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7 Wild Wonders You Need to Experience - Part 1: Animals

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1. Observe the Bears of North America (Grizzly & Polar)

From the temperate coastal rain-forest and rugged mountains of British Columbia and Alaska to the gigantic glaciers and brilliant blue ice bergs of the polar region, grizzly bears and polar bears are the most revered bears in the world. To see one in the wild is an unforgettable experience that inspires awe and respect for these magnificent creatures. The spectacular wilds of North America and the polar region make the experience even more special due to their remote and rugged vistas. One of the best ways to observe bears safely is by boat, on an intimate adventure cruise in Alaska or a one-in-a-lifetime cruise to the polar regions around Canada's Baffin Island.

2. Find Africa's Big 5

Maybe the most iconic of all wildlife experiences, is viewing "The Big 5" (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, cape buffalo) on an African Safari. Coming face to face with a bull elephant or watching a lion laze across the road can be a life-changing experience, not to mention all of of the other wildlife you will see on a safari. The best place to see the big 5 for the first time is Kruger National Park in South Africa, one of the largest conservation areas on the continent. Besides the exceptional safari game viewing, the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town also offers some of South Africa's most spectacular natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. For more info about seeing the Big 5 check out our Cape Town to Kruger Safari or learn about our safari that gives back, Zimbabwe Conservation Safari.

3. Watch Whales in Antarctica 

While the trip to Antarctica is no longer as treacherous as it once was, it still takes an intrepid travel to brave crossing the Drake Passage to view the white wilderness of Antarctica. For those that do though, the payoff is prolific swarms of marine life like no other. In March, whales concentrate in high numbers to feed on krill swarms, either to build energy stores for the long migration north to tropical breeding grounds or to maintain their energy as they struggle to survive in the ice-choked waters that soon will envelop the region. Venturing out on motorized zodiacs and kayaks, it's not unusual to see whales come to you gliding just below the surface and curiously spy-hopping just feet away to look you in the eye. Our yearly sailing to see the marine mammals of Antarctica is an experience that every traveler should take in their lifetime.

 4. Sail Through the Galapagos Islands

The rich biodiversity and spectacular natural beauty of the Galapagos Islands (also one of the 7 natural wonders of the world) are incomparable; where else can you swim with playful seals or stand yards away from the famous blue foot booby?  The lack of big predators, due to the archipelago's isolated location, allows visitors to get close to the birds and animals without scaring them away. The exotic animals endemic to this archipelago also inspired Darwin's theory of evolution and a trip to the Darwin Research Center makes for an unforgettable learning experience. If you interested in going to the Galapagos check our out Adventures Cruises to the Galapagos.

5. Track Tigers in India

"My heart was pounding right out of my chest," exclaimed Patty, a wildland alumni, after seeing a tiger in the wild.The largest of all cat species, tigers are truly one of the most spectacular and terrifying predators on earth. Highly endangered, due to loss of habitat and poaching, tigers were once found all over Eastern Asia but have now lost 93% of their habitat and have completely disappeared in many places. Learn about Tiger Conservation in our Tigers and Travels in India trip or watch the full documentary from the movie above.

6. Go Gorilla Trekking in Uganda & Rwanda 

With only an estimated 880 mountain gorillas left in the wild, experiencing one up close may seem like an insurmountable mission. Only found in Uganda, Rwanda and the Congo, mountain gorillas live deep in the jungle, yet making the trek to see them can actually help support conservation efforts to help protect their habitat. Hiking through the jungle in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home to half of the world's population of mountain gorillas, can be demanding but it's well worth the trip to see these incredible animals and to save their habitat. For more information check out our Ultimate Uganda Gorilla Adventure.

 7. Spot Snow Leopards in the Himalayas

The most elusive and endangered big cat on earth, the snow leopard remains almost mythical. It has evolved to survive in some of the harshest conditions on the planet, the rugged mountains of Central Asia. Scientist estimate that there are only about 4,000 to 6,000 left in the world. Mainly feeding on ibex, argali and blue sheep, snow leopards can range up to 1,000 square kilometers to find food. Although it's extremely rare to spot snow leopards in the wild, with a team of expert trackers it's actually possible to get a glimpse of this incredible cat. Our yearly trip, Quest for the Snow Leopard, is extremely limited in space, so sign up soon if this adventure is for you.

 To  learn more about any of these wild experiences give us a call at 800-345-4453 or view all of our wildlife trips.

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