There's nothing quite like the spine-tingling experience of coming face-to-face with a family of mountain gorillas or the excitement of seeing an elusive snow leopard high in the Himalaya or the unbelievable feeling you get dining with elephants under a starry African sky. Witnessing amazing and often rare wildlife is a desire we all have when we travel but finding those once-in-a-lifetime experiences is not always easy...
Luckily, getting you closer to the Wild is what we do! Here are 8 of the World's Most Iconic Wildlife Experiences, plus 8 breathtaking videos.
1. GORILLA TREKKING IN UGANDA AND RWANDA
In January, one of our travelers shared this video of their experience while on a special conservation trip with Wildland and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Enjoy this breathtaking moment of mountain gorilla babies in the wild!
This highly-active gorilla safari takes you off the beaten track and into Uganda's lesser traveled areas to hike lush rainforests, track a family of mountain gorillas and embark on wildlife-rich game drives. On this African safari, our experienced Ugandan travel guides take you on foot to the Kibale Forest and Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary – learn how chimpanzees communicate and search for some of the 138 species of birds that fly high in the rainforest canopy. On the way to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home to half of the world's population of mountain gorillas and a designated World Heritage Site, stop off for a game drive at Queen Elizabeth National Park. As you trek through green meadows, savannahs, crater lakes and swamps, look for the resident elephant, buffalo, hippo, leopard, hyena, bush hog and more. Accommodations are comfortable, native-style lodges and a highlight is the three-night stay at the Gorilla Forest Camp, a luxury safari tent-style camp located right in the backyard of local primates. VIEW ITINERARY
2. SEARCHING FOR TIGERS IN INDIA
Tiger footage from our documentary of Tigers and Palaces: Adventures in India. This documentary followed a group of Wildland travelers as they spent 2 weeks exploring the history, culture and wildlife India has to offer.
Recognized by National Geographic Traveler magazine as a "Tour of a Lifetime" and one of their "10 Great Adventure Trips That Give Back."Our Tigers and Travels trip to India is an in-depth and comprehensive India tour dedicated to the search for the elusive tiger and discovery of ancient civilizations out of which arose the contemporary cultural and spiritual fabric of modern India. We learn about Project Tiger, and efforts to bring tigers back from the brink of extinction in Bandhavgarh and Kanha National Parks. The timeless truths of our humanity are revealed in the old city of New Delhi, the Moghul masterpiece of the Taj Mahal in Agra, Khajuraho's spectacular erotic temples, and the sacred city of Varanasi on the Ganges. Amongst the forts, the walled cities of Jaipur, Jodphur and Udaipur, and the surrounding countryside, we walk amongrural villages of Rajasthan and dine with descendants of royal families, all of whom share insights of their daily life. The castles and palaces of unequaled grandeur, echoing of Indian royalty and British Raj, are reflected in the comfort and charm of our historic boutique accommodations connecting us to a place and its people for a truly transformative India travel experience. VIEW ITINERARY
3. EXPLORE THE AMAZON
Tambopata Research Center is the most remote jungle lodge in the Amazon. There are no humans nearby so sightings of monkeys, macaws and other large species become more frequent. Last year, 24% of guests saw jaguar at TRC!
Join us on this active Peru adventure that journeys from the Andes to the Amazon. We'll discover native Quechua Andean life in Cusco and the Sacred Valley before making the ancient pilgrimage to Machu Picchu along the Inca trail - the royal road built by the Incas more than 500 years ago. We descend from the Andes to explore the Amazon rain forest based at comfortable jungle lodges in the Tambopata-Candamo, a region known for its biodiversity and featuring giant river otters, monkeys, and over 500 species of birds. In close proximity to the world's largest and most active macaw clay lick, we can observe various species of colorful macaws and learn about the research being done to protect Amazonian parrots. This trip into the Peruvian Amazon is an active rainforest adventure with miles of jungle trails for biking and hiking, kayak and canoe trips on rivers and oxbow lakes, aerial platforms that allow you to see above the tree tops, and up-close wildlife viewing . VIEW ITINERARY
4. DINE WITH ELEPHANTS IN ZIMBABWE
Deep inside a private concession, nestled inside the remote northern region of Hwange National Park, hides Nehimba Lodge. Just one of the amazing experiences you'll find on our Zimbabwe Wildlife Safari.
On our Wild Zimbabwe Safari you experience the incredible story of wildlife conservation in Hwange National Park where some 40,000 elephants now roam free, thanks to the guides you'll meet and the local communities who have become stewards of their land. Accompanied by the most highly trained and fun-loving professional safari guides in Africa, we traverse this vast wildland across its mosaic of open grassland and woodland habitats that support herds of grazing and browsing herbivores and their predators; abundant lion prides, leopards, cheetahs, wild dog, and hyena. This is much more than a wildlife safari. In addition to some of the best game viewing in Africa, additional activities include night game drives, walking safaris like tracking elephant on foot, riding the private Elephant Express train in the park, and photographing elephants just a few feet away from the underground Lookup Blind complete with a toilet and bar! We are welcomed as guests into local villages, schools and homes, and given an audience to chat with a village chief and matriarch. You can also join the "pump run" accompanying Hwange guides on their maintenance of the eight pumped waterholes where wildlife congregate. Retire each day with sundowners at your own luxuriously furnished safari villa. This Zimbabwe safari concludes on the shore of the Zambezi River in the luxurious Zambezi Sands Tent Camp with a guided tour of Victoria Falls and optional easy kayak excursions. Ask about convenient pre or post safari add-ons from Vic Falls to Zambia, Botswana, or South Africa. VIEW ITINERARY
5. THE BIODIVERSITY OF THE GALAPAGOS
The luxurious M/V Origin debuted in 2016 and comes to us from a family with a long seafaring history in the Galapagos Islands. The yacht weds an extraordinary level of comfort, cuisine, and expertise with the highest goals of sustainability.
.Explore the fascinating blend of Indian and Spanish culture in Quito, South America's oldest capital city and designated UN World Heritage Site, and voyage among the unique Galapagos Islands. Discover plants and animals unique to particular islands as you travel throughout the archipelago. Our expert naturalist guides explain how these species have evolved and adapted over time. During an 8 day cruise you will visit the major wildlife sites, including some of the more remote outer islands. Meet exotic and bizarre wildlife as you venture among cinder cones, lava flows, white and black sand beaches, and rocky cliffs and cool off snorkeling in clear equatorial waters. The luxurious M/V Origin debuted in 2016 and comes to us from a family with along seafaring history in the Galapagos Islands. The yacht weds an extraordinary level of comfort, cuisine, and expertise with the highest goals of sustainability. From the concierge service to top-notch naturalist guides, to state-of-the-art equipment and furnishings, the Origin brings a new understanding of "evolution" to the Galapagos Islands. VIEW ITINERARY
6. SPOTTING JAGUARS IN BRAZIL
For wildlife lovers this is the trip of a lifetime! Accompanied by expert naturalist guides, this active and educational adventure provides the ultimate in-depth experience with two of the world's preeminent natural wonders and biological reserves while allowing for a few days at the end to relax and explore Brazil's cultural capitol. Come and explore Brazil's two largest and most famous regions of biodiversity: the Pantanal and the Amazon. We begin our adventure in the northern Pantanal- the epicenter for Jaguar research and spotting and the largest continuous wetland on the planet! Using two eco lodges as our base camps for exploration, we will spend our days hiking, boating, on horseback, and traveling along the renowned Transpantaneira in search of jaguar, caiman, capybara, some 700 bird species, manned wolves, ocelots and more! Our journey continues in the Southern Amazon where we will enjoy educational nature walks along remote jungle trails, exhilarating boat rides, and climb to the tops of observation towers for sweeping vistas of the vast tropical rain forest while mingling with exotic monkeys and vibrant birds. We end in Rio de Janeiro- the cultural heart and soul of Brazil. Soak up the sun on Copacabana beach, meet with locals and dance to the samba beats that fill the air Rio's vibrant neighborhoods! VIEW ITINERARY
7. THE ANCIENT GIANTS OF INDONESIA
Our trips to Indonesia explore the diverse natural and cultural landscape from comfortable villas in Bali to breathtaking sea voyages through the Komodo National Park, Raja Ampat, and Suluwesi.
Sail on this 12-day wildlife voyage which combines a gentle river cruise through the forests of Kalimantan in Central Borneo with a sea cruise on board a traditionally built ironwoodpinisi schooner. Kalimantan's meandering rivers remain the best way to travel through the hinterland of Borneo, with its wealth of ecological and cultural treasures that survive deep within the rainforest jungle. This is the perfect way to see proboscis monkeys and Asia's only great ape, the Orangutan. The sea cruise takes you through the panorama of islands to see the legendary Komodo Dragons, remote beaches, quiet coastal villages, waterfalls, and a mysterious volcanic lake. Discover monkeys, birds, and an abundance of wildlife on jungle walks, explore the underwater world of sea turtles, mantas, and tropical fish snorkeling. Throughout the cruisethere are opportunities for stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, swimming, beach combing, or just kicking back on the deck under full sail. VIEW ITINERARY
8. REEFS AND RAINFOREST IN BELIZE
Staff video from Pelican Beach Resort on South Water Caye in Belize, which is perfect for an island getaway. Part of the Belize barrier reef, you can go snorkeling right off the beach!
This multisport adventure showcases the diversity of activities that Belize has to offer. Accompanied by an expert Belizean naturalist guide you journey across the Maya Mountains, through lush lowland rainforests to white sand beaches, coral reefs, and offshore Caribbean cayes. Explore by 4x4, boat, on foot and flippers. Ride horseback through the jungle, zip-line through the forest canopy, and canoe down winding rivers surrounded by monkeys, iguanas, and toucans. You hike through rainforests by day and search for nocturnal marine life at night. Float down cavernous underground rivers and explore deep into the Cave of the Stone Sepulcher, an ancient Mayan underground world littered with relics of ancient offerings. Conclude your adventure on Southwater Caye, chose by Outside Magazine the best beach in the world! Step outside your bungalow onto this idyllic white sand beach to snorkel around the Belize barrier reef. VIEW ITINERARY