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There’s nothing like the thrill of seeing animals in their natural habitat but you’re not always lucky enough to have the privilege. Some animals are easier to spot than others; rhinos, tigers and jaguars are known to be elusive. Here are 7 places where you are practically guaranteed to see some wildlife….
The Shetland Isles, Scotland
Once an endangered species, the population of otters steadily increases in Scotland - how cute are they!? The environmental agency stepped in and improved watercourses and the otters now can be photographed across the islands. That said, the otters do not just pop up ready to be snapped but you will find them feasting on local marine life across the isles. Just be ready to hike across jagged terrain and be patient when waiting for one to appear. You will see otters playing around, and even catch some sleeping on rocks. There are guided tours led by authorized guides and you will see a wide variety of birdlife along the way.
The Bella Coola Valley, Canada
In British Columbia, the prime animal of interest is the grizzly bear. A ferry service or a flight from Vancouver can take you to the beautiful landscape of the valley where you will experience being up close to these spectacular creatures. The best months for catching sight of grizzly bears here are August and September. If you prefer a safer route, drift boats will take you to spots where the bears fish for salmon. The breathtaking scenes against the icy rivers and the fjords will hold your attention for hours. If you’re feeling a little extravagant a helicopter ride will give you an amazing view of the glaciers.
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Between December and February, the Australian Summer provides sightings of wallabies and kangaroos. Kangaroo Island reveals an abundance of wildlife all year. In winter, the baby kangaroos leap from their mother’s pouch and whales can also be seen passing the island’s coast.
The Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
A phrase among wildlife professionals is the ‘big five’. This phrase refers to lions, buffalos, rhinoceros, leopards and elephants. At the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, you can snap pictures of all the aforementioned animals. There are plenty of tours available and they will take you to the best spots for views of the wildlife grazing. The scenery is amazing, with wide-open spaces and so much to see.
Falmouth, Cornwall, England
For many people, dolphins are the most beautiful creatures to encounter. How about spotting pilot whales along with Risso’s dolphins at the same time. With the Gulf Stream pushing warm sea into the English Channel, the area has become a haven for all kinds of wildlife. Along with whales and dolphins, also expect to snapshots of grey seals, porpoises and sharks.
Hudson Bay in Manitoba, Canada
Applauded by polar bear fanatics as the polar bear capital, Churchill in Hudson Bay opens the stage for easy spotting of these giant bears. In October and November, if you are a polar bear fan and would love to snap some shots, get a ticket to Churchill where the polar bears await the coming of the annual freeze. This is one of the few places worldwide where so many polar bears can be viewed in packs (as they are hunting seals).
The Klamath Basin Refuges, California
Every winter, over a thousand bald eagles arrive in Oregon to greet Americans with their national status symbol. The flocks of eagles come from Canada during November and hunt waterfowl for the season. Crossing over into Oregon, the Klamath basin lakes offer quite possibly one of the most wonderful places for eagle enthusiasts. For visitors, there are tours of the Lower Klamath area. Visitors travel each Winter from San Francisco, Portland, and Sacramento to Medford in Oregon just to film these wonderful birds.
Want some more travel inspiration? Check out these 51 places before you die. It’s the ultimate bucket list!