The wildlife encounters on these trips will stay with you for a lifetime – from the rare and endangered to the raw and dangerous
1. Go wild in winter, USA Yellowstone Winter Wildlife, Great American Adventures When?
8 Mar 2015
6 days American bald eagles, Yellowstone (Shutterstock)
Chock-full of wildlife and wonderfully weird landscapes, Yellowstone NP is fabulous year round. However, for the most magical (and least crowded) view of the park, join Grand American Adventures’ Yellowstone Winter Wildlife
trip. Travelling via snow coach, snowshoes and cross-country skis, you can access offbeat areas of the park, and view its geysers, canyons and creatures. You’ll also go wolf-tracking with an expert guide.
2. Discover a natural paradise, Australia Nature Coast, Dingoes & Humpbacks, Wildlife Worldwide When?
Flexible departures, Aug-Oct 2015 How long?
10 days Humpback Whales in Queensland (Shutterstock)
Queensland is home to rainforest, reef, the world’s largest sand island and creatures aplenty. See a whole host of them on Wildlife Worldwide’s Nature Coast, Dingoes & Humpbacks
trip. You’ll look for dingos, whales and some of the 40,000 migratory birds that visit Fraser Island; spy wallabies and possums in Kondalilla National Park and explore the rich marine biodiversity of Lady Elliot Island.
3. Plan an elephant escape, Thailand Elephant Hills, Hayes & Jarvis When?
11 May 2015 How long?
10 days Thai elephant taking a bath (Shutterstock)
Enjoy the jungle on Hayes & Jarvis’s Elephant Hills
trip. After exploring Bangkok, you’ll travel to Khao Sok NP to stay at the luxury tents of Elephant Hills Jungle Safari Camp; here you can help feed and bathe the jumbos, investigate the forest, float down the river on a longtail boat, look out for gibbons in the treetops and wind down on the unspoiled beaches at Khao Lak.
4. Mush a husky-sled, Norway Karasjok: Husky Safari to Alta, Artisan Travel When?
Flexible, departures 1 Feb-30 Apr 2015 How long?
7 days Dog sled expedition, Norway (Shutterstock)
Join Sven on Artisan Travel’s Karasjok: Husky Safari to Alta, a dazzling dash through Finnmark. Not only is Sven the 11-times winner of Finnmarksløpet, the longest dog-sled race in Europe, he also built the lodge you’ll be staying in at Karasjok. You’ll speed through frozen landscapes, look out for wild reindeer and bed down in wilderness cabins, before finishing in Alta, with a night in the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel.
5. Select a safari with a difference, India Wildlife Treasures of Gujarat, Audley Travel When?
Flexible How long?
12 days Male lion, Gir Forest (Shutterstock)
Gujarat is home to the world’s entire population of Asiatic lions – just one of the species you’ll be keeping an eye out for on Audley’s Wildlife Treasures of Gujarat
trip. The western state sees few tourists but is packed with exotic creatures – including striped hyenas, blackbuck and wolves. Visit the Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary to look for flamingos and pelicans, safari to see Asiatic wild ass in Dasada and track those rare lions in Gir Forest. To take a break from your wildlife adventures, you can spend time on the beach at Portuguese-influenced Diu Island.
6. Overland with the little 'uns, Kenya & Tanzania East Africa Family Adventure, Oasis Overland When?
3 Aug, 23 Dec 2015 How long?
9 days Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania (Shutterstock)
Move over, Butlins! Oasis Overland’s East Africa Family Adventure
is one of the few family-focused overlanding tours available in Africa, offering the whole brood a chance to share the classic experience of wildlife and epic scenery. Travelling by expedition truck from Nairobi to Arusha, you’ll visit the Kenyan capital’s giraffe sanctuary and elephant orphanage, head into the little-explored tea-growing highlands, camp next to hippo-filled watering holes, traverse the teeming plains of the Serengeti and enter the lush Ngorongoro Crater.
7. Go island-hopping, Philippines Island-hopping in the Philippines, Cox & Kings When?
Flexible How long?
11 nights Philippine tarsier (Shutterstock)
The Philippines is a new destination for Cox & Kings, and its Island-hopping in the Philippines
trip is ideal for first-timers too. After exploring capital Manila, on Luzon, you’ll fly to three of the vast archipelago’s other islands: Cebu, to explore coral reefs and tiny atolls via motorised canoe; Bohol, for the UNESCO-listed Chocolate Hills geological formations and the chance to spot tarsiers, dolphins and (March-June) sperm whales; and Boracay, home to beautiful white-sand beaches. Main image: Tarsier - smallest primate in the world (Shutterstock)