Nothing quite beats seeing animals in their natural habitats; frolicking, playing, and going about their everyday lives undisturbed. Of course, there are plenty of amazing wildlife activities in the UK, but what about the rest of the world? If you fancy going a little further afield and seeing more exotic animals in their homes, here are five of the best places.
For example, some tours focus on spotting all of the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo), while others will help you hone your photography skills. You could choose to track the wildebeest, zebra and gazelle on their Great Migration, or see the sights from the skies on a hot air balloon safari.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Under the water, you will find yourself in what feels like a whole other world! The world’s largest coral reef is home to so many colourful, weird and wonderful creatures. You will discover fish, coral, turtles and perhaps even sharks. Booking a guided scuba dive is a great way to get the most out of the experience – and an underwater camera will capture your amazing adventures.
An incredible 27% of Costa Rica is used for nature conservation so it’s the perfect place to visit if you want to see some animals. In the jungles, you might come across frogs, lizards, monkeys, crocodiles and exotic birds. Between September and October, if you head to Tortuguero you will see the incredible site of hundreds of baby turtles make their way to the ocean after hatching on the beach. If you want to guarantee seeing some sloths, head to the Sloth Sanctuary and see the cheeky chaps who have been rescued.
Polar Bear Spotting, Canada
Churchill, Canada is known as the polar bear capital of the world and is one of only a handful of places in the world where polar bears can be seen in the wild. An expert will take you to see the amazing bears (and if you’re lucky, their babies), and in the summer there are over 3000 Beluga whales in the waters to spot too. If you time your trip right, you could get to see the Northern Lights as an added bonus.
It’s no surprise that this incredible island inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution, and for animal lovers, it’s a must-visit! There are some animals on the island that won’t be found anywhere else in the world, such as comical-looking red-lipped batfish and the Galapagos dove, as well as the adorable fur seals and flamingos.
There are so many amazing animals to see in the world and it can get almost addictive! Be sure to do your research before you go to ensure that the animals are safe and cared for – don’t give money to organisations who exploit wild animals. Now all you have to do is decide where to go first. Which animals would you most want to see in the wild? Add your ideas in the comments below.
This post was written in collaboration with Audley Travel. This may contain affiliate links
Species-rich hay meadows and mossy woodlands in the valley bottom, all the way up to the windswept fells and crags, the area supports a huge diversity of species. Here are some of the wildlife highlights that you could spot locally…
Red Squirrels, one of the most endangered species in the UK, the Lake District is one of the main English strongholds for these cheeky, tufty eared creatures. Spot them running around the trees and grounds of Ullswater.
The UK’s largest land mammal the Red Deer are easily seen at dawn or dusk throughout the whole year. The main herd of Red Deer in the Lake District is centred on the south-east shore of Ullswater, Martindale.
Peregrine Falcons are the fastest creatures on the planet and can be seen almost anywhere where there are suitable cliffs and crags for nesting. They have recovered from almost complete extinction in the early part of the 20t century and now their numbers are slowly on the rise.
Pied flycatchers and redstarts are common in the mossy and fern-filled oak woodlands that surround Ullswater the beautiful birds seek out holes in trees to rear their young.
For more information on where and how to spot these incredible species have a little look at the infographic below.