Best wildlife holidays for 2018
The holiday-goer in search of a unique wildlife holiday has probably never had as wide and varied a choice as today. Whether you are in search of a luxury holiday or a somewhat more rugged experience, there is a unique holiday destination just beckoning to be explored. And here are some of those amazing choices available to you!
Explore the polar Arctic regions
The highly specialized wildlife of the frozen Arctic regions, polar bears, whales, narwhal and diverse birdlife, has long held a fascination for the adventurous traveler. Luxury cruises offer the opportunity to experience these unique areas and creatures in comfort and safety with highly experienced specialist guides. You can see the polar bears in the Svalbard archipelago, take a sailing cruise from Spitsbergen, or explore the wildlife on Wrangel Island in the Russian Arctic. Some of the activities on offer are blue ice glacier walking, kayaking, hiking and diving. You can even travel on an ice-breaker! Specialist photographic expeditions are also an option.
Though South America was long underrated as a wildlife destination, it is now very much in the forefront as a holiday destination. You can take a cruise in the Galapagos Islands whose unique wildlife inspired Charles Darwin to write his groundbreaking Origin of Species. Or you can stay in an eco-lodge in the Mindo cloud forest while exploring the staggering biodiversity (more the 500 bird species alone!) that abound in the rainforests in Ecuador and Peru. Travel along the rugged Patagonian coastline of Argentina and Chile. You can even visit the oldest and driest desert -the Atacama- where a visit to the village of San Pedro de Atacama is a must. The ruins at Machu Picchu in Peru will give you a tantalizing glimpse into the long-gone culture of the Inca. And hopefully, you will catch sight of the beautiful but elusive jaguar in the Brazilian Pantanal, a unique wetland habitat bigger than England!
Australia’s has its own somewhat tongue-in-cheek ‘Big Five’, the koala, wombat, saltwater crocodile, dugong and platypus – and then, of course, plenty of other famous residents such as kangaroos and camels and cassowaries, kookaburras and keas, you can keep going forever! Explore the continent’s diverse habitat with a drive along the beautiful Melbourne to Sydney coastline, and visit Kangaroo Island which is a haven for endangered animals and now offers a new hiking trail. Australia offers some of the best scuba-diving opportunities along the beaches and islands of Western Australia’s coral coast. Taking a camel trip in the Outback or going diving with sharks, Australia has it all!
Africa is surely synonymous with wildlife holidays. The holidays on offer cater to all tastes from hiking, white water rafting, camping, hot-air ballooning to the ultimate holiday to restore body and soul. A stay in a luxury safari game lodge, which combines a rewarding experience of wildlife with all the luxurious creature comforts one could wish for. And Samara Private Game Reserve, just 40 minutes from historical Graaff-Reinet in the Karoo Game, is one of the best on offer. It offers game drives, bird-watching, fine dining (both indoor and outdoor, including wilderness picnics), safe guided walks, mountain biking and the opportunity to participate in conservation activities. It even offers a unique opportunity to sleep out under the stars in their luxury four-poster Milky Way Star bed!
Though Spain would not necessarily be the first destination to spring to mind when you think about wildlife destinations, there are some wonderful holidays on offer. Spain offers you the chance to follow killer whales as they hunt bluefin tuna in the Straits of Gibraltar, where you might very well see dolphins and pilot whales as well. Spain also has about 3,000 wolves that are mostly found in the remote Sierra de Culebra Mountains. And while on the lookout for them you will quite possibly see wild-boar, fox and deer, all prey-items of the wolves! Go camel-riding in the Maspalomas dunes, or sign up for a walking holiday in the Spanish Pyrenees. You might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the critically endangered Iberian lynx in the highlands of Andalucia.
Croatia has in recent years been discovered as a wonderful holiday destination. Its stunning natural environment is already famous as one of the best places in the world to see butterflies. At the other end of the spectrum, the Kuterevo Sanctuary is home to a thriving population of European brown bears! In addition, the Northern Velebit Mountains are inhabited by wolves, lynx and many birds of prey, including the white-tailed eagle and the magnificent lammergeier. It is also home to rarities such as the long-fingered bat, and a huge woodland grouse called a ‘capercaillie’. In short, apart from the beauties of the famous beaches of the Dalmatian coast, Croatia simply offers vast opportunities for camping, hiking, climbing, caving, seeing animals and bird watching.
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Safari Trip Essentials
6 Indispensable Items to Pack for a Safari Vacation
- Get the Fodor’s Essential South Africa: with The Best Safari Destinations (Travel Guide).
- Bring a good quality mirrorless camera for getting those beautiful safari landscape shots. I use the Sony Alpha a6000 .
- You will be outdoors for much of the time. Make sure to bring Neutrogena Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum Spf 45
- When it comes to safari clothes, you need to becomes a layering maestro. Dress for the cold in the mornings but delayer as the sun rises. T-shirt, shirt or blouse – long sleeves and collars help to protect from the sun and mosquitoes. Fleece or warm jacket is a must-have.
- Don’t forget sunglasses for the beautiful sunny days. A.J. Morgan Unisex Sunglasses are a great choice and very affordable!
- Comfortable walking shoes (or boots) and socks.
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