Animal lovers often go to the zoo to get a close look at the most exceptional animal species. But despite the fact that a trip to the zoo is a nice day trip, the experience behind bars cannot match the experience of seeing animals in the wild. Are you a true adventurer who would like to become acquainted with the natural habitat of the most diverse animal species? Then go to one (or more) of these places and be amazed by the wild fauna.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Who does not know the footage from nature films of millions of zebras, gazelles and wildebeest moving across endless African savannas? Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is world famous for the Great Trek, the annual migration of herds of grazers looking for fresh grass and water. They are being followed by lions and other predators. You do not have to stay home for this special phenomenon, but you can also see it with your own eyes during a safari in Serengeti National Park, the largest national park in Africa. Guides take you to view the wildlife up close and lead you along the vast grassy plains and elegant acacia trees for which the park is also known. A safari in Serengeti is a must if you are in Tanzania.
Costa Rica is among the top 20 countries with the largest biodiversity in the world and that is not surprising when you know that there are more than 500,000 varieties in the volcanic landscape. Despite the relatively small size of the country, the landscape is incredibly diverse. Tropical rain forests, coastlines, deciduous forests and cloud forests are one by one home to numerous animal species, including mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds and insects. So keep your eyes open to spot the hectic hummingbird, poke your ears to the loud howl of the howler monkey and go to the beach at dusk to watch the turtles nestle their eggs safely in the sand. But definitely also head into the jungle, looking for wild crocodiles, the typical Costa Rican frog and the sleepy sloth.
Yellowstone National Park, USA
The Yellowstone National Park - the oldest national park in the world - is located in Wyoming, but also covers parts of Montana and Idaho. In 1978, UNESCO awarded the park a place on its World Heritage List because of its unique organic variety. As the beloved home of many animal species, it even has one of the highest concentrations of wild animals, including bears, wolves and bison. Although you will have to decide in advance for yourself which animal you want to spot. The majority of the animals have in fact concentrated per species in certain parts of the park.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
In the nineteenth century, the natural scientist Charles Darwin set foot on these Ecuadorian islands and hailed the unique biological diversity in his evolution theory. Today, this volcanic island group is the perfect location for walking amid the 'wild' residents. Since the isolated Galapagos Islands have never been connected to the mainland, larger animals at the top of the food chain have never found their way to the island. Because of this, the animals that have arrived on the island have never fallen prey to predators, which makes them quite tame and dares to approach people without fear. You can also take a leisurely stroll along the many giant tortoises or take a look at the wide variety of bird species, including darwin finches, albatrosses and penguins.
It is claimed that as many as a third of all animal species in the world live in the Amazon forest - a high-profile figure that speaks for itself. During a trip through the Amazon you will undoubtedly come face to face with some wild animals. Reptiles, amphibians, primates, tapirs and even jaguars: they all live in this diverse ecological system. But in addition, the tropical rainforest is also known as a true bird paradise with an unique variety of bird species that cannot be found in any other ecosystem in the world. In the fresh water that flows through the green jungle, an impressive number of 3000 different fish species have their habitat.
Spitsbergen is an archipelago high above the Arctic Circle and the European mainland. On these islands there are more polar bears than people which makes the odds of seeing one larger than everywhere in the world. Besides polar bears, you can also spot arctic foxes, svalbard reindeer, seals, beluga whales and other whale species.