Travelers are becoming more sophisticated, but while one is attracted by the drive of megalopolises, others, on the contrary, dream of escaping from the city and meeting wildlife. “Around the World” tells about 7 places on the planet, where the flora and fauna has been preserved almost in its original form.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Do you want to meet with the most diverse representatives of the animal world during one trip? Then pack your bags and go to the Galapagos. Fur seals, giant turtles, funny boobies and miniature penguins feel at home on the islands, but they are always welcome.
Already on the second day, the enthusiastic “wow” at the sight of each iguana here gives way to a relaxed “oh, just an iguana.” The Galapagos Islands are good because everyone here will be interested. Love diving and snorkeling – the underwater world will not disappoint you. You love birds – just imagine pink flamingos, pelicans protecting their eggs, freedom-loving albatrosses and miniature penguins jumping out of the water, like ping-pong balls, and so on. You can not afford expensive excursions – in Galapagos you can find entertainment right on the island where you stayed. Sunsets, lava tunnels, endemic cliffs, turtle farms, beaches, cliffs, fish markets, where iguanas snatch food from fur seals, and seals from pelicans – the daily and affordable reality of Galapagos holidays.
The Galapagos archipelago is conveniently based on the islands of Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristobal, from where you can make forays to nearby places of interest.
Getting there: flights to the islands are from the Ecuadorian cities of Quito and Guayaquil. The cost of the ticket is about $ 400 round trip.
How much it costs: for entering the national park you will have to pay $ 100, the cost of excursions varies from $ 40 for half a day with lunch and snorkeling to $ 180 for a full day with meals and a visit to the island of North Seymour, Plazas or volcanic Bartolome.
African National Parks, Kenya and Tanzania
If you want to see large animals in their natural habitat, then a safari in the national parks of Masai Mara, Serengeti and Amboseli – this is what will fit perfectly. People come here primarily to see the so-called “big five”: lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino, as well as giraffes, hippopotamuses, marabou, zebras, hyenas, cheetahs and other bright representatives of African fauna.
Christchurch – Greymouth, New Zealand
Many aspire to get into the Serengeti, Masai-Mar and Ngorongoro national parks during the “great migration” period, when hundreds of thousands of antelopes and zebras stumble into countless herds to make the transition to new pastures, which, alas, are not destined to be completed for everyone: someone predators eat, someone dies trampled by his comrades, and someone fights off the group and dies. The spectacle is striking not only by its scale, but also by the realization that the whole essence of natural selection and the struggle for survival is concentrated in this picture.
The beauty of an African safari is that you can visit several national parks in one week and see a variety of animals. In the jeep safari does not leave the thought of the unreality of what is happening, it seems that every morning the Rangers carefully “arrange” animals in the endless parks to please the tourists, but no, everything is for real here.
The lion family dogging the remnants of a juicy buffalo, hippopotamuses bathing in the swamp, an impressive but harmless rhino chewing grass, as well as cosmic landscapes, the starry sky overhead, the original Masai and the atmosphere of the exotic continent during the journey will become your new reality.
Getting there: fly to Nairobi (Kenya) or Dar es Salaam (Tanzania). Most safaris involve meeting at the airport. If the purpose of the trip is “great migration”, then the best periods to visit Africa are from July to October and from December to March.
How much it costs: Contrary to the concerns of tourists, the cost of a safari is not exorbitant. An economy version, where 6-7 other passengers will be with you in a jeep safari, will cost $ 150 per day with meals and all expenses. The price of exclusive individual luxury safaris can reach $ 1000 per day. It all depends on the route and service: you can sleep in a simple but comfortable tent with dinner by the fire, and you can sleep in luxurious cottages with a pool. The choice is yours, it will be interesting everywhere.
Gorilla Reserves, Rwanda and Uganda
Gorillas in their natural habitat can be seen in only three countries in the world – in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Earlier, due to the proximity of the national park to the airport and more comfortable conditions of observation, tours to Rwanda were popular with travelers, but in 2017, local authorities raised prices for so-called permits, or access to national parks twice from $ 750 to $ 1,500. the most significant increase in the cost of travel. Uganda has become a more budget option.
Today, there are just over 1000 mountain gorillas in the world. This is not much, but it is worth remembering that back in 1981 the population of gorillas numbered only 250 individuals. In Uganda, you can see gorillas in the forests of Bwindi and Mgahing National Parks. Also on a journey through one of these parks you can meet golden monkeys, visit the Batwa tribes and admire the view of the Virunga volcanic chain.
Travelers will have to climb across wooded hills and mountains in search of gorillas, but the effort is worth it, because fatigue instantly disappears when the gorilla family comes into view.
Getting there: The most convenient option is to fly to the capital of Rwanda, Kigali.
How much it costs: prices for a four-day tour with full board, transportation and guide services start at $ 3,000 in Rwanda and from $ 2,300 in Uganda.
Northern National Parks, Alaska, USA
In Alaska, you can see another “big five” of animals: elk, reindeer, wild sheep, grizzly bear and gray wolf. However, the main living attraction of Alaska is, of course, bears!
The most famous park in Alaska is Denali, where you can not only take a day trip to the bears and other inhabitants of the northern region, but also go on a separate trekking tour. Keep in mind that there are no paths in the park, moreover, if you are going to walk here, you need to take permission from the Rangers and get a “magic box” that will hide the smell of your food from bears.
It is believed that as soon as a bear has tried human food, it becomes dangerous for people. As if drunk, he begins to search for the products he likes, which leads him to the parking places of a person. Such a bear is doomed to death. Except in such cases, to meet a bear in the park is a common thing. It is important to remember that you can not approach bears with babies. The most favorable months for observing bears in Alaska’s national parks are from July to August.
Getting there: A valid US visa is required. Starting point – Anchorage, where the planes fly from some European and American cities.
How much it costs: in the national parks of Lake Clark and Katmai will have to fly from Anchorage. The cost of a 10-12-hour excursion with a flight will be $ 500-800 per person. For the same money, you can take a three-day tour of Denali Park.
For the northern nature, but to the very south: Antarctica
One of the most difficult places on the planet attracts adventure lovers and adventurers with remoteness and beautiful wildlife, which is why many cruises to Antarctica are sold out several years in advance. However, if you have no time limit, you can catch the budget options (the so-called last minute deals ) at the last moment.
Majestic icebergs, penguin colonies, six species of seals, as well as a variety of bird species (albatrosses, petrels, gulls, skuas and others), as well as ten species of cetaceans, including humpback whales and killer whales found in local waters, are what awaits an amateur Wildlife in Antarctica.
Antarctica is also an opportunity to feel the discoverer, crossing the troubled Drake Strait and passing by the Disconsolate Islands .
Most desperate travelers can go snorkeling, diving and freediving in the company of whales and dangerous sea leopards in Antarctica.
How to get there: cruises to Antarctica start from the Argentine port of Ushuaia in the very south of the continent, where several flights a day depart from the Argentine capital Buenos Aires.
How much it costs: the cost of a 10-day cruise starts at $ 8,000, at the last minute you can buy a “burning” cruise for $ 3,000–4,000.
Juicy Tropics, Costa Rica
Costa Rica is one of the most popular countries in Central America in terms of the richness and diversity of wildlife. It is considered the safest in the region and due to its compactness and sufficient Americanization (the dollars are in circulation here along with the local currency column) allows you to cover many interesting places in one trip.
The main attractions of the country are the national parks, the Arenal Volcano, where you can see lava at night, hot thermal springs, cloudy forests with hummingbirds and butterflies, but the main goal of most tourists are turtles and sloths.
In Costa Rica, in the village with the speaking name Tortuguero (Spanish Tortuguero – literally “turtle”) from June to October you can watch the mass nesting of green turtles. Green sea turtles come ashore at night to lay eggs. Alas, only 2 out of 10,000 sea turtles live to adulthood, so it is extremely important to follow the requirements of local rangers and not use the flash while watching turtles.
Leatherback turtles are the largest modern species in the world, their length reaches 2.5 meters, the weight of an adult can approach a ton, and instead of a shell they have thick skin. See how hundreds of babies of such turtles hatch from eggs and run towards the ocean – a unique opportunity that you can use in Costa Rica.
Getting there: you can fly to the capital of Costa Rica San Jose from Russia with transfers in Europe, but sometimes it is easier to find a budget option with docking in the US, although this requires a valid US visa.
How much it costs: many tours and walks take only a couple of hours and cost between $ 30 and $ 60.
Marsupia continent, Australia
Australia is a country where Russians have a long and expensive journey, but true wildlife lovers necessarily include this continent in their list of their wildest desires. This is quite natural, because in Australia you can see a lot of marsupials in their natural habitat: Tasmanian devils, possums, koalas and, of course, kangaroos. And for this it is not necessary to go to some kind of park or other special place: a kangaroo can easily jump onto the track in front of your car.
Australia also has one of the modern wonders of the world – the Great Barrier Reef. Here turtles and sharks abound, and colorful fish scurry around the bright coral gardens in huge flocks.
In Australia, the dreams of those who are dreaming about a personal meeting with fluffy koalas come true. To do this, tourists travel to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve near Canberra, on Phillip Island near Melbourne or Janchep National Park in Western Australia.
In addition, more than 300 species of birds live in Australia, including emu and kukabar.
Getting there: The most accessible way for Russians to fly to Australia is via China, but you can reach the Green Continent via other Asian connection points, for example, via Bangkok, Singapore or Hong Kong.
How much it costs: tours to the Great Barrier Reef start from Cairns, the cost of a one-day snorkeling tour is $ 100-150. costs from $ 100