By Meenakshi Shankar

Giraffe: In Masai Mara

Not much can come close to that feeling when you spot an animal in the wild, especially when you’re not expecting it: awe-inspiring, breathtaking and wonderful and always a moment you will never forget.  With so many wildlife vacations on offer in so many fabulous locations it’s hard to decide where to go or what animals to see.

We’ve put together our top six  favorite must-do wildlife experiences across the world.

1. The Alaskan wilderness beckons you

A must-see for adventure seekers, explore the pristine national parks abundant with wildlife.  From the soaring mountaintops to low land fjords and valleys – Alaska is one of the most remote and remarkable wilderness destinations in the world.

For the wildlife enthusiasts:  Whales, Dall porpoise, sea lions, otters and puffins

2. The Serengeti Migration : The Greatest show on earth

Nowhere in the world can we watch such a spectacular scene, nowhere do we have such a large number and diversity of large mammals.

More than just “endless plains” which is what ‘Serengeti’ name means in the language of the Maasai.

Nature at it’s best: A Lioness with her cub

The great annual Serengeti National Park migration is a must do – one of the most amazing wildlife spectacles on earth involving millions of animals migrating from the Masai Mara in Kenya down is a breath taking and a heart pounding moment.

For the wildlife enthusiasts:  Wildbeest, zebra, elephants, lions, cheetahs, crocodiles…the list goes on.

3. Birding in Meghalaya

In a forest teaming with birdlife – Meghalaya is your one stop destination.
Head out on a 6 day trek deep into the forest…look out for interesting new species, in forests teeming with birds.

For the bird lovers: Black breasted Parrotbill, the White-belied Heron, Snowy-throated Babbler, Rufus -Vented Laughing thrush, Rufus-backed Sibia , Beautiful Nuthatch, Rufous-necked, great and wreathed hornbills, Black-necked crane, Emerald cuckoo , Blood pheasant, Monal, Ibisbill, Purple cochoa…our list goes on.

4. On a Tiger Trail

To look into the eyes of a tigress is a wonderful, truly mystical experience. For that instant, the elemental beast and you are one in soul and spirit, the tawny eyes staring deep into your very being. You are enraptured, unable to break your gaze, so totally in the moment. You are intensely aware of even a blade of grass moving, of the leaves falling around you, of the wild bird’s call. Yet, she has you enthralled; she is the only focus of your being. Such is the magic of a tigress sighting in the Bandhavgarh National Park.

For the wildlife enthusiasts: The elusive tiger, the sambhar, hyenas

5. The Borneo Jungles

The jungles of Borneo are reputed to be deep, dark and full of secrets. In the thick maze of tropical vegetation, head out to a sanctuary for the care and rehabilitation of orphaned or injured Orang-Utan.  From a vantage point you can watch an assortment of the endangered animals come to keep their appointment with their ten o’clock brunch of bananas and milk.

For the wildlife enthusiasts: Head out into Sabah Wildlife Reserve, go on a boat journey into the virgin mangroves  – a treat for bird lovers, watch the green turtles lay eggs and catch the crocodiles sunning themselves.

6. The South African wildlife trail

Discover, experience,explore a world of diversity in one Park

The wildlife sanctuary is a must do for every wildlife enthusiasts. Deep within the shadows of the dense valley bushveld of the Sundays River region of the Eastern Cape lies the Addo Elephant National Park. Here, the evenings are punctuated by the strident howl of the black-backed jackal, and the francolin’s call heralds each new dawn. Safe from relentless persecution in the past, the grey leviathans of the bush now roam in peace.

And if the Big Five is on your agenda – head out to Imfolozi Game Reserve.

For the wildlife enthusiasts: This  finely tuned ecosystem is sanctuary to over 550 elephants, lions, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, a variety of antelope and zebra species

Check out our next adventure in Masai Mara