Wildlife Trips

Get closer to nature. From the jungles of India to the African bush, our small group tours take you to the heart of nature. From elephants silhouetted against an Africa sunset to orangutans swinging in the treetops high above, spotting wildlife in any part of the world is a thrilling way to spend your time. 

That’s why we’ve created trips that focus on wildlife viewing and get right into the heart of an animal’s world. Stay in a range of accommodation, from safari lodges to wilderness camps for a truly wild experience.  We only use expert local guides.

 


Tips for Wildlife trips

Top 7 wildlife experiences

7.  Antarctica
If you’re fortunate enough to make the trek to this icy continent, the sheer scale of epic wildlife set against a backdrop of icy beauty is the wildlife experience of a lifetime.
 
6.  Koalas 
There are only a few places in the world you can see koalas in the wild (Australia’s east and southern-east coasts). They’re sometimes hard to spot because they’re usually sleeping in the tallest of gum trees. But when you do, there’s nothing quite like seeing these adorable creatures in the flesh.
 
5.  Watching whales 
An ocean’s silence broken by the ‘phwa’ of air from a whale’s blowhole will send awed chills down your spine. And when an unseen whale breaches, the graceful twist, gushing water and sheer force exerted before it crashes back into the sea is nothing short of electrifying.
 
4.  The Galapagos 
If the world had a concentrated wildlife mecca, the Galapagos would be it. Whether on land, in the sea or flying through the air, the unique and friendly creatures that call these islands home are simply aching to make your acquaintance. 
 
3.  Orangutans
Watching the antics of orangutans is the one of the best antidotes to life’s ills. We dare you to not grin inanely while hanging out in an orangutan reserve in breathtaking Borneo.
 
2.  An African safari
Searching out animals in an open-top safari vehicle and coming across lions creeping, giraffes chomping, elephants swaying and wildebeest gathering is one of life’s true highlights. If you want nature at its most raw, Africa is the place to witness it.
 
1.  Gorillas
Move quietly through dense, steamy jungle and watch carefully for your guide to signal their presence. When you hear them, they become the only sound on earth. When you see you them… well, the world falls away and nothing can compare and no words are good enough to describe this overwhelming wildlife experience.
 

Gear to enhance your wildlife experience

Animal viewing requires patience and good eyesight (though luckily you’ll have an expert guide who has eagle eyes!). If you want to get more out of your experience and don’t mind the extra weight or expense, you may want to bring the following with you:

camera and zoom lens – if you like taking photos, you’ll need a camera with a decent zoom to capture decent shots of animals. There are lots of online forums and blogs discussing the best choices for wildlife photography, or go see your local camera shop to discuss options in your price range.

binoculars – if you feel like making an investment, a pair of binoculars are great (especially in Africa) for those who like to see their animals really close.

 

For other tips and ideas about what to take on your wildlife adventure, check out Intrepid’s Ultimate Packing List – you won’t need half of what’s mentioned but it will give you ideas about what you might like to take. Be sure to include insect repellant, long trousers and long sleeves for protection against biting bugs at night.

 

 

What to see and where

Our guide to your favourite animals and where you can see them
 
This is our guide to the best places to see your favourite animals and our top wildlife trips for each. If you want to see the Big Five try one of our African Safaris, for tigers and elephants head to India or Sri Lanka and for the rarer and more exotic animals, it has to be the Galapagos.We cannot always guarantee sightings but our local Group Leaders know the best places for game viewing and will do their best to find you the best spot.
 
Mountain Gorillas: Uganda
 
Gorillas are the largest living primate on the planet. To see the mountain gorillas of Bwindi head to Uganda on our Gorillas Trails tour where you'll also track chimps in Kibale Forest..
 
Tigers: India, Nepal, SE Asia
 
The Bengal Tiger is a dangerous but reverred animal and a sighting of this majestic cat is unforgettable. Our best trip for tiger spotting has to be our Classic Rajasthan trip to India.
 
The Rhino: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana
 
There are two species of rhinoceros - white and black. The black rhino is an endangered specie but can still be seen in Etosha NP in Namibia and the Mkuzi GR in South Africa. Top trips for Rhinos are the Experience Southern Africa tour where you'll visit the Khama Rhino Sanctuary and our Cape Town to Vic Falls tour which includes a two day safari in Etosha National Park.
 
Marine Wildlife (whales and dolphins): South Africa, Asia, Ecuador and the Galapagos
 
For prime whale watching head to Cape Town between June and November when pods of dolphins and whales are abundant or head to Canada on our Best of Western Canada tour where you can enjoy a whale-watching tour. For dolphins try our Galapagos Voyage where you can swim with dolphins and sea lions among other sealife.
 
Elephants: East and South Africa, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka
 
The good thing about elephants is they live in both Africa and Asia. The Asian elephant has smaller ears and a domed head and can be found all over Asia, our favourite trip to see these asian delights is our Circle Sri Lanka trip where you'll visit Uda Walawe National Park and experience feeding time at an elephant transit home as well as seeing them in the wild. To see their african brothers we suggest our Selous and Zanzibar trip where you'll visit Selous game reserve, here the elephant is at its most prevalent.
 
Lions: East Africa, South Africa
 
Lions are found in most parts of South and East Africa, and particularly in Selous NP in Tanzania. They are the second largest living cat after the tiger and some even enjoy a spot of tree-climbing in Lake Manyara. For lions we recommend our Masai Heartlands tour.
 
Turtles and tortoises: Galapagos, Borneo, Costa Rica
 
There's something about the slow moving tortoise that just make us smile. Try our Complete Galapagos Southern Islands trip marvel at the size of the giant tortoises. For turtles we suggest heading to the tropical Turtle Island in Borneo. Our Sabah Adventure will take you to the island where you might witness the female turtles coming ashore to lay eggs or see the new-borns being returned to the sea.

 

How to be a wildlife-friendly traveller

Intrepid travellers are known for their caring and responsible approach to travel, especially when it comes to visiting animals in the wild. So learning to become a wildlife friendly traveller is easy, and we want to pass on some very simple tips to ensure your next wildlife adventure is 100% animal friendly.

Find out more on how to be a wildlife-friendly traveller - watch a video on the protection of elephants in Thailand, find out what to avoid when souvenier shopping, 5 essential questions to ask when visiting wildlife, and how to view wildlife responsibly.

 

African Safari Holidays

For the ultimate animal encounter, go wild on an African safari. You could track the Big 5 in Kenya. Follow the Great Migration as millions of wildebeest move across the Serengeti. Or watch out for hippos and crocodiles as you glide through the Okavango Delta in Botswana in a handcrafted wooden boat.

 

Kenya Wildlife Safari, 8 days

Travel to Africa and visit Kenya, where an Intrepid wildlife safari awaits. From Nairobi, head to Lakes Nakuru and Naivasha before traversing the epic Masai Mara.

Okavango Experience, 9 days

Tour through Johannesburg, Maun and Victoria Falls on this trip through South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. 

Serengeti Trail, 8 days

Roam the vast Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, camp beside Lake Victoria and spot Africa's Big Five. 

Gorillas, Chimps & Game Parks, 16 days

See chimps in Kenya's Kibale Forest, elephants in Uganda and go on a gorilla safari in Rwanda. 

Wildlife trips in Galapagos

Discover Darwin’s Enchanted Isles. From giant tortoises and underwater lizards to penguins and blue footed boobies, serious wildlife fans should plan to go to the Galapagos Islands at least once in a lifetime. We recommend an expedition cruise to see as much of the islands’ unique and fearless wildlife as possible. Or stay on the islands.

 

Active Galapagos, 10 days

Tour the Galapagos' highlights from Isla San Cristobal to Isla Santa Cruz on this active wildlife adventure.

Galapagos Venture, 9 days

Discover the Galapagos Islands as you visit the islands of Isabela, Santa Cruz and San Cristobel, along with their quirky animals and landscapes.

Glimpse of Galapagos - Northern Islands, 6 days

Fly to the Galapagos where the stylish Nemo III catamaran is waiting to take you on an amazing sailing adventure. 

Complete Galapagos - Central & Eastern Islands, 10 days

Travel to the Galapagos Islands and take a sailing adventure through islands that are a paradise for nature lovers.

Family wildlife holidays

Hold onto your hats and get ready to roar with excitement - we offer amazing wildlife trips, made specially for families! Spot the Big 5 in Africa, tortoises and blue-footed boobies in the Galapagos, toucans and monkeys in Costa Rica, and try an elephant safari in Sri Lanka.

 

South Africa Family - Kruger & Beyond, 12 days

Hike, canoe, snorkel, raft, spot the big nine and learn the Zulu way of life.

Galapagos Family Adventure, 8 days

See volcano-scarred landscapes, beautiful bays, bird-filled lagoons, unique wildlife and the mighty Volcan Chico.

Sri Lanka Family - Elephant Paradise, 15 days

Take a safari, camp under the stars and absorb the island’s breathtaking natural beauty with the family.

Natural Magic - Costa Rica Family Holiday, 15 days

A Costa Rican family adventure with a balance of organised activities with loads of free time for fun and relaxation.

Wildlife trips in Asia

Classic Borneo, 10 days

Travel to Borneo and leave urban life behind. Head into Borneo's lush jungles, down scenic rivers and through vibrant villages.

Chiang Mai & Elephants

Help feed and bathe Chiang Mai elephants at a rescue centre. See the spiritual side of Chiang Mai with a day spent learning temple life.

Borneo Family Adventure

Travel to Borneo to visit orangutan sanctuaries and explore Borneo's jungles. See the best of Borneo as you travel on an Intrepid Family Adventure.

Sri Lanka Family - Elephant Paradise

Take a safari, camp under the stars and absorb the island’s breathtaking natural beauty with the family.

Wildlife trips to Polar regions

Greenland to Churchill, 16 days

Immerse yourself in the spectacular Arctic. This expedition takes you from Greenland to Canada, giving you a rich taste of Arctic culture, wildlife and history.

Antarctic Explorer, 11 days

Sail through the Drake Passage to the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula, experiencing some of the most captivating landscapes and wildlife on the planet.

Tromso, Bear Island & Spitsbergen, 12 days

Set sail from Norway and discover the history, landscapes, icebergs and wildlife of Spitsbergen. 

Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition

Travel across the Drake Passage to the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, and cross the Antarctic Circle.

Read more about wildlife travel

On the trail of the legendary Kalahari lions

“It’s difficult to describe just how vulnerable you feel when your eyes meet the unwavering stare of a predatory lion.” In the current issue #39 of get lost magazine, Ann and Steve Toon stalk the trail of the legendary Kalahari lions in a remote national park on the border of South Africa and Botswana… Read more

Top 15 wild animal encounters

From sloths hanging out, to whales breathtakingly breeching and lions stalking their prey – when we asked you about your best experiences with animals when travelling, we were inundated with more than 2700 special moments. Selecting just a small handful to share for you was one tough task, but here are 15 of the most fabulous animal encounters from travellers…

Wildlife of the Arctic

The Arctic is a treacherous and unforgiving place. With ever-shifting ice flows, impassable glaciers and freezing winds, surviving here is not exactly a walk in the park. But like anywhere on earth, Mother Nature always manages to find a way to make it work, ensuring that the Arctic is filled to the brim with fascinating wildlife…