Get closer to nature, the Intrepid way.

From Borneo’s rich jungle ecosystem to the islands of the Galapagos, our small group tours take you to the very heart of nature all over the world. Marvel at elephants as they’re silhouetted against an African sunset, watch chimpanzees swinging in the treetops above you, and come face to face with animals you’ve only ever read about or seen on TV in the wilds of Costa Rica. With incredible local leaders guiding the way and wildlife experts accompanying you on game drives, informational walks, informal sessions, and educational talks, our trips offer an unforgettable chance to observe these captivating creatures in their natural habitat, all while staying in a range of accommodations almost as memorable as your animal sightings - think safari lodges and wilderness camps. 

But, before you take out your camera, we ensure that any interactions are done responsibly, and with the greatest level of respect. We believe that wild animals should be viewed – without our interference – doing what they do best: living in the wild.

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Wildlife trips by region

Bucket list wildlife experiences

Travellers in an Overland vehicle taking photos on the Serengeti

Search for the Big Five in Tanzania

On safari, it’s all about getting as close as you can to the elusive Big Five – the African elephant, Cape buffalo, African lion, African leopard, and the endangered black rhino. Charge your camera, pack your binoculars, and keep your eyes peeled to the grassland floor of the Ngorongoro Crater as you travel in a custom-built, open-roof Overland vehicle on the animal-spotting trip of a lifetime.

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Travellers walking in Sepilok rainforest in Borneo

Seek out the unique wildlife in Borneo

From crocodiles, macaques, cheeky proboscis monkeys, and pygmy elephants spotted on a cruise along the Kinabatangan River to meeting the patients at the centre for injured and orphaned orangutans in Sepilok and joining researchers as they watch sea turtles waddle up the sand to lay their eggs on Turtle Island, you won’t be able to resist the call of Borneo’s wildlife experiences. 

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A traveller snorkelling with a sea lion in the Galapagos

Isolated island encounters in the Galapagos

As far as wildlife meetings go, few places come close to the otherworldy islands of the Galapagos. Whether you want to strap on a snorkel and swim alongside friendly sea lions, watch the slow movements of giant tortoises, or marvel at the parade of iguanas prowling the beaches like a scene from a tiny Jurassic Park, exploring this ancient archipelago by boat or on foot - with a naturalist guide by your side – will be one for the highlight reel. 

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Travellers with gorilla in Uganda

Visit wild gorillas in the forests of Uganda

Trek through the steamy forest of Uganda’s Bwindi National Park alongside Park Rangers and expert trackers to catch a glimpse of these rare animals in their natural habitat. Be mesmerised as you watch them eat, sleep, groom, and play – the troop’s giant silverback surveying the scene while the little ones play like children. Spend an unforgettable hour in their presence and come back having ticked off another experience on your bucket list. 

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Close up of a black rhino without its horn in the wild

Track rhinos on foot in Zimbabwe

Hop out of the 4WD and tackle this next adventure on foot with an expert local guide through the hilly terrain of Matobo National Park. Spend an exhilarating morning tracking black and white rhinos, spotting other wildlife such as leopards, warthogs, springhares, and klipspringers as you go, as they wander through the wilderness on their daily routine.  

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Two people looking through binoculars on a suspension bridge

Spot exotic animals in Costa Rica's jungles

When you’re deep diving into the awe-inspiring jungles, swamps, and mangroves of Costa Rica, you’re bound to come face-to-face with an exotic animal or two (or twelve). From long-nosed tapirs and elegant ocelots to white-faced capuchin monkeys and three-toed sloths, this geologically rich country is a wildlife lover’s dream just waiting to be explored. 

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Lemur walking along a tree branch

Counting lemurs in Madagascar

Madagascar isn’t just about breathtaking landscapes and memorable experiences – it’s also about how many species of lemur you can spot. Dust off your binoculars and trek through Isalo, Anadsibe, and Ranomafana national parks in search of those fluffy little animals and check off how many you see. (Hint: there are 33 different types to find). 

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Close up of a seal lying on an icy shelf in Antarctica

Marvel at Antartica's animals

When you leave land far behind you and set sail for the world’s whitest continent one thing you can expect to see is wondrous wildlife. From visiting penguin rookeries and spotting humpback whales as they breach the water’s surface to looking out for leopard seals and watching albatross soar above you, you’ll never forget the animals of Antarctica.  

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Popular safari destinations

Wildlife trip features

Turtle with a red shell

Supporting wildlife 

Not only does our entire range of wildlife trips promise to give you unforgettable animal experiences, but they also directly support the conservation of wildlife and the people who take care of that wildlife.  So, you can rest assured knowing that the money you spend by travelling with us is reinvested into the protection of the wildlife you see and the communities you visit like the jewellery workshop run by a team of women in Zambia that donates funds for anti-poaching patrols.  

Woman wearing a red beanie

Local expert-led tours

Is your lemur knowledge almost non-existent? Do you have any idea about the intricacies of Borneo’s jungle ecosystem? Don’t know the orangutans from the chimpanzees? On an Intrepid trip, you don’t have to figure it out on your own. Every wildlife trip includes at least one local wildlife expert – from park rangers knowledgeable about mountain gorillas to indigenous people with a special connection to land - to take you on guided walks, conduct informal sessions, and participate in educational conversations. 

Red binoculars

Range of experiences

Traditional Game Drives, boat safaris, and nature walks are all par for the course on one of our wildlife trips but at Intrepid, our itineraries delve deeper to provide you with the whole, unique picture. Incorporating a range of different opportunities for travellers to experience the world’s wildlife such as a visit to a Wildlife Forensic Laboratory in Zambia where officials investigate wildlife crimes (just like CSI but for animals!) and learning firsthand about Antarctica’s ecosystem from your onboard marine biologist. 

Responsible travel & conservation 

We are not only giving back through offering safaris that make a difference but also partnering with conservation projects on the ground to raise awareness and important funding through the Intrepid Foundation.

Woman riding a bike in front of an elephant

Animal welfare 

At Intrepid, we believe that it’s our responsibility to help preserve the planet for the next generation of travellers, as well as for the communities – and animals – that call these places home. That’s why we’ve worked with World Animal Protection to create a set of guidelines each and every one of our trips follows.  

Learn more

Two lions lounging on a tree branch

Our animal welfare pledge

We’re also working with the team at Blood Lions as a commitment to actively working towards a solution to lion exploitation by signing their ‘Born to Live Wild’ pledge. 

Learn more

Iguana looking at the camera while sitting on a tree trunk

Visiting animals

We only visit facilities involving wild animals in captivity if the reason for the facility directly helps, and is in the best interest, of the animals involved. For example, rescue centres operating with the highest animal welfare and conservation standards possible. 

Visiting the MandaLao Elephant Conservation in Laos

Being a wildlife-friendly traveller

From doing your research to never using animals as a photo prop, there are a few easy ways to become a wildlife-friendly traveller. Join Intrepid co-founder Geoff Manchester and Lek Chailert, the founder of Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, to find out more about Intrepid's ban on elephant rides and what you can do to help protect wildlife on your travels, or check out the partnerships between The Intrepid Foundation and various conservation organisations around the world.  

How we help 

We actively discourage the participation of travellers in any activities that exploit wild or domestic/working animals. Lately, there’s been a rise in animal-related incidents around the world, and it doesn’t sit well with us. That’s why we have this toolkit in conjunction with World Animal Protection, with the hope that it will help the tourism industry rebuild more ethically during the COVID-caused travel shutdowns.  

Signpost to Serengeti National Park

Park & conservation fees 

Did you know a portion of all national park fees (included in your trip price) go back into the conservation for the parks? In some countries, this can be a considerable amount and goes towards park upkeep, wildlife rehabilitation and protection, and funding for park rangers. 

A group of people in a zodiac heading towards an icy shelf

Become a Citizen Scientist

Contribute in a very real way on your trip to Antarctica by undertaking scientific studies, recording cloud cover with NASA, participating in the ‘Happy Whale’ initiative (taking photos of whales’ flukes and uploading them to a special database), and conducting seabird surveys.

Learn more

A group of people wearing blue jumpers surveying the Antarctic wilderness.

Our WWF partnership 

Embark on an Antarctic adventure with WWF, a conservation organisation working to protect endangered habitats and reduce threats to plants and animals, and learn about their non-invasive whale research project from onboard scientists.   

Learn more

Woman getting into a game drive vehicle while smiling at the camera

Giving back 

Our wildlife trips are specifically designed to include local communities, businesses and NGOs that are working to support the conservation of wildlife, or the people protecting the wild.

Meet the experts

Man in a red jacket leaning up against an icy ledge

Alex - Antarctica Expedition Leader

Alex has long held a fascination with the natural world and polar regions. A graduate of Cambridge in Natural Sciences, Alex had been a polar guide for over a decade and is the co-founder of the Polar Citizen Science Collective, an organisation devoted to harnessing the research and data collection power of polar tourism. When not on a ship he can usually be found with skis or sticky rubber on his feet.

Man looking at the camera and smiling with lush greenery in the background.

Twongyeirwe - Head Ranger (Uganda)

Growing up in a family with a conservation background, Twongyeirwe quickly developed a dream of becoming a wildlife ranger, working with mountain gorillas in the forests of Uganda. He's been living that dream for 16 years (and counting), learning about gorilla behaviours, tracking their movements and passing on that knowledge to passionate travellers just as awestruck by the majesty of these animals as he is. 

Woman crouching on the ground and smiling at the camera

Jessica - Naturalist Guide (Galapagos Islands)

Jessica grew up surrounded by sea lions, sea turtles, iguanas, amazing landscapes, and friendly people on the Galapagos Islands so it's no surprise she turned to a career teaching people about the diversity, endemism, and the marine life of the region she's loved since she was little. When she's not working, you can find her scuba diving, snorkelling and exploring as much of this magical Ecuadorian world as possible. 

Woman wearing a white jacket staring off into the distance

Eva – Citizen Science Coordinator (Polar)

Eva is a polar scientist, with a particular passion for marine mammals. Her love for whales led to her graduating at the top of her class with a Master's in Polar Science from the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge. Researcher, Naturalist, Photographer, Educator, Surveyor, Skipper and Wildlife Officer, Eva has travelled extensively throughout all 7 continents, but her heart remains in the polar regions. 

Reviews

Wildlife FAQs

Trips on or before 31 December 2022

If your Intrepid trip starts on or before 31 December 2022, you must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.

If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional. 

Children under 18 are exempt. Children aged between 5 and 17 years old must provide proof of either vaccination, recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 proof of vaccination policy

At Intrepid, the welfare of our people and our travellers is our highest priority, and we never put tours in a potentially harmful or dangerous position. To ensure that all travellers are safe while trekking or visiting wildlife conservation areas, there are a set of rules and regulations that everyone must observe at all times, which you'll be briefed on when necessary. Both your leader and the professional wildlife expert that accompanies you on specific activities such as gorilla trekking, will be happy to answer any questions you might have and make sure everyone's obeying safety precautions. 

Our wildlife tours range from having a lower physical rating (2 out of 5 stars) to a higher physical rating (3 out of 5 stars) which indicates that you should have a reasonable level of fitness to be comfortable throughout your trip. Most wildlife trips visit at least one national park so you can expect to participate in a couple of walks or longer hikes. 

Animal movements can be unpredictable so we can't 100% guarantee that you'll see gorillas on your trek. Having said that, it's highly unlikely not to. You will be accompanied by a gorilla tracker on your trek and they'll have specific knowledge on how to find the gorillas and where they might be so you don't have to worry about a thing. 

There's not a huge difference between gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda when it comes to actually seeing the animals, but the terrain of both countries varies. Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park has a more open and less dense landscape than the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda so it can often feel easier to trek through. Uganda also experiences more rain and this can make tracks slippery and harder to navigate. Another difference is that the permit for gorilla trekking in Rwanda is more expensive than in Uganda and this can deter budget-conscious travellers. 

The type of vehicles you'll travel on during your Game Drive is dependent on the style of your trip (basix, original, comfort, or premium) but all trips will use a 4x4 or alternate vehicle for at least one of those rides so you have the best opportunity to experience the wildlife from a unique perspective. If you want more details, check out the trip notes/itinerary information for your chosen trip. 

Regardless of the style, every single one of our wildlife trips directly supports the conservation of wildlife or the people protecting the wildlife. A portion of any National Park or Game Reserve entrance fee (which is included in your trip price) is also fed back into protecting and conserving the park's natural and cultural heritage.  This money is crucial to safeguarding these habitats for wildlife to breed and survive together with its surrounding local communities. Our wildlife trips are also designed to seek out and support local projects, communities, and businesses that are actively working to protect wildlife, and educate and empower local communities to be custodians of conservation.

Absolutely! Our trips feature a whole heap of fun activities such as Game drives, nature walks, and boat safaris, as well as unique experiences such as visiting a Wildlife Forensic Laboratory in Zimbabwe (which is exactly what it sounds like - a unit investigating wildlife crimes) and sitting down to dinner with a local park ranger where you'll learn about life in the wilderness and their special relationships with the mountain gorillas (guaranteed to be one dinner conversation you've never had before)!

You'll have access to your trip leader who already has an impressive base of knowledge about the countries visited in the itinerary, and the local flora, fauna, cultural, religious, and social aspects associated with them but we also use additional local guides and wildlife experts who have a deeper and more specific knowledge about the places you go to and the animals you see. This is to add to your overall experience and make sure you're getting the full, well-rounded picture so expect to spend some time with wildlife veterinarians, park rangers, naturalist guides, and conservation researchers. For some trips, you will be accompanied by these experts for the entire duration, such as on our Antarctica departures where there's a naturalist and marine biologist onboard. 

There's a good chance you'll see a wide variety of animals on any Galapagos Island since there are over 300+ different species that inhabit this archipelago. It's the sheer diversity and variety of life on land, in the air and under the water that makes the Galapagos such a drawcard for nature and wildlife lovers and each trip will give you the opportunity to experience as much of it as possible. 

See below for some of the animals known to frequent the Galapagos Islands:

  • Sea lions are found across all islands. 
  • Penguins are found across Santa Cruz, Santiago, Isabela, Fernandina, Floreana, and Bartolome islands. 
  • Giant tortoises are found across Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela, and Floreana islands. 
  • Green sea turtles are found across all islands. 
  • Land iguanas are found across Santa Cruz, Isabela, Fernandina, Plaza Sur, and North Seymour islands. 
  • Flamingoes are found across Santa Cruz, Santiago, Isabela, Floreana, and Rabida islands. 

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Read more about wildlife travel