When you think of a wildlife-themed tour, you instantly think Africa. No surprise,with its legendary animals we all learned about in our first childhood picture books: zebras and lions, giraffes and monkeys. Of course Africa is full-on when it comes to wildlife, but it’s far from the only continent which attracts fans of fauna.
Costa Rica, for example, has an amazingly diverse wildlife within its borders. Howler monkeys (you’ll soon learn where they get their name from) and fascinating sloths are surprisingly abundant; and any birdwatcher will be entranced by the size, diversity and colourful plumage of the local feathered population. For more on Costa Rica, see the accompanying article in this month’s Active Travel newsletter.
A little further from home, Borneo is famed for the orangutans in its lush jungles – which truly need our protection and care – as well as its raucous birdlife. Looking to South America, there are of course the famed Galapagos Islands (a reminder here to book early as the number of visitors is limited each year) and of course the Amazon. Many people associate the Amazon with Brazil, but in Peru the river is much cleaner and less touched by pollution and development. It’s nice to see how the Peruvians are putting emphasis on protection and conservation. There are a host of river cruises to choose from along the Peruvian Amazon.
Though the polar regions don’t offer a huge diversity of wildlife, people say that an encounter with a polar bear here in Canada or a few hours in the company of Antarctica’s endlessly entertaining penguins can be a life changer.
But in fairness we can’t talk about wildlife touring without mentioning Africa –the lottery of wildlife with the highest concentration of big game in the world. The tour options are endless, and your Vision travel advisor will be happy to help you narrow down your choice, from a four day safari to a month-long escape. Accommodation ranges from hardcore camping on an overland truck expedition to elegant lodges or “glamping” (camping in amazingly furnished and equipped tents) and everything in between.
To get you started: If you absolutely love wildlife and want to do game drives every day, East Africa is for you. But if you want to combine your wildlife viewing with other activities (beach, wine-tasting, golf, city touring), think about southern Africa: South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia.