Top Animal Lover Getaways
The holiday is marked in different ways around the world, but in each locale it’s dedicated to improving animal welfare standards. DMC Travel Tailor is lucky enough to have great partners committed to conservation and sustainable tourism. They are also devoted to allowing travelers to see some truly majestic creatures in their natural environments. Though there are too many awesome itineraries to list, here are a few favorites.
Lindblad: Antarctica, South Georgia & The Falklands, 24 days
Onboard the National Geographic Explorer or Orion, you’ll start your journey in Buenos Aires or Santiago before heading to the world’s southernmost city, Ushuaia, Argentina, and across the Drake Passage. The itinerary is flexible in order to maximize wildlife viewing but typically spends six days on Antarctica, five days on South Georgia and two days on the Falklands. Myriads of king penguins swarm South Georgia, which also teems with other penguin species along with many other birds. The Falklands are home to the world’s largest albatross colony in addition to Magellanic penguins and Peale’s dolphins offshore. Weather permitting, there are excursions at least once per day each day you’re near land, so there’s no shortage of opportunities to get up close and personal.
Natural Habitat Adventures: Spirit Bears, Humpbacks & Wildlife of BC, 9 days
Where the rivers running through the vast wilderness of Western Canada meet the Pacific Ocean, spirit bears (a white-furred subspecies of the American black bear) dwell in forests of ancient trees, and local Haida guides help find them. Grizzlies and wolves also roam the woods, and eagles perch in the canopies. Onboard the Island Odyssey, your home for seven nights, you’ll cruise fjords in search of humpback whales. Along the way you may spot Steller sea lions, orcas and porpoises. Oh my!
Big Five: Ecuador’s Galapagos & Amazon, 15 days
Combine two of the world’s unique ecosystems on an unforgettable adventure. Visit several islands on a land-based Galapagos tour viewing all kinds of birds, including blue-footed boobies, before a snorkeling quest for turtles, sea lions and marine iguanas on San Cristobal. You might also swim among rays and sharks before moving on to Isabela, the largest island in the Galapagos and site of a tortoise breeding center. You’ll check out the tortoise reserve on Santa Cruz, surrounded by abundant bird life and spot swallow-tailed gulls on the cliffs of North Seymour and fish with the locals off Santa Cruz. On Day 11, after a flight back to the mainland, enjoy a motorboat ride into the Amazon rainforest and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Yasuni National Park. The park holds 150 amphibian and 121 reptile documented species, plus 382 known species of fish. Atop a 12-story tower you’ll see life in the upper reaches of the forest, such as spider monkeys, tanagers and macaws.
Micato Safaris: The Micato Grand Safari, 15 days
An African safari is, of course, the ultimate in wildlife viewing. Micato hits the high notes with its Grand Safari. Starting at Nairobi’s Giraffe Centre, the journey takes guests to the home of Micato’s founders, Felix and Jane Pinto, where you’ll have your fill of lunch and stories. From there, it spends two days in the shadow of Kilimanjaro with game drives in Amboseli National Park. Continuing on, the tour spend two days at Lewa Safari Camp, teeming with the world’s largest concentration of Grevy’s zebra and 130 black and white rhinos. The wonder continues to build with two days on the Maasai Mara, home to more than 70 species of large mammals followed by two days on the Serengeti, flooder with elephants, gazelles, cheetahs, lions, hippos and much more. It reaches a crescendo with two days at Ngorongoro Crater and Olduvai Gorge, home to many large animals and where the earliest known human remains were discovered.
Abercrombie & Kent: Australia & New Zealand: The Lands Down Under, 18 days
Thanks to their isolation, Australia and New Zealand have animals that can’t be found anywhere else, and you’ll see them on this trip. While you can see sheep lots of places, you’ll also have the chance to visit a working sheep farm and watch the dogs keep their charges in line. At Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, you’ll see Tasmanian devils, kangaroos, koalas, wombats, dingoes, echidnas and Australian birds. Crossing New Zealand’s Milford Sound, you may spot seals basking on the rocks or dolphins frolicking in the water. In both countries, you’ll pass through lush rainforests brimming with life. The highlight may very well be the full-day Great Barrier Reef tour, complete with glass-bottom boat ride or snorkeling to soak in the magic under the waves.