Holiday trips are an excellent way to unwind after a stressful year. Whether you’ll be traveling alone, with family, or joining a travel party, changing locations is a remarkably efficient way to relieve yourself from the stress of daily life.
If you’re an animal lover, indulging your hobby and traveling should go together. Planning an animal sightseeing trip is different from a regular trip to the zoo. In most cases, you want to see and interact with the animals in their natural habitats. Keeping that in mind, here are a few places every animal lover should have in their holiday itinerary:
Monkey Beach, Thailand
Monkeys are, perhaps, the cutest primates around, and outside of zoos, they can be quite fun to interact with. Monkey Beach Thailand is one of the precious few monkey sanctuaries around the world that allow people to see monkeys in their natural habitats.
The monkeys here are small. Adults are about the same size as an adult cat. Interactions with the animals are typically limited, but if you feed them, stick to fruits. The beach is located on Phi Phi Island, Phuket, and is only accessible via a boat or kayak. You can also have fun snorkeling on the island.
Elephant Nature Park, Thailand
Located in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, Elephant Nature Park is a hallmark of Thailand’s well-documented wildlife conservation efforts. The park was originally opened to help rehabilitate elephants that have been rescued. Right now, it’s home to a vast array of animals, including buffaloes, dogs, and birds – all rescued animals.
While here, you can watch the elephants in their free roam or get up close with them. There are also volunteering opportunities that allow you to bath and feed the animals. The one thing that’s strictly off the menu is to ride the elephants.
Isla Martillo, Argentina
This island is famous for one reason – penguins. Every year, from October through April, penguins flock to the island to mate. If you’re a penguin lover, scheduling a trip to observe them during that time is an obligation.
Penguins are docile and jovial animals, so interacting with them is very easy. One thing to note is that visits to the island during mating months are limited. This is to minimize the disturbance of their mating process. If you do plan on going, make sure to book in advance.
Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
If you’re rather interested in seeing a great mix of animals, this reserve in Kenya is a great place to visit. It’s most famous for housing the big five – lions, leopards, rhinoceroses, elephants, and Cape buffalos. Other animals that can be found on the reserve include gazelles, wildebeests, baboons, warthogs, zebras, and over 400 bird species.
Although it’s unsafe to interact directly with the animals, you can still get a pretty good view from your designated car. Make sure to stick close to your tour guide. This reserve is as close as you’ll get to observing these animals in their natural ecosystem.