One of the best ways to have an unforgettable vacation is to go to a location where visitors would have the opportunity to interact with wildlife. It's even more fun if tourists can go to a place where they'll find exotic wildlife because these will simply blow them away.
However, one of the problems that result from the interaction between human beings and animals is that animals are often put in less than ideal situations. Human beings have the tendency to encroach where wildlife thrives, and this forces such animals to move from their natural habitat.
In addition, owing to how some of us dump our waste, the plastic bags and other pollutants make their way to where wildlife thrives, and it poses a problem for their existence. Left unchecked, many human activities can affect not just the wildlife in the surrounding areas, but even the entire wildlife species.
As human beings, we need to be careful how we handle the environment because this is the only earth we have. We need to leave this earth better than we found it since this is one of the ways we can show future generations that we care about them. Therefore, even as we plan to go on amazing vacations where we can have unforgettable experiences, it's important to have the animals' best interests at heart. Here are 25 magical vacation spots around the world where people can go to meet exotic animals.
25 Komodo National park (KNP), Indonesia
The Kalimaya Dive Resort located on the edge of the famous Komodo National Park is believed to be the only place on earth where you can have an encounter with the exotic Komodo Dragons; the largest living species of Lizards. KNP was declared a world heritage site because of these unique creatures.
If you do not get to see the Komodo dragons, you will be treated to a site of mantas, dolphins, sharks, pygmy seahorses, bumblebee shrimp, turtles, nudibranchs, and frogfish, which exist in the pristine corals of the Park.
24 Assateague Island, Maryland
Assateague Island in Maryland has sandy beaches, resorts, and maritime forests. Recreational activities available on the island include kayaking, swimming, biking, and surfing, but the most fascinating things in this island are the wild horses that roam about freely.
Although these breeds of horses are considered wild, they are believed to be descendants of domestic animals that turned wild; therefore, they are a special mix of the two. The planktons in the surrounding ocean attract sea turtles, whales, fish, and invertebrates.
23 Raymond Island, Australia
Raymond Island, which is found in Australia, is home to Koalas. Tourists come from all corners of the world to get a glimpse of this native animal. Anyone who wants access to the beautiful island has to board the pedestrian ferry, which is normally free of charge.
There are plenty of accommodation options for guests. If you are lucky you may be placed in a room where you can spot koalas right outside your window. The itineraries for guests are set in such a way that they get to enjoy the sight of koalas up close.
22 Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio National park is known for its beautiful beaches and hiking trails. The park is relatively small but with enough hotels and luxury vacation rentals.
Its evergreen forest landscape and the large variety of mammals such as the two and three-toed sloths as well as uncommon birds such as the parakeets and the toucans seem to attract a lot of guests. Visitors can also indulge in activities like dolphin and whale watching, mangrove kayaking, and bird watching, especially at sunset.
21 Jim Corbett National Park, India
The Jim Corbett National Park is India’s oldest park and is a Project Tiger Reserve. This park also hosts a number of resorts and luxurious places to retreat to. The magical landscape of Corbett is well known and famous for its vast population of tigers.
Visitors accompanied by a guide can stay overnight in the park to get a chance of spotting the tigers. Tourist can also go for nature walks, which can be taken on elephant backs or on four-wheel jeeps. The park is home to other animals like crocodiles, sloth bears, and over 600 species of birds.
20 Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands were formed as a result of volcanic activities. The abundance of underwater life makes it the perfect holiday destination for divers and snorkelers. Since the islands are located 600 miles off Ecuador’s coast, this distance shelters them from human interaction thus allowing them to host a variety of unique species.
For a decent price, tourist can visit the islands and be treated to a sight of playful sea lions, gigantic sea tortoise, penguins, iguanas, and whale sharks.
19 Floating Knight Inlet Lodge, British Columbia
The Knight Inlet Lodge offers visitors spectacular scenery since it is built in front of snow peaked mountains plunging into the Pacific Ocean. The floating resort is tucked into a Glendale Cove, an uninhabited locality, which offers the kind of raw beauty that travelers love to seek.
During the fall, the Glendale cove is home to the grizzly brown bears, black bears, eagles, and orcas. Its surrounding deep fjords provide ideal habitat for the animals. The lodge is only accessible by float plane. Recreational activities include whale watching, hiking, and sea kayaking.
18 Etosha National Park, Namibia
If you are looking for a place to camp with the wild, look no further than the Etosha National park. Etosha, which means the "great white place," refers to the dried up salt pan in the middle of the park that is part of the Kalahari basin.
The park is home to rare wildlife species like the endangered black and white rhino, elephants, lions, giraffes, and leopards. There are camps available as you venture deeper into parts of the park, which is convenient for tourists who want to explore further.
17 Cayo Coco Island, Cuba
Cayo Coco Island is part of a chain of islands in Cuba and is known for its clear water, gorgeous white beaches, and hotel resorts. The island is surrounded by mangrove swamps, sand dunes, and seagrass.
The island is home to over 200 species of birds, including native species such as the metallic grey Cuban gnatcatcher and the Oriente warbler and provides an exotic bird watching experience. Winter months are the best times for catching these birds. Tourists can also enjoy snorkeling or they could just swim and relax on the beach.
16 The Pantanal, Brazil
The Pantanal in Brazil is the world largest tropical wetland. The region has a high density of Jaguars, alligators, and a variety of bird species including the Jabiru and the imperiled hyacinth macaw.
The large open spaces of the wetlands make it easier to find the hard-to-spot cat. Tourists who are housed in nearby lodges are involved in the thrilling expeditions of searching for the Jaguar. They are allowed to take the guided wildlife excursions by canoe, motorboat or on foot.
15 Hemis National Park, Ladakh, India
The Hemis National Park is believed to be highly populated with the famous snow leopards. This is the most elusive of all the world's largest cats. The snow leopard is well camouflaged and very hard to spot unless you look for its footprints in the snow.
But with the help of local guides, tourists can team up and venture out on exciting expeditions in search of the cat. The park is also home to endangered species of the Eurasian brown bear, the red fox, and the Tibetan wolf.
14 Okavango Delta, Botswana
The best way of exploring the Okavango Delta is by boat, although guests can take a scenic flight and enjoy an aerial view of the delta. Guided boating safaris are available since these make it easier for visitors to explore the delta from top to bottom.
Guests have the option of camping or staying in lodges that are located along the way. While on the boating expeditions tourists can see hippos, elephants, birds and in rare occasions the Sitatunga, Africa’s rarest antelopes swimming across the river.
13 Solio Game Reserve, Kenya
The Solio Game reserve is a privately owned wildlife conservancy located in the slopes of Mount Kenya. The reserve is home to black and white rhinos and is the most successful rhino breeding reserve in Kenya. The new breed of the Rhinos from the park can be found in a number of game reserves in the African continent.
The Solio lodge in the reserve is the only luxurious guest accommodation on the Game Reserve and offers a wide range of activities including game drives, horse riding, and birdwatching.
12 Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Congo
Odzala-Kokoua National park located in Congo is believed to have the highest density of the western lowland gorillas on the continent. It is considered the best place in Africa for spotting these gorillas.
Skilled local trackers organize gorilla tracking expeditions, which can be carried out on foot or on short drives depending on the precise location of the gorillas. The park offers highly exclusive eco-luxury safari accommodations. Forest elephants, various bird species, and mammal species can also be seen in the park.
11 The Amazon Basin
Only 40 percent of the area drained by the Amazon River is in Brazil. Its forests and tributaries are so many such that you have to visit several countries, including Peru, Bolivia, Columbia, and Venezuela to see them.
The Napo River in Ecuador is one of many places you can find wonderful eco-lodges like the Sacha lodge that can house travelers in the jungles and along the waterways who have come to see the vibrant local flora and fauna. Some interesting species of wildlife to look out for while in the Amazon are the anteater, giant otter, and harpy eagle.
10 Svalbard, Norway
In Svalbard, polar bears usually come out from hiding during the summer and this is normally the best time to spot them. The summer also provides guests with a spectacular view of the changing terrain that was previously covered by ice.
The once hidden colors of the land and fjords slowly become visible and are a sight to behold. Other than the polar bears, one can also marvel at the seals, whales, arctic foxes, and bird life. Other interesting activities include nature walks, zodiac cruises, historic site visits, hiking, kayaking excursions, and tours.
9 Busanga Plains, Zambia
The Busanga Plains, located in the North of Kafue National Park, are famous for the lions found therein and hot air ballooning. Other animals found on these plains include the cheetahs, hippopotamus, wildebeests, elephants, Jackals, a rare oribi antelope, and a variety of bird species.
Camps in the area are located in the open plains and offer accommodation, campfires, and a dining area. Guests are engaged in a number of activities including game drives, sunset boat cruises, fishing trips, and walking safaris.
8 Borneo Island, Malaysia
Borneo Island is the third largest island in the world and is a wildlife-focused holiday destination packed with luxury camps and lodges. It is also considered part of the Malay Peninsula; a peninsula is a piece of land that is surrounded by water around most of its border with a part of land still connected to the mainland.
There are a number of animals found on this island including Asian elephants, Sumatran rhinoceros, and an endangered species of apes known as the orangutan. Borneo is also home to over 400 species of birds.
7 Kakadu National Park, Australia
There is a range of hotels, cabins, and campsites with enough space for pitching tents, and parking camper vans and caravans inside the Kakadu National Park; one of Australia’s wilderness regions. The park is ideal for a holiday getaway, especially for animal lovers.
This park offers its guests a number of tours like the 4WD tour, bird watching tours, boat cruises, cultural tour, and walking tours. The wildlife found in the area includes crocodiles, koalas, sea lions, platypuses, which are semi-aquatic egg-laying mammals, and possums.
6 Skinnskatteberg, Sweden
Skinnsketteberg is packed with luxurious hotels to accommodate anyone coming to look at the wildlife in the area. The forests of central Sweden have the highest population of Moose in the World. Moose are species of the deer family with broad flat antlers and a growth of skin hanging from the neck.
Local guides have the responsibility and the experience of taking visitors on moose watching tours. Other wild animals found in the forest include roe deer, wild boar, hares, foxes, badgers, wolves, and even lynxes.
5 Hudson Bay, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada
Churchill in Canada is one of the best places to see the famous Northern lights. The Hudson Bay located in Churchill also has the highest population of the Beluga whales. While on holiday at Churchill you can catch a boat ride to see the whales and if you dare, you can kayak and snorkel with the big fish.
Beluga whales have high pitched whistles and make all sorts of clicks and chirps. You can actually listen in on the whales’ “conversations” using hydrophones. Other animal species found in Churchill are the Polar bears, the arctic hare, and the arctic fox.
4 Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
The Lower Zambezi National Park is another very popular tourist destination in Africa. It is home to a number of species of animals most common ones being the elephant and hippos. The Zambezi River found inside the park is also one of the major attractions of the park.
A number of luxury lodges are located along the river bank to accommodate the tourists who normally flock there to engage in fishing. The tiger fish and the bream fish are the most frequently caught fish in the Zambezi.
3 Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
The Corcovado National Park is home to a number of big cats like the puma, ocelot, jaguarondi, margay, and the jaguar. Other animals found in the park include the scarlet macaws, monkeys, butterflies, sea turtles, and a variety of bird species.
Although the park is mainly covered by lowland rainforest, highland cloud forest, and mangrove swamps, the camping sites are relatively dry and visitors can camp on their own. However, when wandering inside the park, tourists are advised to be in the company of a guide.
2 Lake Malawi, Malawi
Although Malawi is a landlocked country, it has the ninth largest lake in the world called Lake Malawi. The lake, which is surrounded by golden beaches, is home to over 1300 species of fish and provides a rich fish harvest for the local community. The lake is also a major tourist attraction. Visitors are hosted in various lodges surrounding the water body.
The visitors who come out to the lake can take part in so many activities such as kayaking, sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and water skiing. Other animals found on the lake include the Nile crocodiles, hippopotamus, and the African fish eagles that feed on the fish.
1 Nxai Pan National Park, Botswana
Nxai Pan National Park located in northeast Botswana is home to common wildlife species like the elephant, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, lion, jackal, hyena, impala, ostrich, and cheetah. Other exotic species found in the park include the springbok, kudu, cape wild dog, aardwolf, bat-eared fox, and honey badger.
Clusters of the Baines Baobab tree that are millennia old can also be found in the park. Nxai Pan Camp, which was set up in the middle of the park, offers its visitors the opportunity to take nature walks and educational tours and is ideal for picnic sites.