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Animal encounters

Best places to visit wildlife and when to go

Clive Wedderburn June 21, 2019

For breath-taking wildlife adventures, here are some of the world’s greatest animal encounters, plus, where and when to see them.

Where to see snow leopards

Where and when: India – December to March

Located in the Ladakh region, the Hemis National Park, the largest national park in India, is famous for being the best place to see the snow leopard in the wild. With the highest density of snow leopards, experience the thrill as you catch a sighting of these majestic animals.

Where to see polar bears

Where and when: Manitoba, Canada – October to November

Take a tundra buggy tour in Churchill for a once in a lifetime opportunity to get close to Polar Bears. Located on Hudson Bay close to the arctic means it’s ideal to view incredible wildlife in their natural habitat.

Where to see whale Sharks

Where and when: South Ari Atoll, Maldives – May to October

Venture out on a diving adventure in the warm waters of the Maldives to snorkel alongside one of the biggest fish in the sea – Whale Sharks. The South Ari Atoll is one of the best places to see these magnificent creatures. 

Where to see snow monkeys

Where and when: Japan – December to April

Native to Japan, the Japanese Macaque, also known as the snow monkey, is the northernmost monkey in the world. Head to Takayama to see the resident monkeys in Jigokudani Park. Although they live in the area all year round, they are particularly numerous from December to April and are less likely to be spotted in autumn. 

Where to spot sea lions

Where and when: Galapagos – Year-round

The remote archipelago of the Galapagos Islands offers a wildlife scene like no place else. Home to sea lions all year, take to the warm oceans to snorkel and dive among some of the best sites in the world and get up close to these playful animals. 

Where to glimpse jaguars

Where and when: The Amazon – June to October

The largest tropical rainforest in the world, the Amazon is teeming with wildlife. Although Jaguars are notoriously hard to spot in the wild, a large number are found in the Amazon river basin making it easier to spot this elusive cat.

Where to spot dolphins

Where and when: Oman – Year-round

Oman is a fantastic destination for dolphin watching with large pods of dolphins found just off the coast of Muscat. The best time to see dolphins is around 7am to 10am so have an early start to witness numerous spinner and bottlenose dolphins playing and leaping around the boat. 

Where to walk among penguins

Where and when: Boulders Beach, Cape Town, South Africa – Year-round

Get to know the African penguins who have made the granite boulders and ancient landscape of Boulders Beach their home. Whilst the local inhabitants can be seen year round, it is worth noting they spend much of September and October feeding at sea.

Where to spot lynx

Where and when: best wildlife viewing in Namibia – May to October

Due to their nocturnal and solitary nature, the lynx, also known as caracal, can be hard to spot and sightings are rare. If you’re fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of this beautiful cat in the arid savannahs of Namibia be sure to treasure the moment. 

Where to see grizzly bears

Where and when: British Columbia, Canada – June to October

Seeing bears in the wild is one of Canada’s most thrilling experiences. Grizzlies are found in British Columbia, feeding on salmon, plants and berries so take a summer hike across the mountainous landscapes and keep an eye out for the native bears. 

Where to see southern right and humpback whales

Where and when: Hermanus, South Africa – June to December 

The Cape Whale Coast is renowned all over the world for its spectacular whale sightings. Watch a Southern Right Whale breach and blow 20 metres from the coastline of Hermanus or a Humpback Whale calving in Walker Bay. 

Where to go on safari

Where and when: South Africa – April to May & September to October

Africa – home of the safari. Playing host to annual events such as the wildebeest migration in Kenya & Tanzania, most people would be forgiven for thinking they have to travel at certain times of the year to witness wildlife in all its glory, however, Africa is a year-round destination. Visit the KwaZulu Natal & Mpumalanga provinces in South Africa in April-May and September-October when the weather is at its coolest. Experience the world-famous Kruger National Park, the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, stunning scenery and both Zulu and Swazi culture all in one exciting adventure.

Need help creating the perfect wildlife trip? Visit our wildlife holidays pages or talk to our Destination Specialists for advice on 01293 762461 and start planning your next animal adventure today.