From rambling with a rhino in Nepal to strolling with snow leopards in the Himalayas: The world’s best wildlife walks
- Here are seven of the best wildlife walks around the world where you can observe wildlife in it natural habitat
- A sunrise walk through Nepal’s Chitwan National Park will give you a good chance of seeing a rhino
- Trek through Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains and you could see Ethiopian wolves and gelada baboons
Observing wildlife in its natural habitat is one of the most exhilarating experiences, especially if you’re on foot.
Grab your walking boots and a pair of binoculars and you could spot some of the world’s most majestic animals, from a rhino to a snow leopard.
If you want to experience the thrill, here are seven of the very best trips available.
Pumas in Chile
Chilean Patagonia is home to the llama-like guanaco (pictured above). You may also see the Andean puma
Wildlife wow: Torres del Paine in Chilean Patagonia is home to the llama-like guanaco and the Andean puma.
Close encounter: Sightings likely to be at a distance.
Fitness factor: High altitude across rough terrain.
Best time to go: March and April.
Book it: A ten-day trip, including flights, accommodation and meals, costs from £5,395; wildlifeworldwide.com
Brown bears in Slovakia
Endearing sight: A brown bear with one of her cubs. Bears should be observed from a safe distance
Wildlife wow: Slovakia’s Carpathian Mountains are home to almost half the European population of brown bears. Follow tracks with park rangers.
Close encounter: Bears should be observed from a safe distance but just a glimpse through binoculars is pulse-raising.
Fitness factor: Hikes are seven to nine hours a day, so a good level of fitness is required.
Best time to go: May, June and September.
Book it: An eight-day trip costs from £1,049, excluding flights; walksworldwide.com
Caribou in Arctic Canada
Wildlife wow: Deep in the Arctic tundra you’ll find the 350,000-strong herd of Qamanirjuaq caribou – and there’s also a chance to spot wolves, grizzly and black bears and golden eagles.
Close encounter: You can walk within feet of the herd.
Fitness factor: A mix of short walks and longer hikes.
Best time to go: September.
Book it: Seven-day trips costs from £5,250; naturalworldsafaris.com
Snow leopards in the Himalayas
Cool cat: A snow leopard on the slopes of the Himalayas – they are one of the planet’s most majestic creatures
Wildlife wow: Hidden in the frosty crags of the Himalayas, you’ll find one of the planet’s most majestic creatures – the snow leopard. Travel firm Pelorus works with guides who helped the BBC Natural History unit track and film these elusive predators for smash-hit show Planet Earth.
Close encounter: Sightings are normally through binoculars.
Fitness factor: Tough trekking in sub-zero conditions.
Best time to go: December to March.
Book it: An 11-day trip costs from £6,420, excluding flights; pelorusx.com
Gelada baboons in Ethiopia
Distinctive: A female gelada baboon with its baby on her back pictured in Ethiopia’s Simien National Park
Wildlife wow: This trek through Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains could offer sightings of Ethiopian wolves and ibex. But it’s the spectacular gelada baboons (otherwise known as bleeding-heart baboons because of their distinctive chest markings) that are the real draw.
Close encounter: You’ll get near enough to get a good look at their long fur and huge incisors.
Fitness factor: Daily distances up to 13 miles, often at high altitude.
Best time to go: Between October and February.
Book it: A 15-day trip costs from £2,649, excluding flights; responsibletravel.com
Rhinos in Nepal
A sunrise walk through Nepal’s Chitwan National Park will give you a good chance of seeing a rhino
Wildlife wow: Only 2,000 Indian rhinos remain in the wild. A sunrise walk through Nepal’s Chitwan National Park will give you a good chance of seeing one.
Close encounter: Most likely at a distance.
Fitness factor: A fair level of fitness is required.
Best time to go: October to May.
Book it: A three-day trip costs from £235, excluding international flights; rickshawtravel.com
Lemurs in Madagascar
Something special: Listen out for the ghostly wail of the indri lemur, pictured above, in the forests of Madagascar
Wildlife wow: The majority of wildlife experiences are on foot – bringing you into close contact with the island’s wildlife. Day and night walks through the forests allow you to follow long-limbed lemurs and listen out for the ghostly wail of the indri lemur.
Close encounter: You’re likely to get to within several feet.
Fitness factor: You set the pace – the wildlife is accessible.
Best time to go: Between April and November.
Book it: A 14-day trip costs from £5,795, including flights, meals and accommodation; rainbowtours.co.uk
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