Travel restrictions brought about by the global pandemic have left many stuck in urban landscapes. Now that restrictions are lifted, the urge to explore the natural world and discover the wild is greater than ever, and what better way to do this than on a wildlife-inspired luxury getaway?
Wildlife-inspired luxury getaways allow travellers to explore the wonders of nature and its many animal species without any compromises. From safari-style expeditions in Namibia and Tanzania to luxury cruising the Galapagos Islands, these destinations promise a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Australia is lucky enough to have a unique variety of wildlife, including creatures you won’t find anywhere else on the planet. And while it’s fun to visit animal sanctuaries, zoos, and conservation parks, nothing beats venturing into the wild and seeing animals up close in their natural habitat.
Lying off the mainland of South Australia, Kangaroo Island is a protected nature reserve home to native wildlife species, including koalas, kangaroos, and a huge variety of birds. It’s also home to the Seal Bay Conservation Park, the only place where you can walk among endangered Australian sea lions. In Cairns, you’ll find Daintree Rainforest, a World Heritage-listed area of pristine tropical rainforest considered the oldest rainforest in the world, beating the Amazon by 65 million years. The scope of wildlife that you’ll encounter here is immense, not least because a third of Australia’s reptile species live here.
For the ultimate wildlife experience in Australia, head to the Great Barrier Reef. Stretching more than 2,000 km along Australia’s northeast coast, it’s home to 600 islands and 300 coral cays. If you’re a diving enthusiast, visiting the Great Barrier reef is a must. The dizzying array of marine life that you could encounter here is nothing short of spectacular!
Famous for its unforgiving coastline and towering dunes, Namibia is another incredible destination for a wildlife-inspired luxury getaway. Some of the country’s wonderful wildlife hotspots include the lush Caprivi Strip and Etosha. Other highlights are the rugged landscapes of Damaraland, the waterbirds of Walvis Bay, and the unique opportunity to encounter a desert elephant on the Skeleton Coast.
Your luxury holiday to Namibia won’t be complete without going on a safari adventure. In Etosha National Park, you’ll have the wonderful opportunity to see the Big Five on your luxury safari. Lying along the north-western part of the country, it’s one of the largest national parks on the continent. Your adventure will also take you to Damaraland, where you’ll encounter desert-adapted elephants.
Venture off the beaten track and visit the remote Skeleton Coast National Park, littered with whale skeletons and shipwrecks. It’s about 40 km wide and 500 km long, stretching along Namibia’s north-western coast. The upwelling caused by Benguela Current has also made the Skeleton Coast one of the best places for surfing or beach fishing.
India is a vast country famous for its ancient palaces and forts, diverse culture, and incredibly mouth-watering cuisines. But what many didn’t know is that India is also a great destination for wildlife spotting. Your wildlife holiday in India will include spotting the rare one-horned rhino, getting up close on a small group India tour with wild tigers and elephants, seeing sambar deer grazing early in the morning, and more!
Kerala might be famous for its idyllic backwaters and exotic beaches, but there’s incredible wildlife to be found here. For instance, Periyar National Park, set within lush jungles, is home to a healthy population of wild elephants. Sleep under the stars in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan and go on a camel safari during the day. In Ranthambore National Park, set off on an exciting safari at sunrise and scour the dense jungle with your guide for tell-tale signs of tigers and elephants. Your advantage will take you through crocodile-infested lakes and lush forests packed with a wide variety of wildlife.
Escape into the remote plains of Kaziranga National Park, in the northeast region of Assam. This vast grassy area is home to a large population of rare one-horned rhinos. These species are under threaten by poaching due to their prized horn.
The Galapagos Islands
One of the world’s best places for wildlife watching is definitely the Galapagos Islands, which lie off the coast of Ecuador. These islands were formed millions of years ago, resulting from volcano eruptions, which caused them to be separated from the mainland. Wild animals started arriving on the islands throughout the years, and these creatures eventually evolved into endemic species.
Because of how isolated the Galapagos Islands are, the wild animals have never developed a fear of humans. Thus, during your luxury vacation of the Galapagos Islands, don’t be surprised to find sea lions lying along the streets and giant lizards swimming by your boat! Today, more than 97% of the islands that make up the Galapagos are protected, and the government limits the number of tourists who can visit.
Aside from wildlife safari, visitors to the Galapagos will also have the chance to explore the lush highlands of Santa Cruz, snorkel among green sea turtles, hike around the Sierra Negra Volcano, kayak around Divine Bay, and dive with gentle sharks, all while staying in a luxury lodge or safari-style camp.
When most people think of a luxury African safari, they immediately think of Tanzania‘s Serengeti, and rightfully so. More than 25% of Tanzania is designated for national parks and wildlife reserves. In fact, its vast wilderness has inspired many books and films.
Between Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park, they protect the world’s greatest and most varied collection of wild animals. These are the best areas to catch lions and cheetahs in action as they hunt their prey.
From October to November, more than a million wildebeest and thousands of zebras would come south for The Great Migration, an incredible phenomenon that every wildlife lover should witness. Other wildlife experiences you shouldn’t miss in Tanzania include tracking chimpanzees at the Mahale Mountains, stalking the predators of Katavi National Park, or exploring the serene watery surroundings of the Selous Game Reserve.