11 Wildlife Holidays Worth Saving Up For

You will remember these wildlife holidays, one way or the other
11 Wildlife Holidays Worth Saving Up For

Chongwe River House, Zambia This is ideal for a private family holiday with eight beds, living-room furniture carved out of a single fallen tree, fully staffed with private guide, house manager and chef. The price includes game drives and walking safaris, canoeing and fishing in the Chongwe river, tributary to the Lower Zambezi (the tiger fish are famous among fly fishers), laundry, all meals and select beverages and local transfers. The lodge is child-friendly but stipulates a minimum age of seven years $900 per person in peak season, minimum rate four adults www.chongwe.com.

Orion Expeditions&rsquo Faces in the Forest, Borneo (10N/11D) Bali to Singapore, guided by Dr Galdakis himself of Camp Leakey in Tanjung Puting National Park to meet the old man of the forest, the orangutan, with a rafflesia viewing thrown in if it is flowering when you reach Kuching, followed by Bako National Park with its 15,000 species of plants, 222 mammals, 420 birds and who knows how many reptiles, fish, insects and amphibians, before bobbing over to the Natuna and Anambas archipelagos to snorkel in the reef systems. All from aboard the custom-built Orion, fitted with marble bathrooms and serving fine degustation menus. From $ 7,735 per person for the Ocean Suite (double occupancy) www.orionexpeditions.com

The Micato Grand Safari, Kenya This 15D trip is a classic African safari experience&mdasha tented stay in Amboseli Park in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro for big game runs in Masai lands, a stay at the Mount Kenya Safari Club and a drive through the Ol Pejeta Ranch and Rhino Reserve (also home to the Jane Goodall Institute), a flight over the Great Rift Valley to Masai Mara for a village visit, a hot-air balloon ride and a little wildlife spotting to warm up for the Serengeti, with Ngorongoro Crater for a finale, including a stop at Olduvai Gorge. Also included are very luxurious accommodations and visits with famous authors and wildlife conservationists. Multiple departures all year from $19,985 per person, not including internal airfare or private vehicles www.micato.com.

Homeward Bound &ampBeyond&rsquos 22N/23D Ultimate Indian Wildlife Safari Features Asiatic lions at Gir, tiger tracking from elephant back, one-horned rhinos at Kaziranga, and the Taj Mahal thrown in... Meanwhile enjoy the hospitality of Mahua Kothi in Bandhavgarh, Banjaar Tola in Kanha, Baghvan in Pench, the Diphlu River Lodge in Kaziranga, the Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra and excuse the Gateway Hotel at Gir. From 6,02,840 per person, ex-Delhi www.andbeyondindia.com

With Planet Wildlife&rsquos 10D Coastal Namibia, you fly over a seal colony at Cape Cross, explore the Huab river valley, follow the Cunene river by air and boat, see Skeleton Coast Park and the Ugab rock formations, meet the nomadic Himba, enjoy desert safaris and walks in the Sossusvlei Desert. From 5,53,575 per person www.planetwildlife.com

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort and Churchill Wild&rsquos jointly run Black & White Adventures This offers 10-13N itineraries. Reachable only by seaplane and sharing the Sound&rsquos Unesco World Biosphere Reserve, the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort has 20 luxury tents that make a great base to visit nearby Flores Island, get up close with black bears, orcas, grey whales and humpbacks, enjoy riding, fishing, shooting, archery, zip line or kayaking, before coming home to a relaxing spa treatment and gourmet meals. At Churchill Wild&rsquos Seal River Heritage Lodge, you can find birds, Beluga whales and, if you time it right, the aurora borealis and the whale and polar bear migration season. From CDN$14,900 per person www.wildretreat.com, www.churchillwild.com

Smithsonian Journeys&rsquo Summer Adventure in Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks Seven days of walking and hiking, with rustic cabin and lodge accommodation, and ganders at the Grand Canyon, Mammoth hot springs, Norris and Old Faithful geysers, Snake River and the Teton Range. Sight eagles, wolves, coyotes, grizzly and black bears, pronghorns, moose, bison and more, and be guided by an expert Smithsonian study leader. From $3,395 www.smithsonianjourneys.com

Sail Mexico&rsquos West Coast with Black Tomato (7N, custom departures) After Jules Verne&rsquos 20,000 Leagues, this may be &lsquothe world&rsquos most luxurious biology lesson&rsquo from aboard a Turkish gullet, or wooden schooner, in what Jacques Cousteau called the world&rsquos biggest aquarium the Sea of Cortes, with humpback, grey, killer, sperm and blue whales, giant manta rays and leatherback turtles and seals... Also features an exploration of the Unesco-protected Isla Esp&iacuteritu Santo and luxurious accommodation at the boutique hotel Posada de las Floras. From $5,395 ex-NYC www.blacktomato.com

Scott Dunn&rsquos Amazon & Gal&aacutepagos Family Wildlife Adventure This is a 15N Ecuador-based exploration by land, air and sea with the small, responsible and exclusive Napo Wildlife Centre eco-lodge. Highlights include the lodge&rsquos 120ft canopy tower and a week&rsquos cruising on a small 20-passenger yacht with teakwood interiors. The yacht has facilities for kayaking and snorkelling, and the ability to follow an albatross or get you safely close to playful penguins and giant tortoises. Custom departures from &pound5,490 per person, all-inclusive. See www.scottdunn.com.

CW Adventure&rsquos 6N Gal&aacutepagos Land-Based This is a change from the classic small-ship expeditions into these islands. The tour starts on San Cristobal, following in Darwin&rsquos footsteps to Isabela&mdashthe isolated largest island in the archipelago with tidal lagoons, fumaroles and volcanoes&mdashand then Tintoreras and the Sierra Negra volcano, and finally Santa Cruz. There is swimming with sea lions, flocks of flamingoes, blue-footed boobies and giant iguanas, sleeping at the best each little island can offer, from a simple private villa to safari-style luxury tents. From $4,498 per person www.cwadventure.com

Wildlife & Wilderness A company run by a biologist, offers the new 14D Tasmania Romantic Safari. This promises to be a trip full of treats beyond kangaroos and Tasmanian devils to meet wombats, wallabies, possums, platypuses, pademelons, quolls, bettongs and bandicoots. Visit the Tamar Wetlands and Cataract Gorge, hike up Ben Lomond and down by mountain bike, spend a few nights in an eco retreat overlooking Great Oyster Bay and explore Maria Island. From about &pound5,000, excluding flights www.wildlifewilderness.com

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