Wildlife & Safari
Our destinations offer unparalleled opportunities to view wildlife in ever-diminishing ranges of suitable habitat. We help you choose wisely.
Experience – Wildlife & Safari
Our world is blessed with a huge diversity of diminishing wild species that can benefit as much from your presence, as your impact on it can be detrimental . We introduce you to some of the most exhilarating experiences that have the least destructive human footprint
Let’s discuss how we can focus on, or interweave, any of these wildlife experiences with your next holiday itinerary
You’re no longer restricted to settling yourself into a jeep to bounce around the terrain on safari, if you don’t want to. Tented fly camps, guided walking safaris, boating explorations, hiking and trekking – and even small group ‘pop-up’ exploration in search of specific species – are all options to consider if you’re in search of a particular animal or just seek a different and more intimate perspective on the natural world. At all times we aim to immerse you in memorable wildlife experiences that enable you to feel part of our natural world, not just an observer.
For a broad diversity of species within a smaller geographic area, Sri Lanka offers a concentrated experience compared with more broadly distributed wildlife and attractions throughout the larger continents of India or Africa, or more isolated pockets within Nepal.
For more concentrated or species specific wildlife experiences, then Central and Southern America offers much more wild and elusive wildlife in Brazil’s wetland Pantanales (for Jaguar, Caiman and Capybaras), the mammals of Chile, birdlife of Costa Rica or insects of the Amazon. Remember to consider density of undergrowth, season and mode of transport in each continent in order to manage and fulfill your expectations for viewing. Speak to us for the best options.
Desire to see a particular species, or the greatest variety, will dictate where, when and to which country you go. We love to talk about birdwatching so why not speak to us about your own wishes. Wherever you go we can provide you with specialist guides with immense knowledge to help you find and spot the birdlife you seek, in its natural habitat. What would you most like to find?
Big Cats: Tiger
Although once endemic throughout Asia, the only place to realistically see tiger now is within India and Nepal; within severely threatened pockets of diminishing habitat. Choose between high likelihood of sighting/high tourist impact parks (Ranthambore, Kanha, Bandhavgarh) and those with less likelihood/quieter areas such as Satpura, Pench, Corbett. Each has its own unique character and accessibility. Speak to us to decide which is best for you.
Big Cats: Leopard
Sri Lanka offers the best chances of seeing leopard as tiger is absent and doesn’t pose a threat to its existence. Yala has the highest density of leopard in Asia. Whilst leopard can be seen in some Indian jungles they are more elusive. Africa, especially Botswana, can offer superb leopard viewing opportunities, where the absence of major competition and ample game means the animal is less elusive.
Big Cats: Lion
Africa is the dominant remaining domain of the lion and it’s fair to say that you stand a good chance of seeing them wherever you go in sub-Saharan Africa protected areas. Once endemic, in a range from Eastern Europe to South Asia, in India the only place you’ll now find this big cat is in the Gir Forest areas of Gujarat, northwest India. Recovering from near extinction to circa 500 animals, seeing lion in Gir can be a mission, as its well off normal tourist routes and therefore more difficult to access.
Big Cats: Cheetah
One of the most rare of big cats, Cheetah can be found in sub-Saharan Africa on open dry grassland where their speed can be put to good effect when hunting. More dominant predators have impacted on their numbers but they can still be found in Namibia (Etosha National Park) and in lesser numbers in eastern and southern African parks. Several foundations conserve and rear animals displaced by farming but these tend to remain as captive animals.
India is home to between 50 and 60% of all of Asia’s wild elephants that previously roamed from Iraq to China. The remaining numbers in India exist within pockets of the south (Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka) and north-east (Uttar Pradesh). Most other elephants in India are ‘domesticated working elephants’ whose welfare varies from place to place.
Elephant: Sri Lankan
Sri Lanka has a healthy but smaller population of wild elephant that are more easily seen by virtue of their concentration within smaller areas. The ‘Gathering’ in Sri Lanka’s Minneriya National Park brings hundreds of elephant together as waters recede in the dry months of July – October. Sri Lanka has two ‘orphanages’ with varying merit as to their altruistic intent and animal treatment. We recommend that you avoid Pinnawela in preference for the Millennium Elephant Foundation at Kegalle.
Africa. The larger savannah elephants can be found in eastern and southern Africa, the highest densities found in Botswana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia and South Africa. Forest Elephant can be found where areas of dense forest still remain in the equatorial rainforest of west and central Africa.
Critically endangered everywhere, you stand the best chance of seeing wild Black Rhino in Namibia (Etosha) and also in Swaziland (Black in Hlane, White in Mkhaya), One-horned Rhino in India (Kaziranga) and Nepal (Chitwan), whereas in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa, those Rhinos remaining are mainly in heavily guarded private reserves.
Wild Dog: India
The Indian Wild Dog or Dhole is a highly social and cooperative animal, living in structured packs of up to 10-15 individuals. They are roughly the size of a large fox. They’re behaviour and hunting habits dictate that they’re free ranging, often travelling great distances either in search of prey or in pursuit of it. Sightings of Wild Dog, therefore cannot be predicted unless a pack happens to be passing through an area where prey base is plentiful – normally within national park areas.
Wild Dog: Africa
The African ‘Painted Dog’ exhibits similar behaviour to the Dhole but differs in appearance by being larger and more dog-like than fox looking, with splashes of ‘paint’ on its sides. Anywhere in Botswana is your best bet, with Selous and Ruaha Reserves (Tanzania) and Niassa (Mozambique) offering good chances – but be aware that it’s more luck than judgement to get a good sighting, given their free-ranging beahviour.
Sri Lanka offers perhaps the best organised and accessible forays to observe sea life – from coastal projects for the hatching, protection and conservation of Turtles, through to Whale and Dolphin watching.
India offers numerous dive sites but within questionable clarity of water unless you head out into the Indian Ocean to Lakshadweep or Andaman & Nicobar Islands – a considerable foray if you are combining this with an Indian tour.
Galapagos offers unparalleled and regulated access to some of the most unusual and rare species. Snorkel with Basking Sharks, swim with sea lions, waddle onshore with Blue-footed Boobies and marvel overall at this unique environment that has nurtured the Giant Tortoise.
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