Travelling is an adventure where a lot of people learn new things and expand their view of the world. Visiting different places and experiencing their culture teaches us lessons that we can cherish in this lifetime. Here are some amazing places to see wildlife that you may not have thought of:
1.Farne Islands (England)
This island is composed of a group of islets and reefs and is located at 1.5 to 6 miles off the North Sea coast of Great Britain in the country of Northumberland, England. To visit Farne Islands, you need to get on a boat at Seahouses harbor.
One of the amazing wildlife found on the Farne Islands, is the puffins. They are sometimes referred to as “Sea Parrots” or “Clowns of the Sea” because of their comedic routine of clumsiness as they dive and roll over their bellies across the water’s surface. These sea clowns are great divers and swimmers, and they can dive for as deep as 60 meters and stay underwater for about 30 seconds to a minute.
Puffins are also known locally as “little brother of the north” due to their black and white plumage. They are sociable and can form colonies together in an estimate of about 4 million as of 2009. They live for as long as 20 to 30 years old in the wild.
Puffins have multi-colored big beaks that can carry multiple small fishes crosswise. Their beaks have a unique hinge that allows the top half and top-bottom to meet at different angles. And their rough tongue can hold the fish against the spine of their palate while it opens and catches more fish.
Today, puffins are red-listed species which means there has been a decreasing number of a population for over the last 25 years. So as we watch them in awe, we must also consider taking care of them and their habitat.
2. East India
This region of India consists of the following Indian states, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal, Odisha and the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Kolkata is the West Bengal’s capital city and is considered as the dominant center of East India.
Kolkata is formerly known as Calcutta, where the famed Mother Teresa helped most of the homeless and hungry people in this city. This city is now gone and is replaced with a more innovative and techy city with lots of unique architectural heritage and reinvention. Calcutta officially changed its name into Kolkata last 2001 with an area of 40 square miles, and a population of around 4,486,679 (data in 2011).
Another amazing place to indulge in a luxury wildlife vacation in East India is the Kazingara National Park. It is one of India’s major wildlife attractions. The park was established by Mary Curzon, wife of Lord Curzon (Viceroy of India). She converted Kaziranga into a 232 square meter wildlife reserve area. You may reach the Kazingara National Park by air, train or road.
Here, you may discover the Kazingara’s top 5 including the one-horned rhinoceros population, herds of elephant, deers, and tigers of Asian descent. Among these five, the one-horned rhinos, an endangered species are the main feature of the park. One-horned rhinos weigh between 2200 to 3000 kilograms making them the fourth largest mammal on earth. Its horn measures from 20 to 50 centimeters in length. Interesting facts about these rhinos are that they are very good swimmers and can run 55 km/hour, another is that they have a great sense of hearing and smell. The downside is that they have limited or poor eyesight.
You can also see other inhabitants of the park such as wild pigs, barking deers, the endangered golden langur, the only ape in India, the hoolock gibbon and many others. There are also reptiles where the largest snakes such as the Indian python, reticulated python, banded krait, and king cobra can be found.
Guadalupe Island, Mexico is a great diving spot for a great white shark. The diving spot for great white shark is the famous tourist attraction on the island. Getting to the diving spot takes a 20-hour boat journey with a distance of 400 kilometers from the coast. The boat that tourists must ride on is called a liveaboard—a stay-in accommodation for tourists since there is no available accommodation on the island.
Guadalupe Island is said to be the mating spot of the great white sharks, the reason why a huge number of them stay near the island from July to August until mid-November. There are 245 identified sharks by scientists who visited the island and each shark with its own name and liveaboards crew can tell guests their names. If you happen to take a photo of a new unidentified shark, you will be given the opportunity to name one.
For those who fear seeing a shark, worry not because you will be diving inside a cage and accompanied by certified scuba divers. It’s the best way to see the great white sharks, up close.
Traveling in the “Land of Open Spaces”, Namibia offers many undiscovered landscapes for your eyes to see and believe. With its wide landscape, Namibia is a home for 20 antelope species, 250 reptile species, 676 bird species, 50 frog species, and 240 mammal species.
Elephants are the main attractions for wildlife holidays in Namibia. They are African elephants and are considered the world’s largest mammal on land. They are social animals in matriarchal groups, living among female relatives. Elephants have up to 70 years of life span, and an adult elephant consumes 250-300 kilograms of food daily. Their magnificent tusks can weigh up to an average of 50-60 kilograms. The elephant tusks are very expensive; that is why smuggling and killing elephants for their tusks is a very controversial issue.
Elephants can be found mostly in Etosha National Park where there are 2,500 elephants residing. There are also 600 of them adapted in Damaraland and Kunene Region.
If you are into soul searching and meditation, then Tibet is perfect for your next destinations. Tibet has magnificent monasteries, prayer halls of monks, and remote Cliffside meditation retreats. The mountainous landscapes (that includes the famous Mt. Everest) and lots of plateaus added the very spiritual nature of this place. The population in Tibet is estimated 6 million and their main source of living is in agriculture and animal husbandry.
Tibet’s wildlife is composed of more than 100 species of mammal, 40 species of reptiles, and 50 species of amphibians. The famous Tibetan blue bear is one of the precious wildlife animals in the country. They are mostly black in color, but they have a portion of blue tinge, hence the name. They are listed as one of the protected species in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and is believed to be in their extinction.
Tibetan blue bears mostly reside in the Eastern part of Tibet and Bhutan. They are carnivorous and their favorite consumption is pika although there is very little known information about their vegetation diet. They are very shy in human contact; that is why there are so few known facts on them.
Located roughly 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands offer stunning landscapes and incredible wildlife animals. It is where Charles Darwin, spent his 19 days studying the varied flora and fauna of the island. In his “On the Origin of Species” he introduced the theory of evolution alongside the Galapagos Islands to the world.
The Galapagos became the national park of Ecuador since 1959 and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978. You can travel by land and by water to reach there. The weather is nice all year round, so there’s no bad time in visiting the island. You just have to consider if you’ll be comfortable in travelling between drier months or during the rainy season.
Aside from joining activities like kayaking, surfing, snorkeling and so on, it is best to see the iguanas once you are there. You may opt to visit Fernandina to see large number of iguanas, and you may add to see sea lions in Punta Suarez.
There are sure things to learn, admire, know and experience in traveling various places. Traveling to wildlife places brings so much of these that one can carry. To empathize with nature and to learn to appreciate and coexist with the other creatures on this planet make us wiser and more caring for our environment.
*Post contributed by Amanda Nile, a U.K. traveler writer with a love for animals.*