Top 10 Wildlife Encounters

Welcome to the Top 10 Wildlife Encounters by Animals Around The Globe.

Have you been searching for the top 10 ideas to see wildlife around the globe? You’ve come to the right place! The backdrop of a pandemic challenged opportunities to see wildlife but with the dawn of a new year; 2021 it’s time to pursue these amazing experiences to follow ( with covid-19 safety regulations of course!)

Intrigued?

Top 10 ideas to see wildlife canoeing with wildlife
One man in an orange kayak on a waterway in National park the Weerribben in Overijssel, The Netherlands. Other kayaking people in the background.

Take a look at our top ideas to see wildlife around the globe! Or jump to the idea that excites/ inspires you the most or the animal that you would love to see in the wild!

Swimming with Orcas

Walking with lions

Diving with Tiger Sharks

Brown Bear Safari

Canoe Hippo Safari

Snorkeling with Manatees

Whale and Dolphin watching

Koala bear Cuddles

Wildebeest Migration

Germany’s wildlife

1. Swimming with Orcas

orcas in norway

One of the most intelligent and largest species of toothed oceanic dolphin in a family of whales. Welcome to the Top 10 ideas to see wildlife list for 2021 animal encounters!

Where to see Orcas/ Swim with Orcas: One of the best places to swim with Orcas is the wintery northern Norway, where large quantities of herring gather.

Hundreds or even thousands of whales gather here to hunt. A special natural spectacle – but one that can be challenging due to cold air and water temperatures, snow, ice, little daylight and swell.

The cold and crystal clear fjord water is a perfect place to observe orcas pods. A large number of mammals have been seen, sometimes in pods of 200 or more. 

Best Time to Go 

Basically Norway is a great destination for nature lovers all year round. 

However, if you want to watch the orcas at close range during their spectacular hunt, the best time to travel is between October and February. 

Temperatures can vary greatly, ranging from well above freezing to freezing cold. 

In the Norwegian winter, the dark nights return, and so the best time to see the unique northern lights is from late September to late March.

Top 10 ideas to see wildlife for tiger shark diving

Ready to book an experience swimming with orcas? Find out about tours to be a part on our booking page.

2. Walking with Lions

Lion Walk for the Top 10 ideas to see wildlife
Lion Walk

Coming in strong with the number two idea of Top 10 ideas to see wildlife! The distribution area of the African lion extends from the southern edge of the Sahara to South Africa with the exception of the Congolese rainforest belt. Of the Asian lions, only a remaining population of 411 individuals lives in Gir National Park in India today.

There are many beautiful places in the world where you can see lions in the wild. Most people only think of the african continent when deciding where to go for lion safari.

Best places to walk with African Lions

lion walk safari

Maritius: What makes Mauritius one of the best Places to walk with Lions is the environment. Our walk takes us along narrow sandy paths through a forest of thorn bushes, buffalo berries and acacia trees.

Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe truly is one of the best Places to walk with Lions as it is one of the main Safari and Game Drive country in Africa. Out on Zimbabwe’s open savannah, a home to many prides of lions.

Best Operators:

  1. Victoria Falls Guide (Victoria Falls)
  2. Volunteer Encounter (Antelope Park or Victoria Falls)
  3. Lion Encounter (Victoria Falls)
  4. Wildlife Encounter (Victoria Falls)
  5. Mauritius Attractions (Mauritius)
  6. Safari Adventures (Mauritius)

3.Diving with Tiger Sharks

Tiger Shark

We recommend encountering tiger sharks as one of the most exhilerating experiences! Tiger sharks are also knwn as non-threatening to encounter, although it is always important to take caution with wildlife.

The tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier) is the fourth largest shark in the world after the whale shark, basking shark and great white shark. It can grow to a good five metres long and weigh more than 1,000 kilograms.

Where to dive with tiger sharks? Mostly in the tropics but we have found the top 3 places to encounter tiger sharks around the world.

Operators that offer amazing experiences:

  1. Tiger Beach, Bahamas

2. Fuvah Mulah, Maldives

3. Beqa Island, Fiji

diving with sharks
Shark reef. Scuba Diver. Underwater scene with diver in blue.

We hope that you have been inspired to interact with these beautiful creatures. Some more fun facts:

1. Tiger sharks can grow up to 18 feet (5.5 m) long and 2,000 pounds (900 kg), as one of the largest shark species.

2. Tiger sharks are named for their gray vertical stripes or spots covering the sides of their bodies.

3. Tiger sharks are known for eating almost anything, including other sharks, fish, seabirds, dolphins, sea turtles, rays and crustaceans.

4. Female tiger sharks have anywhere from 10 to 82 embryos and give birth to an average of 30 to 35 pups per litter.

5. Tiger sharks live in shallow, coastal waters.

Do you agree with us that tiger shark diving had to be on the Top 10 ideas to see wildlife list!?

4.Safari drive with Brown Bears

Brown Bear Cubs

They are mostly known as Brown Bears in European areas, unlike in North America where they are rather called Grizzly Bears- named from their grizzled fur coat.

Where to see Brown Bears?

They are found in Forests and Mountains across Europe, Asia and North America. The World’s largest Brown Bears are found in the coastal regions of Alaska and British Colombia – on islands such as Kodiak.

However we recommend Northern Finland and a partnering operator’s tours; Nordic Experience. As well as Greece which offers a unique experience to connect with Brown bears through an NGO:

NGO, Callisto, is working to preserve and grow the remaining bear population in Greece.

For the past five years, Callisto has been offering intrepid travelers the chance to track brown bears in the Pindos Mountains, and using tourism as a tool for conservation in the process. Each hike explores truly remote trails in the Pindos Mountains and, led by a bear expert, includes a donation to Callisto.

What does a bear tour entail?

First and foremost it is so important to respect a bears space. Binoculars and spotting scopes will allow you to see them up close without getting physically too close and invading the bears space. Secondly, it is important that one neverapproaches, crowds, pursues, or displaces bears. 

Feeling enticed? Here’s a few more Fun facts:

  1. Bears are commonly silent but can communicate with grunts, roars, or squeals. 
  2. Nearly 50 percent of all brown bear cubs die before they are one year old. 
  3. The brown bear is the largest predator still living on the continent of Europe.

5.Canoe Safari with Hippos

hippo in the water
hippo in the water

The family of the hippopotamuses (Hippopotamidae) consists of two genera with only one species each: The hippopotamus (large hippopotamus) and the pygmy hippopotamus. 

Hippos are large semi-aquatic mammals, with a large barrel-shaped body, short legs, a short tail and an enormous head! They have greyish to muddy-brown skin, which fades to a pale pink colour underneath. They are considered the second largest land animal on Earth (first place goes to the elephant!).

Where to see Hippos:

Do you want to find out, what the best places to see Hippos in the wild are? Have a look at this article on the best locations for Hippo safaris and adventures. 

They are huge vegans with dangerous fighting teeth and show off with the size of their excrement heaps. Hippos produce their own sunscreen and their jaws have the force of a sledgehammer.

hippo tooth

But what are the best places to see Hippos in africa or around the world?

Hippos tend to walk under water rather than swim. They can stay under water for five to eight minutes. Birth is also usually under water, as young animals can swim immediately. It is a great picture to see Hippos underwater.

Where do Hippos live?

photo was taken on a half day trip in Okavango Delta Botswana, the Delta is the biggest sweatwater reservoir in this area and the water is absolutly clean, summer time is green season with low water, the mokoro are fiberglass replicas of dug out canoes, is easier to build than a genuine dugout, silence there is amazing

Hippos are today only widespread in Africa south of the Sahara. They are rare in western Africa and the population is divided into a number of smaller groups, which together comprise around 130,000 animals in 19 countries.

It is estimated that only 130,000 specimens live in freedom, which limits the best places to see Hippos.

In southern Africa, the total population was around 80,000, most of them living in Zambia, which had the highest number of all countries with around 40,000 individuals. 

Take a trip to Zambia to witness the majesty of Hippos in their natural environment. Have a look at our tour zambia page for inspiring adventure ideas. Our top canoe safari trips are listed there!

6.Snorkel with manatees and Dugongs

dugongs

Manatees are large, fully aquatic, mostly herbivorous marine mammals sometimes known as sea cows. The dugong is a medium-sized marine mammal. It is one of four living species of the order Sirenia, which also includes three species of manatees. 

Dugongs are related to manatees and are similar in appearance and behavior— though the dugong’s tail is fluked like a whale’s. Both are related to the elephant, although the giant land animal is not at all similar in appearance or behavior.

Where are Dugongs found:

They are found in warm coastal waters from the western Pacific Ocean to the Eastern coast of Africa usually in protected shallow bays. The largest population of dugongs is between Shark Bay and Moreton Bay on the east coast of Australia.

Where are manatees found:

Manatees live in the shallow waters of marine coastal areas as well as freshwater habitats. They can be found in the warm water of the tropical regions only.

Where to see Manatees and Dugongs?

  1. Citrus Country/ manatee capital of the world
  2. Palawan Philippines
  3. Coral Coast and Ningaloo, Australia

Operators:

  1. Explorida,USA
  2. Manatee Adventures,USA
  3. Family Adventure Charters, USA
  4. Dugong Dive Center, Busuanga Island, Palawan
  5. Busuanga Bay Divers, Busuanga Island, Palawan
  6. Shark Bay Dive and Marine Safaris , AUS
  7. Exmouth Dive and Whalesharks, Ningaloo Reef, AUS

7.Boating with whales and dolphins

whale watching and diving
Deep under the ocean, looking up towards a Diver and Humpback Whale.

People use the term dolphin, porpoise and whale to describe marine mammals belonging to the order Cetacean. Whales (Cetacean) are divided into two group’s baleen whales (Mysticeti) toothed whales (Odontoceti). The main difference between them is that baleen whales have baleen and two blow holes while toothed whales have teeth and one blow hole.

Dolphins are toothed whales and the largest dolphin is the Orca (generally mistaken for a whale due to its name killer whale). A related family to dolphins are Porpoises.

People often confuse dolphins and porpoises, but there are differences to look out for e.g. their faces, teeth, fins and figures. Dolphins tend to have prominent, elongated snouts & cone-shaped teeth, while porpoises have smaller mouths and spade-shaped teeth. The dolphin’s hooked or curved dorsal fin differs from the porpoise’s triangular dorsal fin.

For information on where to watch and encounter whales around the globe, take a look at our all inclusive feature Whale sightings blog for everything you need to know!

Best Places to see Dolphins

As Dolphins are at home almost everywhere on the planet, are curious and love to to play, swimming or diving with dolphins in the wild is possible in a lot of places. We have listed a few of our favourite places to swim with dolphins! A higlight for Top 10 Wildlife Encounters.

  1. The Bahamas

Travel time: All year round

Dolphin species: spotted dolphin, spinner dolphin, blue-white dolphin and porpoise

Operators:

  1. Wild Quest 
  2. Balmoral Island 
  3. Island Routes Caribbean Adventures – Bahamas  

2. The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Travel time: All year round

Dolphin species: Bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Risso’s dolphin, spinner dolphin and spotted dolphin

Operators:

  1. Galapagos Ninfa Tour 
  2. Voyager’s Travel 
  3. Galapagos Island Trips 

3. Flip-en-flack, Maritius

The bottlenose dolphins can often be seen in and around Mauritius and you will probably meet them on your trip. 

Operators:

  1. Taxi a Maurice 
  2. La Pirogue – Swim with Dolphins 
  3. Ushuaia Boat Services
Young woman swiming in the beautiful water on Mauritius island with dolphins

Dolphins are extremely intelligent and fun beings. Under the right circumstance diving or swimming with dolphins can be a great adventure for human and animals.

Dolphins need our protection. Have fun exploring dolphins responsibly and make unforgettable memories when going to best places to swim with dolphins.

8.Cuddle with Koala Bears

Top 10 ideas to see wildlife koala tree
koala tree

Koala cuddles coming in at number 8 on the Top 10 ideas to see wildlife list, can only live in one place in the world, Australia due to their staple diet of Eucalyptus leaves, of which they can eat 2,5 pounds of food in a day! The koala hops from tree to tree and climbs the trees to get the leaves.

Where to see Koala Bears?

The koalas are naturally only native to Australia. Their habitats are located on the mainland and on some islands on the east and southeast coast. Areas of which are depedent on the availability of trees and the fertility of soil in the area.

The top 10 places you are guaranteed to see Koalas in the wild:

  1. Raymond Island, VIC
  2. Kennett River, VIC
  3. Cape Otway, VIC
  4. Port Stephens, NSW
  5. Kangaroo Island, SA
  6. Tucki Tucki Nature Reserve, New South Wales (NSW)
  7. Tidbinbilla, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
  8. Port MacQuarie, New South Wales (NSW)
  9. Flinders Chase National Park, South Australia (SA)
  10. The You Yangs, Victoria (VIC)

However we do recommend supporting NGOs and sanctuaries that support Koala Bear protection and rehabilitation:

WWF Australia

After the bushfires in Australia, the WWF is determined to turn this sad story around. For this reason, it is launching a worldwide campaign “On the way to two billion trees”. 

Betterplace.org 

Here you can directly donatefor koalas. Together with the Australian partner organisation Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife (FNPW) betterplace cares for wild animals that have been victims of bush fires. A large network of volunteer wildlife workers work around the clock to find injured animals, such as koalas and kangaroos, provide first aid and care for the wildlife. Amazing part of Top 10 Wildlife Encounters.

Koalahospital.org – Adopt a Koala

Their adoption helps to rescue and treat sick and injured koalas and to release them back to their homes where possible.

9.Bush Safari Tour aside/ hot balloon above wildebeest migration

Top 10 ideas to see wildlife Wildebeest Safari
Wildebeest Safari

The wildebeest migration is one of the largest migrations on earth. The wildebeest are joined by around 400,000 antelopes and 200,000 zebras in a spectacular 3000km journey that is a privilege to witness.

Where to witness the migration taking place in the African wilderness:

  • Serengeti, Tanzania
  • Maasai Mara, Kenya

Duration: In February and partly in March the wildebeest find rest and give birth to their calves in the in the grassy plains of the highlands of Tanzania. Around half a million calves are born within a few weeks.

Top 10 ideas to see wildlife migration
Sunrise over the Masai Mara, with a pair of low-flying hot air balloons and a herd of wildebeest below in the typical red oat grass of the region. In Kenya during the annual Great Migration.

Tour Operators:

Kenya-Based Safaris

  1. Kenya Bush Safaris
  2. Perfect Wilderness Tours
  3. Bencia Africa Safari
  4. Dala Safari
  5. Simba Paka Safaris

Tanzania

  1. Serengeti Safari 
  2. Wildebeest Safaris
  3. Adventure Backpackers
  4. Africa Sky

Did you like our number 9 on the Top 10 ideas to see wildlife list?

10. Watch wolves and other animals in germany

pack of wolves

There is no doubt that Germany is a great place to visit, but have you ever considered the wildlife that resides in the countryside and cities of Germany? It is often overlooked by many!

Take a look at our feature blog about Germany’s vast wildlife. For this insert in a taste of germany’s wildlife we focus on the population of wolves! Seeing wolves is our number 10 of Top 10 ideas to see wildlife! Amazing idea on Top 10 Wildlife Encounters.

For more than a century, wolves were extinct in Germany. In recent years, however, especially since the country’s reunification in 1990, the animals have been reintroduced and are slowly making a comeback. They are especially prevalent in the former East German states, since many have crossed the border with Poland.

wolves
Two grey wolf in love

During a guided tour you will not only learn some cool facts about the fascinating four-legged friends, but also have the opportunity to watch the wolves at close range!

For even more adventure tingling, you can stay in one of the Tree Inn’s tree houses in the middle of the enclosure. Here you have enough space to watch the wolves all night long with three other adventurers

Operators:

Summary on Top 10 Wildlife Encounters

Top 10 ideas to see wildlife canoe

Did you enjoy reading our top 10 ideas to see wildlife in 2021? Let us know which of these encounters excited you the most? Take a look at our tour page to see which existing tours are offered to kickstart your new year with an unforgettable experience!

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Take a look at wildlife encounters in Europe!