I love Animals. I plan my holidays usually all around seeing (and finding) all sorts of creatures and this passion has sent me to many places all around the world.
But it’s hard to find good info online about the best spots. You need to google like crazy, and for that you need to know what you’re looking for.
So I decided to share some places with you and hopefully encourage you to do (sustainable) trips to some of the most amazing animals left on this planet. I know, flying billions of miles is not sustainable per se. But without tourists most animals would be extinct already. But use good operators, travel with locals, buy from locals. Donate to education in these areas so people understand the necessity of wildlife conservation.
So here we go. Not in a specific order. I’ll update regularly.
Giraffes in Murchison Fall NP | UGANDA
Best place to see Giraffes in Uganda, maybe in the world. We’ve seen probably a hundred of them, sometimes in large herds of 20 or more. Plus lions, elephants, hartebeest, Crocodiles and Hippos. Not to forget the powerful Murchison Falls feeding the Nile river. Some Uganda Wildlife Photos
Chimpanzees in Kobe NP | UGANDA
Also in Uganda, this is the place to see (and hang out with) wild Chimpanzee. You can get your (semi-) private guide and follow these magnificent creatures for a whole day. Beautiful camping at chimpanzee forest guesthouse close by. Some photos from our chimpanzee trekking
Gorillas in Bwindi | RWANDA
Standing just a few meters from a silver back, having his eyes fixed on you, this is a feeling you will never forget. Bwindi is one of the few places left where you can get close to Mountain Gorillas. It’s not cheap but worth every penny. Tricky if you want to self-organize the tour. I will post more info on that later.
African Wild Dogs in Imfolozi | SOUTH AFRICA
There are not much places left in the world were you can see Wild Dogs. Don’t say „in Bucharest!“ because I don’t mean domesticated dogs running wild but the actual Lycaon pictus. Highly intelligent, but very vulnerable to diseases and therefor close to extinction. Imfolozi is one of those places and maybe the most accessible one. It’s not far from Durban, South Africa, and not so large. I’ve spent one day there and got lucky! It’s still not easy to find them and there’s no guarantee. We later learned that there’s a whatsapp group where people chat about animals sightings. We didn’t need it. A group of 20-30 animals was slowly passing us, 5 meters from the car. What a moment.
Bears in Yellowstone | USA
Yellowstone was a surprise to me. I knew I was going to see some animals, and I knew there are all kinds of amazing creatures running around, but I wasn’t aware of the amount of animals and the high probabilities to see really rare species such as grizzlies or wolves. We didn’t see latter, but we saw a grizzly mom with two cups, we saw hundreds of buffaloes in huge herds, antelopes, deer, foxes, elks, eagles, and much more. By far the best wildlife spot in the US and some dramatic landscapes on top. Come in September, when the masses of tourists are leaving, ideally go right at the beginning or ending of the snow-free season, this differs each year. Here are some landscape and animal photos from Yellowstone.
Oregon and the pacific northwest | USA
Another great place to spot wildlife is the Oregon coast and the pacific northwest in general. depending on the time of year you can see whales right off the beach (saw them in late September), there are colonies of sea lions all around (for example at the Newport Docks or at the Florence Light house), deers running around in basically every state or national park, in Olympic National Park we watched wild salmon makes it’s way upstream (end of September) and if you’re lucky you might see a bear around Bend or the Crater Lake. And close to British Columbia you can go on a boat tour to see Orcas.
Condors of the Andeans | BOLIVIA
Flat, dry, only tiny scrubs and bushes, and active volcanoes elevating from already 4000m to 5000m and higher. And in between good chances to see herds of the shy Vicuñas, Guanacos (both part of the Llama family), the great Andean Condor, desert foxes, Viscachas and if you’re lucky even a Nandu (a smaller member of the Ostrich family). And let’s not forget the thousands of flamingos at laguna verde or laguna blanca.
Orang Utans in Bukit Lawang | INDONESIA
One of the few places to see wild Orang Utans. The base, Bukit Lawang, is a cozy little village deep in the Sumatran Jungle, unfortunately Backpackers looking for full moon parties are slowly becoming a problem. Make sure you get a good guide that has an actual license and you’ve read many good things about online. Many so-called guides are feeding Orang Utans to get them close to the village. Accidents happen and farmers shoot them. Stay three days in the jungle, camp out and enjoy the beautiful nature. Orang Utan Trekking Photos
Tigers in Ranthambore | INDIA
A bit touristy, hard to organize individually and sometimes it feels like a huge zoo, but it’s not. It’s just that for environmental reasons you can only drive into the park with guides, and you can only stay for a few hours. Luckily the tigers are not so shy and if you stay for two or three days you should be able to see one. I did, just for a few seconds, and it was breathtaking to see this majestic animal in the wild.
Sea lions on Kangaroo Island | AUSTRALIA
Such a beautiful island with sandy beaches, little sleepy villages, cliffs and rocks, sand dunes and yes, many animals. As the name suggests there are plenty of kangaroos, but also wombats, tiny penguins, sea lions, snakes, wallabies and lizards. When you enter the island make sure you don’t have any food with you, the local fauna is very sensitive.
Wombats in Wilson’s Promontory | AUSTRALIA
One of my favorite hiking spots in the world, there are many walks from 30min to 7 days. You can easily walk 5 different paths all over the park in one day and see many different animals. Among them of course kangaroos, wallabies, wombats but also many different birds and reptiles. A nice place to camp and hang out with lazy wombats at the campfire
Dingos in the Red Centre | AUSTRALIA
If you rent a 4WD and head out onto the dirt roads you will most likely see wild camels, rock kangaroos and my favorite: wild dingos. And seeing these animals in this surreal landscape of red and orange is definitely something else.
Penguins on Isla Damas, La Serena | CHILE
With a small boat from La Serena you will get close to hundreds of sea lions and even more penguins not far from mainland Chile. The water can be very rough so if you’re easily seasick don’t even bother. If you’re lucky you will see dolphins on the way to the island.
Cows | INDIA
Ok, these are not wild animals, or are they? Nevertheless it’s crazy how many cows you see in the streets, even forcing their way into stores and houses. India is cow-country, here’s a little photo-series all about Indian cows.