The 8 Best Places to Go on Safari
Travel to experience up-and-close wildlife encounters
When nature-loving travellers picture the perfect safari, chances are the first place that comes to mind is Africa. And for a good reason – it’s one of the world’s top destinations for wildlife, with countless national parks, conservancies, and private game reserves to visit. The continent is also home to legendary spectacles like the Great Migration and iconic species, from giraffes and lions to mountain gorillas and monkeys.
There’s no doubt that the classic African Safari is an essential experience – but what if you want to explore other destinations? According to Jacada’s travel designers, there are plenty of other places on earth where travellers can witness incredible animals in the wild.
Whether snorkelling through the Great Barrier Reef, trekking through the Arctic tundra, or traversing the Amazon, here are a few of Jacada’s favourite places to go on safari outside Africa.
The land down under is home to all kinds of unique wildlife, from kangaroos and koalas to Tasmanian devils and dingoes. The vast interior region also offers sweeping landscapes and endless skies, making it the ideal destination for a safari in Australia.
No trip to the Outback is complete without a visit to Uluru, a red monolith with historic and spiritual significance. But there are also adventures to be had in the remote Top End, the coastal Great Ocean Road, the Daintree Rainforest and of course the Great Barrier Reef.
If you’ve ever wanted to see tigers in the wild, India is the place for you. The country has several reserves and national parks dedicated to protecting these majestic animals, as well as a variety of other fascinating species.
Kanha Tiger Reserve and Panna National Park are among the best places for an Indian safari, promising sightings of not only tigers but also deer, sloth bears, leopards and hyenas. Or visit Ranthambore National Park to see wild tigers wandering through ancient temple ruins.
3. SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka is a breathtakingly beautiful country with an eclectic mix of cultures – and ideal conditions for a relaxing safari. Head to Yala National Park to see the country’s apex predator: the leopard. The park has one of the world’s highest concentrations of this elegant feline.
Gal Oya National Park is an equally enticing option. It’s much more remote, creating a truly exclusive safari experience. Here you can see Asian elephants swimming between the lake’s islets, as well as other species like langurs, sloth bears, wild boar, buffalo and crocodiles.
This country may be best known for the Himalayas and Mount Everest, but the rest of Nepal also has plenty to offer. You can take a tropical safari through Chitwan National Park, whose forests are filled with hundreds of species – including the endangered one-horned rhino.
Bardia National Park is another great option, offering raw and untouched wilderness where you’re likely to spot elephants, leopards, crocodiles and even dolphins. But the park is best known for its Royal Bengal tigers.
The most iconic animal in Borneo is undoubtedly the orangutan – but this South East Asian island is also home to a variety of other rare species. Here you can see endangered pygmy elephants, Malayan sunbears, rhinos, monkeys and more.
From its soaring peaks and lush rainforests to its idyllic beaches, Borneo is a wholly unique safari destination. We recommend the Danum Valley for a thrilling night safari, and a trip to the Sepilok Nature Rehabilitation Centre in Sandakan to meet rescued and orphaned animals.
Brazil is an essential destination for a South American safari, thanks in no small part to the enormous Amazon. Beyond the millions of animals we already know of, new species are constantly being discovered. You can see many of them in the wild on an Amazon river safari.
Apart from the Amazon, Brazil is also home to the world’s largest wetlands area: the Pantanal. This vibrant region features all kinds of habitats and hundreds of species, including jaguars, capybaras, tapirs, toucans, macaws, and many more.
7. THE GALAPAGOS
Whether by land or by sea, the Galápagos offer some of the most unique safari experiences on the planet. This remote archipelago off the coast of Ecuador is world-famous for its unique wildlife, from giant tortoises to blue-footed boobies and beyond.
If you choose to explore the islands on land, you can stay at a safari-style camp or luxury lodge. But we highly recommend taking to the high seas on a Galápagos cruise, which will allow you to see as many islands and animals as possible during your trip. However you explore, we recommend a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Centre for in depth insights into Darwin’s evolution research and current conservation studies.
8. COSTA RICA
The Central American country of Costa Rica is a veritable paradise of sandy coasts, jungles, volcanoes and cloud forests. It’s also a fantastic place to see all kinds of animals, from capuchins, ocelots, jaguars and pumas to humpback whales and dolphins.
The Osa Peninsula hosts all of these species – and many more – in its incredibly biodiverse ecosystems. The Guanacaste Coast is also ideal for animal lovers, as it encompasses various wildlife reserves and national parks… not to mention absolutely gorgeous beaches.