Observing wildlife in its natural environment is an amazing feeling. Since most of us live far from nature, seeing wild animals becomes more and more rare, and hence a special and unforgettable experience. See the world’s best locations for coming face to face with incredible wildlife, be it the polar bears living in the cold North, funky orangutans of Borneo, or nimble cheetahs in Africa.
10. The Yellowstone National Park. USA.
A wild destination close to those living in the USA is the Yellowstone National Park, shared by Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. It is the world’s oldest national park (established in 1872), and home to wonderful wildlife. The park is considered to be the finest megafauna habitat in the lower 48 states. There are almost 60 species of mammals living in the Yellowstone, such as, among others, the bison, grizzly bear, elk or mule deer.
9. Gorilla Trek. The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Uganda
The rich jungle forest of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a sanctuary for the Bwindi gorillas – it is inhabited by half of the world’s population of endangered Mountain Gorillas. The popular gorilla trekking activity involves walking in the forest in search for these amazing animals. The park is also a great location for bird watching – there are 348 species of birds that can be found in the Bwindi.
Gorillas. By Stefan Gara
8. Kangaroo Island. Australia.
Thanks to its isolation from the mainland Australia, Kangaroo Island, or KI as the locals call it, has remained a truly wide destination featuring the iconic animals of the continent. Kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, echidnas and sea lions that live in the numerous national, conservation and private parks can be seen almost everywhere on the KI. Moreover, the island is inhabited by the unique KI Kangaroo, which is smaller and darker than its mainland brother.
7. The Komodo and Rinca Islands. Indonesia.
Komodo and Rinca, two of the 17,508 islands of the Republic of Indonesia, are famous for its unusual giant inhabitant – the Komodo Dragon. It is the largest living species of lizard – it can be between 2 to 3 m (6.6 to 9.8 ft) long, weighing approx. 70 kilograms (150 lb). The lizards are carnivores, and although they eat mostly carrion, and attacks on humans are very rare, it is smart to keep them at the distance. The islands are also great for seeing dolphins, mantas, sharks, whales and sea turtles.
6. The Denali National Park. Alaska
The scenic beauty and the enormous population of wild animals make the Denali National Park in Interior Alaska another great destination for wildlife viewing. The park is home to grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, dall sheep, moose and many species of birds (such as ptarmigan, waxwings, Arctic Warblers, pine grosbeaks) and fish. With the Mt. McKinley towering above the landscape, the park is one of the most enchanting wild destinations in North America.
5. Borneo Island
The mighty rainforest of Borneo, the world’s third largest island, is the only natural habitat for the Bornean Orangutan. Watching these amazing animals in the wild is an exceptional experience not to be missed while visiting the island. There are around 45,000 Bornean Orangutans existing in the wild, but they are becoming increasingly endangered due to rainforest lumbering.
4.The Hudson Bay. Canada.
The small town of Churchill, Manitoba, located along the shores of the Hudson Bay in Canada is the “Polar Bear Capital of the World”. Every year during autumn (October, November) the polar bears move toward the shore from inland to wait until the water freezes so they can hunt seals. Once the ice forms, the bears are out of the town.
3. Kaikoura, New Zealand.
The beautiful Kaikoura Peninsula in New Zealand that extends into the sea south of the town is one of the world’s best locations for viewing the whales, dolphins and seals. The peninsula has a splendid geographical setting and the upwelling currents bring an abundance of marine life from the depths of the nearby Hikurangi Trench. At different times of the year visitors can see several species of whale, though the giant Sperm Whale is almost always there.
2. Galapagos Islands
Wildlife is the most notable feature of the Galapagos Islands, the archipelago located around the equator in the Pacific Ocean. The islands are famous for their most prominent visitor Charles Darwin, who developed his theory of evolution by observing the archipelago’s wild inhabitants. A bit moon-looking islands are home similarly alien-looking animals such as marine iguana or weird Riftia pachyptila – giant tube worms. Besides, Galapagos are inhabited by sea lions, whales, marine turtles, Nazca boobies, Galápagos Penguins, Pelicans and Flightless Cormorant .
An array of amazing, wild, beautiful animals can be found in Kenya, the country of national parks, exceptional wildlife and fascinating nature. Be it the huge elephants of the Amboseli National Park, the Lake Nakuru National Park filled with stunning flamingos, or the Tsavo National Park, the most untouched and the wildest of all reserves, Kenya is a truly great and rewarding destination to admire the animals in their natural habitat.
Be a responsible observer, always keep a safe distance, and don’t distress the wildlife. Remember that most of the animals mentioned here are endangered species, and you may always help to protect and preserve them by supporting the local and international conservation projects.