Top 10 Animal Encounters to Add to Your Bucket List

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We can't even explain how much our love for animals have been broadened throughout our travel experiences.  From sea turtles in Costa Rica to llamas in Peru to elephants in Sri Lanka - We can't get enough of these cute creatures when we are traveling.  We've rallied up our top 10 favorite animal encounters from our expeditions so you can add them to your travel bucket list!

1) Sea Turtle Expedition: Costa Rica

An unforgettable adventure for all ages! Witness the captivating egg-laying ritual of endangered sea turtles. This nighttime experience takes place in nearby Camaronal Beach where you will search for turtles as they peacefully emerge from the ocean. Your guide will use a special red light to avoid disturbance. This is made possible by Hotel Punta Islita in partnership with the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment and conservation NGO’s. Click the hyperlink above to join us in Costa Rica! (Seasonal: July to November)

2) Orangutan Trekking: Indonesia

See the critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan in its natural habitat. Where you will earn memories to last a lifetime - walking, sleeping, living in the vast tropical rainforest jungle. Your expert guide will continue jungle trekking to explore the park till the tent.  In this tropical primary rainforest, you can see the varieties of the Sumatran Orangutan, but also birds, butterflies, white handed gibbon, hornbills, Thomas leaf monkey, various reptiles and a big chance to see a Sumatran Tiger or elephant. It is one of the last few places on Earth to see the Orangutans live in the wild, enough said.  So what are you waiting for? Add Orangutan Trekking in Indonesia to your bucket list!

3) Diving with Whale Sharks: Mozambique, Africa

The coastline of Mozambique has some of the most intact reef ecosystems in the World and you can enjoy some spectacular diving in Pemba, Tofo, Pomene and the Quirimbas Islands. Swim with Whale Sharks and Manta rays from September to February. See many endangered species of turtle and perhaps if you are very lucky see a very rare Dugong.

Mozambique diving is an excellent all year-round activity and a range of exciting and varied diving itineraries can be organized. Barracuda, manta rays, moray eels, sharks, huge schools of kingfish, giant lobsters, and numerous species of reef fish are commonly seen. The whale shark, the largest fish in the world which can reach lengths of up to 14m and weigh up to 15 tons, can be spotted between December and April. Face your fears and check out our Mozambique expedition HERE!

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4) Discover Polar Bears: Churchill, Canada

Prime viewing times are in October and November, when the bears begin their move from their summer habitat on the tundra back to seal-hunting territory – the pack ice that forms every winter over Hudson Bay.  Ride in a Tundra Vehicle made to ride over snow and ice smoothly and make your way to Polar Bear Nation. Churchill is one of the few human settlements where polar bears can be observed in the wild. Thousands of visitors from around the world visit each fall/winter for the excitement of seeing these magnificent animals. You can be one of those visitors HERE!

5) Gorilla Trekking: Uganda, Africa

You will set off for your thrill experience of the Gorillas in the Mist. Hiking within this mysterious and wonderful forest offers quite a lot to see as you make your way to see the Mountain Gorillas. The wildlife including additional primates, butterflies, mammals and birds, will certainly be very beautiful and really enhance this extremely special experience.

The tracking / trekking can entail some thorough climbing as well as hiking although when you come face to face with the tranquil yet potent Mountain Gorillas, watching them only a few meters away from you observing the group, the baby with the mothers, the gorillas partaking their everyday routine just right in front of you is all very overwhelming.  You can never find any mountain gorillas living in the zoo, save for just in this not large area of Africa where a number of the remnant mountain gorillas can be seen. Gorillas are one of our favorite animals and we can't wait to cross this off our travel bucket list with you! Find out more about our Tanzania/Uganda expedition

Photo by: Tate Drucker

Photo by: Tate Drucker

6) Trek with llamas on the Inca Trail: Peru

Not only will Machu Piccu take your breath away but why not add to the fun of hiking when you can hike with cute llamas?!  These sturdy animals are native to the Andes…but not that sturdy. Instead, you’ll be leading the animals (at times, they may be leading you!) along the rocky trail to the Inca city. And they’ll be carrying the lion’s share of your supplies, so you can make the trek without getting super-exhausted. Ready to trek with some llamas? Find out more HERE!

7) Monkey & Sloth Quest: Costa Rica

Did you know that Howler Monkeys are the loudest land animal?  Costa Rica's rich natural diversity is fascinating!  The raucous howler monkey is among the largest monkey species in the Americas. Its whooping growl can be heard over a 3 mile radius. Highly social, howler monkeys travel in groups of up to eighteen members.  You will also have a chance to encounter with real sloths - aren't they the cutest?! Your guide will bring a spotting telescope to better enjoy a close-up look at these creatures.  Join us in Costa Rica! 

Photo by: Tate Drucker

Photo by: Tate Drucker

8) Ride a camel across the Sahara: Morocco 

At a small town on the edge of the desert, we’ll board camels and embark on a journey deep into the epic dunes of the Sahara. The journey will take us approximately an hour until we arrive at a Bedouin campsite where we’ll be spending the night sleeping under the stars. We’ll partake in a traditional dance and welcome dinner, play the drums, sip mint tea, and have a nighttime star photography lesson.  Morocco is such a beautiful setting to ride a camel across the Sahara - find out more info and add this one on your travel bucket list!

9) Walk with Lions: Botswana, Africa

Sounds a little scary, doesn't it? Well we've done it before and trust me - the lions in this Safari park are super friendly! You'll have the chance to sleep in Safari tents where you’ll fall asleep to the sounds of lions and elephants in the distance, and spend each night enjoying delicious meals prepared by our tour’s private cook. Does that get any better or what? Learn more about our Botswana trip

10) Ride Elephants in Asia - Sri Lanka

I think riding elephants is on everyone's bucket list.  These large elephants in Sri Lanka are very well-known and it's an adventure of a lifetime you don't want to miss out on!  During our time in Periyar we will have the opportunity to take a wildlife safari by boat.  During our three hour jungle journey we will have the opportunity to watch birds, see beautiful butterflies and spot larger wildlife such as elephants and tigers.  We will even have the opportunity to enjoy a magical elephant ride through the jungle.  While our days will consist of exploring the beautiful nature around us, our evenings will be filled with delicious curries, aromatic spices, and hand-on cooking lessons.  Save your spot on our India & Sri Lanka trip HERE!