For wildlife lovers there’s nothing more exhilarating than seeing native animals on your travels. But with more and more unethical animal experiences popping up around the world, it can be hard to know how and where to see animals, where they belong, in the wild. We’ve researched some of the best wild wildlife experiences across the world, in which you can witness animals in their natural habitat or in a conservation centre, and have shared our top picks below.
Monkeys at the Ubud Monkey Forest, Bali
Ubud’s Monkey Forest in Bali is a great spot for wildlife lovers to visit on their travels. The forest is home to over 600 long-tailed Balinese macaques, all of whom roam freely around the forest and surrounding areas. The monkeys may look cute but they are wild, opportunistic animals, who will grab food or water bottles from visitors’ bags and may bite. So do follow the rules of the forest to keep yourself and the monkeys safe.
Penguins at Boulders Beach, Cape Town
No trip to Cape Town is complete without a trip to Boulders Beach to get up close to African penguins. This beach and others in the area form part of the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area. Which means that the penguins are protected and the beaches are clean and safe. You may notice boardwalks have been constructed to allow visitors to walk their way around the dunes and vegetation to get a view of the penguins, and this doubles as a shelter for nesting penguins and chicks.
Quokkas on Rottnest Island, Western Australia
If you look up the happiest animal in the world you’ll be greeted by thousands of images of the adorable quokka. They call Western Australia home and are the only mammal native to Rottnest Island, which is a 45-minute ferry ride from Perth. Quokkas are very friendly and trusting animals, so you are able to get in very close proximity. But do follow the Quokka Selfie Rules set out by Rottnest Island if you plan on visiting.
Grizzly Bears in Alaska
There is nothing more exhilarating (and slightly scary) than seeing a bear in the wild. And in Alaska, the possibility of seeing a grizzly bear in the wild is definitely that: a possibility. Whilst you can’t be guaranteed a bear sighting, embarking on a G Adventures Alaska Adventure tour gives you a pretty good chance. And even if you don’t get to catch a glimpse of these incredible animals, the landscape is well worth the trip too.
Orangutans at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Borneo
If you’re an orangutan lover, Borneo is the destination for you. The centre in Sepilok cares for orphaned and rescued orangutans, teaching them the skills needed to survive and thrive in the wild. A visit to the centre does not always mean a sighting – and while that may seem like a sad thing, it’s actually great news, as it just means that the orangutans are not reliant on these feeding times in order to survive.
Wildlife in the Galapagos
The Galapagos Islands are known for their incredible beauty and diversity of wildlife. The region was even the catalyst for Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. From sea lions and giant tortoises to blue-footed boobies and marine iguanas, there are species of animal here that just can’t be found anywhere else.
Moose in Norway
Spotting moose in Norway is a fairly simple experience if you know where to look! Head to Elgland during spring or autumn to watch hundreds of moose migrating, as they have done for thousands of years. Stay in a moose observation tower or join a tour of the Dovrefjell mountain range for another chance to spot moose in the wild.
Turtles in Costa Rica
If you’re looking for a way to see turtles in the wild, a trip to Costa Rica is a great option. Head straight for Tortuguero National Park’s beaches, which is home to the endangered green sea turtles. From April to October (nesting season) you are able to join a registered guide and observe the giant turtles laying their eggs on the beach.
Mountain Gorillas in Uganda
The opportunity to witness a gorilla in its natural habitat must be high on many animal lovers’ bucket lists. And one of the best ways to experience this incredible sight is by joining a G Adventures Kenya and Uganda Gorilla Overland tour. Trek through the Ugandan forests in search of this endangered species and observe them in the wild.
Considering one of the above destinations for your next trip? Book with StudentUniverse to receive exclusive student & youth discounts on fares.