Last Updated on March 11, 2023 by Hassan Abbas
Unwind in style: luxury wildlife escapes for 2023
There are few better ways to restore both mind and spirit than a wildlife escape that combines luxury with superb wildlife sightings and environments. Here are just a few destinations for you to consider as you plan your next luxury getaway:
#1 – British Columbia, Canada
British Columbia is considered a top luxury wildlife destination due to its diverse and abundant wildlife, stunning natural scenery, and access to world-class amenities and service. The province offers unique opportunities to see species such as grizzly bears, wolves, whales, sea otters and bald eagles in their natural habitats, while also providing luxury lodges, resorts and guided tours.
Additionally, British Columbia has several national and provincial parks, such as the Pacific Rim National Park and the Great Bear Rainforest. The latter attracts huge concentrations of grizzly bears during the autumn when the rivers are literally leaping with tempting salmon! You’ll be able to enjoy boat excursions, guided shore walks, sail the fjords, or visit a hot spring. You can also explore the rainforest and beautiful wildflower meadows with a naturalist, or go kayaking or fishing.
#2 – Alladale Wilderness Reserve, Sutherland, Scottish Highlands
With dramatic glens, pristine rivers teeming with brown trout, and beautiful heather-clad hills, Alladale’s rugged beauty will delight you! The Reserve is involved in one of Scotland’s most extensive rewilding projects. This involves the restoration of its peatlands, native tree planting, outdoor learning programs for young adults, and many other wildlife projects. For instance, you’ll be able to see some of the critically endangered Scottish wildcats in a captive breeding enclosure from where they will be released back into the wild. The Reserve offers visitors a choice of its three fully catered luxury lodges, as well as a self-catered option in a beautiful and remote lodge. Wi-Fi is available and activities include trout fishing, ranger tours, walking, hiking, golf, mountain biking, snooker and billiards.
#3 – The Białowieża Forest, Poland
The Białowieża Forest is a prime example of an old-growth, temperate forest that is home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna. It is the last remaining primeval forest in lowland Europe. It’ll offer you a truly unique and immersive wildlife experience. Centuries-old trees grow here in this World Heritage Site and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
This ancient forest was saved from logging, thus becoming a refuge for hundreds of birds, animals, fungi and insects. Rare woodpeckers and pygmy owls have been spotted here, as well as wolves, lynx, elk and otters. Most significantly, it became the world’s last refuge for the largest European land mammal – the bison. The nearly extinct European bison has been successfully reintroduced here and it’s estimated that about 800 of these massive beasts currently inhabit the Białowieża Forest.
Visitors can enjoy a range of eco-tourism experiences, including guided hikes, and wildlife and birdwatching. The Forest is also a popular destination for researchers and scientists who study the ecology and biodiversity of temperate forests. While it is not a luxury destination in the traditional sense, excellent accommodations are available in hotels, apartments and guesthouses in the area.
#4 – The Sabi Sands, Greater Kruger, South Africa
There are many compelling reasons why the Sabi Sands is considered one of the best places on the planet for a luxury wildlife escape! As part of the Greater Kruger National Park, it has a high density of wildlife which includes the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino. In fact, its predator sightings are unrivaled, particularly its leopard sightings. These normally elusive cats are often seen here in spectacular sightings.
With no fences between the private reserves and the Greater Kruger,
wildlife viewing is unrestricted. All the animals enjoy free movement through the diverse landscapes of savanna grasslands, riverine forests and mountainous terrains.
And finally, visitors have access to some of the best safari lodges in the Sabi Sands. These top-rated luxury lodges offer superb service, amenities and cuisine. Their experienced and knowledgeable guides will make sure you enjoy a unique and intimate luxury wildlife experience.
#5 – Spain
Spain is a superb destination for your next luxury wildlife escape! With its pleasant climate and 16 national parks, Spain will offer you excellent opportunities to observe many wildlife species in their natural habitats. These include Iberian ibex, lynx, wolves, and migratory birds such as flamingos and storks. Rewilding projects in Spain have seen the successful reintroduction of the Iberian lynx, the Spanish imperial eagle and the endangered purple swamphen. Wetlands, deciduous forests, alpine meadows and steppes are just some of the diverse habitats to explore.
Numerous eco-resorts and lodges provide guests with stylish accommodations while still allowing them to be immersed in the natural surroundings. You’ll be able to enjoy activities like bird- and butterfly-watching, nature explorations, wildlife photography, and guided nature walks. The delicious regional cuisine and wines will tantalize your tastebuds!
#6 – Portugal
Portugal boasts a diverse range of natural habitats, including forests, wetlands, and coastlines. The country’s nature reserves will ensure you’ll see many bird species, like flamingos, storks, ducks, geese, bullfinches, eagles and European honey buzzards. Dolphins, whales, and seals frequent its waters. Iberian wolves, lynxes, wildcats, European otters, deer, and wild boars are all found here. Portugal is also home to the fascinating little Iberian/Pyrenean desman, a globally threatened species.
Excellent accommodations and amenities are provided by luxury eco-resorts and lodges that also offer guided wildlife tours, along with other activities such as hiking, surfing, and whale watching.
Can’t wait to set off on your next wildlife escape? Who can blame you with all these superb wildlife destinations to choose from?
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