Luxury wildlife safari destinations for 2023

Nothing beats the thrill of seeing a beautiful animal in its natural habitat. The choice of destinations on offer to today’s lucky wildlife traveler is almost literally endless. We have highlighted just some of those outstanding destinations: 

#1 – Japan 

Snow monkeys? Endearing tanukis? Graceful cranes, hefty hammerheads, huge humpback whales? Japan has them all, in stunning environments ranging from forests, highlands, marshes, and beaches to snow-hushed landscapes. And, as Japan has some of the best luxury hotels and ryokans in the world, the comfort of your stay is guaranteed!

You can see Japan’s magnificent brown bears on the Shiretoko Peninsula, and go sea kayaking with dolphins. Feed Japan’s sacred deer in Nara Park the special crackers made for them, and go swimming with sea turtles and whales in Kagoshima. Be amazed by Nagano’s snow monkeys soaking in a hot spring, and watch the elegant and critically endangered red-crowned cranes in Tsurui. You’ll be astonished at Japan’s rabbit and cat islands! And you simply must go to an ‘animal café’ to personally meet cats, dogs, and other animals! 

#2 – Churchill, Manitoba, Canada

Feel like an ‘ice-bear adventure’? A Churchill polar bear safari expedition offers you some of the world’s premier polar bear encounters! The world’s densest concentrations of polar bears develop around Hudson Bay as the bears gather to wait for the sea ice to freeze over. Visitors are transported on specially designed tundra vehicles, or ‘polar rovers’, that safely elevate them above the bears, but bring them into really close proximity to these amazing creatures. The huge windows and see-through outdoor viewing decks ensure breathtaking sightings of the enormous 5’9’’ to close on 10 feet tall bears! All groups are led by expert naturalist guides. Exclusive after-dark excursions provide unique perspectives on the bears, and opportunities to see the enthralling northern lights. Visitors may also see arctic hares, foxes, and the amazingly well-camouflaged ptarmigan. Excellent accommodations are available in hotels, lodges, inns, and guest houses.  

#3 – The Greater Kruger, South Africa

The Greater Kruger includes South Africa’s iconic Kruger National Park, as well as a large number of conservation-conscious private nature reserves. With literally hundreds of thousands of animals, the ‘Big Five’, and well over 500 bird species, the Greater Kruger is a premier wildlife destination. Several of the private reserves like the Sabi Sands are famous for their superlative leopard and other predator sightings. These include sightings of the extremely rare free-roaming white lions of which there are three in the Greater Kruger. 

The area is also justly famous for its superb accommodations, excellent facilities and service, and activities like day and night game drives, and expertly guided bushwalks. All this makes this wildlife area a prime location for luxury safaris for Europeans in the Kruger National Park.

#4 – Scotland

Scotland is famous for its spectacular and rugged scenery from heather-clad landscapes, pristine lochs, towering mountains, and abundant birdlife. With sea cliffs teeming with birdlife, red deer grazing on verdant landscapes, and gray seals, dolphins and whales frequenting its coastline, Scotland is a superb wildlife destination. 

So, enjoy a 4X4 wildlife excursion or a birding adventure with an experienced local guide. Spend a week island-hopping in the Shetlands on the birdwatching trip of a lifetime. Enjoy a great coastal walk on St Ninian’s Isle, or a cruise to the Noss National Nature Reserve. If it’s winter, why not travel into the snowy Highlands for a truly magical experience?  See incredible animals like red deer, ptarmigan, and whooper swans. Enjoy luxury accommodations in beautifully converted country cottages and crofts, hotels, historic stately homes, and even castles! 

#5 – Croatia 

Though not a big country, biodiverse Croatia holds habitats for numerous large mammals like brown bears, wolves, chamois, and even lynxes that are being reintroduced. Many bird species thrive in its wetland and river habitats, while its coastline, with more than 1,000 islands affording natural protection, holds large numbers of dolphin and fish species. Almost 10% of Croatia is dedicated to national parks, nature reserves and protected areas. Croatia is famous for its distinctively colored lakes and spectacular waterfalls. Krka National Park, with its huge pool, waterfalls and cascades, is one of Croatia’s natural wonders and plays host to many migratory bird species. The wide range of accommodations includes hotels, villas, guesthouses, apartments and self-catering options.  

#6 – Germany

Germany’s natural environments are breathtaking! Soaring mountains,  stunning gorges, crystal lakes, verdant forests, and lush green meadows provide miles of hiking and cycling paths. Numerous wildlife parks and various safari options allow close encounters with a range of wild animals from all over the world.

For instance, Serengeti Park in Hodenhagen comprises four themed environments that allow you to see lions, wildebeest, rhinos, giraffes, ostriches, tigers, and bears as you drive through the Park. A similar experience is available in the Ruhr that offers a ‘round-the-world’ trip from Africa to Alaska to Asia. Wildpark Poing offers visitors a 4-kilometer trail that shows animals like lynxes, wolves, and boars in enclosures that replicate their natural habitats. Mouflon sheep and deer wander freely through the forest, and the Park’s birds of prey display is amazing. Tree-top walks, hot air balloon safaris, ATV safaris on quad-bikes and so-called ‘Trabi Safaris’ are all available in Germany.  

Have we whetted your appetite for your next luxury wildlife adventure? Are you accessing your favorite travel agent online as we speak, and fetching down those traveling cases? Let’s give you a thumbs-up and hope you’ll enjoy it to the utmost!

Interesting Related Article: “How Luxury Tourist Lodges Make Your Dreams Come True