6 Once-in-a-Lifetime Animal Adventures Around the World

Last updated 26th July 2022

Looking for an unforgettable trip? These far flung adventures will bring you face-to-face with some of the world’s most amazing creatures.


Swim with Pink Dolphins on Delfin Amazon Cruises in Peru

Deep in the Peruvian Amazon, Delfin Amazon Cruises boutique luxury vessels take guests on 3 and 4-night itineraries into one of the world’s largest protected flooded forests, the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. The pink river dolphin, a rare species found in the freshwaters of the Amazon around Peru frequently swim up to the boats and are rather friendly creatures.  With the supervision of a specialized naturalist, guests can head into the water with floatation devices to swim amongst the dolphins. Experienced naturalist guides and experts showcase the immense biodiversity of the area with excursions and activities that include (but are not limited to) visits to local villages, kayaking, swimming with pink river dolphins, fishing, daytime hiking and night safaris. 

View Black Necked Cranes from the Gangtey Lodge in Bhutan

Black Necked Cranes are endemic to the Tibetan Plateau and migrate to lower altitudes, such as Gangtey (Phobjikha) Valley from the end of October – March. The Black-Necked Crane Centre performs invaluable work in ensuring the protection of their roosting areas, educating the locals and tourists of the importance of the cranes to the valley.  On November 11th in Bhutan, there is a celebration of the conservation of the majestic and endangered  black-necked crane. The Annual Black-Necked Crane festival is celebrated in the courtyard of Gangtey Gonpa, in Phobjikha valley. The festival is an occasion for the locals to rejoice and celebrate the arrival of this endangered and majestic bird, which becomes an inseparable part their daily lives during the winter months. Guests can stay at Gangtey Lodge to experience this annual event and experience 5-star accommodations while learning about the culture and heritage of the region.  

Track Endangered Mountain Gorillas with Volcanoes Safaris in Uganda

If you have teens, add this to your bucket list ASAP! Uganda is one of only three East African countries in the world that has mountain gorillas. There are fewer than 1000 in existence in this part of the world, making a sighting of these endangered species a bucket-list trip for many. There are two places within the country to trek to see them — Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Mgahinga has the largest number of adult silverback males, plus it’s lesser known than Bwindi, so a visit here means you’ll feel like you are getting the park to yourself and you’ll have some amazing interactions. Mountain gorilla tracking can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours or more. Volcanoes Safaris helps take care of the details for an unbeatable experience. Trackers are sent out ahead of time, so your group is not aimlessly wandering the park. Once the gorillas are spotted, you have 60 minutes to observe them at close range. You’re not allowed to get closer than 25 feet, but often, the younger juveniles will come close to visitors, as they are curious and playful. You’ll be surprised at just how human-like the mountain gorillas are – they share 98-percent of our DNA! Note: Kids must be 15 years old to participate. 

Go Whale Watching at Islas Secas Reserve and Lodge in Panama

The waters around Panama are the only place in the world where humpback whales migrate from both the Southern and Northern Hemispheres. Like numerous other marine creatures, the whales are drawn to the waters of the Gulf of Chiriqui, making whale watching one of the true highlights for guests at Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge from where families can embark on exciting marine safaris. Islas Secas has a sustainable whale-watching program which follows best practices established by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and allows guests to witness these majestic annual visitors along their journey. The exclusive new lodge opens January 2019, sleeps only up to 18 guests and lies 20 miles off the coast of Panama in the Pacific Ocean. During whale watching season, whales can be seen from the property and boat trips can be arranged to witness these majestic species from a safe distance. The show the whales put on – breaching, spy hopping, tail slapping and lob tailing – will leave you with no doubt as to why Panama whale watching is some of the best.

Upon arrival at Islas Secas, the Adventure Concierge on-property is on hand to organize a range of marine, island and wildlife excursions to help guests make the most of this unique location on an archipelago of 14 private islands that is yet to be explored.

Kayak through a Marine Sanctuary with Revealed America

Leading travel company Revealed America assists US travelers in exciting wildlife excursions. Have plans to visit the West Coast? Don’t miss out on a private kayaking excursion in Monterey Bay’s Elkhorn Slough. These waters are protected from the large swells of the Monterey Bay, making them easy to navigate on a kayak while viewing all of the wildlife present. Guests can expect to see sea otters, harbor seals and flocks of birds. An experienced guide will be present to lead the group and assist in identifying species and providing information.  

Snowshoe with Moose and Bighorn Sheep on the Colorado Trails

There is more than just skiing in Vail in the Winter. Snowshoe excursions by the Sonnenalp Hotels’ expert guide Kara Schmidt provide an amazing opportunity to witness evidence of animal activity in the snow.  Snowshoe tours are a virtual game of hide and seek as Snowshoe Hares and Ermine Weasels coats change from brown to white to camouflage in the snow. Winter snows bring moose and their young down to lower elevation and are frequently encountered on snowshoe treks! Herds of Bighorn Sheep also travel down to lower elevation in search of food in the Winter. These majestic animals are a site to see in person and from a safe distance.

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