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7 minute read

5 Destinations Perfect for Spotting Wildlife

March 19, 2024

A driving force for many travelers is the opportunity to see indigenous wildlife in their natural habitats. If wildlife encounters count as a travel highlight for you, we have five excellent destinations that allow you to see animals of all types – and best of all, our visits to see these creatures help support the work being done to keep them safe. Read on to learn all about five destinations perfect for spotting wildlife.


Southern Africa

A photo of lionesses captured by one of our guests on our Africa's Wildlife tour

Africa is home to some of the most awe-inspiring animals on the planet – and there’s ample opportunity to see them on an Odysseys safari. The many reserves and natural parks within Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa provide living havens for wildlife such as the “Big Five” (lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, rhino, and leopard); plains animals like zebras, wildebeest, giraffe, and gazelles; thousands of species of birds; and much, much more.


Galapagos Islands

Blue-footed boobies, which can be found in the Galapagos Islands

Perhaps best known as the location that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection, the Galapagos Islands teem with unique wildlife – including approximately 1,900 endemic species only found on the islands. As you can imagine, the variety of fauna here is immense: iguanas, blue-footed boobies (pictured above), bright orange Sally Lightfoot crabs, giant Galapagos tortoises, sea lions, penguins, and hundreds of species of birds and marine life. We explore the islands by both land and sea on our Machu Picchu to the Galapagos tour.



Only about 2,000–2,500 Bengal tigers remain in the wild as a result of poaching and deforestation.

With their camouflaging stripes and silent movements, the majestic Bengal tigers rank as a dream wildlife encounter for many travelers. Their elusive nature – as well as their endangered status – makes spotting one in the wild a true once-in-a-lifetime experience. Around 80 Bengal tigers can be found in India’s protected Ranthambore National Park, along with hundreds of species of birds, reptiles, and other mammals. On our Mystical India tour, we spend two nights in the 512-square-mile nature preserve and go on safari in the jungle and see where these legendary cats live – and, hopefully, snap a photo of one, too.


Costa Rica

Sloth and baby photographed by an Odysseys guest on Costa Rica’s Natural Heritage

It’s called a “living Eden” for good reason – between the rainforests, grasslands, wetlands, dry forests, sandy coastlines, mountainous highlands, and coral reefs, Costa Rica nurtures many thriving ecosystems with diverse arrays of wildlife. On our Costa Rica’s Natural Heritage tour, we visit several biological reserves (including Ecocentro Danaus and Monteverde Cloud Forest), where we see birds, sloths, bats, butterflies, cayman, iguana, monkeys, and more – in addition to lush tropical flora.


Australia & New Zealand

The koala, a marsupial endemic to Australia

Australia and New Zealand count as two more countries packed with unique wildlife. Kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, dingoes, wombats, emus, kiwis – all are species that you can only find Down Under. On our Exploring Australia & New Zealand tour, we see some of these iconic animals during our visit to Featherdale Wildlife Park. On both Exploring Australia & New Zealand and New Zealand Adventure, we also visit Paradise Valley Springs, home to alpaca, llama, wallabies, birdlife, and wild trout; and the National Kiwi Trust, which rehabilitates rare kiwi birds. Of course, there’s also opportunity to spot birds, bugs, and other fauna in their natural habitats at the national parks on tour: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Mount Cook National Park, and Fiordland National Park on Exploring Australia & New Zealand, and Westland Ta Poutini National Park and Fiordland National Park on New Zealand Adventure.


Looking for your next great wildlife encounter? Give us a call or submit a reservation request and we’d be happy to help you plan your next journey into the wilderness.

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