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Top 10 Natural and Wildlife Adventure Travel Trips


Nature and wildlife adventure travel trips are growing in popularity. Would you like to dive with tiger sharks, watch wildebeest thunder across the Serengeti-Masai Mara during the annual animal migration in Africa or track wolves with your camera in Yellowstone National Park. Here's a selection of exciting natural and wildlife adventure travel trips and tours. Some of these adventurous nature and wildlife trips take place a few times a year, others just during specific seasons, and yet other trips are offered year-round.

1. Swim with sea lions and walk among blue-footed boobies in the Galapagos

Espanola Island, Galapagos Islands. Galapagos sea lions are a subspecies of the Californian sea lion.
Kevin Schafer/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Exploring blue-footed boobies on the Galapagos Islands and swimming near playful sea lions and giant tortoises in the surrounding ocean is the equivalent of setting yourself inside a nature flick. And, this is why so many travelers are choosing to spend days on a boat exploring these islands. Many companies offer Galapagos trips throughout the year. Some companies offer family friendly weeks. The best nature trips have a naturalist onboard the ship. The award-wining Ecoventura, International Expeditions and Geographic Expeditions offer trips throughout the year.

2. Is That Shark Rattling Your Cage?

Cage diving with sharks
Shark Diver
Shark Diver offers a variety of intimate encounteres with great white sharks, tiger sharks and even giant squid, depending upon where you want to travel. How about a cage dive to view great white sharks off Isla Guadalupe during a five-day trips leaving from San Diego, California, or Ensenada, Mexico.

Shark Diver offers trips in the Bahamas to see tiger sharks, vacations in Mexico to watch giant squid, and has a deep dive-submarine so you can see giant sharks in Roatan.

3. African Photo Safaris During the Annual Animal Migration

Steve Turner/International Expeditions
Many companies offer trips to Africa during the annual wildlife migration when more than a million wildebeest race across the Serengeti-Masai Mara grasslands. Among the animals you may photograph are lions, leopards, buffalo, elephants, rhinos and perhaps even cheetahs. Time is also spent learning more about the Masai tribes, which stay true to many of their traditions despite the encroaching modernization around them. Overnights can be in simple to luxury lodges or tents, depending upon how much you want to spend. Some of the companies offering these tours include International Expeditions, Natural Habitat Adventures and Abercrombie & Kent.

4. Arctic Dog Sled Odyssey Tours

Steer your dog sled in the wilderness and alongside the fjords north of the Arctic Circle on the east coast of Canada's Baffin Island. You''ll mush from a wilderness lodge and be led by an Inuit guide. Trips are nine days, but shorter experiences can be arranged from March through June. You can return to the hotel nightly, or stay out in the wilderness.

5. Summer and Winter Yellowstone Field School Ed-Ventures Tours

The Yellowstone Association Institute offers a wide array of daily tours, Lodging and Learning programs, field seminars and backpacking courses. The Lodging and Learning programs, designed in cooperation with lodge operator Xanterra Parks & Resorts, are multi-day packages that can include wolf watching, learning more about the park from naturalists and other activities. The Yellowstone Association’s summer Ed-Ventures include such programs as Geysers, Mudpots, & Hot Springs: Old Faithful Area; Natural History & Geology: Yellowstone Lake & Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Winter Ed-Ventures include Wildlife Watching on the Northern Range, and Yellowstone by Ski or Snowshoe.

6. Island Expeditions With Seacology

Adventurous travelers are lining up to join Seacology’s island expeditions. Seacology’s island expeditions are “win-win” for travelers and local communities. During each one, whether the goal is to help islanders create a faux eco-reef to set near a dying reef, or help with a water purification tank installation, travelers combine vacations on intriguing islands with a chance to help locals.The ecologically minded who prefer armchair travel can enjoy by osmosis; simply visit Seacology’s website to read travel dispatches and look at photos from Fiji or some of the other 80plus islands where there are Seacology projects.

7. Eco-Tours With Wild Planet Adventures

During Wild Planet Adventure ecotours you'll see exotic animals, such as this sloth and its baby.
Wild Planet Adventures
Wild Planet Adventures offers ecotours designed to bring you into the natural habitats of exotic wildlife in Costa Rica, the Galapagos, Peru, Panama, Belize and other locales. Each trip promises experiences led by local guides who often take you to sites where there won’t be a lot of other tourists.

8. Horseback Riding in Mongolia

Several companies offer horseback ridingn Mongolia, some with reindeer herders and others on trails at follow Ghengis Kahn's footsteps. Equitours, a company that offers horseback riding tours in the US as well as more exotic locales, runs a variety of riding trips in Mongolia. One is to a remote region of northern Mongolia that's inhabited by the Tsaatan people, nomadic reindeer herdsmen. Black Ibex Expeditions offers two-week trips, where riders follow a nomandic path. Mongolia Horseback Riding run many trips through the year.

9. Take an Orangutan Tour, Visit Camp Leakey and Learn About the Dayak Tribes

Adventures Indonesia puts together this trip to the jungle, which includes a boat trip down the Lamandau river to learn more about orangutans, visit Camp Leakey where older orangutans are re-introduced to the rain forest, and visit Dyak Tribe villages.

10. Watch Grizzly Bears in Their Native Habitat

Young bears fishing in a Canadian stream
Tom Rivest
Wildlife viewing, with twice-a-day opportunities to watch grizzly bears in their natural habitat, is the focus for guests at the floating Great Bear Lodge, May through October. Guests take a seaplane to reach the lodge, located about 50 air miles from Port Hardy, British Columbia, Canada. One- to seven-day visits can be booked. Visit the website for streaming video of bear and wildlife excursions in the spring, summer and fall.

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