With World Wildlife Day upon us on 3rd of March, we have put together a round-up of the best destinations to witness incredible wildlife around the world, from a Scottish sea safari to the ultimate adventure in Kenya….
A Scottish Sea Safari
Glenapp Castle is a beautiful baronial hotel tucked away on the breath-taking Ayrshire coast in Scotland. Its extraordinary location makes it the ultimate spot for a magical sealife safari. The clear waters off the coast are teeming with marine life, from thirty-foot-long basking sharks to dolphins, minke whales and seals. Ailsa Craig, the iconic volcanic plug, is now a wildlife sanctuary. Home to over 40,000 birds, including puffins, guillemots, gannets and razorbills, and with a summit at a height of 1,100 feet, it really is the perfect setting to discover the vast array of wildlife that call this spectacular Scottish home. With breath-taking scenery unlike anywhere else, this is a sealife adventure you won’t want to miss. Take a trip up to Scotland for World Wildlife Day, pack a delicious picnic and hop on the Glenapp Castle boat for the ultimate safari.
HOW: Experience half a day’s Sea Safari on the Glenapp Castle boat from £700 (maximum 10 people) and stay at Glenapp Castle from £255 per room per night on a B&B basis. For more information, go to www.glenappcastle.com or call +44 (0)1465 831212.
An Ethical Kenyan Wildlife Experience
Lengishu is an exclusive use family home, nestled in a ridge overlooking the stunning Laikipia plains, right in the heart of the Borana Conservancy in Kenya. Borana is home to the world’s most treasured wildlife, including The Big Five. However, it is also home to a number of species unique to northern Kenya, such as Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Beisa oryx and Somali ostrich. The Conservancy spans 30,000 acres of sustainable wildlife habitat and conservation is a key part of their ethos, with a large team of rangers protecting the rhino and elephant population. All conservation fees, paid by Lengishu’s guests, are invested into conservation, notably endangered black rhino. Guests are also encouraged to take part in some of the work, including rhino tracking, and community-based activities with local schools. There is the opportunity to not only learn how the Borana Conservancy supports the conservation of wildlife and the local community, but also to make a difference.
HOW: Stay at Lengishu from £6,500 per night, based on six people sharing. Conservation fees of £115 per adult and £60 per child per night apply and are non-commissionable. Children under 5 are free of charge. For more information, go to www.lengishu.com.
A Sri Lankan Leopard-Spotting Game Drive
Chena Huts, run by Uga Escapes, is located in the unspoilt and relatively undiscovered south of Sri Lanka. The resort borders the Yala National Park on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other. Described as a nature-lover’s paradise, the park is home to some of Sri Lanka’s most outstanding wildlife, ranging from elephants and sloth bears to buffaloes and peacocks. With the highest leopard densities in the world, there is an increased chance of a sighting of the creatures in their most natural habitat. The vast biodiversity within the flora and fauna of Yala’s National Park make it a wildlife enthusiast’s utopia. A stay at Chena Huts offers guests daily game drives with knowledgeable rangers, allowing for truly personalised experiences in Sri Lanka’s safari hotspot. At Chena Huts, the ‘‘huts’’ are in fact luxurious detached private pavilions, offering fine views of the surrounding wilderness and seascape.
HOW: Stay from £813 per night on an all-inclusive basis with daily game drives. For more information, go to www.ugaescapes.com or call +94 11 2331 322.
An Underwater Maldivian Adventure
Set amidst 18 hectares of tropical land on the Gaafu Alifu Atoll, Pullman Maldives Maamutaa Resort is a haven bordered by exotic marine life. As the only place where divers can spot up to 16 species of shark in the water, the island is a paradise for avid divers and snorkelers. Those looking to venture into the hidden depths of the ocean can expect to encounter hammerhead, oceanic whitetip, tiger, blacktip, nurse and grey reef sharks, not to mention sea turtles and surgeonfish. The array of diverse sea creatures and the beauty of the endless coral reef gives guests a sought-after marine landscape. The exotic wildlife expands beyond the ocean with the island inhabiting vast amounts of lush vegetation, a natural lake and golden beaches. Pullman Maldives Maamutaa Resort allows guests to be fully submerged in the wildlife, with their new Aqua Villas offering panoramic sea views.
HOW: Stay at Pullman Maldives Maamutaa Resort during the UK winter months in a Beach Villa from £935 ($1,222) based on two people sharing. Rates include all-inclusive meal plan, inclusive 12% GST, 10% service charge and green tax, excluding transfers from airport to the resort. For more information, go to www.pullmanmaldivesmaamutaa.com.
A Once-In-A-Lifetime Trek To See The Great Apes
This remarkable trip with Wild Frontiers takes guests across some of the most beautiful and emotive landscapes on the African continent, travelling through Rwanda and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in search of chimpanzees and eastern gorillas. Guests will then journey across the border into DR Congo and the city of Bukavu, located on the southern shores of Lake Kivu, visiting the eastern gorillas in Kahuzi-Biega National Park with renowned gorilla conservationist and philanthropist, John Kahekwa. Taking inspiration this World Wildlife Day, this trip will give guests the opportunity to spend time in nature and with John, learning all about his conservation work.
HOW: Land-only price from £4,495 for 7 days. For more information, go to www.wildfrontierstravel.com or call +44 (0)20 8741 7390.