Travel might be a fantastic opportunity to see jaw dropping vistas to experience cultures that you might otherwise zero exposure to. But it’s important to remember who we share this Earth with as we globe-trot, as well. For that reason, we’re going to take a look at some of the single best countries in the world to visit for wildlife vacations.
Though it has a comedic reputation for having some incredibly dangerous critters, Australia is one of the most ecology unique countries in the world. Cut off from migratory animals from other continents for a long time, it still retains a lot of distinct character. But perhaps the best chance to get up close and personal with the local fauna is swimming with the sharks off the east coast.
When you think of wildlife trips, what is your first thought? For most people, it is going to be the safari. African safari trips offer some of the richest opportunities to see the most diverse of creatures. Tanzania, South Africa, and Botswana all deserve to be on this list. However, if we had to choose one African safari location, and we’re going to limit ourselves to one, the nit has to go to the sweeping valley of Masai Mara, where some of the largest migrations in the world happen, all visible from a hot air balloon.
If you want to get really isolated, then how about visiting a chain of islands where there are fewer than 30,000 people? Since their discovery, they have been an ecological marvel with a wide list of unique species. With giant tortoises, colorful birds, numerous iguanas, and all other sorts of creatures that simply cannot be seen anywhere else in the world, it is a must-see destination for anyone who considers themselves a zoological enthusiast.
While Kuala Lumpur is fast becoming one of the crowning jewels of the booming southeast tourism industry, it is just as rich as countries like South Africa when it comes to unique wildlife. Malaysian tigers, Asian elephants, mousedeer and tapirs are easy to find thanks to places like the Tabin Wildlife Reserve. The country only recently passed an act guaranteed greater conservation efforts, so supporting the fight by visiting is more important than ever.
The US is a huge country and thus it’s going to have a huge eco-diversity. The best place to visit in the US for a wildlife holiday, in a lot of peoples’ opinions, is Yellowstone National Park. Beyond being the largest National Park and one of the most volcanically active places in the whole world, it’s a great place for tours that bring you close to grizzly bears, wild wolf packs, bison, elk, otters, and much more.
Many wildlife vacations are more than a booming part of the tourist industry worldwide. A lot of them, especially those run in National Parks, are important parts of our conservation efforts and the money made from tourism can also help protect the very creatures we marvel at. If you want to be a conscientious traveler, choose conscientious wildlife adventures, too.
The US is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world — and it’s easy to see why. As a cultural leader for decades now, there’s something almost familiar about the idea of heading to the US — even if you’ve never been before. New York and California seem like old friends given the number of TV shows that have been set there, and we’re all familiar with the political machinations from Washington, DC. Add this pseudo-familiarity to the fact the US is host to some of the most exciting tourist attractions in the world, and it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular vacation destination.
If you’ve decided your next big holiday will be to the US, there’s a few things you need to know before you travel. Bear these in mind, and you can be sure your trip will go as smoothly as possible…
#1 – Be Ready For A Body Scan
To travel through a US airport, you’re going to need to become familiar with the idea of a body scanner. These are used at most major airports. You may be able to opt out of going through a scanner, but this is becoming less likely thanks to a rule change. As a general rule, if you’re not comfortable with the idea of potentially being asked to go through a body scanner, it’s best not to travel to the US.
#2- Visa Requirements Are Stringent
You will need an ESTA — which stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorisation — which helps to speed up the entire process. Just ensure that you’ve got this arranged well in advance of your departure date, as it can take some time to be processed. There is also a fee that you will need to include in your budgeting for the trip.
#3 – Understand The Tipping Culture
The tipping culture in the US is incredibly common; you will be expected to tip for almost any service, such as someone carrying your bags to your hotel room or even the fare you pay for a taxi. While this can feel jarring, it’s nevertheless a big part of the American economy, where service staff don’t make enough money without the addition of tips. Stock up on small-denomination dollars before you fly so that you’re ready to offer tips at all opportunities, and be ready for a gratuity to be added to any restaurant bills.
#4 – Prepare To Abandon The Metric System
The US still relies heavily on imperial measurements rather than the more commonly used metric system. This can take some getting used to, especially if you’re going to be buying your own food while over there, or driving a car on a road with speed limits in mph rather than kph. Download a converter app that can help you figure everything out as soon as needed. For cars, the speed dial will usually have dials for both metric and imperial measurements; just remember the road signs you’re seeing use imperial, and stick with that.
With this information locked into your mind, you can be sure your US trip will be one to remember — for all the right reasons.