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If you seek the best wildlife encounters on the planet, you’ll need to travel to its most remote and inhospitable reaches, but don’t let this put you off.
From the towering tabular icebergs of Antarctica to the steaming jungles of the Congo and even the treetops of Borneo’s rainforest, the locations are often as spectacular as the wildlife encounters themselves!
Here’s our round-up of the most unusual places to stay on a wildlife adventure…
Camping on Ice
Ok, so bedding down in a dome tent atop metres of Antarctic ice may not be everyone’s idea of a camping holiday but this is an adventure experience with serious bragging rights!
Few people ever get the chance to journey to the White Continent, and fewer still ever sleep on it. You don’t need to be a hardcore camper to enjoy this unforgettable sleepover – in fact, you need never have slept outside before. All the sub-zero gear is provided on board so all you need to do is step off the expedition ship with an adventurous spirit and an open mind!
You could be in the company of penguins and Harp seals, see Humpbacks breaching out at sea or witness a Wandering albatross soaring against a backdrop of supersized icebergs. Whatever the Antarctic showstoppers, you can be sure you won’t get a view like that on a camping holiday in France!
Taking you there: Trips to Antarctica
Get Beached by the Indian Ocean
Set sail on the azure waters of the Indian Ocean aboard a traditional dhow boat and explore the Bazaruto Archipelago before settling into your beach camp for the evening.
Snorkelling around the colourful coral reefs laced between the six small islands offers the chance to see a kaleidoscopic array of life, from dainty Butterflyfish and Moorish idols to petrol blue Parrotfish and turtles. Devil rays also frequent these waters, as do dugongs – a plump, pre-historic marine mammal closely related to the manatee.
After the day’s aquatic activity, head to the idyllic shoreline where your torch-lit beach camp awaits. Sit around the fire to watch the sunset, admire the star-studded sky and fall asleep listening to gentle lapping waves… heaven on Earth? It just might be!
Taking you there: Trips to the Indian Ocean
Outdoors in East Africa
Lake Mburo National Park is smaller than many other national parks in the area, but don’t let that fool you; gorgeous savannah, forests and rocky outcroppings are the perfect backdrops to a night of minimalist camping.
After a day of passing through all manner of environments, from sugar plantations to forests and even the thriving metropolis of Uganda’s capital, Kampala, you’ll have time for a serene and restful walk through the park, soaking up the atmosphere.
Over 300 species of birds lend their voices and beautiful plumage to the ambience, and a huge number of mammals can be seen on the plains, from impala to buffalo. Finally, weary but exhilarated, you’ll settle down for a night of camping in one of East Africa’s most sublime wildernesses.
Taking you there: Trips to Uganda
Rumble in the Jungle
After a sweat-soaked journey by boat, car and foot, you arrive at your tented camp in the heart of Africa. Nestled deep in the wilderness of Nouabale Ndoki National Park, fall asleep to the sounds of the resident nightlife before awaking to the high-pitched drama of the dawn chorus – an alarm call you’ll quickly forgive as you unzip your tent door to reveal the eye-watering beauty of the Congo’s untouched, mist-shrouded jungle.
Forest elephants roam this remote, verdant pocket of central Africa, while otters and crocodiles coexist along the waterways. The real highlight of this epic adventure, however, is the nearby population of Lowland gorillas.
Climb up to the viewing platforms not far from camp for an intimate view of these magnificent primates going about their daily life in the natural habitat.
Taking you there: Gorilla trekking trips
Hideout in Finland
As if impatient from torturous winter months, the far east of Finland emerges from hibernation in full bloom with its wildlife keen to redress the balance.
Huddle up in a remote wooden hide, breathing quietly in a cautious rhythm, binoculars in hand and optimism in mind; wait patiently for the wildlife encounter only a few pockets of Northern and Eastern Europe can offer. After some time you hear the sound of twigs breaking underfoot. Then there’s a rustle in the thick undergrowth.
A few moments pass and then there it is – a European Brown bear. Tucked away in Finland’s forest wilderness, a healthy population of these apex predators exist in harmony with wolves, wolverines and beavers.
Taking you there: Finland wildlife trips
Truly Wild Camping
The sweeping, sunset-coloured plains of the Serengeti are teeming with majestic animal life, and you can camp for the night right in their midst.
Two nights are spent in this expansive swathe of land, allowing you plenty of time to have unforgettable wildlife encounters beneath an endless blue sky.
Once you settle down for the night, feeling liberated by your surroundings and reeling from experiencing the kind of wonder you haven’t felt since childhood, you’re right in the heart of the Serengeti; there’s nothing between you and the inhabitants of this remote paradise but the walls of your tent!
Taking you there: Trips to the Serengeti
Browse our Wildlife trips below for more exciting adventures.