The World's Top Places For Animal Encounters

The World’s Top Places for Animal Encounters

Some people prefer to watch animals from afar, while others enjoy getting up close and personal. For those of you who want to get as close as possible, these places are for you.

From feeding giraffes in Kenya, to swimming with pigs in the Bahamas, and cuddling a panda in China, these destinations will not disappoint.

So get ready to get up close and personal with some of the world's most remarkable animals. These experiences are some you will never forget. Bring your camera and capture these moments, as you will want to remember them forever. You may even want to add a few more places to your bucket list.

Dubare Elephant Camp, India

Visit the Dubare Elephant Camp during the day for a 3-hour experience up close and personal with elephants.  Watch them as they are given a scrub-bath, as they are being fed, and experience the elephants as they obey commands, and take a 10 to 15 minute Elephant ride into the Dubare Reserve Forest.

Serengeti Plains, Tanzania

Serengeti National Park is one of the few places in Africa where the amount of lions is not declining. The best time to see them is between December and March. Take a safari style tour to view the lions.


Go swimming with pigs in the Bahamas! Or stay at the Atlantis Resort for a once in a lifetime experience. Atlantis has one of the largest outdoor marine habitats in the world, with more than 50,000 aquatic animals and 250 species. Other animals to look out for in the Bahamas include flamingos, dolphins, iguanas, and turtles.


Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda

Go on a Gorilla Trek in the Bwindi Forest to view mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. The gorillas can be seen year-round; however, tourists prefer visiting June to September and December to February (Bwindi National Park).


Have you always wanted to get up close to a cute cuddly panda? If so, I have some good news for you... just head to China. There are numerous places around China for incredible panda viewing. Some include the opportunity to volunteer and hold pandas at Dujiangyan Panda Base, see them at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center, the Beijing Zoo, Ocean Park in Hong Kong, and the Bifengxia Giant Panda Base.

Busch Gardens, Florida and Virginia

Grab a spot on an open-air touring vehicle and ride across the wild African Plain on the Serengeti Safari. Make sure you bring your camera, capture photos of hundreds of animals, get up close and personal with some and even feed a giraffe.

Caversham Wildlife Park, Australia

Caversham Wildlife Park is an exciting tourist attraction, and for good reason. Hand-feed Kangaroos, take pictures with koalas and join in on their interactive experiences. Other animals to look out for include the swamp wallaby, European red fox, northern blue-tongue lizards and black-headed pythons.

Churchill, Canada

See Polar bears in their natural habitat on a polar bear tour. Choose to tour on a tundra buggy and even stay overnight in a mobile tundra lodge. Bring your camera to capture photos of these beautiful polar bears in the wild.

Katmai National Park, Alaska

According to the National Park Service, "Katmai is one of the premier brown bear viewing areas in the world." There are about 2,000 brown bears estimated to inhabit the park. Make your way to Brooks Camp for some of the best viewing. There are three viewing platforms along the river that offer spectacular wildlife viewing.

Giraffe Manor, Kenya

Giraffe manor is a unique hotel set on 12 acres of private land that is frequently visited by giraffes. Morning and evening they poke their necks into the windows of the hotel hoping you will give them a treat. (See: The Best Active Adventures to do in Kenya)


Stingray City, Cayman Islands

Experience snorkeling like you may never have before. Visit Stingray City – touch, feed and swim with stingrays. Also, explore the Stingray City Sandbar where you can swim freely with the stingrays in only three feet of water.