TV wildlife guru and adventurer Steve Backshall gives us his top holiday destinations for mini wildlife fans
 
COSTA RICA

Costa Rica has it all, and is one of the finest eco tourism locations on earth. From the dolphins and leaping humpback whales of Drake bay, to nearby Corcavado where I’ve had a tapir nudging my backside while wandering through the forest at night. Kids are also sure to enjoy the Arribadas, where tens of thousands of turtles come ashore on one small seven kilometre stretch of beach, and the montane forests [cloud forests] around the active volcanoes of Arunal. It’s truly spectacular. Youngsters will love riding the world’s longest zip wire through the jungle canopy.

KOMODO ISLAND

Going to Komodo near Bali is like travelling back in time. The greatest draw is always going to be the dragons, wandering down the beaches like ancient dinosaurs, and stalking buffalo and deer in the dry forests of the mountainous islands. Kids will also enjoy a trip to Pantai Merah, where you’re treated to some of the most sensational snorkelling on earth.

 

GUYANA

The finest rainforest on Earth bar none. This is one of the only jungle environments where you will definitely see giant goliath bird-eating tarantulas, electric eels, harpy eagles and giant anteaters. It’s alive with crocodiles and giant snakes – endlessly exciting, and it’s paradise for any young naturalist. Youngsters will love the sense of adventure, camping out in the forest in hammocks and cooking their dinner over an open fire.

Picture shows: Steve with bird eating spider

INDIA

The iconic national parks of India are home to a bewildering array of wildlife, but it’s tigers that will always be the number one attraction. Though they’re tricky to see, three or four days in Ranthambore, Corbett, Chitwan or Kaziranga will give you a good chance of seeing this majestic beast. Kids will love the open top Jeeps, learning to track tigers by their dung and footprints, and all the other animals they’ll see.

SOUTH AFRICA

I had to put one African destination on here. I’d head to the Kruger National Park to get a glimpse of the big five. Kids will love seeing the iconic safari beasts of the Kruger, and learning all about the way they interact with each other.

 

Suggested Itineraries

From $10,270 pp

The Parks of Madagascar

Madagascar Africa

  • Experience Madagascar’s unique wildlife, including lemurs
  • Marvel at the UNESCO-listed limestone peaks in the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park 
  • Witness sunset at the famous Avenue of the Baobabs
  • Spot rare, endemic bird species including Appert’s greenbul, found only in the Zombitse National Park

When to go:

J F M A M J J A S O N D
ideal length 15 nights

From $21,730 pp

Wildlife and Ocean In Madagascar

Madagascar Africa

  • Stay in two of Madagascar’s most exclusive luxury resorts: Anjajavy and Miavana
  • Witness the famous hairy crabs crossing the crab highway
  • Experience Madagascar’s unique biodiversity, including lemurs, baobab trees and limestone pinnacles
  • Swoop into the stunning Nosy Be Archipelago by private helicopter
  • Explore Nosy Ankao’s underwater world on a Blue Safari experience
     

When to go:

J F M A M J J A S O N D
ideal length 9 nights

From $7,110 pp

Madagascar Classic Flying Circuit

Madagascar Africa

  • Discover Spiny Forest and river views at Mandrare River Camp
  • Explore coastal rainforest and beaches at Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge
  • See Madagascan wildlife, including species of lemur and numerous endemic bird species 
  • Meet members of the Antandroy and Antanosy tribes, and learn about their customs and lifestyle
  • Enjoy an excursion to Lac Anony to see greater flamingos, climb sand dunes and dip in the salty waters
     

When to go:

J F M A M J J A S O N D
ideal length 9 nights
Destinations Featured in the Article
Beautiful Tourist wear Sali, traditional dress in Amber Palace, Jaipur, Rajasthan - India

India

Experience a world of elephants and tigers, turmeric-coloured villages, coconut-studded coastlines, dazzling cities, and spicy curries on a holiday in India.

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