Some of the most rewarding travel experiences are when nature and wildlife are involved.
When we delve into nature, we find ourselves more connected to the world around us. We’re present in the moment and can admire the wonder of the animals, insects, plants, and trees that envelope us. Not many things in the world match the brilliance of a close encounter with a wild animal in its natural habitat.
If that’s something you want to experience, check out this list of some of the top countries in the world to see wildlife—give yourself the chance to live an unforgettable experience.
1. New Zealand
Wildlife photographers around the world love shooting in New Zealand, so naturally it’s a perfect place for wildlife travelers. The various marine reserves in the country provide a wonderful look at the ocean’s ability to heal, transform, and restore wildlife. From sharks to seals, the biodiversity is vast in New Zealand.
The world’s third largest island is where you’ll find Asian elephants, Sumatran rhinoceros, and endangered orangutans. The number of species grows each year, so it’s a lovely place to travel if you want to see something new and unique. To see the wildlife, you can climb mountains, snorkel the seas, or just wander the island (safely, of course); the options are endless.
3. Costa Rica
The warm and welcoming country of Costa Rica isn’t just known for its pleasant locals; it’s also known for its immense biodiversity. Since 25 percent of the country is either national park or protected area, you’re sure to make the most out of your trip. Parks like the Carara National Park—an important ecological transition zone—and Corcovado National park offer a lot to visitors. Everywhere you turn there’s a chance to see some sort of wildlife.
There are so many different countries in Africa that provide unforgettable wildlife sightseeing, and Kenya is an absolute delight. From green rolling plains to massive rocky outcrops, the diverse landscapes lend to diverse animals. Big cats, giraffes, and zebras are just a few you can find here.
5. United States
Traveling in the United States is lovely when you choose destinations based on nature. There are so many different areas to see; the biodiversity of the country is something to admire. From the mule deer in the Sierra Mountains to the various birds on Florida’s beaches, almost every state you visit will have something new to offer. If the far reaches of New Zealand and Africa aren’t possible, then the USA is a wonderful option.
A vacation on the beach doesn’t mean you have to limit your wildlife viewing possibilities. In fact, when you decide to travel to the Bahamas, you can have the best of both worlds. The Bahamas are one of the few places in the world where you can swim with many shark species in super clear waters—if you’re not scared of them.
The last on our list is the breathtaking Tanzania; no list about wildlife would be complete without it. The savannahs of this country offer some of the most extraordinary migrations in the world. There’s more to Tanzania than the endless plains, though; there are also rich forests, swamplands, and multiple preserves that many animals call home. This is the place for the safari adventure of a lifetime.