Must Do Wildlife Destinations Beyond Africa

Updated: Jan 14, 2019

For exploring exotic wildlife, Africa is a global destination. With promises of sighting the “Big 5”—African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard, and rhinoceros—in their natural habitats, many travelers aim to achieve the safari experience across many of the vast game reserves in Tanzania, Botswana, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa and more.

But with all that Africa has to offer, there are many, many other destinations that will delight wildlife enthusiasts from Peru to Borneo and even Norway—with its lively population of Polar Bears and Reindeer.

We’ve compiled our Tribu Top 10 wildlife encounters to share some of our favorite safari alternatives and destinations around the globe that should not be missed for those seeking to explore the expansive natural world.

10. Costa Rica

Custom vacation wildlife adventure - Costa Rica rainforest with frogs, toucan, sloth

It’s known for its rainforest and widely varied terrain from beach to jungle, but Costa Rica is also mecca of wildlife including sloths, monkeys, frogs and dozens and dozens of bird species.

Head to the Oso Peninsula, off Costa Rica’s western coast near Panama, to visit the home to 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity including many endangered species among them. A colorful array of creatures gravitates to Costa Rica’s lush climate making it a true treasure trove of aquatic and marine life.

Here, you will find mammals from many types of monkeys to sloths and bats; hundreds of bird species such as scarlet macaw, chestnut mandible toucan and the black-cheeked ant-tananger; lizards; frogs; insects; and marine species.

Other common sightings include pump, jaguarundi, ocelot and margay, jaguar, weasel, armadillo, possums, otter, mice, rats, agouti, paca, skunk, crocodile, snakes, sea turtles, dolphins, whales and more.

 9. Antarctica

Custom wildlife adventure vacation- penguins in Antarctica

Not often thought of as a wildlife expedition due to its inhabitable climate for humans, the least visited continent may not support human life, but it is home to some exquisite animal species, led by the Emperor Penguin.

The largest of penguin species on earth, Emperors have adapted to Antarctica’s extremely harsh climate, where the wind chill factor can bring temps well below 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the coldest part of the year. Here, they huddle to conserve and protect the group’s collective warmth through particular group behaviors. Visitors during the extended two-month hunting season will find Emperor Penguins out on the ice forging for fish, squid and other small ocean life. These amazing animals are equipped to dive nearly 2,000 feet and can remain underwater for more than 20 minutes. They are a wonder in their natural environment, which can be explored by Antarctic cruise and excursions, alongside many other arctic species such as seals, sea lions, birds, bears and more.

8. Norway & Svalbard