Seven Incredible Wildlife Destinations for Nature Lovers
Lush rainforests, icy tundra, craggy mountains; Mother Nature’s wild and wonderful landscapes are home to an extraordinary array of diverse wildlife. If you’re a nature lover, these are some of our favorite destinations to visit for abundant wildlife spotting opportunities.
1. Australia’s East Coast
You’ll find Australia’s surf and turf teeming with exotic creatures, and the east coast is one of the best places to get up close and personal with wildlife. Pet a koala at Sydney’s Featherdale Wildlife Park. Dive to the Great Barrier Reef’s subaquatic depths to explore kaleidoscope coral reefs and see coral trout, butterfly fish and Maori wrasse. Heading north to Cairns, board the Skyrail Cableway that traverses verdant rainforest canopies at Barron Gorge National Park, and spot flying kangaroos, vivid butterflies and spotted tailed-quolls.
2. North America’s National Parks
From Wyoming’s majestic Grand Teton and Yellowstone to Nebraska’s Black Hills, North America’s National Parks are the lifeblood of the continent’s wildlife. At Grand Teton you’ll see moose and elk wandering its plains and beavers building their river dams. Look up to spot blue herons and bald eagles circling. At Yellowstone, marvel in awe at its exploding geysers and colorful hot springs.
With a landscape typified by snow-capped peaks, tranquil fjords and rolling plains, Alaska is home to large, majestic beasts like big grizzly bears and woolly bison. At Denali National Park, keep your eye out for brown bears, caribou and wolves dotted about its tundra. Of course, Alaska’s abundant coastline is filled with marine activity, including beluga and humpback whales, porpoises, dolphins and sea otters.
4. Costa Rica
Deep in the leafy depths of Costa Rica’s jungles, incredible wildlife awaits you. One of the best places for nature lovers is Arenal in the north, where hanging bridges let you take a walk through the boughs. Make sure to keep an eye out for cheeky monkeys, sleepy sloths and squawking birds. Colorful butterflies flutter about and the sound of hot springs permeates the air. For exquisite orchids, ferns and mosses, Los Angeles Cloud Forest is a botanical wonder.
South America’s wild frontier, Patagonia is famous for its imposing glaciers and rugged mountains. Though much of its terrain can be unforgiving, Patagonia is home to an astonishing cornucopia of wildlife. At Tierra del Fuego National Park you can spot foxes and steamer ducks as well as condors and eagles soaring above, looking for prey. Travel to Ushuaia – the southernmost tip of South America – and you’ll be rewarded with playful sea lions and elegant Magellanic penguins.
6. Kruger National Park
Scour the dense brush for South Africa’s most iconic wildlife. From majestic lions lounging in the hot sun of the savanna to huge elephants and their adorable calves travelling as a family. From leopards prowling for their prey to giraffes grazing from the treetops. The Kruger National Park is teeming with life. Almost 150 species of mammal roam the park’s 2,000,000 hectares of land – an area roughly the size of Israel. See the animals you’ve been watching in nature documentaries for years, at home in their natural environments
Keep a close eye on the waters off Kaikoura’s coast for a glimpse of the elusive and stunning sperm whales. These giants known to frequent the coastline of New Zealand’s whale-watching capital year-round. In other months, watch for pods of orca at hunt and play, and colossal blue whales – the largest animal ever to have lived on earth. Take in the stunning wildlife surrounded by the spectacular natural beauty of New Zealand’s mountains.