Wildlife viewing often lands near the top of travelers wish lists. Spotting iconic animals within their natural habitats can be an equation for a memorable trip, whether youre a photographer, an amateur wildlife biologist, or simply searching for a unique encounter.
However, not all wildlife experiences are manufactured equal. Some could be exploitative or unsustainable, involving running after or baiting animalssituations that may cause harmful stress on fragile animal populations. The very best wildlife experiences are safe, respectful, and educational for several involved.
In wildlife viewing, the word Big 5 identifies a regions top 5 specieswhether theyre iconic, impressive, rare, or some mix of those qualities. These three properties in THE UNITED STATES, Australia, and Africa offer luxury accommodations paired with Big 5 wildlife viewing experiencesa truly memorable mix. Plus they each concentrate on sustainable viewing experiences that respect the truth that these are wildlife, not circus entertainment.
Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge
On the Sights of the Sound tour inthe UNESCO-designated Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve on Vancouver Island, youll seetheCanadian Pacific CoastsBig 5(whales, bears, bald eagles, sea lions, and sea otters)from the exclusive base of remote Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge. This eco-safari experience immerses guests in the center of Canadian nature, connecting with the landscape, its culture and wildlife, and celebrating its superb regional cuisine and luxurious lodgings. To preserve the environment, Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge has generated an Environmental Legacy Program, funded privately by the lodge and by lodge guests, which supports sustainability initiatives, and a thorough Environment Management Plan is set up to steer all operations with underlying strategies associated with the conservation of the marine and rainforest ecosystems.
Southern Ocean Lodge
Right here, only a 30-minute flight off the coast of Adelaide, is Kangaroo Island where youll be surrounded bywhatmanyconsider to beAustraliasBig 5(kangaroos, koalas, echidnas,wallabies, andAustraliansealions), which roam freely in this natural zoo without fences! And, with a huge selection of different animal species living on the island, the Big 5 are simply the beginning. While there are many accommodation options on the island, you’ll find nothing that can compare with the renowned SouthernOcean Lodge (whose rebuild happens to be underway following the devastating 2020 Bushfires). Its isolated setting, stunning coastal views, spacious luxury suites, and gourmet dining experience predicated on local ingredients ensure it is an ideal retreat following a day of Australian wildlife viewing. A dynamic environmental management plan featuring state-of-the-art, continually evolving technologies steers lodge operations and ultimately enhances each guests connection with the destination, while ensuring biodiversity protection and conservation
Kariega Private Game Reserve
And, for the Classic Big 5 of Africa (rhino, buffalo, leopard, lion, and elephant), Kariega Private Game Reserve sits on a 10,000-hectare property in Eastern Cape, South Africa. Experience close-up game viewing from the comfort of an open game drive vehicle. And relax afterwards at the multiple accommodation options offered, from lodge chalets to tented suites. A levy paid by guests would go to The Kariega Foundation, a non-profit trust, to donate to the upliftment of local communities, sustainable wildlife management and conservation.