasts.
Each one of us has their favorite animals, and for some, it might be the whales, for others, the big cats or birds. Thousands of people from all across the world plan wildlife holidays each year and look forward to some life-changing experiences. Why not embark on these top wildlife holidays and come back with unforgettable memories each time.
Here are some great options to plan a wildlife trip for exciting safaris and sightings.
Top 8 Wildlife Watching Experiences in the World
To spot tigers
Where and when – National parks in India and Nepal in October to May
Nothing can match the experience of spotting a tiger in the wilderness. You can feel goosebumps all over your skin, and it is indeed exciting to follow the fresh pugmarks of the tiger. It is indeed one of the most majestic creatures you will come across, as it creeps amidst the thick foliage and grass. There are several popular national parks in India and Nepal where you can enjoy tiger safari. Some of the famous parks are Ranthambhore in Rajasthan, Bandhavgarh in Madhya Pradesh, Corbett in Uttarakhand and Periyar in Kerala along with Chitwan in Nepal. However, it is getting harder to see tigers up-close, but sightings are still possible. One should go when the temperatures are cooler and make sure that the tiger safaris are available.
To spot the Big 5
Where and when – Africa Game Parks from July to October
The Big 5 Safaris of Africa are world famous and it here where you can spot the Rhino, Elephant, Lion, Cape Buffalo, & Leopard. This is your chance to see a buffalo charging in the wild or a Rhino drinking from a waterhole or a herd of elephants making their way across the savanna. Explore the Game Parks in Tanzania, Masai Mara, South Africa, Kenya or Botswana to enjoy the Big fives as well as other different types of wildlife like the zebras, ostriches, giraffes, antelope, hippos, monkeys and a lot many more.
To spot gorillas
Where and when – East Africa Rwanda and Uganda National Parks from June to September
Plan a Uganda safari vacation and enjoy a trekking expedition to spot the mountain gorillas. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park boasts of the maximum population of mountain gorillas. The trip starts with a white water rafting on the River Nile and later camping in Kibale Forest. You also get to spot prolific primates like L’Hoest’s monkeys, mangabey, colobus and more. Although one can track mountain gorillas all year round, the majority of the tourists prefer visiting from June to September when there are fewer rains.
To spot Blue Whales
Where and when – Portuguese islands of the Azores from May and early June
Blue whales migrate through the Atlantic waters each May, and as Portuguese islands of the Azores sit right in the middle of the Atlantic, they offer an incredible opportunity to observe these giants. The Azores attracts huge gatherings of hungry blue whales because of the phytoplankton bloom in the waters. One can also spot Sperm whales, finned pilot whales, dolphin species and orcas.
To spot Orangutans
Where and when – Borneo and northern Sumatra from January or February
If you are fond of apes and monkeys, you must plan a trip to Borneo that covers Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei Darussalam. Sabah and Sarawak are the two popular Malaysian states that are preferred because of the good infrastructure and roads. As the Orangutans thrive in rehabilitation reserves and wildlife centers of Sepilok and various national parks like Bako, one can get the chance to see them all year round. You can head for Kalimantan if looking for a drier alternative. There are many farmlands across the region where one can see orangutans living in the freedom of the jungle.
To spot Rhino
Where and when – Sub-saharan Africa and South Asia from May to October and December to January
South Africa is home to the majority of all while rhinos while Kaziranga is home to the one-horned rhinos. Hiking is prohibited, and one must book the tours in advance to spot the rhinos. You may accidentally come across a rhino as you tramp through the high foliage. Thanks to the conservation success in India’s Kaziranga National Park, the numbers of one-horned rhinos has risen. Black Rhino is somewhat difficult to spot as they keep away and stick to the undergrowth. Rhinos prefer to live in rugged bushland with thorn trees and thanks to the conservation success stories in different countries; the rhino population is gradually climbing back. Along with rhino, you can spot elephant, hippo, buffalo and many different species of birds.
To spot Polar Bear
Where and when – Arctic Norway, Canada, and Alaska from June to November
Polar Bear is the undisputed king of the North Pole, and it is not uncommon to see the furry family making their way across the snowy white terrains. The species is on the brink as global warming is already threatening their habitats. The best way to spot them is to take an expedition cruise to the best wildlife sites in Svalbard in Arctic Norway and Churchill, Manitoba towards the remote Baffin Island. One can spot the Polar Bear in the colder and less accessible areas of Russia and Alaska. Enjoy the unique experience of living on the tundra as well as catch the action in the winter months. Watching a wild polar bear is indeed one of the most thrilling experiences on Earth.
To spot Giant panda
Where and when – China from November to March
It is indeed a joyful experience to see a Giant panda munching on a tasty bamboo. One cannot help but stand in perfect silence s as they look at the marvelous monochrome animal in his natural habitat. Encountering a wild panda is not easy so, consider yourself very lucky when you spot one. Winter is the best season for viewing, and one should look for telltale signs such as split bamboo shoots and rubbed tree bark. Just keep your fingers crossed as you embark on a wildlife trip to spot the Giant pandas in the bamboo-rich nature reserves of China. Some of the most popular spots include Shaanxi, Gansu and Sichuan regions that boast of the highest density of pandas. Captive pandas can be seen in the Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu, Sichuan.