If you’re a wildlife lover, you’ve found yourself the right list. We’ve taken a poll here at Maupintour and have come up with a list of 10 places every wildlife lover needs to see. From the plains of Africa to the forests of Alaska, this list has something for every animal lover. Enjoy, and happy travels.
The only creature on earth whose natural habitat is a zoo is the zookeeper.
This cold, vacant environment has some amazing wildlife. Tourists can view large migrations of penguins including over 8 different species. Antarctica is also home to wildlife including elephant seals, leopard seals, albatrosses, gulls and over a dozen species of whales. Visitors can enjoy spotting humpback, blue, sperm whales and more.
The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the entire world covering nearly 40% of South America. The region is home to about 2.5 million insect species, tens of thousands of plants, and some 2,000 species of birds and mammals including jaguars, cougars, parrots, crocodiles, bats, monkeys, frogs, giant otters, bull sharks, and piranhas. Here you can take river voyages on small boats or travel through the jungle with a trusted guide who knows the enormous jungle as well as one can.
In British Columbia, there are plenty of places to watch orca whales in their pods. You’ll love watching the “killer whales” gracefully jump out of the water for your entertainment (they tend to be show-offs, thankfully). The orcas are very people friendly and will pop their heads up right below the boat, almost as if to say hello. People can also view humpback whales, bottlenose dolphins and various seals in these waters.
New to the travel scene, Rwanda’s tourism has boomed in recent years. Taking no credit (but due most of it) is the large gorilla population located in Rwanda. Hike in the mountains with these incredible creatures, and get as close as safety allows. These gorillas are actually gentle giants, unlike the one that terrorized New York City in the 1920s.
6. The Everglades, Florida
Deep in the South Florida swamp, you will find the Everglades, which are home to some fascinating (and often dangerous) wildlife. Take a tour on an airboat and get up close and personal with some amazing creatures. Enjoy the gators as they come right up to the boat, almost uncomfortably close (note: this is not a petting zoo). Other animals you can spot on this tour include pythons, panthers, flamingos, vultures, and herons. It is one of the most interesting wildlife reserves in the world. Be sure to check out the alligator show after the tour to see some “interesting” people wrestle with the gators – if you’re into that sort of thing.
5. Alaska, USA
Alaska is easily one of the most beautiful destinations in America and is home to some large animal life – most notably found in the Katmai National Park and Preserve. Along with its beautiful mountains, volcanoes, lakes and rivers, this park is home to some very diverse animal life including gray wolves, beavers, moose, caribou and eagles. Marine life here includes beluga whales, gray whales, seals, sea lions, and otters. This is one of the few places in the world where seeing a grizzly bear catch a salmon while standing on top of a waterfall isn’t that uncommon. It’s hard not to love Alaska.
The Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula is inhabited by some very diverse wildlife. Explorers can venture through its beautiful green jungles and soft sandy beaches. Deep in the rainforest, you’ll be sure to find jaguars, pumas, multiple species of monkey, anteaters, and sloths. Its waters hold many bull sharks, dolphins, crocodiles, sea turtles, otters and a multitude of colorful fish, making this a great place to snorkel. Costa Rica is well known for its hundreds of bird species including parrots, pelicans, toucans, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, sparrows, vultures, hawks and many more. Costa Rica is any serious bird watcher’s dream come true.
First things first: be sure to visit the penguins at Boulders Beach.
South Africa is also one of the best places in the world to find the great white sharks and by far one of the best places to shark cage dive. Nothing is more terrifying/thrilling than having a 4 meter shark swim just inches away from your face. There’s something truly magnificent in watching these graceful giants glide through the water. It’s makes cage diving such an experience. After cage diving near Cape Town, you should be sure to take a trip to Kruger National Park for a safari. Kruger has some of the most beautiful game lodges in the world, where you’re sure to find the Big 5. We created a list of the top 5 things to do in South Africa if this sounds like the place for you.
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world and can even be seen from space. Many fish can be found in this area, which is why it’s regarded as one of the best scuba diving sites in the world. Divers will find plenty of wildlife lurking in the corals including tiger sharks, reef sharks, hammerheads, stingrays, humpback whales, dolphins, sea turtles, saltwater crocodiles and over 1500 other tropical fish. The reef has some of the clearest waters in the world which makes for some of the best scuba diving you can come across.
1. The Maasai Mara, Kenya
Kenya is home to some of the best safaris in all of Africa. In the Maasai Mara, tourists can view all members of the “big five” which includes lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino as well as a surplus of other African wildlife including cheetahs, wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, gazelle, hippos, crocodiles and hyenas. There is an annual migration where up to 2 million animals including wildebeest, zebras and gazelles move clockwise around this enormous ecosystem, driven only by their ancient instincts to find fresh grazing and water. It is truly an epic sight to be behind the camera of, don’t miss this amazing opportunity if you’re thinking about traveling to Africa.
Have you been to any of these places? What destination do you think every animal lover should see that we may have missed? Be sure to let us know in the comments section.
If you’re ready to start looking for a trip to Africa to see some of these incredible animals, give us a call at 1-800-255-4266, or enquire on our website.