5 Wilderness Adventures For Intimate Wildlife Encounters

Written byLexy Thorne
Date

From the stunning marine species off the shores of Panama and Belize to the striking birds and wildlife of Belize and Malaysia, get up close and personal with some of the planet’s most spectacular biodiversity on one of Regenerative Travel’s holistically wild adventures.

 1. Unearth the conservation story at Samara Private Game Reserve and see the Big Five up close and personal in the Great Karoo, South Africa.

Explore South Africa’s glorious wildlife and vast desert lands on one of the planet’s most unique and exclusive safaris.

Recognised as one of the planet’s most pioneering and award-winning conservation journeys, discover the breath-taking story and heart-stopping setting of the Samara Private Game Reserve. Born in 1997 of founders Mark and Sarah Thompkins’ desire to restore the Great Karoo to its former glory, The Samara has pioneered the rewilding of a landscape that had been turned over to agriculture for the best part of three centuries.

Located in the Eastern Cape of South Africa and set on a 28,300-hectare private game reserve in the Great Karoo’s semi-desert lands, The Samara offers a timeless landscape of space, stars and silence while being designated as one of just 36 Global Biodiversity Hotspots. 

Home to a magical array of the continent’s infamous Big Five, expect to explore and sight the glorious lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, buffalos of Africa while gaining a behind the scenes look of one of the planet’s most inspiring and unique conservation journeys.

For those looking for a more intimate experience with Africa’s great wildlife, the Samara offers the opportunity for guests to track wild cheetahs on foot, alongside their very own Tracker Academy. Available for guests at no extra cost, learn the dying art of wildlife tracking from local youth experts whilst encountering Africa’s most endangered Big Cat up close – an experience that the Samara ensures will be as unparalleled as it is humbling.

2. Discover the lush biodiversity at Tranquilo Bay in Bocas Del Toro, Panama and meet the resident three-toed sloths, capuchin monkeys, green iguanas and more.

Depart with treasured memories of Central America’s most striking wildlife with an eco-adventure to Panama.

Set in over 200 acres of private conservation reserve between the rumbling tropical rainforest and magnificent azure of the Caribbean sea, discover the immense diversity of exotic wild- and marine-life that await at Tranquilo Bay, Panama. From the green iguanas, capuchin monkeys and adorable three-toed sloths, to the over 550 species of colorful birds that swoop between the trees each day, get acquainted with some of the world’s most awe-inspiring species before departing with memories to last a lifetime. 

An all-inclusive resort with over 20,000 curated adventures (yes, you read that right), each guided excursion is specifically tailored to meet your wildlife interests, physical experience and needs. Whether that’s a slow-paced snorkeling adventure to the marine park’s vibrant coral reefs, a leisurely paddle board trip through the brilliant blue waters of the Bocas del Toro archipelago, or a challenging rainforest hike beneath the canopy of jungle trees, there’s something for everyone to see in the serenely picturesque settings of Tranquilo Bay Panama.

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3. Explore the canopy of the Malaysian rainforest at The Datai Langkawi with the resident naturalist and catch a glimpse of the highly endangered Dusky Leaf Monkeys.

Unlock the enchanting secrets of the natural world with an escape to Malaysia’s most mystical hidden hideaway.

Set deep within the enchanting heart of a 10-million-year-old tropical rainforest, The Datai Langkawi remains hidden in some of the world’s most mysterious wilderness. Home to an extravagant assembly of the Malay Peninsula’s primordial species, expect to spot the highly endangered Dusky Leaf Monkeys, Oriental-pied hornbills and Black Giant squirrels by day whilst catching a glimpse of the adorable Tokay geckos and Sunda Colugos (flying lemurs) by night. 

Complete with its own resident naturalist and long-time explorer, Ishrad Mobarak, discover the delicate relationships between humanity and the natural world as you meander through the jungle alongside a true wilderness expert. Whilst crawling through the rainforest, be sure to stop off at The Datai’s own Nature Centre, a unique open-air library full of references to Langkawi and Malaysia’s natural world. With a dedicated lounge for guests to sit and listen to stories from the wild by Ishrad himself (as well as a cosy Tea Corner serving specially concocted infusions from the forest), become immersed in some of Malaysia’s most mystical wildlife on a trip that truly is a once-in-a-lifetime.

4. Create your own rainforest adventure at Chaa Creek in San Ignacio, Belize to witness the sights and sounds of howler monkeys, the elusive jaguar and toucans.

Discover why Belize is known as one of the world’s best destinations for birding with a wilderness escape to Chaa Creek.

‘Wildly Civilized’ sums up the philosophy of this charming and naturally award-winning Jungle Resort in Belize. Set in the depths of Maya Civilization, owners Mick and Lucy Fleming have strived to coexist with nature since their 1981 outset, and have continued to be recognized as one of the Caribbean’s most shining examples of sustainable tourism. With an initial goal to provide an authentic wilderness experience that offered insights into the beautiful Belizean rainforest and ensure that their eco-resort protected the environment that supported its local communities, Chaa Creek has long engaged in conservation and community projects while providing guests with the most memorable of vacations.

Teeming with the sights – and definitely the sounds – of the rainforest’s most spectacular fauna, expect to spy the Howler and Spider monkeys amidst the trees, spot the jaguars, pumas and ocelots around the land, and notice the Toucans, Hummingbirds and Parrots across the sky. With Belize increasingly recognized as one of the world’s best travel destinations for birding, the colourful assortment of avian species surrounding Chaa Creek will be satisfying for everyone – from the curious novice to the most experienced Ornithologist. 

5. With the Annapurna Mountain Range looming in the background, hikers will relish in the natural beauty of the Himalayas and all there is to uncover at Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge in Pokhara, Nepal.

Discover the diverse and mysterious creatures of Nepal’s mountain landscape.

Drawing upon its rich wildlife heritage from founding partners, Tiger Tops and Mountain Travel Nepal, Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge is a hikers’ and biodiversity-lovers paradise. With a focus on conservation and wildlife tourism, the guides at Tiger Mountain are all expert local trackers, possessing scientific and up-to-date knowledge of the surrounding flora and fauna.

Whilst staying at this majestic hideaway in the Nepalese mountains, be sure to take a hillside stroll to spot local bird species, which currently stand at 359 species seen and include the incredibly rare Blue-naped Pitta. For the fans of winged-species, guests can also expect to see a diversity of butterflies and moths with more than 101 species identified in the lodge so far whilst catching glimpses of dragonflies as they meander through the resort.

Aside from the remarkable birds and butterflies, Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge continues to share its mountain landscape with some of the world’s most iconic mammals. From the Asian Palm Civets and Barking Deer to the Jungle Cat and Malayan Porcupines, the stories of wildlife you’ll encounter at this South East Asian hideaway will be enough to share for a lifetime.

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