Contact with wildlife is one of the most popular things most travelers and tourists want to do now. Known as wildlife tourism, it is part of many countries’ efforts to get more people involved in the tourism industry. Sometimes focused on observing and interacting with local wildlife in their natural habitat, it can include ecotourism and other activities. It is one of the most amazing adventure travel experiences available. It involves constant interaction with wildlife in their natural habitat and there is nothing as wonderful as seeing a wild creature in all its splendor.
If you are looking for amazing countries to visit and to be close to the wildlife that reveals itself to you, here are some of my favorites:
Rottnest Island, Australia
With an unflattering name, this island is home to one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet, the ever smiling Quokka. Quokkas are friendly, curious and cute members of the marsupial family. The size of this animal is that of a cat, but it has a larger character. Quokkas roam freely on the island and a picture with these small animals with a strong personality will make you fall in love with them. As a nocturnal animal, the opportunity to see them comes at night. Don’t forget to drive your child when you visit the Quokkas.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Probably the most famous breeding farm on the planet, these islands located 600 miles from the Ecuadorian coast have been protected for so long from any interaction with the outside world that they have become a veritable treasure trove of unique species: penguins, swimming vegetarian iguanas, giant turtles, etc. And the rarity of human history here has made them all less cautious of bipedal and upright visitors. A zoom is not necessary… you will take a step back to take a few pictures.
The Amazon basin
Only 40% of the area drained by the mighty Amazon River is in Brazil. These forests and tributaries are so extensive that they can be visited in several other countries, including Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela. The Napo River in Ecuador is just one of the many places where you can find ecological lodges that allow travelers to go into the jungles and along the rivers to see the local flora and fauna very much alive. Sacha Lodge, for example, offers a canopy walk, mud and board trails through the jungle, and a secluded lagoon a short distance from Napo.
The third largest island in the world, Borneo is part of the Malay Peninsula and is divided between Malaysia, Indonesia and Little Brunei. It is home to Asian elephants and the Sumatran rhino and, unfortunately, one of the last natural breeding grounds for the endangered orangutan. Don’t bother trying to count the number of species here: the list grows every year as new species are discovered. Only the bird species exceed 400, so head to the northernmost Malaysian state of Sabah, where you can climb Mount Kinabalu, snorkel in the surrounding seas or watch sea turtles lay their eggs on the nearby island of Selingan.
More than “endless plains” (that’s what its name means in the Maasai language), the Serengeti also has rich forests and wetlands, and is home to several national parks and reserves in Tanzania. It is the ideal place for the safari of a lifetime. In addition to the huge herds of wildebeest (2 million), gazelle (half a million) and zebra (a quarter of a million), there are predators: lions, leopards, cheetahs and crocodiles. Add elephants and giraffes and the Serengeti is truly a surreal dream for all those who have never ventured beyond their local zoo.
The jungle of Sumatra, Indonesia
Home to spectacular nature, Indonesia has countless species of tropical birds, the legendary Komodo dragons and monkeys that live on the islands. An amazing place for a family wildlife experience, Indonesia will leave children and adults alike amazed by the diversity of animals. For a family wildlife experience in Indonesia, Gunung Leuser National Park is the ideal destination for orangutans. Gunung Leuser is home to the only protected population of wild orangutans on the island of Sumatra. It is one of the few places in the world where orangutans can be seen in their natural glory.