Seeing an exotic animal residing peacefully in its natural habitat for the first time is an experience that can hardly be described with words. From an intimate swim alongside giant tortoises in the Galapagos Islands to a trek through the Ugandan forest to track mountain gorillas, when you travel with the JG Black Book Collection, the opportunities to witness a destination’s endemic species are endless. We’ve compiled a list of some of the top exotic animals you must see when you travel around the world with us.
Kenya’s Exotic Animals with The Elewana Collection: Three of the fifteen Elewana properties are located in the northern region of Kenya, where you find some of the country’s most endemic species: Grevy’s zebra, gerenuk, reticulated giraffe and kudu. Each day offers the opportunity to head on a game drive from Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp in Laikipia, Elewana Elsa’s Kopje in Meru or Elewana Lewa Safari Camp to experience the beautiful landscape and to see some of these rare and incredible animals.
The Grevy’s zebra are different from common zebra as they are taller, have narrower stripes, larger rounded ears and have a white underbelly. As the most threatened type of zebra, it is estimated that there are less than 2,500 Grevy’s zebras still living in the wild. In early 2018, Elewana will be taking part in the world’s second census, which will attempt to count the remaining numbers in the wild along with the first-ever census of the reticulated giraffe. The reticulated giraffe, also known as the Somali giraffe, is a subspecies of giraffe native to the Horn of Africa. The reticulated giraffe stands out with their brown-orange markings separated by thick white lines. There are approximately 8,500 of them living in the wild.
The Mighty Giant of The Galapagos with Condor Travel: Although there are many amazing animal species around the world, there’s no doubt that one of the most fascinating is found in Ecuador. The Galapagos Giant Tortoise, as its name proclaims, lives in the breathtaking Galapagos Islands, where its habitat has been established for over 2 million years. This giant turtle, which has around 14 sub-species, can weigh over 300 kg and measure over 4 feet in length! With a life expectancy of no less than 100 years, this captivating specimen, thanks to its natural reserve system, can survive for an entire year without food and water. Swimming along with a Giant Tortoise through the crystal-clear waters of the Galapagos Islands is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience, which you will get to enjoy thanks to one of Condor Travel’s many tours to the islands. Don’t miss the opportunity to spend time with this long-standing and mesmerizing wildlife specimen.
White Lions with Micato Safaris: The 33,000 acres of Singita Kruger National Park in South Africa are an isolated haven of untroubled wilderness, where a unique and species-rich wildlife population thrives across four distinct ecological zones. Perhaps the rarest find here is a particular white lion that several Micato Safaris guests have reported seeing. Micato Safari Director George Meyer spotted him recently, as evidenced by this splendid photo above!
Mountain Gorillas with Volcanoes Safaris: The critically endangered mountain gorilla lives in four parks in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Guests of Volcanoes Safaris can trek to see the gorillas with a stay at either the newly renovated Volcanoes Safaris Bwindi Lodge or at Volcanoes Safaris Mount Gahinga Lodge – a truly life-changing experience! Uganda has twelve habituated gorilla families with eight permits available daily for each family group. In Rwanda, the gorillas can be tracked in the Parc National des Volcans (PNV), just a 40 minute drive from Volcanoes Safaris Virunga Lodge, where the famous Primatologist Dian Fossey conducted her groundbreaking research!
pc: Dudhwa Tiger Reserve
Bengal Tigers & More at The Ultimate Travelling Camp: The Ultimate Travelling Camp is expanding its footprint with the launch of a rebranded luxury lodge experience – Jaagir Lodge Dudhwa, nestled deep in the rainforests of the Terai, Uttar Pradesh, India. Within close proximity of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, the lodge is a witness to the long-standing Bengal Tiger conservation program, ‘Project Tiger’, championed by well-known conservationist, Billy Arjan Singh. It is home to few critically endangered species like tigers, Indian one-horned rhinoceros, Ganges river dolphins and fishing cats.
As one of the few protected areas in the country, Dudwa is inhabited by 38 species of mammals, 90 species of fish, and some 500 species of birds! As if that wasn’t impressive enough, the park is famous for tiger spotting and also home to half of the world’s 4,000 swamp deer, Indian crocodile, wild elephants and one of the best places in the world for seeing the gharial in its natural habitat! So be prepared to spot exotic animals galore on your next adventure to The Ultimate Travelling Camp’s Jaagir Lodge!
Dolphin Watching & Snorkeling at The Chedi Muscat: Adventure and go beyond The Chedi Muscat’s tropical gardens and sublime seashore! The property’s concierge team can arrange a variety of tours and trips, like dolphin watching, where you can experience the power, grace and speed of dolphins in their natural environment. As you dolphin watch, you are likely to see some of the following types of dolphins that visit Oman: Indian Ocean Dolphins, Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins, Common Bottlenose Dolphins, Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins, Rough-toothed Dolphins, Pantropical Spotted Dolphins, Striped Dolphins, Spinner Dolphins, and Long-Beaked Common Dolphins.
Continue your journey by moving to a secluded bay where you can snorkel in the warm waters and be amazed by the sights and colors of the corals, green turtles and fish! Whatever you want from your stay, The Chedi Muscat’s concierge team is on hand to help you arrange tours and activities to make your holiday as enjoyable as possible.
Black-Necked Cranes at Gangtey Lodge: The black-necked cranes of Bhutan are some of the most mysterious birds revered as a symbol of longevity, and the Phobjikha Valley, where the award-winning Gangtey Lodge is located, is one of the best places for bird-lovers to spot this amazing species, as over 10% of the world’s total population gather here.
Their annual migration is a cause for great celebration as residents mark the passing of another year against the arrival of these famously long-living birds. The annual Black-necked Crane Festival is celebrated in the courtyard of Gangtey Gonpa on November 11. Taking place annually since 1998, the festival features cultural and mask dances, short plays about the cranes as well as exhibitions. This festival is organized to generate awareness and understanding on the importance of conserving the endangered black‐necked cranes; to strengthen the linkages between conservation, economic welfare and sustainable livelihoods of the community; to provide an avenue for the local community to renew their commitment to conservation of the black-necked cranes and to showcase their cultural heritage and skills. If you haven’t attended the annual Black-necked Crane Festival yet, be sure to experience this event next year during your stay at Gangtey Lodge!