Do you love travelling? Do you love wildlife? Have you ever considered combining the two? Modern life is hectic and technologically driven by commercially motivated reasons. And it’s extremely important to separate yourself from the hustle and bustle once in a while.
The problem is, when most people go on a vacation, they go to a big city like New York or London. (Which you should do at least once, there’s no shame in that). But when you only go to cities when travelling, you simply experience the same hustle and bustle, only in a different setting.
That’s where wildlife holidays come in. Wildlife holidays let you reconnect with your most authentic self. Seeing an animal in its natural habitat will help you become connected to your animal roots.
That’s why this article presents five exciting wildlife holiday ideas that any traveler will love. There is no specific order for this list— so you’ll have to decide which is for you based on your needs and wants from a nature escape. So, for your next holiday, take a break from the concrete jungle and head to the real one!
This may sound like an insane idea, and only one for those adrenaline junkies, but Grizzle bears in Alaska can be enjoyed by all.
Katmai National Park is an unspoiled wilderness area that has received over 100 years of protection in a wildlife protection program. Thus, there is plenty of food available for the grizzly bears. You will get to see the bears in their natural habitat, and potentially get up-close, accompanied by a guide.
In addition to walking amongst the grizzly bears, there is plenty of other wildlife to see in Alaska. With the right tour, you can see sea otters, whales, moose and bald eagles.
Best time to go: To make sure that you get in all of the grizzly bear viewing that you can, you should go between June and September. That’s because in June and August, you’ll be more likely to see general bear activity, such as playing, grazing and mating, while in July and September, you can see them come together to feed on sockeye salmon.
There are a number of awesome safaris, like the ones offered by Naturetrek wildlife holidays, that will give you the experience of a lifetime witnessing the Great Migration.
The Great Migration is a 1,200-mile journey undertaken by over a million wildebeest and 200,000 zebras. The zebra and wildebeest are following the rains, while they themselves are followed by an overwhelming number of predators.
This trip isn’t for the squeamish, as you’ll mostly likely see more than a few lions hunting, and successfully at that.
If you’re feeling brave, you can get out of your vehicle (if the guide says it’s ok) in Botswana and Zambia for a bush walk, where you’ll get to see more lion, elephant, buffalo, black rhino and leopard. You’ll also get to see more zebra, hyenas and hippos. Even if you’re super independent, you’ll want to book a tour. Tours offer plenty of options to participate in a bush walk, while keeping you safe and in the know.
Best time to go: February and March is the best time to see the migration in Tanzania, because that’s the rainy season. You’ll get to see baby animals and plenty of predators. In June and July, you’ll get to see the Great Migration in Kenya, and if you choose to go there, you’ll also get to see crocodiles in the Gurmeti River, waiting for their prey as they try to cross.
Alaska all on its own is a vast, rugged and starkly beautiful place. And it is one of the last true wild places left on the planet.
If you want a totally exhilarating, heart-stopping experience, head to Alaska to kayak with whales, where even a pod of killer whale’s might swim past or maybe you’ll see the dark form of a humpback whale gracefully glide underneath.
You can see humpback whales converging in Frederick Sound during summer months and camp right next to them on the shore. You’ll also get the chance to see Dall’s porpoises, harbor seals, harbor porpoises and Steller’s sea lions. Don’t forget about the sea otters and bald eagles!
Something to think about: You’ll probably want to be fairly confident in your sea kayaking skills before getting into open water around Alaska.
Best time to go: The best time to plan your trip is between May and September. That’s because the days are the longest, the temperatures moderate, and the whales will be active in the area.
There are six national parks in Madagascar. These parks make up the Atsinana World Heritage Site, located on the eastern part of the island. Madagascar is similar to the Galapagos Islands, because it hosts a rich and diverse ecosystem. And much like the Galapagos, that ecosystem has been evolving on its own, in isolation, since the island separated from the mainland over 60 million years ago.
What will you get to see? You’ll get to see lemurs! On Madagascar there are 33 species of lemur. These eccentric creatures are delightful to see as they vocalize unabashedly and strut around with all the confidence in the world.
Since the island is quite remote, joining a tour is highly recommended.
Best time to go: The best time to go see the lemurs on Madagascar is between April and mid-December. The rest of the time is a wet season which often involves cyclones and should probably be avoided. If you are determined to go during the wet season, invest in a good raincoat. If you want to see baby lemurs, you should go there in October and November. Alternatively, if you go in April, you’ll avoid the peak season.
Tracking mountain gorillas is ranked over and over as one of the best wildlife experiences on the planet. Mountain gorillas are the rarest apes in the world out of all of the non-human primates. There only around 1000 left! All of them can be found in the border region between the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Rwanda. There are plenty of of awesome and exciting guided gorilla tracking tours, where after finding them, you actually get to spend an hour hanging out with them.
People who have had the experience of watching gorillas in their natural habitat describe it as being one of the most life-changing experiences they’ve ever had. Is it because of their size? Is it because of their grace in movement despite their size? Or is it because they are so similar to humans? You’ll have to decide for yourself
Best time to go: The best time to see the gorillas is during the dry season: January through February, and June through September. That being said, you can go on successful tracking tours all year round.
So what are you waiting for? Get get up from your office desk and out from under those harsh fluorescent lights. And ditch the concrete for an actual jungle on one of these exciting wildlife holidays. Whether you want to see the majestic gorillas in the Congo, well-fed grizzlies in Alaska or strutting lemurs on Madagascar, there’s a holiday for you. Remember to join tours to be safe and get the most out of your visit.