The 15 Best Vacations For Animal Lovers

The 15 Best Vacations for Animal Lovers

If you love animals, you probably want them to play a big role in your vacation.

According to The Humane Society, 79.7 million people in the U.S. own a pet. But for some, owning a pet is rewarding, but it isn't enough. Many individuals would love to travel to exotic locations where they can view unique wildlife and satisfy their urge to be up close to animals.

*Related: How Owning a Pet Makes You Healthier

From extreme safaris to national reserves and guided excursions, the vacations on this list will not disappoint. In no particular order, with the help from, we have compiled a list of the 15 best vacations for animal lovers.

Rwanda, Africa

One of the greatest animal experiences on the planet can be found in Rwanda – Gorilla Trekking. Small groups are guided through the mountain forests and allowed to observe gorillas in their natural habitat. With only around 700 left in the world, this is truly a once in a lifetime experience.

Kaikoura, New Zealand

Although there are various locations all over the world where you can swim with dolphins, the Kaikoura experience is unlike any other. Expect to find yourself in the ocean with hundreds of dolphins swimming beside you, close enough to touch.

–For more things to do on vacation in New Zealand Click Here.

Tanzania, Singita Serengeti House

Stay at this exclusive retreat, built on the Sabi Sand Game Reserve for a thrilling safari experience. They have 12 lodges and camps in five wilderness regions across three African countries. It's the perfect vacation destination for families looking for adventure and an exclusive safari experience.

Maputaland, South Africa

Visit the Tembe Elephant Park for a unique elephant experience. Safari guides will ensure that they get you up close and personal with 250 of the largest elephants in the world. According to, "This park was initially set up to protect the elephants migrating between Maputaland and Mozambique from poaching."

Giraffe Manor, Kenya

Giraffe Manor is a unique hotel set on 12 acres of private land. It is frequently visited by giraffes. Throughout the day, look out for them as they will poke their necks into the windows of the hotel hoping you will give them a treat.

Pokhara, Nepal

Are you a thrill seeker? If yes, then this is the destination for you. Go parahawking in Pokhara. Fly with a trained bird of prey and watch as the birds land on your gloved hand mid-flight. This is not only an amazing experience but "all proceeds from the flights go straight to vulture conservation projects in Nepal," according to

Kadavu, Fiji

For one of the most thrilling aquatic experiences, go swimming with the Manta ray's in Kadavu. Manta rays have the ability to grow up to the size of seven meters in width. Swim up close and personal with one in Fiji's famous Manta Reef. Fiji is also one of the most spectacular places to view the sunrise in the world.

Invernesshire, Scotland

Dog lovers, this vacation destination is for you. Head to Scotland and celebrate puppies galore at the Golden Retriever Festival. Golden Retrievers and their owners travel from around the globe for this incredible event.

Botswana, South Africa

Every year, the wildlife of Botswana is forced to migrate to the Boteti River for water in order to survive. You will have the chance to view up to 25,000 zebras during what is known as one of the largest migrations in South Africa.

Finnmark, Norway

Explore the Norwegian landscape on a dog sledding experience. Sit back and let these dogs take you on a trip through the beauty of Norway. Explore the sights, and spot some local wildlife – polar foxes, seals and polar bears, just to name a few.


There are numerous places in China where you can have up-close Panda encounters. Sichuan specifically is home to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. They give tourists the opportunity to look around the facility and maybe even cuddle with a giant panda. Other great places for Panda encounters include the Beijing Zoo and Ocean Park in Hong Kong.

South Africa, Zarafa Camp

Go on an extreme safari in South Africa at the Zarafa Camp. This camp offers fully inclusive wildlife viewing activities. Early morning, late afternoon and early evening game viewing in open 4X4 vehicles are available, along with guided walks and cruises on the Zibadianja Lagoon.

Thailand, Elephant Nature Park

Nature and wildlife lovers, make Thailand your next vacation destination. Explore the Elephant Nature Park, an elephant rescue and rehabilitation center. Many of the elephants have been rescued from lives of neglect and deprivation. Visitors and volunteers are welcome to help care for the elephants.


There are tons of things to do on a vacation in the Bahamas. Go swimming with pigs in Big Major Cay or stay in the famous Atlantis Resort for a one in lifetime experience. Atlantis is home to one of the largest outdoor marine habitats in the world. It is comprised of more than 50,000 aquatic animals and 250 species.

Kelly, Wyoming

Visit one of the best national reserves in the world – the National Elk Refuge – on an adventurous vacation in Wyoming.  For more than 100 years this refuge has been aiming to provide, preserve and restore the winter habitat for Jackson Elk Herd and endangered species. The refuge consists of 24,700 acres of intermountain valley, 47 different mammals and nearly 175 species of birds. View up to 7,000 elk, bison, bighorn sheep, mule deer and more.