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Our top 5 wildlife destinations

Travel Advice

Recently there was a small news story about a National Geographic photographer who is on a quest to photograph every species of penguin on the planet. Doug Gimesy has a Masters of Environment and Bioethics and has studied and loved Antarctica for decades. Sea sickness stopped him from travelling there until three years ago when he decided life was too short to let this get in the way, and after visiting Antarctica he set his goal.

Over the last three years he has travelled far and photographed nearly half the species. His next journeys are to the Galapagos and South Africa. His travels have taken him to the West Coast of New Zealand, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Australia and Chile.

The pictures he has taken are staggeringly beautiful and expertly capture these beautiful creatures in breath-taking locations. Looking through them is enough to inspire anyone to travel, and what better way to discover some of the planet's most extraordinary wildlife than on an expedition cruise where you can reach untouched shores with minimal human impact.

There are a number of destinations around the globe which are home to rare and wonderful animals, the sight of which will leave you with unforgettable memories. We have picked our top five.

In the number one slot are Antarctica and South Georgia which boast a staggering array of wildlife including Rockhopper, Chinstrap, Macaroni, Adelie, Gentoo and King Penguins and well as huge colonies of Southern Fur Seals and Elephant Seals. Itineraries from Ushuaia range from between 10 days exploring solely the Antarctic Peninsula to around 18 days for a longer voyage incorporating the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

At number two, a warmer voyage with equally impressive wildlife spotting opportunities: the Galapagos is a must visit destination. Home to a huge range of unique wildlife completely unphased by human visitors, here you'll see the famous giant tortoise, marine iguanas, playful sea lions and even, if you take a Western Islands itinerary, the Galapagos penguin. The islands are also home to a huge variety of birds most notably the bluefooted booby, as well as the flightless cormorant. Choose from different seven night itineraries for their varied scenery and wildlife.

The Russian Far East at number three is a bird-watcher's dream come true, with the chance to see, amongst others, the Steller's Sea Eagle, and the incredibly rare short-tailed albatross. Add to this Arctic foxes, the Kamchatka brown bear and humpback and grey whales and you begin to understand why, for the wildlife enthusiast, this would be the perfect trip.

If seeing whales in the wild is a lifetime ambition we recommend at number four the Sea of Cortez where, during the months of January, February and March grey whales arrive at Magdalena Bay to calve, with magical sightings of mothers and young. Or travel to Alaska in the summer (June to August) for a chance to witness humpback whales bubble net feeding. Both areas can be explored by small ship on 7 night itineraries.

Finally for those who wish to see polar bears in the wild, Svalbard, one of the last major European wilderness areas. is home to approximately 3,000 and a number of round trip journeys from Longyearbyen will provide the opportunity of seeing these powerful hunters, not to mention walrus and whales, amongst the ice sheets, picturesque glaciers and pristine mountains.

With a huge range of expedition cruise lines and itineraries available, why not speak to us and discuss the wildlife adventure of a lifetime you're looking for.

Alex Loizou
Meet the author

Alex is Director of Sales & Marketing at Mundy Adventures

More about Alex

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