13 Amazing Ways to See
Wildlife in the Wild

Posted by Amy Clyde on 11/3/2015
Posted in: Tauck’s Travelogue
Tags: Africa, Asia, Canada, Family Travel, India, Manitoba, Peru, Polar Bears, Safari, South America, Tauck, Travel, Wild Life, Yellowstone

cheetah_introIf you’re the kind of person who wants adventure… to get so close to a wild elephant that you can see her eyelashes… then you’re just like our Earth Journeys guests, who spend many hours learning about animals in the wild – as they hunt, feed, play, nurture their young – and like our other guests who love the great outdoors. Truth is, to fully understand the motivations of a lion… the unbearable cuteness of her cubs… the speed of a cheetah… or just how funny penguins can be, you really do have to observe them in their natural habitats – where anything can happen.

Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite ways to experience wildlife on its own turf.
1. Walking through a rhino sanctuary in Zambia. Anyone can watch a rhino from the comfort of a safari vehicle, but if you really want to walk on the wild side, join us for a guided safari on foot through a rhino sanctuary.

2. On a night safari with night vision goggles. Several of our Earth Journeys, created with BBC Earth, give guests a chance to witness the behavior of nocturnal wildlife using special equipment, like night vision goggles and FLIR® thermal imaging cameras; they’re a great way to view predators, who tend to be more active at night. We may have seen zebras and wildebeests during the day, but they act completely different at night – and that’s what we get to observe.

3. On a river safari in Nepal’s Chitwan National Park, home of the rare single-horned Asiatic rhino and the elusive Bengal tiger. And after your safari, we’ve planned an elephant ride back to your lodge. Who knows what you’ll see from up there?

4. Cruising the Galápagos with the kids. Many of the unique birds and animals of the Galápagos Islands are like trusting children themselves, as curious about you as you are about them. Your family will meet flamingoes, fur seals, marine iguanas, and many other fearless species found nowhere else on Earth – as you snorkel and hike to your heart’s content. “Loved when one of our sons came up for air in the ocean and was face to face with a sea lion!” said our guest Michael Meiners.
5. Observing polar bears migrating across the tundra. In Churchill, Manitoba, one of the few places where you can watch polar bears in their natural environment, we go out on the tundra in a special heated vehicle equipped with an outdoor observation deck – and sometimes the bears really take note. “A polar bear spent about half an hour around our Arctic Crawler, looking in the window and sniffing the soles of our boots through the grated floor of the deck,” said Walter Gilges.

6. Being active in Costa Rica. Picture yourself zip lining through a Costa Rican cloud forest, landing on a platform, and spotting a rare resplendent quetzal – one of the most colorful birds in the world. Or crocodile watching as you raft down a jungle river. “While horseback riding, we were able to peer into a vulture's nest on the ground and see a baby chick,” said Robert Gormley.

7. On game drives for families in South Africa. Introduce the kids to the Big Five – rhinos, elephants, lions, leopards, and buffalo – and more on one of Tauck’s great family vacations. “We came upon two leopards high up in a tree with a lion beneath the tree and right next to our Jeep,” said Maxine Solomon, who brought her granddaughter to Africa as a Bat Mitzvah present. “The lion had chased the leopards up and was eating some kill. We just watched until he finished, walked off, and then we watched the leopards come down and walk off.”

8. Hot air ballooning over Africa. There’s nothing like the view you get of the wildlife of the Serengeti or the Masai Mara National Reserve from the vantage point of a hot air balloon. The word “breathtaking” was invented to describe the experience. A champagne breakfast upon landing makes it a perfect morning.
9. Swimming with sea lions in Peru. Come on in, the water’s fine! On our Tauck Bridges family adventure Mystical Peru, we put on wet suits and go boating and swimming in the waters off San Lorenzo Island, where the sea lions are often as interested in us as we are in them.

10. Spending time in the Canadian Rockies. “We joined a small ‘bear jam’ as we watched a young grizzly bear roll on the road scratching his back,” said our guest Pat Powell, recalling the drive along the stunning Icefields Parkway from Lake Louise to Jasper National Park. “He then proceeded to amble alongside the road's shoulder eating berries and digging roots - and we had the best view in town!”

11. Touring Yellowstone National Park in winter. Imagine hundreds of bison surrounding your snow coach… tracking wolves with an expert through Lamar Valley… snowshoeing among the moose as Old Faithful geyser gushes forth… and sleigh riding in an elk refuge – all without traffic or human crowds around.

12. Exploring Antarctica. In the most surreal landscape of massive ice sculptures, you’ll observe seals who have no fear of humans… thousands of entertaining penguins, all different types, including chicks… and whales – orcas, minkes, and more. “I will always remember the evening that the boat was surrounded by some 15 humpback whales, making their bubble nets and feeding on krill right beside us!” said guest Jane Kroger.

13. Relaxing in Africa.  At the Four Seasons Lodge Serengeti, you can watch wildlife from the pool, and throughout Africa our Earth Journeys FLIR® thermal imaging cameras and camera traps might capture pictures of the leopards, lions, and other animals who saunter by outside your room while you sleep. At the safari lodges we stay in, the wildlife is simply everywhere. “There were ‘loos with a view’ available, and a dazzle of zebras walked by,” said our guest Janell Cannon. “I guess they didn't know you shouldn't walk in front of the loo…”

Tauck offers Earth Journeys, adventures in nature created with BBC Earth, on six continents. Each Earth Journey features exclusive films custom-made for Tauck by BBC Earth natural history experts, tech gadgets for capturing sights and sounds of wildlife not accessible to the naked eye and ear, and other educational touches from Tauck Directors and our handpicked on-site experts. We also design our journeys in the national parks of North America to maximize our guests’ chances of experiencing wildlife in their natural habitats.


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