Nature and wildlife are some of the greatest gifts the world has to offer. While every location on the planet boasts a beautiful and diverse ecosystem, some are home to a wider variety of amazing animals than others. From lush rainforests to stunning savannahs and entrancing islands, there is seemingly no end to beautiful travel locations for wildlife enthusiasts. Though many countries are currently sheltering in place, you can still start planning for future vacations with this guide to three of the best travel locations for animal lovers.
The Galapagos Islands are one of the best destinations for wildlife enthusiasts looking for a vacation that’s equal parts relaxing and informative. The touchpoint for Charles Darwin’s most important discoveries on evolution, the Galapagos Islands are home to a wide variety of tropical species, many of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The most illustrious residents of the island are the Galapagos tortoises, which can live to be over 100 years old. The islands are also home to penguins, iguanas, and Darwin’s now famous finches. The animals on the island can be quite elusive at times, so it’s often in your best interest to seek the assistance of a naturalist guide. This guide will help you navigate the Galapagos National Park to ensure that you do not disturb any natural habitats while attempting to snag a picture of the island’s wonderful wildlife.
If you’re a lover of gentle giants, Thailand is the place to be. There are several elephant sanctuaries located throughout the country that allow visitors to get up close and personal with their favorite pachyderms. One of the best locations to interact with elephants is at the Elephant Nature Park in the Chiang Mai province of northern Thailand. All elephants at this sanctuary have been rescued from unsafe conditions and now happily reside as part of a large herd at the nature park. The park is also home to several buffalo, cats, and dogs, all of which have also been rescued. The Elephant Nature Park offers day passes to visitors in which they can observe feeding, bathing, and playtime for the elephants. Overnight passes are also available in which you can play a more instrumental role in their feeding.
It may be a bit surprising but Kanab, Utah, is indeed one of the best travel locations for animal lovers in the US. Kanab is home to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, a refuge where animals big and small can seek peace and companionship. The sanctuary was first founded in 1984 and has since become home to over 1,600 animals, including rescued dogs, cats, birds, horses, and even potbellied pigs. Visitors can interact with all the animals housed here and can even become regular volunteers. The sanctuary also works with an adoption organization to help the animals at their sanctuary find forever homes. If you find it hard to wait until social distancing orders lift to visit the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, never fear. The sanctuary also offers virtual tours of their facilities.