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8 Best Places to See Wildlife in the U.S.

By Tyler Moss

Image may contain Animal and Reptile

In Swahili, the word safari means “journey” or “trip.” Yet in English, the term implies an African tour with the express purpose of observing native fauna—lions, elephant, antelopes, oh my! But if you wanted to see the United States’ "Big Eight" in their natural habitat, where would you go? Here, eight destinations (and the creatures therein) across the country.

Image may contain Grassland Outdoors Field Nature Animal Cow Mammal Cattle Countryside Meadow Farm and Rural

To see bison : Custer State Park, South Dakota

Located in western South Dakota among the Black Hills, Custer State Park provides a peaceful home for America’s “First National Mammal” (thus named by President Obama in 2016). Herds of bison—more than 1,000 strong, in total—wander the grounds, munching on ample rangeland. Visit in autumn to witness the annual Buffalo Roundup , where cowboys initiate a stampede to corral the 1,400-pound animals to sort and brand them; or visit year-round to view the bison from the safety of a jeep tour.

Image may contain Animal Wildlife Mammal Bear and Brown Bear

To see Kodiak bears : Kodiak archipelago, Alaska

Full of fjords, towering mountains, and glacial valleys, the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 for the specific purpose of protecting Kodiaks, the largest subspecies of brown bear. Today, the 1.9 million acres of protected land serve as the habitat for some 3,000 bears, which are best seen in summer months—when the temperatures aren’t frigid and the Kodiaks aren’t deep in hibernation—via local groups like Kodiak Wildlife Tours .

Image may contain Animal Wildlife Mammal Antelope Deer Elk and Moose

To see moose : Northern Maine

The Pine Tree State has the largest population of moose in the mainland U.S., with estimates near 75,000. The Maine Highlands and Aroostook County in the north provide more remote areas specifically worth exploring—especially from May through the fall, when moose are more prone to wander. Increase your odds of spotting the shy giants by booking a tour, like one with Northeast Whitewater , where you can observe moose from a canoe alongside a registered tour guide.

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To see alligators : the Everglades, Florida

Both American alligators and crocodiles can be found in Everglades National Park, the only place in the world the species cohabitate in the wild. Still, gators—who prefer freshwater marshes and swamps, but can also thrive in the brackish Glades—are the more plentiful species. With males growing up to 15 feet in length, and females up to ten feet, these massive reptiles won’t be hard to spot with the help of a guide (like those at Down South Airboat Tours ). To avoid clouds of mosquitoes, impromptu thunderstorms, and insufferable humidity, think about visiting the Everglades outside of the summer months, as the gators can be seen year-round.

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To see bald eagles : Klamath Basin, California/Oregon border

The bald eagle has served as an official symbol of the U.S. since the Continental Congress put it on the Great Seal in 1782. Today, one of the best places to catch the majestic birds in action is the Upper Klamath Basin, which straddles the Oregon/California border. Plan a trip between November and March, when bald eagles flock for feeding. Before you go, check with the Klamath Basin Audubon Society for information on upcoming birding trips with expert guides.

Image may contain Animal Dolphin Mammal Sea Life Fish and Shark

To see dolphins : Oahu’s West Coast, Hawaii

Unlike the other animals in this list, which are best viewed from a distance, travelers can get up close and personal with the dolphins that congregate off the western coast of Oahu. (If you don't want to leave your beach chair, though, the jumping spinner dolphins—present in the waters year-round—can even be seen some days from shore.) For a truly immersive experience, consider an eco-friendly boat excursion with a group like Wild Side Specialty Tours , where you can swim with a pod after some simple training.

Image may contain Animal Wildlife Mammal Mountain Goat Goat and Sheep

To see mountain goats : Glacier National Park, Montana

What can jump 12 feet in a single bound—and will trek up to 15 miles to lick a natural salt deposit? Chances are the snow-white mountain goat was not your first guess, but these nimble creatures that wander the steep cliffs of Glacier National Park are well-worth your attention. Plan your expedition with the resources available from the National Park Service, and aim to go between May and October, when trails are least likely to be obstructed by snow. A good place to start? Logan Pass, via Going-to-the-Sun Road, where the goats are especially prevalent.

Image may contain Animal Bird Mammal Sea Life Sea Lion Ocean Outdoors Nature Sea and Water

To see elephant seals : Point Reyes National Seashore, California

In the heat of mating season (December through March), up to 2,500 elephant seals crowd the beaches of the Point Reyes National Seashore, about an hour and a half north of San Francisco . Named after their short, elephant-like snout, these marine creatures can weigh as much as 5,500 pounds. Prior to visiting, check for seasonal closures , as some beaches overrun with seals may have restricted access—although you can still view the pinnipeds from a distance at the Elephant Seal Overlook, near Chimney Rock.

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The best places to see wildlife around the world, according to the people behind Planet Earth III

By Olivia Morelli

Elephants in a landscape

David Attenborough ’s BBC Planet Earth series has been gracing our small screens for the last 17 years – and we’re still as obsessed now as we ever were. The first episode of Planet Earth II , featuring racer snakes chasing a baby iguana, has been hailed as one of the greatest wildlife moments humans have ever captured, and other sequences are equally awe-inspiring, from the hairy survival tactics of penguin chicks to decadent mating rituals of birds of paradise. To celebrate the release of Planet Earth III (on BBC One and iPlayer at 6.15pm on Sunday 22 October 2023), we asked the people behind the show – producers, directors, researchers and camera operators – about their favourite places in the world to see wildlife.


African National Parks in Zakouma, Chad

Kiri Cashell, Producer and Director, Deserts and Grasslands

"This has to be Africa’s most exciting safari destination – a place where you can see one of the most remarkable wildlife gatherings on the continent. Home to vast concentrations of game and birds, here you have the familiarity of the big 5, but with a variety seen almost nowhere else. One of the headline attractions is the giant herds of elephants, some of the biggest in central Africa . To see 550 individuals grouped together is a jaw-dropping moment for even the most seasoned safari traveller. We chose to film here for Planet Earth III to showcase this rare spectacle, but also to highlight the incredible place that is Zakouma – it has come from the brink of destruction to be a model of modern wildlife conservation. In 2010, the government of Chad invited NGO African Parks to take over management, as the poaching in the area was so out of control that Zakouma’s renowned elephant population was at risk of obliteration. Through a strong emphasis on security, stability and local communities, the park has become a stronghold for many species that are endangered or extinct in other parts of central and west Africa. It is a beacon of hope for conservation, and by taking a responsible holiday here, you too can become part of Zakouma’s success story.”

What you will see: Elephants, game and birds. Where to stay : Depending on your budget, there are two options. Stay at Tinga Camp for a more affordable trip, or make the most of their luxury fly camp, Camp Nomade – situated on the best viewing plains, chefs from Michelin-star restaurants cook for you under the stars every night. Remember that access to this park is only during the dry season (December – May), as it is inaccessible due to flooding for the rest of the year.

portrait of a large black cat

Pousada Trijuncao, Brazil

Tom Greenhalgh, Assistant Producer and Director

"This property sits in the heart of the Brazilian Cerrado, the most biodiverse savannah on earth. It is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever filmed. Join expert guides from world-renowned ecotourism and research organisation Oncafari , and search for rare maned wolves using radio telemetry – the chances to see one are good! You can spot many of the 250 bird species that are found here, and you can kayak in search of dwarf caiman on a misty lake. Tapir can be seen during the cool early mornings, and the research team are now also tracking jaguars, including a large melanistic (black colour morph) male. A wildlife rehabilitation centre on-site aims to reintroduce tapirs, deer, rhea, peccary and other Cerrado creatures back into the wild. It is a good chance to get up close to these unusual creatures. Sustainable tourism is the main goal here and local produce is used to produce delicious meals. For a different and breathtaking wildlife experience, I can’t recommend this place more."

What you will see: maned wolves and black jaguar Where to stay: Pousada Trijuncao is stunning and you will be surrounded by colourful birds and marmosets. Maned wolves have even been spotted by the swimming pool !

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The Okavango Delta in Botswana

Charlotte Bostock, Producer and Director, Freshwater

“For me, the best place to watch wildlife is the Okavango Delta in Botswana . Out of the places I have visited, it feels like the last remaining ‘true’ wilderness. What struck me the most was the utter peace – you can go a whole day without seeing many vehicles or hearing any anthropogenic noise. I was lucky enough to spend five weeks there filming the wild dog hunt for the Planet Earth III Freshwater episode and had the most incredible wildlife encounters. One memorable experience was lying in bed, looking through the canvas mesh of my tent to see a herd of elephants feeding in front of me under a full moon. Another was having the wild dogs chase an impala through our camp just before we were about to have our dinner. There is a huge diversity of wildlife due to the habitat – the birding is fantastic, as is the megafauna – huge herds of elephants and buffalo are encountered frequently, and we also had regular sightings of lions and leopards.”

What you will see : Wild dogs, elephants, impala, buffalo, birds, lions and leopards

Where to stay: Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge is an off-grid lodge in the private Chitabe concession, with twice-daily game drives good for regular sightings of lion, cheetah, wild dog, red lechwe and elephant.

sandy islands in a bright blue ocean

The Maldives

Steve Greenwood, Producer and Director, Heroes

“If you want to see spectacular wildlife, go to a coral reef. My favourite destination of all is The Maldives . All life is there, from the psychedelic-coloured nudibranchs, the extraordinary shoals of fish and the divine manta rays to the incredible top predators: the sharks (but don’t worry – they are totally safe). If you don’t scuba dive, then snorkelling is also fantastic. Some people stay on resorts, others on liveaboard boats, but you can also stay on many of the islands. This lets you get a taste of village life (as long as you don’t mind doing without alcohol). We stayed on the island of Fulidhoo and when we weren’t diving we made some great friends with the people who live there."

What you will se e: Coral reefs, nudibranchs, shoals of fish, manta rays, whale sharks Where to stay: There are plenty of small eco-lodges across the islands, but if you’re looking for a fancier stay the InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort has a host of wildlife watching activities and excursions you can book.

a portrait of a puffin standing on grass with sea behind

Pembrokeshire, Cornwall, West Coast of Scotland

Matt Brandon, Series Producer

“We often overlook locations in the UK , yet they are amongst the most spectacular in the world. Of course, the weather can be changeable, but that’s part of the charm. On sunny days, the UK coast rivals anywhere in the world. As a family, we have spent many happy, rainy, windswept days playing in the surf during the day and then huddling up around the fire at a campsite or a cosy pub to refuel. When taking a break from our busy Planet Earth filming schedule, this is my favourite place to wind down, take some time out, and explore the landscapes."

What you will see : Beautiful beaches , coastal walks, seals and dolphins, basking sharks and sea birds. Where to stay: There are plenty of campsites you can book. If you'd rather not camp, look at some of the UK's loveliest Airbnbs , or consider renting a holiday home with friends to share the cost. Summer and early autumn (when the sea is at its warmest) are the best times to visit.

woman chest high in brown water on location holding tv production equipment

Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica

Abigail Brown, Assistant Producer

“We filmed the gliding tree frog sequence from the Planet Earth III Freshwater episode in the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica . I would love to go back for a holiday. It has been described as the most biologically intense place on Earth, and so if you love wildlife, this is the place to go. I can guarantee you will see frogs! But hopefully, you won’t have to stand chest-deep in a pond like me to see them…”

What you will see: Gliding tree frogs and sea turtles Where to stay: Osa Conservation Campus is the place to stay if you want to be immersed in nature and wildlife as it is surrounded by ancient old growth rainforest, mangrove forest, and miles of beaches where sea turtles nest.

two Pyrenean Chamois in landscape

Wild Camping in the French Pyrenees

Amy Cavender, Junior Researcher

“The French Pyrenees is abundant with wildlife and protected ecosystems. In the summer, you’ll see alpine valleys filled with rare mountain butterflies and, if you’re lucky, golden eagles and the rare Pyrenean Chamois. Hiking and camping is a great way to be fully immersed in nature and see lots of wildlife – in most regions of the French Pyrenees you are allowed to wild camp or ‘bivuoac’ for the night, allowing you to be flexible with your route. Ax-Les-Thermes, a town at the foot of the mountains, is a great starting point. From here, there are many walking routes to suit all abilities, and there is a chain of mountain refuges along the way where water and hot food are available if you need a break from camping stove meals. Camping means that the trip is affordable, and camping means you can keep your carbon footprint low.”

What you will see: Rare mountain butterflies, golden eagles and the rare Pyrenean Chamois. Where to stay: This mountain lodge is in the heart of the Wild Fauna National Reserve of Orlu, between the deep valleys of Ariège and the towering peaks of the Pyrénées Orientales.

The world's biggest cave Hang Son Doong is located in the heart of the Phong NhaKe Bang National Park in Vietnam

Hang son Doong Cave, Vietnam

Theo Webb, Producer and Director: Extremes

“Of all the places I have travelled to while making wildlife documentaries, few have taken my breath away like Hang son Doong cave in Vietnam . Hidden by a thick jungle, this gargantuan cave is both intimate and awesome in equal measure. To reach the Hang son Doong, you must first travel through another cave, Hang En – the world’s largest cave opening. After a further trek, the mouth of Hang son Doong is just visible in the undergrowth. From here down, you’re in darkness. With the help of powerful torches, the scale is immediately evident, but remarkably, this cave gets bigger and bigger. In places, the darkness and deafening silence create an intimate, almost cosy feel, contrasting with the sections where you walk alongside a rushing, mighty river. The dolines – holes in the ceiling – allow a vibrant forest to grow and some exposure to light. At certain times of the year, the Earth’s tilt aligns the sun with one of these dolines to create a magnificent light show. It is truly breathtaking. Delve deeper still, and you pass by some of the world’s largest stalagmites before reaching a vast passage, often filled with water. It is a remarkable end to one of Earth’s greatest natural wonders."

What you will see: Spectacular geology Where to stay: Accommodation and cave tours are run by Oxalis Adventures .

two killer whales in the sea

Saturna Island, Gulf Islands, British Colombia, Canada

Estelle Cheuk, Assistant Producer

“Saturna Island is a mountainous island in the middle of the Salish Sea, between the coasts of Vancouver and Vancouver Island. More than 50% of this island is protected, making it a haven for wildlife. Off the coast of its most easterly point, the ocean often churns quite ferociously, even on the fairest and stillest days – this is because the tides force huge amounts of water across an underwater sill that sits just offshore and is the height of Niagara Falls. All this movement brings lots of plankton to the surface, which provides food for fish and, in turn, attracts birds and marine mammals, such as whales. East Point is one of the best places to whale watch from land in the Southern Gulf Islands. Killer whales swim past close to the island’s sandstone cliffs from May to November – so close, in fact, you often hear their blows before you see them! While the whales are perhaps the island’s most iconic visitors, the Planet Earth III team came to Saturna Island to film one of its more unusual residents – the wandering garter snakes. On hot summer days, these snakes make their way to East Point shores and, remarkably, dive into its cold waters to make the most of the ocean’s riches to feast on. The Saturna community is close-knit and very passionate about their island’s wildlife. A locally run community organisation, SIMRES (Saturna Island Marine Research and Education Society), conducts and supports scientific wildlife research here and education programmes for the island’s residents and beyond."

What you will see : Bald eagles, oystercatchers, killer whales, humpback whales, harbour seals, sea lions, garter snakes.

lots of small fish with stripes running down their sides

Monkey Bay, Malawi

Sam Lewis, Camera Operator

“Monkey Bay is located right on the shoreline of Lake Malawi and is a great access point for seeing the incredible Cichlid species that have evolved there and their unique behaviours. This is where we filmed the 'play dead' Cichlid sequence for the Planet Earth III Freshwater episode. Mouth brooding is another behaviour we regularly saw while filming – this is where the fish protect their young by using their mouths as shelter."

What you will see : Cichlid fish Where to stay: During the shoot we based ourselves at Mufasa Eco Lodge . This was a fantastic place to stay with incredibly knowledgeable owners and staff who can take you out to find whatever behaviour or Cichlid species you desire. They are also working hard to give back to the community in as many ways as they can and reduce their impact on the environment as much as possible.

wooden buildings on stilts on the coast of a palm fringed island

Kri Island, Raja Ampat

Yoland Bosiger, Assistant Producer

“The Indonesian archipelago of Raja Ampat lies at the centre of the Coral Triangle, stretching from the Philippines to Timor to Papua New Guinea. Here, hundreds of jungle-covered islands meet some of the richest coral reefs in the world. The Planet Earth III team stayed at the Kri Eco Resort, a secluded and pioneering resort on the tiny island of Kri in Raja Ampat. A SCUBA diver’s dream, Kri’s reefs are filled with sharks, manta rays and an unimaginable number of fish. But Kri also provides access to a lesser-known habitat: blue water mangroves. While mangroves often grow on muddy beds, here their tangled roots give way directly to pristine coral reefs, providing a sanctuary for juvenile fish. One such fish, the archerfish, fascinated the Planet Earth III team because of their ability to dislodge insects from the mangrove’s leaves. Thanks to the crystal-clear waters, the team were able to film juvenile archerfish learning the technique of spitting water jets into the air from other more experienced fish. When their jets weren’t successful, the juveniles resorted to capturing insects by jumping over twice their body length into the mangrove canopy."

What you will see : Coral reefs, sharks, manta rays, fish, blue water mangroves, archerfish

a group of brightly coloured birds hanging off an earth bank

Tambopata Nature Reserve, The Amazon Rainforest of Peru

Alex Walters, Assistant Producer

“For the Forest episode of Planet Earth III we, of course, wanted to feature footage of the stunning pristine Amazon rainforest. For this, I travelled with a team of camera operators and local crew to Tambopata Nature Reserve in eastern Peru, where we stayed in Tambopata Research Station with Rainforest Expeditions. It took three days to get there from the UK, but the journey was worth it. The Tambopata Research Station is one of the most remote eco-lodges in South America . Here, you are completely immersed in nature; if you can’t immediately see it, you can hear it all around you. Around the lodge, there are many rainforest trails to explore, and you can take guided tours if you wish. It’s worth an early morning wake-up call one morning to go on a river tour to watch flocks of macaws fly overhead (such as the bright scarlet macaw and blue-and-yellow macaw). As you leave the lodge, you will take away some hard-to-beat memories and, if you’re a keen photographer, camera cards jammed full of wildlife photographs.”

What you will see: Parrots, bright scarlet macaw and blue-and-yellow macaw Where to stay : Half the Tambopata Nature Reserve is luxurious, while the other half is a bustling wildlife research station (where we set up our base). The staff at the lodge are exceptional; you get the feeling that the forest wouldn’t take long to fully engulf the place, so the staff are constantly busy cleaning and tidying. The wildlife is always welcome, though – from the restaurant you will often see howler monkeys sitting in branches of the enormous emergent trees that tower above the lodge. The bedrooms are open on one side, looking out onto the rainforest, so you don’t even need to leave your bed to watch howler monkeys, spider monkeys, macaws and countless other animals.

Planet Earth III will begin on BBC One and iPlayer at 6.15pm on Sunday 22nd October

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wildlife places to visit

Wildlife Vacations: The 10 Ultimate Trips for Animal Lovers

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Sarah Schlichter

Deputy Executive Editor Sarah Schlichter's idea of a perfect trip includes spotting exotic animals, hiking through pristine landscapes, exploring new neighborhoods on foot, and soaking up as much art as she can. She often attempts to recreate recipes from her international travels after she gets home (which has twice resulted in accidental kitchen fires—no humans or animals were harmed).

Sarah joined the SmarterTravel team in 2017 after more than a decade at the helm of Sarah's practical travel advice has been featured in dozens of news outlets including the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Budget Travel, and Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio. Follow her on Twitter @TravelEditor .

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "A journal. Even years later, reading my notes from a trip can bring back incredibly vivid memories."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Road tripping and hiking through the rugged mountains of Patagonia."

Travel Motto: "'To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.'—Freya Stark"

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle. I get restless on long flights and like to be able to move around without disturbing anyone else."

Email Sarah at [email protected] .

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From tracking polar bears across the Arctic tundra to swimming with sea lions in the Sea of Cortez, the world is full of incredible wildlife adventures to experience. If you’re an animal lover, you won’t want to miss these unforgettable wildlife vacations.

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

wildlife places to visit

This remote archipelago off the coast of Ecuador just might be the ultimate wildlife vacation destination. You don’t need special photo equipment or giant zoom lenses to get close-up wildlife shots; because there are no natural predators here, the animals are unafraid of people, and you’ll often find yourself within a few yards of sea lions, giant tortoises, waved albatrosses, and iguanas. Keep an eye out for the world’s only tropical penguins.

How to get there: There are a few dozen hotels and inns in the Galapagos, including the cozy Semilla Verde Boutique Hotel on Santa Cruz Island, but to see as many animals as possible you’ll want to hop on a boat. Vessels here can carry no more than 100 passengers by law, and many are much smaller, creating an intimate experience. Popular operators include International Expeditions , Celebrity Cruises , and Metropolitan Touring .

wildlife places to visit

There are few sights more magnificent than a 400-pound Bengal tiger stalking across the grass, muscles rippling under its sleek striped coat. Tigers are most easily spotted in a string of parks across India, including Corbett and Bandhavgarh National Parks. The most appealing, though, may be Ranthambore National Park; once the hunting grounds of Jaipur’s maharajas, the park features not only plenty of tigers but also temple ruins and other wildlife such as leopards and sloth bears.

How to get there: Tiger Safari India offers a variety of tiger-spotting packages ranging from four nights to three weeks. The ultra-luxe Oberoi Vanyavilas is located right outside Ranthambore National Park and can help you arrange excursions.

wildlife places to visit

For many travelers, Antarctica is the wildlife trip of a lifetime. The climate is hostile and the journey to get there is long, but the rewards are many: Picture elephant and fur seals, humpback and orca whales, and thousands of penguins, all set against a backdrop of ice in every possible shade of white and blue. If you have the time and budget, consider booking a trip that includes a stop in South Georgia to see its massive penguin population (including king penguins, which are more difficult to find on the Antarctic Peninsula).

How to get there: Quark Expeditions specializes in polar journeys and even offers fly-in options for travelers who want to skip the notoriously rough Drake Passage between South America and Antarctica. For luxury cabins and food, consider a cruise with Silversea .

Best Vacations for Wildlife Lovers

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Rwanda and Uganda

baby gorilla in rwanda

Imagine crouching in a dense green forest just a few yards away from a mother gorilla cradling her baby or a 400-pound silverback foraging for food. There are only about 880 mountain gorillas left on the planet, and Rwanda and Uganda are the best and safest places to view them. Uganda is a better option for travelers on a budget, as permits and accommodations tend to be cheaper; it’s also easy to add other adventures onto your wildlife trip such as spotting lions and elephants in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Meanwhile, Rwanda has better infrastructure, shorter driving distances, and the chance to see playful golden monkeys.

How to get there: In Rwanda, consider basing yourself at the high-end Virunga Lodge , which boasts lake and volcano views and will arrange treks in search of gorillas and golden monkeys. In Uganda, the recently renovated Bwindi Lodge features butler service for all guests and grounds where gorillas often roam. Both lodges are operated by Volcanoes Safaris , which offers four- to seven-day tour packages in Uganda and Rwanda.

Svalbard, Norway

wildlife places to visit

Located halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, this cluster of icy islands is one of the few places on the planet where you can see polar bears stalking across the ice in their natural habitat—along with reindeer, Arctic foxes, puffins, walruses, and seals. Most people visit in the summer, when the midnight sun shines all night long.

How to get there: You can base yourself at a hotel such as Funken Lodge , which can arrange wildlife excursions, but the most convenient and far-reaching way to discover Svalbard is on a cruise ship. Quark Expeditions , Lindblad Expeditions , and G Adventures are among the operators that can take you there.

The Pantanal, South America

wildlife places to visit

Sprawling across parts of Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay, the Pantanal is the planet’s largest system of freshwater wetlands. The Pananal has an even denser concentration of wildlife than the Amazon; visitors can spot jaguars, caimans, macaws, river otters, monkeys, egrets, anteaters, and many more in the region’s broad floodplains.

How to get there: Pantanal Nature runs wildlife tours, including jaguar-focused excursions, in the northern part of the region. Ecolodges such as Araras Pantanal Ecolodge and SouthWild Pantanal Lodge also arrange wildlife trips around the region.

Alaska, U.S.A.

wildlife places to visit

With bald eagles soaring overhead, humpback whales flashing their flukes in the water, and hungry bears stalking rivers in search of salmon, Alaska offers a feast of wildlife travel adventures. Denali National Park is a good place to spot Alaska’s version of the African Big Five: moose, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves, and grizzly bears. Many visitors come on cruise ships through the Inside Passage, where you can often see marine animals such as sea otters, Steller sea lions, harbor seals, and various types of whales.

How to get there: This list of bear-viewing tours is a good place to start your research if viewing black, grizzly, or polar bears is a must-do for you. Numerous cruise lines offer Alaska voyages, including big-ship lines like Princess and Holland America , and smaller expedition companies like Alaskan Dream Cruises and UnCruise Adventures . For stays in Denali National Park, consider booking a lodge or cabin room at McKinley Creekside Cabins .

Borneo, Southeast Asia

wildlife places to visit

Covered in old-growth rainforest and split among the nations of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei, Borneo entices travelers with the chance to spot orangutans swinging through the trees or catch a glimpse of Asia’s smallest elephant. Love monkeys? Don’t miss a trip to Kinabatangan Wildlife Reserve, home to a whopping 10 different primate species including proboscis monkeys, orangutans, and multiple variants of macaques and langurs. Keep an eye out for the elusive Malayan sun bear and its distinctive white or gold patch of chest fur.

How to get there: Intrepid Travel and G Adventures run a number of small-group Borneo tours with various price points and activity levels. If you’d rather travel independently, you can book a multi-night package at the Borneo Rainforest Lodge , located in the Danum Valley Conservation Area; past guests report seeing red leaf monkeys, orangutans, macaques, and various colorful birds around the grounds.

wildlife places to visit

No wildlife lover should pass up a chance to see Africa’s legendary Big Five: lions, rhinos, elephants, leopards, and Cape buffalo. In Tanzania you’ll find them all plus many more, including hippos, giraffes, and zebras. The country is most famous for the Great Migration, when millions of wildebeest move en masse from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Masai Mara in neighboring Kenya; June and July are the best months for viewing the migration in Tanzania.

How to get there: Bright African Safaris is one well-regarded local operator. Nomad Tanzania runs luxurious safari camps across the country. Intrepid Travel offers a number of Tanzania packages, many that also include time in Kenya.

Sea of Cortez, Mexico

wildlife places to visit

Also known as the Gulf of California, the Sea of Cortez is the body of water between the Baja California peninsula and the mainland of Mexico—and it’s teeming with wildlife. Blue, gray, sperm, fin, and humpback whales migrate through these waters at various times of year, while dolphins and orcas are year-round inhabitants. You can even go swimming alongside playful sea lions and gentle whale sharks.

How to get there: You can base yourself in Los Cabos and take whale watching and snorkeling excursions to see the local wildlife. For a more in-depth look at the region, book a small-ship expedition cruise with operators such as Lindblad Expeditions or UnCruise Adventures .

More from SmarterTravel:

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  • How to Spot Animal Cruelty While Traveling
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Wolves and gators and cranes, oh my! The best wildlife experiences in the USA

Apr 9, 2022 • 5 min read

A group of grizzly bears fishing for salmon at Brooks Falls.

The bears at Katmai National Park are one of Alaska’s most popular attractions © oksana.perkins / Shutterstock

Experiencing wildlife in the United States is especially magical. Not only is the nation made up of incredibly diverse landscapes and environments, but the way these spaces historically have been preserved allows ecosystems to flourish.

Today we reap those benefits, both as members of these communities and as visitors to wild spaces filled with incredible North American species. From dinosaur-like alligators to magnificent birdlife, the US is full of wildlife experiences you will never forget. And with public lands at risk, the time to see the wild animals is now. Here are some of our favorite wildlife experiences.

Snow falls around two gray wolves with bright yellow eyes

Track wild wolves at Yellowstone

Where: Yellowstone National Park When: Anytime

If the US has anything close to an African safari, it’s found in Yellowstone National Park . Historic fauna like bison, mountain goats and cougars roam this valley, but no animal sighting quite matches up to that of the wolf.

Hunting almost removed wolves from the United States entirely, but a reintroduction program in the 1990s returned them to Yellowstone, making it the single best place in the country to see them roaming free.

A Yellowstone expert's top tips for 2022

Although they are visible during the summer, the winter provides exceptional viewing prospects, as wolves and their prey tend to congregate in the Lamar Valley. Plus, the white snow creates a contrasting background that makes wolves easier to spot, especially given that they are typically far from the roads. If you don’t know where to look, the folks at Wolf Tracker are some of the most skilled guides in the area.

A large flock of sandhill cranes rises from a lake in Nebraska

Witness the sandhill crane migration in Nebraska

Where: Kearney, Nebraska When: Late February to early April

The sandhill crane migration is not only a bird lover’s dream come true, it’s also considered one of the most remarkable migrations of any kind on the planet.

Between February and April, some 600,000 cranes congregate along a limited stretch of the Platte River in Nebraska before continuing their journey north. You can take a guided tour or find a spot at a public viewing area to enjoy the annual spectacle. Bring some binoculars, a camera and get to know fellow bird lovers there for the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Thousands of Sandhill cranes flock to this spot Nebraska. Here's why and how to see it

Looking down on two alligators floating in some marshy water in Florida

Get up close to alligators in Florida

Where: Everglades National Park, Florida When: Anytime

With its uniquely subtropical weather and accompanying wildlife,  Florida could be a country unto itself. One of the many reasons visitors flock to this marshy peninsula is to explore the Everglades , particularly its living dinosaurs: the American alligators.

These intimidating predators freely roam the area, making them simple to spot with or without a guide. Some tours will take you out onto the water to search known hiding holes, but even perusing the boardwalks will likely reveal a good number of alligators. Although it’s impressive to watch them eat, it’s important not to feed them so they won't become conditioned to seek out humans as a food source.

How to build the perfect Everglades adventure

A white tour boat loaded with people near a killer whale out at sea

Go on safari with Alaska’s animals

Where: Katmai and Denali National Parks When: Late summer/early autumn

Perhaps the greatest treasure trove of wildlife in the US isn’t even on the mainland, it’s out in the expansive wilderness of Alaska . This relatively untouched state is a major draw for animal lovers, who can witness brown bears, moose, running salmon, orcas, coastal wolves and so many more.

Numerous tours exist for safari purposes, or for spotting specific species, but anyone visiting in late summer and early autumn – between the bears' hibernation periods – will undoubtedly be inundated with opportunities, whether it's in  Katmai National Park to the south or Denali National Park further north. It isn't even entirely necessary to visit a national park to see the fauna here – yet another reason why Alaska offers some of the best wildlife viewing, not just in the US, but in the world.

Alaska's best beaches for bears, bald eagles and natural beauty

Watch humpback whales in Hawaii

Where: Hawaii, especially Maui When: October to March, peaking in February

Every winter, another incredible migration brings tourists from across the globe to Hawaii , but the island of Maui in particular. Humpback whales winter in these warm waters, congregating in huge numbers and providing ample opportunity to see these gentle giants at play.

There are no shortage of tours available to witness them splashing about for yourself, though it’s encouraged to seek an option that respects the whales’ space and natural behaviors. The best part is that the whales are in Hawaii to breed and raise their calves, so it’s one of the few places where witnessing a baby whale is nearly guaranteed.

The best time to visit Maui for whale watching, hitting the beach or avoiding crowds

See the elephant seals in California

Where: Point Reyes National Seashore, California When: December through March

Elephant seals, with their wonky noses and brutal fights, are one of the more interesting species that call the United States home. They’re found on many California beaches, most notably at Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County, where they congregate throughout the year, though their greatest numbers are found between December and March.

Drakes Beach is the best place to spot them, though it's occasionally closed to protect the animals' safety, so be sure to check the website when planning a trip. There is a parking lot at this beach, but the shuttle system is imposed when seal numbers are excessive. As with any wild animal, never approach these marine behemoths, the males of which are known to be fierce fighters.

You might also like:   How to visit all of California's national parks in one epic road trip At the wolf’s door: Yellowstone’s winter wildlife    The 5 best places to see wildlife with your kids   

This article was first published March 2020 and updated April 2022

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The cliffs are different gradients of orange.

These are the 10 best U.S. national parks to see wildlife

From a New Mexico bat cave to a Florida archipelago teeming with coral and sharks, here’s where the wild things are.

The chance to spot a bear, bison, or bald eagle in the wild is one of the major reasons travelers visit the United States’ 63 national parks . You might assume that a megafauna mecca like Yellowstone National Park would offer the best odds of seeing multiple animals.  

But a recent report from vacation rental site Casago crunched each park’s total number of species and its size, resulting in surprising news about which parks offer the best wildlife viewing. Hint: To see the highest number of critters, think small, as in places rife with tiny insects or flocks of migrating birds. Here’s where to see the widest variety of animals, from spiders to raptors to bears.

1. Congaree National Park, South Carolina

Number of species per 100 square kilomet er: 362 Life of all kinds, from tiny synchronous fireflies to 160-foot-tall loblolly pines , crowds this park ’s bottomland hardwood forest ecosystem 18 miles from Columbia, South Carolina ’s capital. Congaree is also laced with rivers and lakes that sustain its astonishing biodiversity.  

( See fireflies magically light up this national park .)

Paddling the Cedar Creek Canoe Trail is a great way to look for wildlife, says Billy Easterbrooks, owner of Carolina Outdoor Adventures , one of a handful of companies leading kayak or canoe trips in the park. “Most commonly you see what we call the creepy-crawlies,” he says, including fishing spiders with leg spans wider than your palm and red-bellied water snakes . Other residents you might encounter: barred owls, river otters, pileated woodpeckers, and, sometimes, alligators gliding on the water.

An overhead image of people in canoes some holding paddles and handing lunch to each other.

2. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Number of species per 100 square kilometer: 317 Located 20 miles southwest of Cleveland, Ohio , Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a mixed ecosystem of oak-hickory forest, meadows, and wetlands sheltering a variety of animals. From the boardwalk at Beaver Marsh, watch for water-loving mammals (river otters, muskrats, beavers) or snapping turtles that can weigh as much as 55 pounds each. “It’s neat to see the old-timers covered in moss,” says Gene Stepanik, a naturalist and longtime park volunteer.  

More than 200 bird species live or migrate through the park, including nesting peregrine falcons (near the Route 82 bridge) and bald eagles (hike the Towpath Trail north from Station Road Trailhead). Check the park website for occasional birding walks or ranger talks.

Beaver in water swimming with head above surface.

3. Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

Number of species per 100 square kilometer: 286 “The poster child for Carlsbad Caverns is the Brazilian free-tailed bat ,” says bat biologist Debbie Buecher. Every summer, hundreds of thousands of the furry, big-eared creatures roost in these honeycombed limestone caves in southeastern New Mexico , attracting crowds at sunset with their spectacular outflight . “But it’s just as exciting to come just before dawn and watch the bats come back,” she says, noting that the bats tuck their wings and execute speedy dives back into the caverns.  

The Brazilians are one of 17 bat species that nest at Carlsbad. You might also encounter ringtails (a small, raccoon-like mammal), porcupines, peccaries (wild pigs), and cave swallows.

Bats swarm cave.

4. Pinnacles National Park, California

Number of species per 100 square kilometer: 255 Driven to the brink of extinction in the 1980s, the mighty California condor now soars again over this landscape of twisty volcanic peaks in central California . Intense recovery efforts , including a captive breeding program and the establishment of two distinctive wild-flying populations, have brought the population of the largest birds in North America from just 22 in in 1982 to 347 condors today.  

Eighty-nine of the birds are thought to live in and around Pinnacles. “If you have binoculars, you have a good chance of seeing condors flying over the ridge behind the main campground in the mornings and evenings,” says Alacia Welch, manager of the Pinnacles Condor Program .  

Other Pinnacles standouts include golden eagles, peregrine falcons, an exceptionally high density of prairie falcons, and more than 400 species of bees.

Sun light covers the rocky landscaped.

5. Acadia National Park, Maine  

Number of species per 100 square kilometer: 242 The Atlantic Ocean meets the cliff-lined Maine coast at this popular park on Mount Desert Island, providing habitat for wildlife with feet and   flippers. From the shore or a sea kayak (try Castine Kayak Adventures or Coastal Kayaking Tours ), scan the water for the dorsal fins of harbor porpoises and the sleek heads of harbor and gray seals.

( From blueberries to birdwatching, here’s what locals love about Maine . )

On land, you might spot beavers, snowshoe hares, or, if you’re lucky, a mink or bobcat. In between, in the intertidal zone, tide pools hold translucent anemones, sea urchins, snails, and sea stars. Acadia also draws loons and songbirds and, come fall, rangers and volunteers conduct an annual hawk watch from Cadillac Mountain, Acadia’s highest point.

Grass blows in the breeze with a stream and trees in the background.

6. Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota

Number of species per 100 square kilometer: 235   This park at the edge of South Dakota’ s Black Hills National Forest may be best known for its unique boxwork cave geology. But wildlife-watchers also come for the herds of American bison, elk, and pronghorns grazing above on the mixed-grass prairie.  

( Learn why South Dakota holds so many ‘maze caves.’ )

Wind Cave is part of an ecosystem restoration and species recovery program that’s been going since the early 20th century. Populations of all three ungulates have rebounded since then, and in 2007, biologists also returned the critically endangered black-footed ferret to the grasslands. Drive the 3.7-mile Bison Flats Road or hike the steep, challenging Boland Ridge Trail for the best chance to see animals.

7. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

Number of species per 100 square kilometer: 223   Contrary to its name, water makes up 99 percent of this park located on and around a seven-island archipelago some 70 miles off the coast of Florida. Travelers must catch a seaplane or ferry from Key West to get to this remote part of the Florida Keys, but they’re rewarded with excellent coral reef and seagrass habitats.  

The part of the park’s name that does make sense: Five species of threatened or endangered sea turtles ( tortugas in Spanish) nest here; visitors might see them swimming or on the sandy beaches. Book a snorkeling or scuba diving excursion to explore the reefs, where green sea turtles, nurse sharks, barracudas, and decorator crabs live amid elkhorn and staghorn corals. Divers can also access the Windjammer wreck site, where an iron-hulled ship that sank in 1907 provides a home for marine life.  

Light blue water has streams of light peering through into the depths with coral and small fish.

8. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado

Number of species per 100 square kilometer: 219 In western Colorado , the 2,722 vertical feet between this sparsley visited park’ s canyon rim and the Gunnison River below support multiple wildlife habitats. Experienced climbers and hikers who venture into the inner canyon find collared lizards and mule deer near the rim and bighorn sheep scampering along the middle of the cliffs. Trails are extremely steep, covered with poison ivy, and require a wilderness permit to use.

It’s easier to access the Gunnison River by driving down East Portal Road, where anglers fish for brown and rainbow trout and nature-lovers might run into river otters and ringtails.  

Photographer sits on a cliff looking down on a canyon as the water reflects in the distance.

9. Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

Number of species per 100 square kilometer: 217 In central Kentucky , this park holds the longest known underground cave system in the world. Mammoth’s 426 miles of caverns are home to 160 species, from animals that merely visit (think bats) to those that can’t live anywhere else. Long-legged cave crickets pick their way up the walls; eerily eyeless white cave fish swim the underground waterways; and black-spotted orange cave salamanders lurk under rocks.  

“If you’re going into the cave system, stop and slowly look around,” says Matthew Niemiller, a University of Alabama biologist who has studied aquatic species in the park. “You might see some of the small, inconspicuous vertebrates that are thriving in complete darkness.”  

10. Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Number of species per 100 square kilometer: 215   The unmistakable glowing orange hoodoos and rocky walls of Bryce Canyon National Park might seem stark, but the arid Utah landscape actually teems with life. Scan carefully for short-horned and side-blotched lizards basking among the boulders, and look out for the venomous Great Basin rattlesnake under the canyon rim.  

( See hoodoos without the crowds at this New Mexico wonderland .)

Small, furry mammals like the golden-mantled ground squirrel, Uinta chipmunk , and Utah prairie dog are easy to see throughout the park, but you’re less likely to spot larger predators such as mountain lions and black bears.

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The Best International Trips for Wildlife Lovers

A curated list of ethical (and magical) experiences viewing wild animals around the world..

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Cheetah standing on top of a safari vehicle

Getting close to the animals. Really close.

Photo by Shutterstock

Encountering animals in their natural habitat is a sublime and unforgettable experience—and there are so many organizations angling to provide those moments for their guests. For every legitimate, ecofriendly operator, there are untold numbers whose practices are questionable, if not exploitive.

AFAR wants to help you find the best international trips to see wildlife in a responsible way. We have vetted a number of lodges and operators that embrace wildlife viewing practices that are ethical, sustainable, and socially responsible and offer close encounters—without getting too close. This is by no means an exhaustive list of destinations, but it can serve as inspiration for your next life-changing wildlife experience.

King penguins live in such South Atlantic places as the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Islands, and Antartica.

King penguins live in such South Atlantic places as the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Islands, and Antartica.

Famous wildlife: penguins, whales, seals, and other birds

Craggy crevasses of millennia-old glaciers and the Seussian shapes of electric blue icebergs are undeniably stunning. But penguins are often the major selling point for travelers to the White Continent. The often-anthropomorphized birds steal the show, from the tuxedo-clad emperor penguins to gentoo penguins with their red-orange, lipstick-like beak markings. They’re just the tip of the iceberg (pun!) when it comes to the countless other charismatic species that call Antarctica home. You may also see male elephant seals vying for the attention of potential mates, orcas in pursuit of a Ross seal, and humpback whales seemingly defying gravity as they hurl their massive bodies out of the water while breaching.

Travelers to Antarctica need to book their cruises through tour operators, and trips generally happen between October and March. Companies like Lindblad , Hurtigruten , and Ponant offer expedition-style sailings, ranging from a week to a month; guests disembark twice a day to get closer to the wildlife. Activities could include a hike to a penguin colony, a Zodiac ride among humpback whales, and a kayaking excursion to ice sheets where seals haul out. Each also offers unique citizen science projects and has on board conservationists to teach people about what they’re seeing—the hope is that their guests leave with a new appreciation of Antarctica and what it will take to protect it.

Red kangaroos are a frequent sight in grasslands of the Australian Outback.

Red kangaroos are a frequent sight in grasslands of the Australian Outback.

Famous wildlife: kangaroos, koalas, wombats, platypuses, snakes, Tasmanian devils

You’ll find all manner of animals in Australia, from cuddly to deadly. On land you might marvel at the friendly quokkas, a type of small wallaby, on Rottness Island , which lies just offshore from the western city of Perth. Or you can observe koalas at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast; see sea turtle hatchlings on various Queensland beaches; hear the distinct cackle of the kookaburra in Berowra Valley National Park north of Sydney; or watch kangaroos hop across the horizon with Exceptional Kangaroo Island.

Some 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups have a continuing connection to the Great Barrier Reef, and in 2018, Dreamtime Dive and Snorkel launched trips led by Indigenous Sea Rangers who share cultural knowledge passed down from their ancestors. Visit the new pontoon base for Dreamtime’s day trips to Moore Reef, housing an on-site laboratory and underwater observatory.

If you’d prefer to put the planning in someone else’s hands, companies like G Adventures and Trek Tours Australia offer a variety of itineraries all over the continent that feature small-group (important, in terms of traveler footprint) tours with responsible wildlife encounters.

Capybaras are large semiaquatic rodents seen throughout Brazil.

Capybaras are large semiaquatic rodents seen throughout Brazil.

Famous wildlife: jaguars, hyacinth macaws, tapir, capybara

“We had barely been in the Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetlands contained mostly to the western edge of Brazil, for an hour when our safari guide got the call from the bush: Jaguars,” says AFAR digital content director Laura Dannen Redman. “Two of them, a mother and a cub. We had five minutes to gather our binoculars and our courage before clambering into the three-tiered jeep, stacked high like a theater on wheels—we didn’t want to miss the first wildlife sighting of our trip.

“That’s not quite true: We had already seen a family of capybara (which look like guinea pigs the size of Labradors) grazing at the entrance to our safari lodge and private reserve, Caiman . And then there were the pairs of hyacinth macaws—the largest parrots in the world, stunning in their size (a meter tip to tail) and color, an electric blue like their namesake flower—in the trees above the swimming pool. Only 1,500 of these beautiful birds existed here in the 1990s, but Caiman has made conservation a priority, partnering with nonprofit organizations like the Instituto Arara Azul (Hyacinth Macaw Project) to rehabilitate the species. Guests also get to participate by going on game drives with Institute guides, seeing how they monitor artificial nests and planting manduvi trees that will serve as future homes for the macaws.

“As for the jaguars? Travelers can race out with Oncafari (ironically founded by a former Formula 1 driver a decade ago) to witness the new cubs born on the reserve, habituated and growing steadily.”

Sweet, slow-moving sloths are everywhere in Costa Rica.

Sweet, slow-moving sloths are everywhere in Costa Rica.

Famous wildlife: toucans, coatimundis, crocodiles, white-faced capuchin monkeys, scarlet macaws, two-toed sloths

Wildlife abounds in Costa Rica. From the cities to the beaches to the national parks, animals are everywhere.

One of the most popular places to scope out animals is Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio. Even though it’s Costa Rica’s smallest national park, it is teeming with wildlife. In about 7 square miles, you’ll find over 350 species of birds (including toucans, parakeets, hummingbirds, and aracaris), iguanas, sloths, coatis, pacas, anteaters, and monkeys (and if you’re fortunate, an ocelot). While you can walk around the park by yourself, you’ll learn a lot more if you book a tour with a park ranger who is familiar with the rain forest and the neighboring white-sand bay and can often lead you to areas where certain animals like to hang out.

The easiest way to tell the difference between a juvenile and mature blue-footed booby? Adults actually have blue feet.

The easiest way to tell the difference between a juvenile and mature blue-footed booby? Adults actually have blue feet.

Famous wildlife: marine iguanas, giant tortoises, sea lions, blue-footed boobies, flamingos, crabs, finches, magnificent frigates

Ecudor’s Galápagos Islands are a menagerie of endemic animals, and there aren’t many places that can beat it in terms of close encounters with wildlife. Due to the absence of predators on the islands, the animals of the Galápagos aren’t afraid of humans. If anything, they’re just as curious about humans as humans are about them, so don’t be surprised if a sea lion hops up next to you on a bench at one of the ferry terminals.

There are also tropical penguins, the only marine iguanas found on Earth, giant tortoises that can live up to 150 years, and more than 400 species of fish. However, one of the most famous inhabitants of the Galápagos is the blue-footed booby. Named for their vivid blue feet, the marine birds are known for their elaborate, and some might say goofy, mating dance .

Those who want to venture outside the islands’ few small towns will need to go with a certified Ecuadorian naturalist—it’s the law. Arguably the best way to experience the islands is by ship—there are few roads, so boats are really the only way to get around. Silverseas , Hurtigruten , and Lindblad are just three of the many expedition sailing companies that do the Galápagos well. These companies embrace sustainable practices like promoting conservation and keeping a respectful distance from the animals and their habitats.

The Bornean orangutan is a species of orangutan endemic to the island of Borneo.

The Bornean orangutan is a species of orangutan endemic to the island of Borneo.

Famous wildlife: elephants, orangutans, Sumatran tigers, sun bears, komodo dragons, giant squirrels, Javan rhinoceroses, black macaques

There are more than 17,000 islands in Indonesia, and of those, around 8,000 are inhabited only by animals. And the diversity is astounding. Roughly 12 percent of the world’s mammal species and 17 percent of its bird species live in Indonesia. New species are still being recorded: Tapanuli orangutans were only discovered in 2017 .

Wildlife experiences in Indonesia could include seeing a 10-foot-long Komodo dragon in Komodo National Park; spotting the world’s smallest primate, the pygmy tarsier, in Sulawesi; coming face to face with orangutans in Borneo; stalking tigers at night in Kerinci Seblat National Park; and perhaps even glimpsing one of the 60 Javan rhinos left in the world at Ujung Kulon National Park in Java.

For those interested in seeing Borneo’s tigers, rhinos, and elephants, Borneo Eco Tours offers an array of responsible, animal-focused tours. Travelers keen on spotting a Komodo dragon can book a trip with Aqua Expeditions , which has a seven-night cruise from Bali to Komodo National Park, wherein it teaches guests about marine conservation. Hoping to commune with orangutans? Audley Travel (a company with extensive animal welfare and carbon offset policies) has an 11-day trip through Java and Sumatra .

Lions at Maasai Mara live in prides of 15 to 20 members, with up to three males, several adult females, as well as some subadults and cubs.

Lions at Maasai Mara live in prides of 15 to 20 members, with up to three males, several adult females, as well as some subadults and cubs.

Famous wildlife: lions, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals, bat-eared foxes, rhinos, gazelles, impalas, giraffes, zebras, warthogs, flamingos

Kenya continues to do commendable work in wildlife conservation, and for that reason, safaris in this East African country are enormously popular.

A trip to Maasai Mara National Reserve might include watching prides of lions, elusive leopards, or a clan of hyenas follow great herds of wildebeests and zebras. In Amboseli National Park, travelers can photograph large-tusked elephants with the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro in the background. On the Lailipia Plateau it’s possible to view black rhinos, and at Samburu National Reserve blue-legged Somali ostriches roam. Along the Kenyan coast, divers can swim alongside whale sharks and humpback whales. And at Nairobi National Park visitors can view elephant calves.

You’d be remiss not to spend at least two weeks in Kenya—there’s so much to see and do. And even then, you’ll wish you’d stayed longer. Companies like Trafalgar, go2Africa , and Matriarch Africa can organize customized tours based on travelers’ interests. They can also take travelers to less crowded spots, where their tourism dollars will have a greater impact on the community.

Madagascar is the only place lemurs naturally call home.

Madagascar is the only place lemurs naturally call home.

Famous wildlife: lemurs, fossas, whales, chameleons, a variety of endemic bird species

For wildlife and nature lovers, Madagascar is hard to beat. Sometimes referred to as the world’s eighth continent, this island nation is home to a variety of plants and animals—90 percent of which live nowhere else . A trip to the island could mean swimming beside coral fish and turtles in the reefs off Nosy Be; exploring limestone pillars and bat-filled caves at Tsingy de Bemaraha; stumbling on the world’s smallest chameleon in the rain forests of Ranomafana; watching lemurs swing from baobab trees in the desert-like terrain at the Avenue des Baobabs; or bird-watching while hiking the mountains and rocky, moonlike plateaus of Andringitra or Isalo National Parks.

Limited domestic flights and rough roads off the RN7 (Madagascar’s main north-south highway) make traveling between parks a challenge. It’s easiest to go with a guide or tour group, such as Intrepid or G Adventures , which have naturalists on staff to explain how Madagascar’s rich, endemic biodiversity affects the rest of the world. Travel is best during the country’s dry season (roughly May through October) when dirt roads are far less likely to get washed out by heavy rains.

Gray whales give birth only in Baja California.

Gray whales give birth only in Baja California.

Famous wildlife: multiple species of whales, whale sharks, sea turtles, sea lions, ospreys, pronghorns, gray foxes, turkey vultures, various shorebirds

Mexico is wildly (see what we did there) diverse. Scientists estimate the country is home to about 12 percent of the world’s biodiversity, with roughly 1,000 bird species, more than 1,500 mammals, amphibians, and reptiles, upwards of 1,800 species of butterflies, and an untold number of fish and sea-dwelling mammals .

Wildlife lovers flock to Baja California because it’s one of the best places in the world to spot whales. Gray whales, blue whales, humpbacks, fin whales, and more gather off the Pacific coast’s warm, shallow waters to birth their calves from December to April. In fact, gray whales give birth only in Baja, so your chances of seeing a newborn calf are good. The peninsula also offers opportunities to spot whale sharks, turtles, dolphins, and seals in the water, as well as ospreys, pronghorns, gray foxes, and turkey vultures on land.

While myriad operators throughout the peninsula offer whale watching tours, some are better than others in terms of sustainable and responsible practices. Pachico’s Eco Tours , Adventures in Baja , and Whale Watch Cabo are among the operators that understand the importance of conservation—that manifests by staying a respectful distance from the whales, operating smaller, greener boats, and by using guides who can talk about why whale conservation is so important.

A variety of animals congregate around a waterhole in Etosha National Park.

A variety of animals congregate around a waterhole in Etosha National Park.

Famous wildlife: lions, hippos, giraffes, ostriches, baboons, springboks, wild dogs, kudus, oryx

Etosha National Park is characterized by its otherworldly salt pans, which stretch for 1,900 square miles and are so substantial they are visible from space. Yet even in this arid landscape, wildlife is abundant because of the plethora of watering holes throughout the park. You’ll see herds of zebras, elephants, and springboks coming together at these vital pools over a drink. Lions, rhinos, hippos, and ostriches are also common. (More than 100 species of mammals live within the park limits.) Responsible safari outfitters and conservationists include Mushara Bush Camp , Mokuti Etosha Lodge , Onguma Tented Camp at Waterhole , and Little Ongava.

Namibia also has the most cheetahs of any country in the world. The fleet-footed cats can be seen throughout Namibia; perhaps your best chance of viewing them is at the 77-square-mile Okonjima Nature Reserve. Here you may also spot leopards, brown hyenas, and even elusive pangolins. Okonjima Lodge offers day, evening, and nocturnal game drives.

Highland cows live in wet and mountainous grassland in Scotland.

Highland cows live in wet and mountainous grassland in Scotland.

Famous wildlife: Highland cows, Scottish wildcats, golden eagles, pine martens, red deer, capercaillie, badgers, humpback whales, otters, puffins

Despite its small size, Scotland contains some of the largest wilderness areas left in Europe.

In its vast, water-logged moorlands, you’ll find red deer and red grouse, Britain’s only native endemic species. Its dense forests contain red squirrels, capercaillie, pine martens, and Scottish wildcats. Its mystical highlands are home to the classic Highland cow, famous for its shaggy red fur, and the fast and nimble golden eagle. And along its craggy coast, you’ll see gray seals, humpback whales, otters, puffins, and bottlenose dolphins.

One way to view wildlife is on a walking tour. Wilderness Scotland offers guided multiday hikes along single-track trails in sparsely populated Assynt , a region on the west coast of Scotland, between glistening lochs and dizzying mountains. If you’re not keen on lacing up your hiking boots, the company offers less demanding wildlife tours, such as a seven-day boat tour to the remote Atlantic islands of St. Kilda , where birds are abundant.

Famous wildlife: cheetahs, lions, wildebeests, gazelles, ostriches, elephants, giraffes, crocodiles, leopards

Picture 2 million wildebeests roaming the plains, elephants showing their young the seasonal migration routes, lion prides lounging on warm rocks, and crocodiles basking on the riverbank. That’s only a small portion of what makes the vast Serengeti National Park such an inspiring safari destination. Some eco-conscious safari camps (both in design and practice) that get guests up close to the action include andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp , Melia Serengeti Lodge , Namiri Plains , and Ubuntu Migration Camp .

Farther south, at Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous Game Reserve), the scene is completely different. Because the climate is more tropical and the Rufiji River bisects the reserve, the landscape is greener. Beneath the shade of the Borassus palms, hippos graze on plant life, Goliath heron wade into shallow marshes in search of their next fish dinner, and African buffalo move in great herds. Thanks to the remoteness of the reserve, there aren’t as many safari lodges as in other places in East Africa. But fewer lodges mean higher chances of alone time with wildlife. A few ideal bases include Beho Beho Camp , Rufiji River Camp , and Roho ya Selous . Tour specialists, like go2africa can arrange itineraries that connect multiple national parks in Tanzania.

Sarah Reid and Jessie Beck contributed to this reporting.

>>Next: The Great Nebraska Migration of the Sandhill Cranes and the Birders Who Love Them

Northern Lights

The 12 Best US National Parks Where You Can Actually See Wildlife

Bison in Badlands National Park

One of the main purposes of the national park system is to protect wildlife habitats. With 63 parks covering more than 84 million acres, that's a lot of wildlife. If your main goal is spotting animals in their natural habitat, you should know that some parks are better than others. Katmai National Park's brown bears, alligators in the Everglades, the Channel Islands' whales and dolphins, and the largest herd of bison in the U.S. at Yellowstone — to name a few — should be at the top of your list. 

Watching animals in the wild is an exciting adventure, but it comes with great responsibility. Always remember that you are a guest on their land, so tread lightly and keep your distance. With that in mind, read on to learn more about where to go for the country's best wildlife-viewing opportunities. Then, grab your binoculars and get ready to head out into the wilderness.

Yellowstone National Park

As the first national park designated in 1872, Yellowstone has a special place in history. Encompassing 2.2 million acres in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, it's also incredibly massive — the eighth largest of all the national parks. All that land means plenty of room for wildlife species to flourish — in large numbers. Notable among them is the biggest free-roaming herd of bison in the U.S., as well as one of the largest elk herds. 

Yellowstone is also home to one of the last grizzly bear populations in the contiguous United States. A top location for spotting these impressive mammals is the Lamar Valley. Easily accessible via Highway 212, you can stop the car in a paved pullout for a prime view. Other wildlife-viewing hot spots include Hayden Valley and the Tower-Roosevelt area. 

Spring, summer, and fall are the best times to visit the park for wildlife viewing. You can potentially see bears, bison, and elk any time of day in the park, but you'll have the best chances just after sunrise and before sunset. This is the coolest part of the day when they will likely be out searching for food. Although less likely, you may also be able to spot one of the more than 100 gray wolves that live in the park. Even rare is a sighting of a wolverine or lynx. In the park's northern regions, you may also see non-native mountain goats who have made the park their home.

Katmai National Park

Katmai National Park & Preserve in southern Alaska is one of the best places to view brown bears in the wild, with an estimated population of 2,200. Bears congregate wherever there are abundant food sources. In Katmai, this is along the Pacific Coast, which is home to some of the most concentrated populations of brown bears ever recorded. However, this isn't the easiest place to see them due to its rigorous terrain and dense vegetation. The best bet that doesn't require backcountry trekking is Brooks Camp on the Brooks River, where bears gather to catch sockeye salmon in the frigid waters. Four viewing platforms allow visitors to safely watch the bears gorge themselves from a distance. July is the best time to see bears in this location, as it is the season for salmon migration.

If you are interested in backcountry bear viewing in early spring and summer, you can catch them in open meadows munching on sedges and digging for clams in mudflats. Later in the summer and fall, you can see bears anywhere salmon are running in streams. In June, your strongest chance of spotting bears in the backcountry is at Hallo Bay and Swikshak Lagoon. In July, it's Brooks Camp; in August, it's Geographic Harbor and the Moraine Creek and Funnel Creek area. In September, they're back in droves at Brooks Camp, stocking up on salmon before heading into hibernation for the winter.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Big game abounds at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, home to an elk herd of 600 to 800, 350 bighorn sheep, mule deer, and moose. You'll also find over 60 additional mammal species; at least 280 bird species; 6 types of amphibians, including the endangered boreal toad; 11 fish species; and abundant butterflies.

Elk are relatively easy to spot, especially during the fall mating season. During the cooler months, you can find them in meadows at lower elevations; in the warmer months, they congregate at higher elevations. It may be easiest to see them at dawn and dusk. To view bighorn sheep, head to Sheep Lakes between May and the middle of August. Willow thickets bordering the Colorado River in the Kawuneeche Valley are the best place to see moose, and mule deer can be glimpsed all over the park, typically in open areas at lower elevations. 

White-tailed ptarmigans are popular among the 3 million people visiting the park yearly. These small grouse that change color — from all white in winter to primarily grayish-brown in the warmer months — are hard to spot. However, you might be able to catch a glance while hiking on the tundra. Other prizes for bird lovers include Steller's jays, Clark's nutcrackers, prairie falcons, and golden eagles, which are best spotted along Trail Ridge Road.

Denali National Park

Denali was the first national park designated specifically to protect wildlife, and it's well-known for its diverse population of big game and birds. Thirty-nine species of mammals, ranging in size from the diminutive shrew to the imposing moose, call the park home. Grizzlies, Dall sheep, caribou, wolves, foxes, snowshoe hares, and otters are abundant and relatively easy to view. The best way to see wildlife here is by bus traveling along  Denali Park Road. Sitting high in a bus, as opposed to low down in a car, allows you to see over the brush that lines the roadside. Additionally, you'll get sighting help from your fellow bus mates — the more eyes you have looking, the more likely you are to find a prize. 

Some of the best points along the road to spot wildlife include mile 9 to mile 22, where moose are most active during mid-August to mid-September; mile 39 to mile 45, where grizzly bears, caribou, moose, and bird sightings are abundant; mile 53, where the road overlooks the river, and the bears and caribou that sometimes frequent the area. The best chances of grizzly sightings are along the way from the Tolkat River to Eilson Visitor Center at mile 66. Caribou, coyotes, wolves, and foxes may be seen here as well. The wetlands between the visitor center and mile 92 are two spots to see waterfowl and beavers.

Badlands National Park

Prairie dogs aren't actually dogs but rather a member of the squirrel family. Their endearing habit of standing up on two legs and yipping makes them a much-beloved site among visitors to South Dakota's Badlands National Park. These playful mammals live in "towns" throughout the park and can be easily seen from the road at Sage Creek Campground, Burns Basin Overlook, and Roberts Prairie Dog Town. The mammoth American Bison — declared the national mammal of the U.S. in 2016 — is also abundant, numbering approximately 1,200 across the 244,000-acre park. They live primarily in the Badlands Wilderness Area and can best be viewed from the Sage Creek Rim Road. 

Bighorn sheep are another of the large mammal favorites, and the park is home to about 250 of them. They're often found on rocky terrain at Pinnacles Overlook and around Cedar Pass at Castle Trail and Big Badlands Overlook. You'll often spot females with their lambs, as males remain with their mothers until they are at least two years old, and females never leave their mothers. Other mammals may be seen throughout the park, including deer and coyotes; snakes, such as the Prairie Rattlesnake; and large birds of prey. Last but not least, keep your eyes peeled for the butterflies fluttering in the prairie grasses. 

Everglades National Park

Contrary to its name, there are no sharks in Shark Valley in Everglades National Park . But there are alligators — lots of them. More than 200,000 of these reptiles are throughout the park, making them easy to spot. The difference between an alligator and its close family member, the crocodile, which also lives in the park, is their snout shape, with the former bearing a U-shape and the latter a V-shape. The Everglades is the only place in the world where these two species live together. Traveling the 15-mile Shark Valley Tram Road will take you to the alligators, and time at Flamingo Marina will allow you to observe crocodiles in their natural habitat. 

There are also more than 40 species of mammals in the park, including white-tailed deer, bobcats, and the marsh rabbit, which can sometimes be seen taking a swim. There are gray foxes, too — the only fox species that can climb trees. Playful river otters are often spotted in Shark Valley and the Anhinga Trail spring. And you can find the ever-popular manatee passing the time around the Flamingo Marina. 

The Everglades are also one of the best places for birdwatchers, with over 360 species living in the park. One of the most colorful is the Roseate Spoonbill, often confused with the flamingo because of its rosy hue. However, unlike the flamingo, the Roseate Spoonbill is native to North America. Other avian life inhabiting the park includes pintails, wigeons, teals, geese, ducks, grebes, and doves. 

Olympic National Park

There aren't a lot of places where you can see whales and bears in a single day. Olympic National Park in Washington State is one such unique location. Known for its biodiversity, it comprises three separate ecosystems — glaciers, coastline, and temperate rainforest. In the forests and meadows, you're likely to glimpse at least one of the 62 species of terrestrial mammals, including American Black Bears, Blacktail Deer, and Roosevelt Elk. Mountain lions and bobcats are harder to spot, but you might catch one stalking on a mountainside or near a stream. Mountain beavers, sea otters, marmots, porcupines, and snowshoe hares are easier to see. Dawn and dusk, when animals are feeding, offer the best opportunities for spotting one of these animals. 

Olympic National Park is also known for its array of bird species — about 300 in total. Falcons, pelicans, sparrows, woodpeckers, starlings, and kingfishers are just a handful of species that can be seen if you're quiet, patient, and have a good pair of binoculars. Rich marine life populates the lakes, streams, and oceans. In summer months, pink salmon abound in the Dungeness watershed along the Gray Wolf River. The bright red bodies of spawning sockeye salmon can be seen in the Quinault River in November and December. The best viewpoint is from the Quinault Valley at Big Creek. From the coastline, you might be able to glimpse one of the 29 marine mammal species in the park, including seals, sea lions, spouting whales, and sea otters.

Lake Clark National Park

Undoubtedly, Lake Clark National Park & Preserve in Alaska isn't the easiest place to view wildlife simply because it's not an effortless place to get to. There are no highways that access the park, so the only way in is by plane. But once you arrive, wildlife viewing opportunities are abundant. Bears are one of the park's top attractions, especially along the Cook Inlet coast, where brown bears gather to feed on rich marine life. Unlike many other places in the world, bears are not threatened by humans here, and they have plenty of natural food sources. This has made them quite tolerant and ambivalent towards humans, which means visitors have plenty of chances to see them up close (well, not too close!) 

Dall sheep wander the slopes of the Chigmit Mountains, where the park and preserve meet, and you can also see them on Tanalian Mountain in the Twin Lakes area. The 30,000-strong (down from 200,000 in 1999) Mulchatna Caribou Herd wanders the western preserve through the Bonanza Hills and surrounding the Twin, Snipe, and Turquoise lakes. Moose — a close relative of caribou but considerably larger —  are typically present in areas below treeline, where the forest and tundra meet, as well as in burned and otherwise disturbed areas. Moose is one of Alaska's most hunted big game animals, but they are well-protected within the park's confines.

Glacier National Park

Montana's Glacier National Park is known for its bear population and is home to more grizzlies than anywhere else in the contiguous United States. You may be able to spot one of these large (and fast — up to 35 mph!) mammals anywhere in the park. Still, you can increase your chances by heading to the Logan Pass area, where they often hang out in the meadows by the visitor center, as well as on the Hidden Lake Overlook and Highline trails. Saint Mary Valley and Many Glacier are other grizzly hotspots. Head out at dusk or dawn when the bears are most active. 

If you want to see the park's mountain goats and bighorn sheep, you'll also need to get out there just after sunrise or just before sunset. The Hidden Lake Overlook trail by the Logan Pass Visitors Center is a great place to see mountain goats and bighorn sheep. You may also catch sight of some smaller mammals, such as marmots and pikas. If you can't spot the tiny pikas, you might still be able to hear their distinctive high-pitched squeaks that echo through the mountains. Coyotes also prowl prairies and grasslands in the eastern area of Glacier National Park, especially in the early morning. If you want to see beavers at work constructing their dams, head to Lower McDonald Creek. And, although not commonly seen, Glacier is also home to lynx and mountain lions. 

Mt. Rainier National Park

Do you know what to do if you get a little too close for comfort with a cougar? If you plan to hike the backcountry at Mt. Rainier National Park , you might want to have a game plan. Although there's yet to be a human injury from a cougar, the National Park Service says that cougar attacks are on the rise around the country. First of all, don't run! Stand your ground and try to make yourself appear as large as possible. Make a lot of noise. Once the cougar is scared away, take time to reflect on how lucky you were to get a glimpse of one in the wild — and not come to any harm in the process.

Black bear encounters at Mt. Rainier are more common because they aren't as timid as cougars. For most people, spotting a bear in the wildlife is a highlight of their trip. They hibernate in winter, but they can be seen in all park areas in warmer months, especially in subalpine forests and low-elevation meadows. Other mammals you might see include coyotes, often spotted in Box Canyon and along Stevens Canyon Road, and red foxes, which frequent the Paradise and Longmire picnic areas. You can see two types of deer year-round: the Columbian black-tailed deer populates the park's western side, and Mule deer are in the east. 

Glacier Bay National Park

Wildlife in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska varies greatly from season to season. Late spring and summer are the driest months and the most popular time for visitors. In spring, bears start to come out of hibernation and can be seen munching on fledgling vegetation on mountain slopes or in grassy tidal areas looking for sedges. Birds migrate back to the park, including songbirds, Canada geese, trumpeter swans, and dabbing ducks. Inland bodies of water are prime spots for birding, as well as coastal areas where puffins, guillemots, and gulls congregate in nesting colonies. 

Summer is the time to arrive if you want to see one of the park's most popular spectacles: humpback whales jumping out of the water. You can also catch sight of harbor seals and their pups, killer whales (which aren't as dangerous as they sound), and harbor porpoises. Hummingbirds whiz around feeders and flowerbeds in June, and vibrant red spawning sockeye salmon populate streams at the end of July. Mountain goats are also active during the summer; nannies travel in packs with their young, while billy goats travel separately, alone, or in small groups.

The colder months are best for viewing Stellar sea lions on Benjamin Island, among other places. Beavers are busy in October, building up food stores and patching their homes in preparation for winter. Bulls and bucks with full racks can be seen. In November, thousands of bald eagles gather on the Chilkat River near Haines.

Channel Islands National Park

Channel Islands National Park is often referred to as the "Galapagos of North America" due to its density of flora and fauna, many species of which are endemic to the islands. Whale and dolphin watching is a popular activity in the park, and there are 27 distinct species, including the largest population of blue whales in the world. You can also see humpback, fin, and gray whales; common dolphins, Risso's dolphins, and orcas; and several species of pinnipeds, including harbor and elephant seals and California sea lions. 

Channel Islands is also one of the top destinations for birders, with 290 species. And it's the only park with its endemic species — the brilliant blue Island Scrub Jay. Sixty types of sea birds call the park home, including rare species like the California brown pelican and the Scripps's murrelet. It's also one of the best locations in the world for diving and snorkeling — a favorite diving spot of oceanographer Jacques Cousteau — where underwater expeditions through sea caves, coves, and kelp forests put you up close and personal with marine life. Starfish, vibrant sea anemones, bat rays, moray eels, abalone, octopus, California spiny lobsters, and the giant black sea bass, which can weigh up to 500 pounds, are just a few of the treasures underwater adventurers can find in the Channel Island waters. 

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The 20 Best Wildlife Parks & Wildlife Tours in the World

Ecotourism Destination - North America

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. All hosted affiliate links follow our editorial policies .

Global interest in nature-based tourism, which includes wildlife tourism, has grown rapidly over the last decade.

At the same time, wildlife has become increasingly under threat from issues such as habitat loss, poaching, and a lack of funding for conservation.  

Richard Damania, lead economist for the World Bank , succinctly explains the intrinsic connection between economy and ecology in tourism destinations: “Provide jobs and (you’ll) save the environment.”  

But of course it’s not quite that simple, as a National Geographic cover story on the dark truth behind wildlife tourism illustrated.

When managed irresponsibly, wildlife attractions may involve abuse, exploitation, drugged animals, and even death. And unless visitors are well-informed about these issues, they’d probably never know the difference.  

Fortunately, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of examples of wildlife tourism attractions that get it right.

These sustainably-run operations have led to improved well-being for the animals, increased investments in protected areas and reserves, a reduction in poaching, and increased benefits for local communities in the form of jobs, co-management of resources, and revenue-sharing.  

Here’s a look at 20 of the world’s best wildlife parks , as well as wildlife tours specifically designed for animal lovers.

READ MORE: The 25 Best National Parks in Africa for Wildlife Safaris


Etosha National Park Namibia - Famous national parks in the world


The utterly unique wildlife park encompasses 8,600 square miles of expansive desert landscapes .

At the heart of Etosha National Park are its expansive salt pans. In the wet season they fill with water and attract a bevy of beautiful birds , while in the dry season they blow saline dust out towards the Atlantic Ocean.

The otherworldly park is also home to lots of big game animals, including giraffes , lions, black and white rhinos, and endemic mountain zebras, as well as a wide variety of birds.

Many Namibia wildlife tours include visiting Etosha National Park , looking for desert elephants in Skeleton Coast National Park, seeing the massive Cape fur seal colonies at Swakomund, and much more.  

READ MORE: The 20 Safest Countries in Africa to Visit

Lioness Devouring Buffalo in Kruger National Park - Best Wildlife Parks in the World

2. KRUGER NATIONAL PARK (South Africa)  

Covering more than 7,500 square miles in the eastern part of South Africa , Kruger National Park ranks alongside Etosha among the largest wildlife reserves in all of Africa.

Established in 1926, it’s South Africa’s oldest national park and part of a protected UNESCO Biosphere Reserve .

Although the region has been struggling to deal with the rise in poaching of elephants, rhinos, and other animals for the illegal wildlife trade over the past decade, Kruger National Park remains a remarkable place.

The park is home to an exceptional range of wildlife, including 517 bird species, 147 species of large mammals, 114 reptile species, and rare, endangered wildlife including black rhinos and the gorgeous African wild dog (a.k.a. painted dog).  

READ MORE: Tips for Visiting Kruger National Park, South Africa

Cheetahs with Gazelle Kill in Ol Kinyei Conservancy - Best Wildlife Tours in the World


The Masai Mara should need no introduction as the northern stop of Africa’s Great Migration of wildebeest, zebras, and other ungulates, which is arguably one of the world’s greatest wonders for wildlife lovers.

But the 583-square-mile reserve is just part of the Greater Mara Ecosystem, which also includes numerous Maasai-owned wildlife conservancies .

The area is home to 25% of Kenya’s wildlife , including an incredible population of Big Cats (cheetahs, lions , and leopards), as well as their prey (gazelles, impala, wildebeest, etc).

Eco-tour operators like Gamewatchers Safaris  and the Elewana Collection offer an exceptional opportunity to explore the area in depth, covering much of the same epic journey the migration follows each year.

READ MORE: Masai Mara Conservancies: A Model for Community Conservation in Kenya

Rhinos Without Borders project, photo by Beverly Joubert - Wildlife Parks

4. OKAVANGO DELTA (Botswana)

One of the newer UNESCO sites on this list, Botswana’s Okavango Delta earned World Heritage Site status in 2014 for its incredibly diverse wildlife and expansive wetlands ecosystem.

Spreading across 5791 square miles, the region’s vast network of canals and swamps are best explored via traditional canoes , which are known as mokoro .

In the winter, the water draws some 200,000 large mammals (cheetahs, lions, elephants, rhinos, etc.) and 400+ bird species to the area. Thanks to Botswana’s anti-poaching measures, the number of animals here is growing.

Luxury Botswana safaris (such as those offered by Great Plains Conservation ) offer guests an exclusive experience exploring different regions of this fertile landscape, including areas rarely visited by most wildlife tours of the Okavango.

READ MORE: 55 Interesting Facts About Elephants

Baby Zebra in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania


The southern starting point for the annual Great Migration from Tanzania to Kenya in search of water and fresh grass, this 5,700-square mile UNESCO World Heritage Site was named after the Maasai word for “the place where the land runs on forever.”

It’s an apt moniker, and the Serengeti’s seemingly endless grasslands, riverine forest, bushy savanna, and open woodlands are home to a staggering array of wildlife (not to mention the welcoming Maasai people ).

In just a few days of exploring the area, you can see lots of lions, elephants, giraffes, Nile crocodiles, colobus monkeys, and huge herds of wildebeest, zebras, gazelles, and buffalo crowding the plains.

Numerous tour operators offer immersive excursions that explore this excellent East African wildlife park in depth.

READ MORE: The Top 10 Tanzania National Parks & Reserves

Mountain Gorilla Diet


Made famous by primatologist Diane Fossey ’s groundbreaking work with mountain gorillas back in the 1970s and ‘80s, Volcanoes was the first national park on the african continent.

The park is home to five of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountain range, with up to 80 tourists a day paying for pricey permits to spend an incredible hour with one of the 10 habituated gorilla families that make their home here.

The park also offers treks to see habituated groups of endangered golden monkeys, visit Fossey’s grave, and climb Bisoke (a one-day tour) or Karisimbi Volcano (a 2-day trek with overnight camping ) .

We also recommend a visit to Iby’Iwacu Cultural Village , which provides alternative employment opportunities for former poachers and their families. It’s a model for community-based conservation.

READ MORE: 50 Interesting Facts About  Gorillas

Ecotourism Destination - Antarctica


Ok, so technically there are no national parks in Antarctica .

But because the entire continent is protected by the Antarctic Treaty System, the coldest, driest, and windiest place on the planet is basically like one giant wildlife reserve. And small ship cruises are a great way to explore it.

The best Antarctic wildlife tours include plenty of Adelie, chinstrap, and gentoo penguins on the Antarctic mainland; Magellanic and rockhopper penguins in the Falkland Islands; and vast colonies of king and macaroni penguins (not to mention elephant and fur seals) on South Georgia Island.

Of course, there will also be plenty of whales , seals, and other wildlife sightings during your time at sea as well!  

READ MORE: 30 Antarctic Animals You Can See on an Antarctica Cruise


BANDHAVGARH NATIONAL PARK - Best National Parks in the World for Tiger Viewing


Located in Madhya Pradesh, the 431-square-mile Bandhavgarh National Park & Tiger Reserve boasts one of the highest densities of Bengal tigers in the world.

Thanks to conservation initiatives here and at tiger reserves such as Kanha and Kaziranga National Parks, the Bengal tiger is one of the few endangered species whose population is growing.

But the fearsome cat is hardly this wildlife park’s only attraction: There are also 36 other species of mammals (including leopards, Asian elephants, and nilgai, or “blue bulls”), more than 250 species of birds, and around 80 species of butterflies.

There are three zones in this former maharaja’s hunting grounds that are open to tourists: The Tala zone is considered the best for tigers and also the most photogenic, while Khitauli is great for birdwatching .  

READ MORE: Indian Animals: A Guide to 40 Species of Indian Wildlife 

Things to do in Indonesia, see a Komodo dragon at Komodo National Park


There are less than 5,000 Komodo dragons left in the world, and most of them are found on two small islands in Indonesia , Komodo Island and Rinca Island.

Along with Padar and 26 smaller islands, this entire archipelago has been protected since 1980 as Komodo National Park .

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, the park was originally designed to protect the world’s largest lizard, which can grow up to 10 feet long.

But it’s also home to remarkable marine life, including whale sharks , manta rays, eagle rays, blue-ringed octopus, and quite a few cetaceans (including dolphins, blue whales, and sperm whales).  

READ MORE: How Fires in Indonesia & Palm Oil Are Killing Orangutans



If you enjoy snorkeling and Scuba diving and have a deep appreciation for marine life, a visit to the islands of the Philippines is truly a must.

Located within the South China Sea’s famed “Coral Triangle,” the Philippines is home to some of the world’s most picturesque beaches, colorful coral reef systems, and a dazzling assortment of ocean animals .

Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park covers 374 square miles and includes two large atolls and a smaller reef system.

Small ship expedition cruises give guests chances to dive and/or snorkel this ecotourism hotspot in the Palawan province, where they may see some of the reef’s 600 fish species, 13 species of cetaceans, 11 types of sharks, and several species of sea turtles.  

READ MORE: Top 15 Things to Do in Coron, Palawan

Yala National Park, Sri Lanka - best wildlife national parks in the world


Sri Lanka may not be nearly as well known as neighboring India in terms of tourism, but in the last few years its number of international visitors has been gradually on the rise.

The island nation’s oldest and most renowned national park is also home to the greatest concentration of Sri Lanka wildlife , including leopards, Sri Lankan elephants, sloth bears, jackals, buffalo, crocodiles, and monkeys.

The uncrowded wildlife park also boasts over 150 bird species, and the adjacent Yala East (a.k.a. Kumana National Park) is a notorious nesting site for waterbirds.

Yala is a huge factor in the recent rise of Sri Lanka ecotourism , with an array of incredible natural wonders you won’t see anywhere else in the country.

READ MORE: Endangered Asian Animals: The 10 Best Wildlife Conservation Programs


GREAT BARRIER REEF, Australia -one of the most visited national parks in the world


Stretching more than 133,000 square miles, the Great Barrier Reef of Australia is easily the world’s largest coral reef system.  

The area is home to at least 30 species of cetaceans, over 1,500 species of fish, six species of sea turtles, and around 125 different species of sharks and stingrays.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site also includes mangroves and salt marshes, which provide fertile breeding grounds for frogs and saltwater crocodiles, and around 1.5 million birds (215 species) use its 900 islands to nest or roost.

The Australian National Park ’s reefs are currently being threatened by climate change, with ocean acidification leading to increased coral bleaching. But some cruises take guests to its most pristine places, including Osprey Reef and Lizard Island.

READ MORE: 20 Weird & Cute Australian Animals


BANFF NATIONAL PARK - One of the most beautiful national parks in the world


Established in 1885, Banff National Park encompasses around 2,564 square miles, and is packed with towering mountains, dense coniferous forest, glaciers, and ice fields.

It’s bounded by Yoho National Park to the west, Kootenay National Park to the south, and Kananaskis Country to the southeast, so the entire region feels like one massive nature area.

The park is home to a wonderful array of alpine animals, including grizzly bears, cougars, moose, elk, bighorn sheep, wolverines, and hundreds of bird species.

If you visit, make time for a road trip along the impressively scenic Icefields Parkway, which extends from the world-renowned Lake Louise to neighboring Jasper National Park .

READ MORE: Polar Bears in Churchill, Manitoba 

Tapir (Sleeping) In Corcovado National Park


Located on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica,  Corcovado National Park has been referred to by  National Geographic  as “the most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity.”

At 164 square miles, it’s one of the world’s few remaining large areas of lowland  tropical rainforests , with a diverse range of ecosystems providing home to more than 500 different tree species.

During our three days of hiking in the park we spotted a dizzying array of wildlife, including the endangered Baird’s tapir, the rare harpy eagle, all four Costa Rica monkey species, sloths, giant anteaters, collared peccaries, and more.

Scuba divers and snorkelers can also enjoy a day trip to Caño Island, which is 40 minutes away by boat.  

READ MORE: 40 Amazing Costa Rica Animals

Denali National Park Road


If you’re interested in wildlife tours, central Alaska’s Denali National Park is arguably the best place in the USA to take one.

With six million acres of pristine wilderness and just one 92-mile road through it (which is only open to private vehicles four days a year), Denali is about as wild as national parks get.

The shuttle bus drivers double as engaging naturalist guides, allowing visitors to sit back, relax, and drop their jaws at the stunning scenery and– if you’re lucky– breathtaking views of the massive mountain for which the park is named.

The prodigious wildlife here includes lots of grizzly bears, moose, caribou, bald eagles, and even wolves. So if you’re planning on hiking or camping here, make sure to familiarize yourself with backcountry safety.

READ MORE: 40 Species of Alaskan Animals You Can See on Vacation

Bison Herds in Yellowstone National Park


If Alaska’s a bit too remote for your budget, the world’s first national park is the next best thing.

Yellowstone National Park has been in the news often in recent years due to overtourism and the misbehavior of some irresponsible visitors .

But don’t let a few bad apples spoil your enjoyment of the inherent beauty of its natural attractions, including Mammoth Hot Springs, Lamar Valley, the Upper & Lower Geyser Basin, and Grand Prismatic Spring.

Though traffic can be frustrating in peak summer, the shoulder seasons are great for spotting wildlife such as bald eagles, bighorn sheep, bison, elk, grizzly bears, wolves, and much more.

If you want to explore Yellowstone with almost no other tourists, visit in winter, when everything is blanketed in white.  

READ MORE: List of US National Parks By State: an EPIC  Guide


Galapagos Islands Animals: Galapagos Sea Lions


Located 563 miles off Ecuador’s coast, this volcanic archipelago is a must-see for anyone who loves nature and wildlife, especially avid birdwatchers .

Named the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, the Galapagos Islands have fascinated mankind ever since they influenced Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution during his voyage there in the early 1800s .

The landscapes are remarkably diverse, from the lush green flora of the Santa Cruz highlands to the harsh lava fields on Bartolomé.

It’s also home to some of the world’s most fascinating wildlife, from ocean-feeding Marine Iguanas and comical Blue-Footed Boobies to diminutive Galapagos Penguins and massive Galapagos Tortoises.

READ MORE: 30 Amazing Galapagos Islands Animals

Squirrel Monkey in Pacaya-Samiria Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon


Encompassing around 8,000 square miles in remote Loretu, Peru, the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve was easily our favorite part of the Peruvian Amazon .

The protected area includes low hills and portions of the Amazon rainforest that are flooded during the wet season.

So while there are 19 ranger stations, 15 authorized campsites, and five wilderness huts available, the best/only way to explore the reserve for much of the year is by boat.

Eco-friendly Amazon River cruises provide heartwarming cultural exchanges with the indigenous Ribereños, as well as exceptional opportunities to see wildlife like the Amazon river dolphin, Amazonian manatee, a variety of monkeys, and countless colorful birds.

READ MORE: 25 Beautiful Birds in the Amazon Rainforest

Top Travel Destinations of 2016- Brazilian Pantanal


Though Brazil ’s portion of the Amazon forest is currently under serious threat due to fires designed to clear forest, its Pantanal remains one of the world’s truly great destinations for wildlife lovers.

The Brazilian Pantanal is one of the largest tropical wetlands in the world, covering approximately 54,000-75,000 square miles.

The region is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, and around 80% of its floodplains are underwater during the rainy season, making it one of the planet’s richest and most biodiverse ecosystems.

Animal aficionados will have a field day here, as the Pantanal is home to 400 fish species, 300 species of mammals (including the ever-elusive jaguar), and 480 species of reptiles. There are also over 1,000 different bird species in the Pantanal.  

READ MORE: 21 Incredible Animals that Live in the Amazon Rainforest

A Guanaco in Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile


Part of the National System of Protected Forested Areas of Chile, this gem of Patagonia  is among the country’s largest (around 935 square miles) and most popular wildlife parks.

In terms of attractions, Torres del Paine National Park has plenty, from the archaeological history of the Milodon Caves and ancient wall art along the Fauna Trail to the expansive Grey Glacier, part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field (the world’s second largest contiguous ice field outside of the poles).

There’s plenty of wildlife, such as foxes, huemul deer, guanacos, pumas, and the massive Andean Condor.

But the park’s most distinctive features are the three towering granite peaks of the Paine Massif itself, which rises some 9,350 feet above sea level.   –Bret Love

The 20 Best Wildlife Parks and Wildlife Tours in the World, focusing on those specifically designed for animal lovers.

About the Author

Green Global Travel is the world's #1 independently owned ecotourism website encouraging others to embrace sustainable travel, wildlife conservation, cultural preservation, and going green tips for more sustainable living.

We've been spotlighted in major media outlets such as the BBC, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, The Guardian, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, Travel Channel, Washington Post and others.

Owned by Bret Love (a veteran journalist/photographer) and Mary Gabbett (business manager/videographer), USA Today named us one of the world's Top 5 Travel Blogging Couples. We were also featured in the 2017 National Geographic book, Ultimate Journeys for Two, for which we contributed a chapter on our adventures in Rwanda. Other awards we've won include Best Feature from both the Caribbean Tourism Organization and the Magazine Association of the Southeast.

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The 7 best u.s. national parks for wildlife spotting.

Catch a glimpse of sea lions, tiger sharks and bears – oh my!

Pink glow of sunset on an Alaskan beach in winter with a flying eagle and mountains in the background.

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Visit these top spots to check out fascinating creatures.

A bull caribou in autumn at Denali National Park, Alaska.

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Denali National Park and Preserve

Bison on the prairie below the Grand Teton Range. Fall colors on the Grand Teton Mountain Range. Bison (or Buffalo) migrate out of Yellowstone National Park in winter

Yellowstone National Park

A panoramic photo of Potato Harbor, an oblong cove on the western side of Santa Cruz Island, California in National Park Service land, viewed from the cliffs above. Channel Islands National Park.

Channel Islands National Park

Woman paddling kayak in everglades

Everglades National Park

Breaching humpback whale against snow capped mountains  seen in the distance in Glacier Bay, Alaska.

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Peninsular grizzly in a river holding a sockeye salmon

Katmai National Park and Preserve

Hawksbill sea turtle swimming in tropical ocean

Virgin Islands National Park

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This National Park Is Known for Its High Elevation — and Offers Stunning Hikes, Diverse Wildlife, and More

Here's everything you need to know before visiting Rocky Mountain National Park.

Evie Carrick is a writer and editor who’s lived in five countries and visited well over 50. She now splits her time between Colorado and Paris, ensuring she doesn't have to live without skiing or L'As du Fallafel.

wildlife places to visit

  • Planning Your Visit

How to Get There

  • Best Time to Visit

Best Things to Do

  • Places to Stay

Places to Eat

Matt Dirksen/Getty Images

Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the highest national parks in the country, with an elevation that spans from 7,600 feet above sea level to 14,259 feet (or almost three miles) above sea level. Beyond its towering elevation, the mountainous Continental Divide runs through the park, along with the highest continuous paved road in the United States (the Trail Ridge Road), which provides visitors with beautiful high-elevation drives. Those interested in exploring on foot will find over 350 miles of trails, many of which lead to untouched wilderness areas.

“Rocky Mountain National Park provides exceptional access to wild places for visitors to recreate and experience solitude and outstanding scenery,” explained Kyle Patterson, the management specialist and public affairs officer for Rocky Mountain National Park, in an interview with Travel + Leisure.

Meet the Expert

Kyle Patterson is the management specialist and public affairs officer for Rocky Mountain National Park.

Claire Molle is the communications manager of Visit Estes Park.

Planning Your Visit 

John Covert/Getty Images

Rocky Mountain National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, but some areas may be closed seasonally or due to weather conditions. No matter when you visit, you’ll need to purchase a park pass. A single-day vehicle pass is $30, while a seven-day vehicle pass is $35.

The park is completely cashless, so you’ll need to buy your entrance pass online via or by using a credit/debit card or digital payment at one of the park’s entrances. If you only have cash, you can purchase a park pass from the Rocky Mountain Conservancy Nature Stores at three of the park’s visitor centers: Beaver Meadows, Fall River, or Kawuneeche. 

If you’re visiting during the park’s busy season, late May to mid-October, you’ll also need to arrange a timed-entry permit. There are two types of timed-entry permits: one that provides access to the entire park, and one that allows you to visit everything except the Bear Lake Road Corridor (the most heavily used portion of the park). Both can be reserved on starting May 1, 2024 and cost only the $2 processing fee. With a timed-entry permit, you can enter Rocky Mountain National Park within a two-hour  window of your entry time with no set departure time. For more, visit the park’s timed-entry information page .

There are four visitor centers in the park: Beaver Meadows, Fall River, Kawuneeche, and Alpine. Beaver Meadows and Fall River are located on the eastern side of the park near the city of Estes Park, Colorado, while Kawunechee is located on the western side of the park near Granby, Colorado. They remain open year-round. Alpine, which is on the northern side of the park and is the highest-elevation visitor center in the National Park System, closes in the winter.

During the busy season, you can also visit the Moraine Park Discovery Center near the eastern entrances.

arinahabich/Getty Images

If you’re staying in or flying into Denver, head west to Estes Park, Colorado, the base for the two eastern park entrances and visitor centers, Beaver Meadows and Fall River. If you’re coming to Rocky Mountain National Park from the western or southwestern part of the state, your closest entrance and visitor center will be Kawuneeche, which is near the town of Grand Lake , north of Granby, Colorado. 

There is no public transportation from nearby cities to the park, so you will need a car to explore Rocky Mountain National Park. From late May to mid-October, you can drive the park’s iconic Trail Ridge Road, which connects Grand Lake and Estes Park. 

Best Time to Visit 

epicurean/Getty Images

The best time to visit Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is typically fall, when everything is still open but the summer crowds have dispersed. According to Claire Molle, the communications manager of Visit Estes Park , “Fall is a terrific time to visit Estes Park and RMNP, with gorgeous fall colors and the chance to witness the fascinating elk rut. Weather seems to also be terrific in September and early October.”

She notes that winter and spring are also fantastic times to visit, noting that even though certain parts of the park are closed (including Trail Ridge Road), “Winters in RMNP evoke serene tranquility, especially during snowshoeing excursions. You can find terrific trails to snowshoe in RMNP starting around late November through early May!” 

Patterson calls out the solitude of winter (and frozen waterfalls), and notes that while the summer wildflower season can be stunning, “Late May through mid-October is the busiest part of the year with high visitation.”

Mark C Stevens/Getty Images

Trail Ridge Road

This paved road connects the two main entrances of the park — Grand Lake and Estes Park — showcasing the visual wonder of Rocky Mountain National Park. The road offers sweeping Rocky Mountain views in all directions. Trail Ridge Road takes most people between four and eight hours, depending on how many viewpoints and trails you want to stop at.

Patterson notes that the route “is the highest continuous paved road in the United States with 11 miles above treeline.  There are a number of pull-offs and short trails to experience the magic of the alpine tundra and top-of-the-world, 360-degree views.”

Trail Ridge Road is normally open from Memorial Day to mid-October, weather permitting.

Sheep Lakes

Not far from the Fall River entrance is Sheep Lakes, an open area that offers a dramatic view of Horseshoe Park, which was carved by ancient glaciers. According to the Rocky Mountain National Park website, the “beautiful meadow is a great place to view wildlife. The area is named for the bighorn sheep that come down from the mountainside to lick mud for nutrients. Sheep Lakes also sees coyotes, ground squirrels, and elk.”

The parking lot at Sheep Lakes is open 24 hours a day, year-round, but it's best visited in the fall when the annual elk mating season takes place. The adjacent Sheep Lakes Information Station is closed in the winter and spring.

Holzwarth Historic Site

For a glimpse into the park’s human history, visit the Holzwarth Historic Site. The series of buildings provide a peek into what life looked like in the 1920s, when the Holzwarth family homesteaded on 160 acres high in the mountains. 

The grounds are open year-round, but entry into the historic buildings is only allowed in the summer (typically Memorial Day to Labor Day).

Best Hikes 

MargaretW/Getty Images

If you’re not much of a hiker but you want to stretch your legs and see the views, head to the Bear Lake Trailhead on the east side of the park. The route goes around the lake in a view-packed, half-mile journey. The route is wheelchair accessible, and offers stunning views of Hallett Peak and the Continental Divide from the trail.

It’s worth noting that the trail can be very busy in the summer and that parking is limited. To be safe, park at the Park & Ride lot and hop on the free summer shuttle to the trailhead. 

Emerald Lake

The Emerald Lake hike also begins at the Bear Lake Trailhead, but tends to be a little quieter than the Bear Lake loop. (That said, the parking and shuttle advice above still applies.)

Molle says,”It's a great option for families or those who might not know how far they are wanting to hike because it will take you first to Nymph Lake, then to Dream Lake, and finally to Emerald Lake about two miles up. All three lakes are breathtaking, and the trail allows you to pick whichever lake you would like as your destination depending on how ambitious you are feeling.” 

For the more adventurous and experienced hiker, Patterson recommends hiking to Chasm Lake on the east side of the park. The lake sits at the base of Longs Peak, the park’s highest point and one of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks. The out-and-back trail to Chasm Lake is 8.4 miles and requires a steady climb through a subalpine forest and into the alpine tundra.

Coyote Valley

This easy, out-and-back trail is located on the west side of the park, near Grand Lake and Granby. The hike is one mile, roundtrip and is wheelchair accessible. The route runs along the Colorado River, which draws local wildlife, including elk and moose.

Cascade Falls

This hiking trail is also located on the quieter, western side of Rocky Mountain National Park. The out-and-back trail is almost seven miles long and passes through open meadows, dense pine forest, and along the river, in addition to taking hikers to a beautiful cascade that tumbles onto pure granite rock. 

Sparty1711/Getty Images

Wildlife spotting is one of the main reasons people visit Rocky Mountain National Park, which is home to large wild animals, including elk, bighorn sheep, moose, and bears. The park is home to a large elk herd, numbering between 600 to 800 in the winter , and around 350 bighorn sheep. There is also a small population of moose and black bears.

According to the park’s website, “wildlife watching is rated the number-one activity by a vast majority of Rocky's three million annual visitors.”

One of the most interesting times to view the elk herd is in the fall, during the rut, or mating season. Sheeps Lake is a popular viewing spot, as is any place in the park where the meadow and forest meet. According to the national park’s website, “Elk spend much of their time at or above treeline during the summer, moving to lower elevations in the fall, winter, and spring.”

Bighorn Sheep

The best place to see bighorn sheep is at the aptly named Sheep Lakes from May to mid-August.

Moose are more commonly seen on the western side of the park along the Colorado River in the Kawuneeche Valley. They tend to frequent the willow thickets set along the river.

Black Bears

Black bears make a point to avoid humans , so they are rarely seen in the park. The sightings, while rare, take place in the summer once the bears have come out of hibernation. It’s worth noting that contrary to their name, black bears can also be dark brown, cinnamon-colored, or almost blonde.

Places to Stay 

Christian Harder

In addition to lots of backcountry, hike-to camping that requires a permit, Rocky Mountain National Park has five campgrounds with sites that can be reserved in advance and accessed by a car. 

Patterson notes that “They are very popular, and demand normally exceeds supply.” She also warns that Moraine Park Campground, which is listed below and is the park's largest campground, is currently closed. It will reopen for summer 2024, but the timing is unknown. 

All the campgrounds but Longs Peak Campground must be reserved in advance with a rolling six-month window.


Aspenglen Campground: This campground has 52 RV and tent sites including 13 that are for tents only. There is no water and no RV dump station. This is the only campground open year-round.

Glacier Basin Campground: Glacier Basin has 150 sites, along with lots of amenities — including firewood for sale, potable water, a dump station, and helpful staff on site. It is only open from late May through mid-September, weather dependent.

Moraine Park Campground: This is the largest campground in the park with 244 campsites. The park website notes that it is “closed until early June 2024,” while Patterson said that the exact opening date is still unknown and might be later into the summer than planned. When the campground restoration project is complete, the large campground will have new walkways, parking areas, and amenities, including 15 additional wheelchair-accessible campsites, 90 new food storage boxes, and electrical hook-ups for around 60 campsites. The Moraine Park Campground also has potable water, an RV dump station, and staff on site.

Longs Peak Campground: This is a tent-only campground (no RVs allowed). It typically opens in July and closes in early September. It is also the only first-come, first-served campground in the park.

Timber Creek Campground: Timber Creek is the only campground on the quieter, western side of the park. This campground has 98 RV and tent sites, including 30 that are reserved for tents only. There is potable water, an RV dump station, and staff on site. Timber Creek is only open in the summer season.

Trailborn Rocky Mountains: The buzz around this new hotel is well founded. Trailborn Rocky Mountains , which opened in late 2023 in Estes Park, was specifically designed to serve national park visitors. The well-thought-out basecamp is clean and modern with just enough amenities to make it stand out — including on-site dining, pools, and an outdoor space with fire pits. 

“The Trailborn stands out as a modern and well-equipped motel-style lodging, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts,” said Molle.

Grand Lake Lodge: This property is located on the western side of the park in the town of Grand Lake. Most guests stay in the historic cabins, which have been updated with a contemporary look, but there are also four “Jupes,” or tents, with high ceilings and solar-power-generated electricity.

There are no dining options inside Rocky Mountain National Park, so you’ll need to plan ahead by packing a picnic or returning to town for lunch.

The Rock Inn Mountain Tavern

The Rock Inn Mountain Tavern is one of the closest restaurants to the entrance to the national park. It is also much more than a restaurant — it’s a community hub with near-constant live music and delicious food.

Poppy's Pizza & Grill

This eatery is one of Molle’s favorites. It’s got an excellent riverfront location in Estes Park and has an outdoor patio where you can enjoy one of their specialty pies or sandwiches paired with a Colorado-brewed beer.

Claire's Restaurant and Bar

This spot in Estes Park is another of Molle’s top picks. Claire’s has a wide variety of dishes, including BBQ, fish, and burgers. The establishment opened in 1992 and continues to be a favorite — it helps that it has a lovely outdoor patio.

The National Parks Experience

16 Best U.S. National Parks for Wildlife Watching

By: Author Bram Reusen

Posted on Last updated: March 14, 2024

You don’t need to venture too far from your front door to see animals. Even at home, you can see a wide variety of animals going about their daily lives.

Whether you live in a big city or small town, there’s usually a bunch of different birds flying around, while squirrels play in trees and deer forage in verges.

Watching wildlife in America is easier than you might think. If, however, you’d like to really focus on the “wild” in wildlife, you should consider visiting the following best national parks in USA for wildlife viewing.

This best national parks for wildlife viewing post contains affiliate links. You can read more about our  Terms of Use / Disclosure here .

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana

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Yes, the USA has its huge cities and historic towns , but the vast majority of the country still consists of rugged mountain ranges, empty deserts and deep forests.

You don’t have to try hard to get away from America’s urbanity and the time-pressured stress that comes with city life. Wildlife, too, finds refuge in the wild lands in America’s national parks .

From the deserts of California to the coral reefs of the Virgin Islands, from the forests of the Blue Ridge Mountains to subarctic Alaska , the spectrum of America’s habitats is incredibly wide.

Diversity is, after all, the trademark of the country—not only in natural terms but also when it comes to cities, cultures, wealth, opinions and music.

This immense variety of habitats and biotopes results in a truly phenomenal biodiversity.

Dolphins and whales frolic in oceans, while buffalo roam plains, eagles soar the skies, and bears and mountain lions wander through forests. Wolves howl at the moon and rattlesnakes sunbathe on rocks, manatees bask in tropical waters and alligators lounge on riverbanks.

The number of iconic American mammals , birds and other creatures is virtually endless.

Interested in seeing America’s most famous animals in the wild? Visit one of these fantastic national parks for wildlife watching.

Bison crossing road at Tower-Roosevelt, Yellowstone National Park

Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is the oldest national park in America (although Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas can claim that it’s the first protected land set aside by the federal government. In 1832 that was, decades before the concept of national parks was invented).

This is a logical choice for a first national park, though, encompassing a wide variety of natural features, from geysers to mountains and forests.

Yellowstone is also one of the most wildlife-rich areas in North America, arguably the number one of all U.S. national parks for wildlife watching. Many consider it to be the greatest place to see North American megafauna , the park being home to nearly 60 mammal species.

Those include basically all of the continent’s most iconic species, from wolves , black bears and grizzly bears to elk, moose, bighorn sheep and American bison , arguably the park’s main wildlife attraction.

Additionally, Yellowstone is also home to several of the most iconic national park birds . Those include bald eagles, trumpeter swans, ravens and sandhill cranes.

If you ever want to go on a national parks wildlife safari, it’s impossible to find a better place to do so than Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone offers some of the best wildlife viewing experiences in North America.

  • Look for these: American bison, wolves, black and grizzly bears, elk, bighorn sheep and moose, and bald eagles, trumpeter swans and sandhill cranes
  • Do this: hiking, horseback riding, cycling and, in winter, snowmobiling and snowshoeing

More About Yellowstone National Park

  • Park Website
  • Travel Guide
  • Topographic Map
  • Top Places to Visit in Yellowstone National Park
  • Best Things to Do at Mammoth Hot Springs (Yellowstone)
  • Where to See Wildlife in Yellowstone National Park
  • Best Spring Hikes in Yellowstone
  • Accommodation

Grizzly bear 399 with cubs in Grand Teton National Park

One of the great joys of spending time in  Grand Teton National Park  is the amazing opportunity to see wild animals. From bison, elk and moose to black and grizzly bears, yellow-bellied marmots and countless birds, the wildlife watching in Grand Teton National Park is among the best in the national park system.

Yellowstone’s smaller neighbor to the south, Grand Teton is also part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, which absolutely bustles with wildlife. The species of animals you can see in Grand Teton National Park are similar to Yellowstone, with one major exception: moose.

Grand Teton National Park is one of the country’s top places to see moose in the wild. Look for them in swampy areas and along riverbanks. Lucky hikers might also see them near alpine lakes and stands of willows.

Additionally, this park also encompasses habitats ideal for bison, pronghorn and elk, as well as gray wolves and bears. Visit one of the scenic overlooks in Grand Teton in the morning, especially Oxbow Bend, Blacktail Ponds and Willow Flats, for the best wildlife viewing opportunities.

  • Look for these: bison, moose, elk, pronghorn, grizzly bears, black bears, river otters, beavers and bald eagles
  • Do this: hiking, scenic driving, kayaking and canoeing

More About Grand Teton National Park

  • Best Grand Teton Hikes
  • Top Things To Do in Grand Teton National Park
  • Where to See Wildlife in Grand Teton National Park

Island fox, Santa Cruz, Channel Islands National Park

With a nickname that says it all, “the Galapagos of North America”, California’s Channel Islands are a major biodiversity hotspot.

This mountainous archipelago lies just off the coast of Santa Barbara and is a refuge for numerous marine and land animals.

Over 2,000 species of plants and animals live in Channel Islands National Park , including three endemic mammals—the Channel Islands fox, deer mouse and spotted skunk—and one reptile—the island fence lizard.

The greatest diversity, however, is found in the surrounding waters. Located at the meeting point of warm subtropical and cool northern ocean currents, these waters burst with life, from micro-plankton to blue whales.

On a boat ride from the mainland, you’re almost certain to spot common dolphins, while California sea lions, harbor seals, gray whales and humpback whales are regular sights as well. Sharks are common in these waters, too.

Orcas, blue and fin whales are less common, but can occasionally be spotted in summer.

  • Look for these: Channel Island foxes, whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions
  • Do this: boating, kayaking, scuba diving and hiking

Brown bear in Katmai National Park, Alaska - Best Wildlife Watching in USA National Parks

Can you remember a wildlife documentary you watched, perhaps as a kid, in which big brown bears fish for salmon in a waterfall?

Almost certainly, that footage was shot in Alaska’s Katmai National Park, arguably the world’s best place for bear watching .

This is, however, not the cheapest place to get to. No roads lead into the park, so you have to fly into a nearby town, where you would then charter a floatplane to drop you off in the park.

It does require a bit of dedicated saving to make this trip happen, but if you can make there, it’s obviously sensational. This is, after all, one of the best national parks for wildlife photography vacations.

In addition to watching some of the world’s biggest brown bears at Brooks Falls, Katmai also offers amazing canoeing and kayaking, hiking and wilderness camping. Fishing, too, is a popular thing to do here.

Note that the park has only on 5 miles (8 kilometers) of designated hiking trails, but you’re free to explore beyond the trails as you please.

Make sure to know what you’re doing, though. This is one of the wildest and remotest regions on earth, offering a phenomenal national parks experience without the crowds .

  • Look for these: brown bears and salmon
  • Do this: boating, flightseeing, and backcountry hiking and camping

American bison crossing the Scenic Drive in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Comprising three separate sections of badlands in North Dakota—the North Unit, South Unit and Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch—, Theodore Roosevelt National Park was obviously named after America’s most adventurous president.

Teddy R. came to the badlands in 1883 to hunt bison, but soon fell in love with the freedom and roughness of the American West.

It was that early passion for the outdoor lifestyle that, later, during his presidency, influenced his groundbreaking conservation policies. (He singlehandedly created five national monuments that became national parks later on, including Grand Canyon and Olympic.)

While that presidential history is certainly fascinating, nature lovers will find delight in the numerous wild animals that live in this rugged park.

Both the North and South Units have a scenic drive as well as about 100 miles (160 kilometers) of trails for hiking and horseback riding.

Whatever activities in Theodore Roosevelt National Park you choose, you’re virtually guaranteed to spot American bison grazing in the plains. Backed by the imposing badlands and basking in later-afternoon sunlight, this is an epic, all-American sight.

Its vast herds of wild bison make Theodore Roosevelt National Park one of the best places to see wildlife in the USA. But it’s not only bison that live here, though.

The prairies are home to a number of other large grazing animals , too, such as elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer and wild horses—aka mustangs.

With cunning coyotes roaming these lands and prairie dogs calling loudly when they spot one, it really doesn’t get more “cowboy” than this.

  • Look for these: American bison, elk, mustangs, coyotes and prairie dogs
  • Do this: scenic driving, hiking and horseback riding

More About Theodore Roosevelt National Park

  • Top Things To Do in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Bull moose in Isle Royale National Park - Credit NPS Kelly Morrissey

One of the least visited national parks in the lower 48 states, Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park is one of those places where it’s still possible to really get away from it all.

For people who are looking for wild nature, remote adventures and world-class national park wildlife viewing, Isle Royale National Park, located in the northwestern corner of Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake, is absolute bliss.

Backpackers, campers, hikers and kayakers alike will find excitement here. Numerous hiking trails zigzag across the island, while various campgrounds offer wilderness accommodation.

Only accessible by boat and seaplane, this isolated island is home to wolves and hundreds of moose . The numbers vary greatly from year to year, though.

Especially the wolf population has struggled recently—there were only two left at the end of 2017—and a relocation project to add more individuals is now underway.

Nevertheless, both species are common sightings in Isle Royale National Park and part of the longest running predator-prey study in the world .

  • Look for these: moose and wolves
  • Do this: kayaking, hiking and camping

More About Isle Royale National Park

Snorkeler and green sea turtle in Salt Pond Bay, Virgin Islands National Park

Quite possibly the most tropical place in the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands in the eastern Caribbean are a phenomenal place to go snorkeling, swimming and scuba diving. As you may expect, this region has more than its fair share of coral reefs and palm tree-lined beaches .

Virgin Islands National Park , one of the greatest island national parks in the USA , covers almost all of Hassel Island and about 60% of St. John, as well as thousands of acres of surrounding waters.

With about 50 species of coral and more than 300 fish species, this is one of the world’s best snorkeling and diving destinations.

A major highlight in this tropical national park is its underwater snorkeling trails, among the first of their kind in the world. Beginning snorkelers are advised to start with the self-guided Underwater Trail in Trunk Bay.

  • Look for these: green and hawksbill turtles, dolphins, tropical fish, stingrays, octopuses, pelicans and hummingbirds
  • Do this: snorkeling, scuba diving and hiking

More About Virgin Islands National Park

  • Most Beautiful Beaches in Virgin Islands National Park
  • Best Views in Virgin Islands National Park
  • Best Hikes in Virgin Islands National Park

Grizzly bear and moose in Denali National Park, Alaska - NPS Ken Conger

A national park of epic proportions, Denali National Park encompasses six million acres (25,400 km 2 ) of deciduous taiga, tundra, glaciers, forests and mountain ranges, including North America’s highest peak and the park’s namesake—Denali.

Bisected by only one road, this vast wilderness houses wild animals large and small .

The park’s “big five”—caribou, moose, grizzly bears, Dall sheep and wolves—are its main attraction.

In fact, this is probably the only national park in the U.S. where you can spot all five in just one day, making it one of the absolute best parks for wildlife watching in Alaska . That’s not to say some of the best wildlife viewing in the world.

In addition to these five icons of nature, the park is also home to 34 other mammals, 169 bird species and 14 species of fish.

Wilderness characterizes this rugged park and the best way to really experience it is on a long hike, a bicycle ride, a snowmobile excursion (in winter) or a flightseeing trip.

  • Look for these: grizzly bears, caribou, wolves, moose and Dall sheep
  • Do this: cycling, (overnight) hiking, flightseeing and, in winter, mushing and snowmobiling

More About Denali National Park

Learn what to do when encountering a grizzly bear while hiking.

Family looking at alligator below the Shark Valley Observation Tower in Everglades National Park

The vastness of Everglades National Park is difficult to put in words. All I can say is that it’s the third-largest national park in the contiguous United States, after Death Valley and Yellowstone.

It’s also the largest tropical wilderness in the country and the largest mangrove ecosystem in the Western Hemisphere.

Additionally, as one of the three great national parks around Miami , it’s super-accessible, too. The park’s main visitor center is only about an hour from downtown Miami .

One of the greatest wildlife parks in the U.S., its biodiversity is just sensational, highlighted by the fact that this is one of only three places on Earth that are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve and a Wetland of International Importance.

While most American national parks protect specific geographic characteristics of a landscape, Everglades was the very first that was created to preserve an ecosystem.

Its immense network of wetlands, waterways and forests is unique in the world, a hugely important nesting area for countless water birds , a habitat for fresh- and saltwater fish, and a last refuge for threatened animals such as the West Indian manatee, the Florida panther and the American crocodile .

The best way to spot wildlife in Everglades National Park is hiking, kayaking and going on guided tours on those iconic airboats.

  • Look for these: alligators and wading birds
  • Do this: canoeing, kayaking, airboat touring, hiking and fishing

More About Everglades National Park

  • Where to See Wildlife in Everglades National Park
  • Top Attractions on the Everglades Main Park Road
  • Best Things to Do in Flamingo Everglades
  • Best Things to Do in Shark Valley Everglades
  • Best Everglades Bike Trails

White-tailed deer in Shenandoah National Park

In central Virginia, along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah National Park protects an area of historic pioneer country that’s been returned to nature.

Once home to Appalachian farming communities, these ridges and valleys are now once again the territory of thriving wildlife populations.

Water and time have shaped these glorious, rolling mountains—among the oldest in the world—for eons, creating a landscape of bubbling streams, roaring waterfalls , wooded hollows and rocky summits . This lush environment is one of sheer abundance.

Various animals thrive here. It’s one of the best places to see black bears in the U.S., but the park also has large populations of white-tailed deer, coyotes, beavers and raccoons.

Additionally, there are 32 fish species found in the park’s rivers and ponds, and more than 200 species of birds, 30 of which live in the park year-round.

The best way to go wildlife watching in Shenandoah National Park is a combination of driving along Skyline Drive , the park’s only road and among the greatest national park roads in the country, and hiking its numerous trails.

Always keep an eye out for wildlife , whether driving or hiking. Deer sightings are basically guaranteed, while spotting a black bear or two is not unusual at all.

This is also one of the most dog-friendly national parks in the country . You can take your pet on most Shenandoah hiking trails , provided it’s on a leash. Make sure, though, that it’s well-behaved and listens to you in case of a black bear encounter .

  • Look for these: black bears and white-tailed deer
  • Do this: hiking, scenic driving, cycling, waterfall hunting and camping

More About Shenandoah National Park

  • Best Shenandoah Hikes
  • Top Things To Do in Shenandoah National Park
  • Where to See Wildlife in Shenandoah National Park

Elk cow and calf at Bunch Fields, Olympic National Park, Washington

The many different landscapes in Olympic National Park , ranging from snowcapped mountains to sandy beaches and temperate rain forests, provide a home to a wide variety of animals .

In the mountains, you have a relatively good chance to spot deer and bears, while the meadows are prime viewing areas for the majestic Roosevelt elk. The park has the largest unmanaged Roosevelt elk herd in the Pacific Northwest.

One of the park’s most exceptional animals, however, is not a huge mammal, but rather the opposite—the banana slug, which can grow almost a foot (25 centimeters) long.

Additionally, the Olympic torrent salamander, Olympic snow mole and Olympic marmot can’t be seen anywhere else in the world.

Along the coast, marine life thrives. On coastal hikes or scenic boat tours, sightings of sea otters, seals and sea lions are pretty common. Dolphins, orcas and whales regularly pass by the park’s shores as well.

All this, combined with exceptional diversity and a bunch of attractions , makes Olympic National Park one of the top national parks for wildlife watching in the USA. Its location near Seattle makes it super-accessible as well, and a great Pacific Northwest road trip destination .

  • Look for these: Roosevelt elk, bears, deer, banana slugs, sea lions, sea otters, seals, whales and dolphins
  • Do this: boating, hiking and camping

More About Olympic National Park

  • Best Olympic Hikes
  • Top Things To Do in Olympic National Park

Sea otter in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska - Wildlife Watching National Parks USA

Situated in the Alaskan panhandle, to the west of Juneau , Glacier Bay National Park is a superb place for marine life watching. Characterized by huge glaciers, imposing coastlines, forests and deep fjords, it is part of a much larger, binational UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Limitless adventure opportunities await you in these wild lands and seas, including but not limited to hiking, mountaineering, camping, kayaking and fishing.

What draws most visitors to this remote park, however, is its world-class wildlife watching , truly some of the best wildlife viewing in the USA.

Basically, everything that lives in Glacier Bay National Park is in some way or the other tied to the nutrient-rich ocean or the fertile shores. About 20% of the park consists of marine waters, while on land, everything is within 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the coast.

The park itself is large and so is its wildlife. This is where you can see brown bears and moose roaming the coasts and forests, and bald eagles soaring overhead.

But it is the waters, however, that house the biggest wildlife spotting spectacle in this park. Orcas, minke whales, sea otters, seals, sea lions, humpback whales and many other marine animals are present in the region, depending on their migration seasons.

  • Look for these: orcas, whales, sea otters, seals and sea lions
  • Do this: kayaking, hiking, mountaineering, flightseeing and camping

Black bear in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its enormous biodiversity, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the greatest national parks for wildlife watching in America.

A subrange of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which in their turn are part of the much larger Appalachian Mountains, the Great Smokies encompass some of the most expansive wilderness areas in the East.

Wildlife thrives in its deep forests, picturesquely undulating mountains and many streams and rivers. The park is home to more than 200 bird species, 67 native species of fish, over 80 reptiles and amphibians, and about 65 mammals.

The most famous resident of Great Smoky Mountains National Park has to be the black bear.

In fact, this park boasts the largest protected black bear habitat east of the Mississippi, providing a comfy home to about 1,500 individuals. With approximately two bears per square mile, the area has one of America’s densest concentrations of black bears .

Learn What to Do When Encountering a Black Bear While Hiking

Other often-spotted animals include white-tailed deer, groundhogs, squirrels and chipmunks—all the classic forest species of the American East, in other words.

  • Do this: hiking, camping and waterfall hunting

More About Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Tip: When you visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can get to Shenandoah National Park via the magnificent Blue Ridge Parkway , another unit in the extensive national parks system.

This allows you to visit the two best national parks for wildlife watching in the eastern United States in one epic road trip.

Mountain goat near Logan Pass, Glacier National Park

In northern Montana, bordering Canada, lies Glacier National Park , a large wilderness of towering mountains, deep valleys, beautiful glacial lakes and wildflower-covered meadows.

Nicknamed the “Crown of the Continent”, it borders Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park. Together, these two parks are known as the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park , established in 1932 and the first of its kind in the world.

These wild lands are home to the healthiest grizzly bear population on the North American continent. So, if you’ve always wanted to see these mighty animals in the wild, Glacier National Park is where your chances are highest.

In addition to grizzlies, if you’re lucky, you might also see gray wolves, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, moose, mule deer, elk and mountain goats , the park’s official mascot.

Just like most similar U.S. national parks for wildlife watching, Glacier offers a plethora of outdoor activities, from epic hiking and cycling to fishing, boating, landscape photography and camping. Truly one of the best places to see animals in the wild in America.

  • Look for these: grizzly bears, black bears, bighorn sheep, moose, elk and mountain goats
  • Do this: cycling, hiking, canoeing, kayaking and camping

More About Glacier National Park

  • Best Glacier Hikes
  • Top Attractions on Going-to-the-Sun Road
  • Where to See Wildlife in Glacier National Park

Bighorn Sheep in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado - NPS

As the nearest national park to Denver , only about 1.5 hours from the city, Rocky Mountain National Park is one of America’s most accessible wildlife national parks.

There’s plenty to see and do in this spectacular mountain park. From scenic car touring on epic Trail Ridge Road to hiking, camping, cycling and enjoying colorful fall foliage , Rocky Mountain is amazingly diverse.

Naturally, this also means there’s a huge variety of wildlife that calls the park home. Thanks to its extraordinary populations of large animals, it’s often considered as one of the best places in America for wildlife viewing.

Those large animals include countless mule deer, a population of about 350 bighorn sheep, a small number of moose, and an elk herd of 600 to 800 individuals.

Just like many other national parks, Rocky Mountain National Park also has its fair share of black bears and mountain lions.

Other, less high-profile animals in Rocky Mountain National Park are numerous bird species, pikas and marmots, bats and beavers.

  • Look for these: elk, bighorn sheep, moose, black bear
  • Do this: cycling, hiking, scenic driving and rock climbing

More About Rocky Mountain National Park

Cascade Red Fox at Sunrise in Mount Rainier National Park

Situated in central Washington, Mount Rainier National Park is centered on the state’s highest mountain: Mount Rainier.

Comprised of deep glacial valleys, pristine old-growth forests, towering mountain peaks and various lakes and rivers, it’s a super-varied park, much more diverse than many people think.

Thanks to its 13,000-foot elevation changes, there are various different climate zones and habitats at Mount Rainier, all of which are home to their own set of fauna and flora.

You’ll find basically all typical Pacific Northwest land animals here. Among the park’s most prominent and visible wildlife are Stellar’s jays, common ravens, Columbian black-tailed deer and Douglas squirrels.

Some more high-profile and popular wild animals in Mount Rainier National Park, although (much) less often seen, are black bears, elk, Cascade red foxes and mountain goats. Mountain lions also call the park home.

  • Look for these: elk, black-tailed deer, black bears, Cascade red foxes and mountain goats
  • Do this: hiking, wildflower viewing, camping

More About Mount Rainier National Park

  • Best Mount Rainier Hikes
  • Top Things To Do in Mount Rainier National Park

Wildlife Viewing Safety Guidelines

Black bear viewing in Glacier National Park, Montana: Top National Parks for Wildlife Watching

Most of this section comes straight from the National Park Service website . I couldn’t have worded it any better than this.

You can help keep yourself and other visitors safe and wildlife wild by setting a good example and following the rules of hiking etiquette . Remember to treat wildlife with proper caution and respect.

The safety of these animals, as well as your own safety, depends on everyone using good judgment and following these eight simple guidelines while viewing wildlife in national parks.

All U.S. national parks are unique in their own way and have specific wildlife viewing regulations. These are include minimum wildlife watching distances and food storage requirement.

Before hitting the trail, please take a moment to read the park’s rules.

The best way to stay safe when watching wildlife in national parks is to give animals room to move.

Many parks require you to stay a minimum distance of 25 yards (or meters) from most wildlife and 100 yards from predators like bears and wolves. (Check with your park: for example, Olympic National Park requires a minimum distance of 50 yards no matter the animal.)

Parks provide a unique opportunity to view animals’ natural behavior in the wild. Generally speaking, whenever an animal reacts to your presence, that’s a clear sign you’re too close.

If you’re close enough for a selfie, you’re definitely too close. Don’t be an irresponsible Instagram or Facebook fool.

Use binoculars or a zoom lens and move back if wildlife approach you. Let wildlife be wild and observe from a distance. It’ll benefit both of you.

Coyote in Olympic National Park, Washington

Vehicle strikes are one of the deadliest types of encounters with wildlife in national parks. Always remember that all roads run through their habitats or migration routes—they were here first, people are just visitors.

Be sure to always follow the speed limits and watch for wildlife that may dart into the road.

When you want to stop to see wildlife, make sure the four wheels of your vehicle are completely off the road. Better yet, park in a designated pull-out. This keeps both wildlife and other motorists safe.

Even when you’re farther away, leaving wildlife alone can greatly enhance your viewing experience. Also, it’s simply the law.

It’s illegal to feed, touch, tease, frighten or intentionally disturb wildlife. Remember that wildlife in national parks are wild. No matter how docile, cute or friendly they look, all animals can be unpredictable when they’re disturbed or surprised.

Therefore, it is recommended that you make noise regularly when venturing into the backcountry. Whistle, sing, talk, clap .

Moreover, interacting with wildlife can also cause harm to both people and wildlife, including injury and disease.

Stay on trails to help keep human presence in predictable areas. In national parks that allow dogs , keep them on-leash (most parks have a 6-foot leash policy), pick up fecal matter and ensure they are vaccinated.

Absolutely do not use bird calls or wildlife calls and attractants.

If you do happen to unexpectedly come across a wild animal while hiking or any other outdoor activity, it’s very important to know how to behave.

I’ve written a number of wildlife safety guides for a variety of wild animals. Please read them and take that information with you on the trail or into the water.

  • Bison Safety
  • Black Bear Safety
  • Grizzly Bear Safety
  • Mountain Lion / Cougar Safety
  • Rattlesnake Safety
  • Shark Safety

It’s also smart to always have a first-aid kit with you when venturing out into wildlife country.

Elk cow at Bunch Fields, Olympic National Park, Washington

Feeding wildlife in parks can make them come looking for more. To national park animals, anything that smells like food is treated like food. Access to trash, and even crumbs left on picnic tables can attract them.

Once they have learned that people are a source of food, wildlife can become aggressive toward people. This puts you at risk of injury and the wildlife at risk of being removed and humanely killed by wildlife managers.

Don’t be responsible for the death of wildlife.

Keep a clean picnic area or campsite, store your food and dispose of garbage in the proper containers. Use wildlife-resistant food storage or trash containers where available or required and make sure they’re securely closed.

Tell a ranger if you come into physical contact with national parks wildlife. Also, tell a ranger if you see animals that are sick, dead, or acting strangely, including animals that approach you.

And when you see people who aren’t following these guidelines, let them know what they can do to be a smart wildlife watcher, too, and contact a ranger if necessary.

Ultimately, staying safe and keeping wildlife wild is up to you!

When you visit one of these awesome national parks for wildlife watching, it’s your responsibility to keep yourself, your family, and the wildlife safe.

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Have You Ever Been to Any of These National Parks for Wildlife Watching in the USA? Which Animals Did You Spot?

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wildlife places to visit

Best Places For Spotting Rare Wildlife Up Close

E ver since early childhood, humans are taught all the mystical animals that live around the world but most of them never imagine they'll actually have the chance to come face-to-face with them. These fanciful creatures all seem so far away and inaccessible. Yet, there are over 2 million species on the planet waiting for you to catch a glimpse of them with your own eyes out in the wild. It is entirely within the realm of possibility with a little bit of preparation. 

Nothing is stopping you from safely and ethically crossing paths with lions, gorillas, sharks, and more if you know how to plan the right trip to the ideal animal-sighting destination . The world is a big place, though, and you'll need a little bit of guidance to figure out where your favorite animals are hiding in it. No worries, though. All you have to do to find the perfect destination for your wildlife-sighting trip is read through these 13 best places for spotting rare wildlife up close.

Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)

When it comes to animal-heavy destinations, perhaps none is better known around the globe than the Galapagos Islands, 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. Not only are the Galapagos Islands a legendary animal-spotting destination, but they also come with a fair amount of history. This place was the big inspiration behind Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection. After visiting the island, Darwin saw how the finch's beaks had adapted over time to help them live more efficiently in their environment and the discovery helped to explain a massive missing link in biology. 

To this day, the Galapagos Islands are still inspiring people with their variety of incredibly rare land and sea species that you cannot find anywhere else on the planet. The only place in the world where Galapagos giant tortoises, Galapagos sea lions, marine iguanas, Darwin's finches, and blue-footed boobies exist are these islands. There are more than 9,000 species living either directly on the Galapagos Islands or in the nearby surrounding ocean. 

If there are any particular species you specifically want to spot on a trip here, make sure you inquire with a tour provider in advance to coordinate the  best season to visit the Galapagos Islands . It's a bit of a journey to actually reach the Galapagos Islands and it will require around two to three different flights. However, it's way worth it for science and animal enthusiasts. 

Atsinanana Rainforests (Madagascar)

The Atsinanana Rainforests of Madagascar are comprised of six different wildlife-filled national parks that span nearly 995 gorgeous miles in total. Within those bounds is an otherworldly collection of wild animals and plant life. Atsinanana is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most biodiverse-rich places on the entire planet. It's actually the country's oldest rainforest, so there are quite a lot of unique critters roaming around these lands. 

As such an important piece of nature, Atsinanana Rainforests is a highly protected area, but you can still visit the area as long as you take the proper preparations. There are several hotels available around the Atsinanana region and tours that make it possible to get familiar with Madagascar's wildlife safely. Inside the many miles of the national parks, you'll have the opportunity to spot a variety of animal friends. There are several different species of lemurs, geckos, chameleons, and birds living in the Rainforests of Atsinanana. 

Serengeti National Park (Tanzania)

If you're dying to see all the big-name animals that always earn a spot on the favorites list, then you should get to work planning a visit to the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. This place is so distinctive for its range of wildlife and diverse ecosystem that it's distinguished as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The plains of the Serengeti encompass 5,700 square miles of raw nature that will give you the chance to see how African animals truly live in the wild. 

On a safari through Serengeti National Park, you have a good shot at spotting 500 bird species, African elephants, buffalos, rhinoceros, lions, and leopards that freely roam this area. The Serengeti National Park dubs itself as a paradise for photography lovers and that assessment definitely seems fair. With all these intriguing creatures to see, it's no surprise that the Serengeti is one of the most popular places to go on safari vacations  in the world.

Everglades (USA)

Don't worry, you can still see animals up close without a passport. There are lots of places with extraordinary wildlife in the United States, too – just take a look at the 1.5 million acres of the Everglades wetlands in southern Florida . The Everglades is home to a crazy (and frankly scary) amount of wildlife that you can get very close to. 

The list of Everglades residents includes an assortment of unique fish, creepy crawlies like spiders and centipedes, panthers, bobcats, and dolphins. The most famous animal lurking in the depths of the Everglades are alligators and crocodiles. There are more than 200,000 alligators and 2,000 crocodiles that live here. While it's rare to actually become a snack for one of these giant reptiles and other animals in the Everglades, you still want to take precautions with so many deadly creatures around. 

There are a bunch of ground rules for visiting this area that you'll definitely want to heed to avoid a dangerous situation. You should never get too close to any wildlife you see or their dens, even if you find a baby all alone -- its defensive parent is likely nearby. It's also prohibited to feed anything to the animals in the Everglades. 

Kruger National Park (South Africa)

If you've been searching for the ideal place to go on a safari , the answer you're looking for is probably Kruger National Park. It's the largest national park in South Africa and one of the biggest in the entire world. This nearly five-million-acre park offers visitors the chance to spot all types of animals up close. There is everything from the adorable ones to the vicious predators wandering around. 

There are actually two different sections of Kruger National Park that each come with their own terrain and common animals. In the northern part of the park, you'll find mammals and a wide range of birds. However, it's in the southern portion of the park that you'll have a higher chance of spotting big cats like lions, cheetahs, and leopards. Throughout the park, it is also possible to get a close view of rhinos, hyenas, giraffes, hippos, zebras, monkeys, and more. 

Your best chance at seeing the animals of Kruger will be with a guided safari that stops at all the known wildlife hotspots. Make sure you avoid the peak of the hot, dry season from July to September. You might get a bit too much of the nature experience if you visit at this time because it's more common to see dead animals around from the lack of water. Instead, try to visit at the very beginning or end of the dry season for ideal weather without it being too intense. 

Ranthambore National Park (India)

The main animal that Ranthambore National Park in India is known for is its ferocious, enormous tigers. You have a better chance of spotting tigers here than anywhere else in the country. Nature photographers flock to Ranthambore for the chance to photograph these majestic beings. The most photographed tiger in the world, the Tigress Queen of Ranthambore or Machli, actually lived in this forest. 

There are around 80 tigers (including around 32 cubs) in total living in the national park as of 2018. With its reputation for being such a tiger hub, nature and animal photographers flock to Ranthambore in the hopes that they'll get a one-of-a-kind shot of the big cats for their portfolio. Even if you're not a professional photographer, the opportunity to see tigers sauntering through their stomping ground is life-changing. 

Tigers aren't the only animals that dominate Ranthambore National Park. There are other big predators in Ranthambore, like leopards, jackals, and hyenas. The park is also home to a bunch of other species as well, including 320 types of birds, 40 different mammals, and 35 kinds of reptiles.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda)

Let its name be a warning to you: the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda is nothing to play around with. It is an extremely serious, dense woodland spanning over 123 square miles. Despite its dramatic terrain, Bwindi is absolutely teeming with so much biodiversity and wildlife that it's named a UNESCO site. There are 160 species of trees alone in this forest and that's just the trees! 

The center of attention inside Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is its mountain gorillas. There are approximately 12 different families of gorillas who currently reside in this Impenetrable Forest. This figure includes around 400 individual gorillas in total, so there is a really good chance of getting a peek at them living life when you visit. 

The mountain gorillas at Bwindi account for just a little less than half of the wild gorilla population on the planet right now to put it all in perspective. In addition to the large population of gorillas, ten other varieties of primates live at Bwindi, like baboons and golden monkeys. Along with different types of colorful butterflies, and birds that fly through the thick vegetation. 

Great Barrier Reef (Australia)

Stunning wildlife sightings aren't simply possible on land -- there is a new whole world of animals to visit in the seas. There is no better place on Earth to dive into the ocean world than the Great Barrier Reef on the eastern coast of Australia. The 1400+ mile underwater wonderland is one of the most popular locations for seeing scarce marine life and other sorts of oceanic wonders. There is a lot of animal activity buzzing around these waters with over 1,6000 species of fish swimming around.

When you go snorkeling or scuba-diving in the Great Barrier Reef, you'll witness animals like green turtles, manta rays, whale sharks, humpback whales, octopuses, jellyfish, and seals effortlessly floating around. You may even be lucky enough to swim by a strange creature called a Dugong that is almost exclusively found around the Great Barrier Reef. Oddly enough, this little guy is more genetically similar to elephants than sea creatures like whales. 

The Great Barrier Reef is also home to a fairly large shark population. There are white-tip and black-tip reef sharks, tiger sharks, lemon sharks, whale sharks, and even the odd Tasselled Wobbegong Shark around these waters. In total, 180 species of shark can be found around the Great Barrier Reef . Despite this, it's still considered safe to swim around these waters and many people even relish the opportunity to spot one of these sharks that mainly mind their own business. 

Yala National Park (Sri Lanka)

The South Asian island of Sri Lanka is the homeland for a great deal of diverse wildlife and most of these animals can be found right in Yala National Park. The biggie here is leopards – there is a leopard every 2.5 square miles in Yala. Even though these big cats can be found in other places, Yala has a higher density of leopards than anywhere else on Earth. The best time to spot them is during the mornings and evenings and you may even be able to witness them hunting down deer and wild boar. 

Once you've gotten your fill of leopards, keep an eye out for the many other animals that live in Yala National Park. There is a pretty big Sri Lankan elephant population in the area, with around 300 to 350 elephants roaming around. Additionally, there are animals like wild peacocks, monitor lizards, jackals, and sloth bears.

Antarctic Peninsula (Antarctica)

While most wildlife destinations are in intensely hot places, that isn't always the case. On the other end of the wildlife spectrum, there is the freezing-cold, magical land of Antarctica. The Antarctic Peninsula hosts a thriving population of cold-weather animals that's pretty accessible for human visitors these days. In this region, you'll get to watch different types of penguins dive into the frigid waters, leopard seals glide belly-first along the ice, and humpback and killer whales curiously poke their heads out of the slush to say hello. 

This remote continent is basically impossible to reach on your own, which is likely why so many rare species flourish without disturbance here. Thanks to the modern travel era, though, it's never been more straightforward to visit Antarctica  and all its unique animals that you can't find anywhere else. To get a peak, you'll have to join an organized cruise from Argentina that will can you out to the world of this arctic wildlife.

Komodo National Park (Indonesia)

The name of this national park might've already clued you into the massive reptiles that run things in this area – enormous Komodo dragons. Unlike most of the other animal-sighting destinations, these Komodo dragons are really the main animal to see in this national park, yet it still understandably attracts a lot of attention. There are approximately 5,700 Komodos on this UNESCO-listed volcanic island. These lizards are about as rare as it gets when it comes to wildlife sightings because they literally only exist here in Indonesia. 

While these reptiles are quite cool to see up close, they are also extremely aggressive animals and have even been known to track people down unprovoked. That's why visitors are only allowed to the island accompanied by a guided boat tour and it is strictly prohibited to go alone. It's also possible to rent space on a liveaboard boat to get a longer stay near the Komodo dragons. 

Corcovado National Park (Costa Rica)

Visitors exploring Costa Rica will stumble across animal-rich travel destinations wherever they go. It's one of the best places to spot wild animals in the whole world, with over half a million species dwelling here. However, the best of the best when it comes to places for seeing unique species in Costa Rica is Corcovado National Park. 

Throughout this 164-square-mile park, there are a bunch of different types of monkeys swinging around, like howler, squirrel, and spider monkeys. Three-toed sloths hang from the tops of the trees, crocodiles lounge on the shores, and margay cats slink around in the shadows. There is also a chance to discover stranger creatures in Corcovado, like the Northern Tamandua with its ant-eater-like nose and Baird's tapirs, the largest land mammals in Central America. You are legally obligated to have a permit and be accompanied by an accredited tour vendor when you embark into the jungles of Corcovado, so make sure you book a reliable service in advance.

Yellowstone National Park (USA)

Lots of people have heard of and love to visit America's famous Yellowstone National Park , but did you know it's one of the most biodiverse places in the entire country? Yup, there are over 200 species that live out their days in Yellowstone, including North America's largest free-roaming population of bison. There are a variety of bears, from grizzlies to black bears, along with other types of predators, like gray wolves, mountain lions, and peregrine falcons. Plenty of tamer creatures also roam this land too, like antelope and 300 species of birds including bald eagles who soar through the sky.

While Yellowstone welcomes visitors to explore its grounds in the hopes of seeing or photographing wildlife, there are some key safety measures visitors should adhere to at all times. The park service urges that you never actually approach animals for photos or any other reason and instead use binoculars or a far-reaching photo lens for a closer look from a safe distance. It's actually considered illegal to willfully approach or disturb the wildlife in Yellowstone. You should also stay inside your car if you're watching bears and honk your horn and drive away if they start coming toward you. 

Read this next: The Best Snorkeling Destinations In The World

Family of giraffes

New visitor center at Delaware's Bombay Hook, one of the nation's best bird-watching spots

wildlife places to visit

  • The new, larger visitor center costing $5.6 million will replace the old center which will be demolished.

Delaware is home to one of the bird-watching capitals of the East Coast at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge east of Smyrna.

The saltwater marsh and tidal pools that make up the refuge stretch 8 miles along the Delaware Bay providing a popular stop for migratory birds and year-round habit for many other birds and animals.

A new $5.6 million center for visitors is nearing completion at Bombay Hook to house interactive exhibits and educate visitors on the rich habitat and abundant wildlife.

“I’m really excited for it to open. It’s going to be a great resource,” said Kate Toniolo, project leader of the Coastal Delaware National Wildlife Refuge Complex.

The new center is about 7,300 square feet, compared with 4,500 for the old center. The staff was hoping the center would be finished this spring, but the date has been pushed back to this summer.

Bombay Hook manager Oscar Reed said supply chain issues have caused delays.

Why was a new center needed? 

The old center, built in 1980, was in need of major repairs, including a leaking roof that would cost $40,000 to replace and plumbing problems.

The funding for a new center was part of the Great American Outdoors Act, passed during the pandemic in 2020, with a focus on improving infrastructure at national parks, forests and wildlife refuges.

More: Great American Outdoors Act, which would provide billions for national parks, passes Senate

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided a new, larger building could be used for other Fish and Wildlife program offices in addition to Bombay Hook staff.

Along with offices, the new center has a larger multipurpose room for meetings and educational programs.

Exhibits are planned that are more elaborate than the previous displays behind plexiglass.

“The main request was for more hands-on, interactive educational activities,” said Toniolo.

Another improvement will be for the gift shop operated by a volunteer group, the Friends of Bombay Hook . Now, their store is in a closet, but the new center will have an actual shop with souvenirs and educational items.

The money raised by the group supports projects at the wildlife refuge to supplement government funds. The volunteers also help at the visitor center, hold litter cleanups and plant a garden to attract butterflies and birds.

The old visitor center will be demolished.

Return of programs canceled during the pandemic

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the visitor center was closed and the educational presentations and guided tours were canceled.

However, attendance at Bombay Hook increased.

“The refuge was actually busier during the pandemic because there were very few things people could do,” Toniolo said, with schools, many businesses and even playgrounds shut down.

While the visitor center was closed, people could still ride or hike through the refuge.

A big change this spring is a return to educational presentations and tours held before the COVID restrictions.

For the first time since the pandemic, a visitor services manager is working at the refuge, Josh Smith.

“Everything had been shut down for about three years, but we’re bringing back a variety of programs,” Smith said.

Events include guided bird watching, how to attract monarch butterflies and the horseshoe crab ecology session.

Volunteers are also needed for the Earth Day Adopt-a-Highway Cleanup Saturday, April 22, from 8-11 a.m.

To sign up or for more information, call 302-653-9345 or see the refuge’s website.

What are the main attractions at Bombay Hook?

“We’re a destination for bird watching,” said Toniolo. “When you look in the parking lot, sometimes you’ll see more license plates from out-of-state than from Delaware.”

Bombay Hook was established in 1937 as a link in the chain of refuges from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico to preserve land for wildlife, especially migratory birds. Snow geese are a favorite of visitors, blanketing fields and ponds in white.

More on migratory birds: Is climate change to blame for the slow arrival of snow geese?

The refuge also provides a year-round habitat for other birds including egrets, herons, cranes and owls.

The staff members said Bombay Hook is one of the best places to see bald eagles on the East Coast.

Other wildlife include deer, foxes, turtles and snakes (none that are poisonous).

Wildlife photography is a popular activity, but drones aren’t allowed.

Stretching 8 miles along Delaware Bay and covering 16,251 acres, the refuge is about 80% saltwater marsh with mud flats, tidal pools, ponds, streams and grassy areas. West of the coastal area, there are forests, freshwater ponds, swamps and fields.

But you don’t have to trudge through swamps and marsh to see the animals. The refuge has a 12-mile wildlife drive so you can look for birds and other animals without leaving your car.

“I enjoy how accessible it is to the wildlife,” said Smith. “It’s all right there. It’s easy to explore.”

Feeling more energetic? You can hike or bike the wildlife drive and branch off on five walking trails including two that are handicapped accessible, and climb three observation towers.

The trails have educational signs, with pictures and descriptions of the animals you may see.

The refuge also offers fishing and hunting opportunities, with hunting on specified days in sections far from the sightseeing roads and trails.

Plan your visit to Bombay Hook

The address for Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is 2591 Whitehall Neck Road, east of Smyrna, off Route 9.

The roads and trails are open daily, including holidays, from a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset.

The visitor center is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. year-round, except federal holidays. During spring and fall weekends, the visitor center is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but for Sunday hours, call ahead, 302-653-9345. Sunday hours may depend on the availability of volunteers from the Friends of Bombay Hook.

Admission is $4 per vehicle or $2 per bicyclist or hiker, but hikers and bikers under age 16 are free. An annual pass is $12. Payment must be made by cash or check. Credit cards or debit cards aren’t accepted. Payment can be made at the visitor center, but when the center is closed, pay outside at the box near the visitor center entrance.

Restrooms are available in the visitor center, and port-a-johns are located on the Bear Swamp Trail and Pasture Point Pond.

No food or drinks are sold at the refuge.

Insect repellent is recommended in the late spring, all summer and early fall if you plan to leave your car. Mosquitoes, biting flies and ticks are a nuisance.

The most popular times for visitors are in the spring and fall to see the migrating birds and avoid the bugs.

Reporter Ben Mace covers real estate and development news. Reach him at [email protected].

New to Jupiter or a lifelong resident? These are the 10 best things for your to-do list

wildlife places to visit

If you love fun in the sun the Jupiter area might just be your little slice of heaven.

Yes, there are some amazing indoor things to do as well, but this coastal town with great beach access, the Intracoastal Waterway, Riverbend Park, the Loxahatchee River and more is telling you, maybe even screaming at you "Go outside! Put down your phone and start living in the real world!"

Seriously, this area has got so much available outdoor fun it's practically bursting at the seams with ways to enjoy this big blue marble we're flying around on.

So, if you're looking to hike, bike, walk, run, kayak, surf, SUP or just be in Jupiter, here are 10 sure-fire ways to have fun:

1. Hit the trails at Jonathan Dickinson State Park

Ok, so technically... this is a few miles north of Jupiter, but everyone goes and it's pretty impressive. This nine-mile network of trails has everything from loops rated for beginners all the way to "black diamond, experts only."

Information: 16450 SE Federal Highway, Hobe Sound.

2. Visit the Jupiter Lighthouse

Coming up on its 164th birthday on July 8, 2024, this iconic structure has definitely stood the test of time. This beautiful structure has been regularly maintained and is still a shining beacon to residents and mariners. Feeling brave? Climb the stairs to the top of this 108-foot-tall landmark and take a selfie, very carefully. Not ready to take that challenge? The lighthouse museum is just steps away and much lower to the ground.

Information: 500 Captain Armour's Way, Jupiter.

3. Drift Fishing aboard the Black Dog

Though there are many talented and knowledgeable charters you could book, a trip aboard the Black Dog with Capt. Bill Taylor and crew is a pretty sure-fire way to land some fish and have a great time. They do morning and afternoon trips.

Information: Castaways Marina & Square Grouper Tiki Bar, 1111 Love St., Jupiter.

More: Live in West Palm Beach or just visiting? These 17 things should be on your to-do list

4. Kick back at the Square Grouper Tiki Bar

Featured in several music videos, this is one of the most idyllic spots in all of Jupiter and Palm Beach County for that matter. Perched along the Jupiter Inlet, it's the perfect spot to get your toes in the sand, have a beverage and some food while you relax and watch the boats go by. Oh, and there's a perfect view of the Jupiter Lighthouse.

Information: 1111 Love St., Jupiter.

More: Jupiter's most famous waterfront bar turned 20 in 2023. Here are 5 things to know about it

5. Visit the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary

See native Florida animals up close and learn about their biology and habitats, as well as conservation efforts, during a "Wildlife Encounter." The non-profit organization is dedicated to the protection and conservation of Florida's wildlife and natural resources. The sanctuary has a two-fold mission: wildlife rehabilitation and environmental education. In 2023, the center moved from its longtime home off Central Boulevard to property in Jupiter Farms.

Information: 17855 Rocky Pines Road, Jupiter.

More: More than a zoo: Busch Wildlife Sanctuary grows into its larger campus in Jupiter Farms

6. Play ball! See a game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium

Both the Florida Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals call Roger Dean Stadium home for spring training. Also, you can venture there to see the Jupiter Hammerheads and Palm Beach Cardinals, the minor league teams affiliated with those major league franchises, play at this stadium that opened in 1998 and seats nearly 7,000 people.

Information: 4751 Main St., Jupiter.

7. Catch a performance at Maltz Jupiter Theatre

Yes, there are world-class indoor things to do in Jupiter as well. Catch a play, a musical, a concert and more at this fabulously-renovated theater . It now features a 216-screen LED wall that adds a new twist in theater production.

Information: 1001 E. Indiantown Road, Jupiter.

8. Visit Blowing Rocks Preserve

This environmental preserve features over 70 acres of restored native vegetation and the largest outcropping of Anastasia limestone on Florida's east coast. Watch as crashing waves send plumes of water, sometimes up to 50 feet in the air, through the rocks along the beach.

Information: 574 S. Beach Road, Hobe Sound.

9. Take that furry friend for a romp at 'Dog Beach'

From beach marker #26 north to #57, at the Carlin Park line, you can bring that playful pup to the beach. There are some rules that must be followed. Some of these include bringing only well-behaved, obedient, well-socialized dogs, supervising your dog at all times, cleaning up after them and a few others.

Information: A1A, along the beach from marker #26 north to #57, Jupiter.

10. Hike, bike and more at Riverbend Park

Take a step back in time and enjoy walking, bicycling, kayaking, or canoeing through this beautiful and historic park. From the ancient Indian middens, through the Seminole War Battles, to present day restoration, see Florida as the first settlers did. There are nearly 10 miles of hiking/biking trails, seven miles of equestrian trails and five miles of canoeing/kayaking trails along the Loxahatchee River.

Information: 9060 Indiantown Road, Jupiter.

Eddie Ritz is a journalist at  The Palm Beach Post , part of the USA TODAY Florida Network. You can reach him at  [email protected] . Help support our journalism.  Subscribe today .

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40 facts about elektrostal.

Lanette Mayes

Written by Lanette Mayes

Modified & Updated: 02 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Elektrostal is a vibrant city located in the Moscow Oblast region of Russia. With a rich history, stunning architecture, and a thriving community, Elektrostal is a city that has much to offer. Whether you are a history buff, nature enthusiast, or simply curious about different cultures, Elektrostal is sure to captivate you.

This article will provide you with 40 fascinating facts about Elektrostal, giving you a better understanding of why this city is worth exploring. From its origins as an industrial hub to its modern-day charm, we will delve into the various aspects that make Elektrostal a unique and must-visit destination.

So, join us as we uncover the hidden treasures of Elektrostal and discover what makes this city a true gem in the heart of Russia.

Key Takeaways:

  • Elektrostal, known as the “Motor City of Russia,” is a vibrant and growing city with a rich industrial history, offering diverse cultural experiences and a strong commitment to environmental sustainability.
  • With its convenient location near Moscow, Elektrostal provides a picturesque landscape, vibrant nightlife, and a range of recreational activities, making it an ideal destination for residents and visitors alike.

Known as the “Motor City of Russia.”

Elektrostal, a city located in the Moscow Oblast region of Russia, earned the nickname “Motor City” due to its significant involvement in the automotive industry.

Home to the Elektrostal Metallurgical Plant.

Elektrostal is renowned for its metallurgical plant, which has been producing high-quality steel and alloys since its establishment in 1916.

Boasts a rich industrial heritage.

Elektrostal has a long history of industrial development, contributing to the growth and progress of the region.

Founded in 1916.

The city of Elektrostal was founded in 1916 as a result of the construction of the Elektrostal Metallurgical Plant.

Located approximately 50 kilometers east of Moscow.

Elektrostal is situated in close proximity to the Russian capital, making it easily accessible for both residents and visitors.

Known for its vibrant cultural scene.

Elektrostal is home to several cultural institutions, including museums, theaters, and art galleries that showcase the city’s rich artistic heritage.

A popular destination for nature lovers.

Surrounded by picturesque landscapes and forests, Elektrostal offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and birdwatching.

Hosts the annual Elektrostal City Day celebrations.

Every year, Elektrostal organizes festive events and activities to celebrate its founding, bringing together residents and visitors in a spirit of unity and joy.

Has a population of approximately 160,000 people.

Elektrostal is home to a diverse and vibrant community of around 160,000 residents, contributing to its dynamic atmosphere.

Boasts excellent education facilities.

The city is known for its well-established educational institutions, providing quality education to students of all ages.

A center for scientific research and innovation.

Elektrostal serves as an important hub for scientific research, particularly in the fields of metallurgy, materials science, and engineering.

Surrounded by picturesque lakes.

The city is blessed with numerous beautiful lakes, offering scenic views and recreational opportunities for locals and visitors alike.

Well-connected transportation system.

Elektrostal benefits from an efficient transportation network, including highways, railways, and public transportation options, ensuring convenient travel within and beyond the city.

Famous for its traditional Russian cuisine.

Food enthusiasts can indulge in authentic Russian dishes at numerous restaurants and cafes scattered throughout Elektrostal.

Home to notable architectural landmarks.

Elektrostal boasts impressive architecture, including the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord and the Elektrostal Palace of Culture.

Offers a wide range of recreational facilities.

Residents and visitors can enjoy various recreational activities, such as sports complexes, swimming pools, and fitness centers, enhancing the overall quality of life.

Provides a high standard of healthcare.

Elektrostal is equipped with modern medical facilities, ensuring residents have access to quality healthcare services.

Home to the Elektrostal History Museum.

The Elektrostal History Museum showcases the city’s fascinating past through exhibitions and displays.

A hub for sports enthusiasts.

Elektrostal is passionate about sports, with numerous stadiums, arenas, and sports clubs offering opportunities for athletes and spectators.

Celebrates diverse cultural festivals.

Throughout the year, Elektrostal hosts a variety of cultural festivals, celebrating different ethnicities, traditions, and art forms.

Electric power played a significant role in its early development.

Elektrostal owes its name and initial growth to the establishment of electric power stations and the utilization of electricity in the industrial sector.

Boasts a thriving economy.

The city’s strong industrial base, coupled with its strategic location near Moscow, has contributed to Elektrostal’s prosperous economic status.

Houses the Elektrostal Drama Theater.

The Elektrostal Drama Theater is a cultural centerpiece, attracting theater enthusiasts from far and wide.

Popular destination for winter sports.

Elektrostal’s proximity to ski resorts and winter sport facilities makes it a favorite destination for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter activities.

Promotes environmental sustainability.

Elektrostal prioritizes environmental protection and sustainability, implementing initiatives to reduce pollution and preserve natural resources.

Home to renowned educational institutions.

Elektrostal is known for its prestigious schools and universities, offering a wide range of academic programs to students.

Committed to cultural preservation.

The city values its cultural heritage and takes active steps to preserve and promote traditional customs, crafts, and arts.

Hosts an annual International Film Festival.

The Elektrostal International Film Festival attracts filmmakers and cinema enthusiasts from around the world, showcasing a diverse range of films.

Encourages entrepreneurship and innovation.

Elektrostal supports aspiring entrepreneurs and fosters a culture of innovation, providing opportunities for startups and business development.

Offers a range of housing options.

Elektrostal provides diverse housing options, including apartments, houses, and residential complexes, catering to different lifestyles and budgets.

Home to notable sports teams.

Elektrostal is proud of its sports legacy, with several successful sports teams competing at regional and national levels.

Boasts a vibrant nightlife scene.

Residents and visitors can enjoy a lively nightlife in Elektrostal, with numerous bars, clubs, and entertainment venues.

Promotes cultural exchange and international relations.

Elektrostal actively engages in international partnerships, cultural exchanges, and diplomatic collaborations to foster global connections.

Surrounded by beautiful nature reserves.

Nearby nature reserves, such as the Barybino Forest and Luchinskoye Lake, offer opportunities for nature enthusiasts to explore and appreciate the region’s biodiversity.

Commemorates historical events.

The city pays tribute to significant historical events through memorials, monuments, and exhibitions, ensuring the preservation of collective memory.

Promotes sports and youth development.

Elektrostal invests in sports infrastructure and programs to encourage youth participation, health, and physical fitness.

Hosts annual cultural and artistic festivals.

Throughout the year, Elektrostal celebrates its cultural diversity through festivals dedicated to music, dance, art, and theater.

Provides a picturesque landscape for photography enthusiasts.

The city’s scenic beauty, architectural landmarks, and natural surroundings make it a paradise for photographers.

Connects to Moscow via a direct train line.

The convenient train connection between Elektrostal and Moscow makes commuting between the two cities effortless.

A city with a bright future.

Elektrostal continues to grow and develop, aiming to become a model city in terms of infrastructure, sustainability, and quality of life for its residents.

In conclusion, Elektrostal is a fascinating city with a rich history and a vibrant present. From its origins as a center of steel production to its modern-day status as a hub for education and industry, Elektrostal has plenty to offer both residents and visitors. With its beautiful parks, cultural attractions, and proximity to Moscow, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this dynamic city. Whether you’re interested in exploring its historical landmarks, enjoying outdoor activities, or immersing yourself in the local culture, Elektrostal has something for everyone. So, next time you find yourself in the Moscow region, don’t miss the opportunity to discover the hidden gems of Elektrostal.

Q: What is the population of Elektrostal?

A: As of the latest data, the population of Elektrostal is approximately XXXX.

Q: How far is Elektrostal from Moscow?

A: Elektrostal is located approximately XX kilometers away from Moscow.

Q: Are there any famous landmarks in Elektrostal?

A: Yes, Elektrostal is home to several notable landmarks, including XXXX and XXXX.

Q: What industries are prominent in Elektrostal?

A: Elektrostal is known for its steel production industry and is also a center for engineering and manufacturing.

Q: Are there any universities or educational institutions in Elektrostal?

A: Yes, Elektrostal is home to XXXX University and several other educational institutions.

Q: What are some popular outdoor activities in Elektrostal?

A: Elektrostal offers several outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, and picnicking in its beautiful parks.

Q: Is Elektrostal well-connected in terms of transportation?

A: Yes, Elektrostal has good transportation links, including trains and buses, making it easily accessible from nearby cities.

Q: Are there any annual events or festivals in Elektrostal?

A: Yes, Elektrostal hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including XXXX and XXXX.

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How does the solar eclipse affect animals? Veterinarians share insights and pet safety tips

By Aliza Chasan

Updated on: April 8, 2024 / 4:54 PM EDT / CBS News

With around 180 million people living in or near the 2024 solar eclipse path of totality, many pet owners have been wondering how the eclipse may impact animal behaviors and how their pets might react. 

Veterinarians said they've been fielding questions from some concerned pet owners about the eclipse's impact on animals. Ultimately, there isn't a clear answer for pet owners because eclipses happen so infrequently. Researchers did plan to watch animal reactions during the April 8 eclipse to learn more about how it affects animals.

"There's not a lot of scientific research done on this topic of animals and eclipses mostly because they don't come often," said American Kennel Club Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Jerry Klein. "And a lot of it's just been anecdotal reports and just volunteering information."

How does a solar eclipse affect animals?

Though there isn't a lot of information out there, veterinarians and animal researchers do have some idea how the eclipse may impact dogs, cats and more. 

"Most animals will be overall unaffected by the eclipse, but pet owners may notice brief periods of confusion, and dogs and cats may exhibit fear and confusion," said Dr. Katie Krebs, a veterinarian and professor at University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine. 

Pets may hide, howl, pace or pant during the eclipse, Krebs said. As the sky darkens, some pets may start their nighttime routine early. 

The average indoor dog or cat is likely not going to be affected by the eclipse, said Dr. Rebecca Greenstein, veterinary expert with pet care company Rover. 

"So owners should take heart and take comfort in knowing that," Greenstein said.

Why do solar eclipses affect animals?

It's not so much the eclipse that affects pets, but the behavior of people, Klein said. 

"They'll take their cues from us," Klein said. "So if they're kept indoors and we don't try to force them into a situation that's peculiar, there should be minimal to none as far as reactions."

Many people will gather at eclipse parties and those large gatherings can impact pets if they're brought along, Klein said. The travel, noise and crowds can be stressful for animals. 

Some animals that depend more on the light-dark cycle, like birds, may be more affected because the sky will darken during the eclipse, Krebs said. 

"Things like fireworks and thunderstorms are probably a much more significant phenomenon than an eclipse that's lasting only a few minutes," Greenstein said.

Can animals look at the eclipse without going blind?

Animals generally know not to stare at the sun themselves — they've learned that doing so can temporarily blind them, leaving them vulnerable. 

"Dogs know that if something hurts them, they probably shouldn't do it," said Klein. "So left to their own devices, dogs are probably not going to stare at the sun."

Pets may look up if they see the people around them are preoccupied with looking up at the sky, vets said. 

"Dogs follow your cues, so if you're preoccupied with looking up, your dog is looking to your cues to figure out how to behave," Greenstein said. "So this may be a time to either not bring them along, or if you are, to reassure them with their favorite toy or treat and just keep them preoccupied with what's going on at ground level."

A dog wears eclipse glasses in New York City as people gather to see the solar eclipse

Pet owners do not need special eclipse glasses for their dog or cat, Krebs said. 

If you have a pair of eclipse glasses around, be careful not to leave them unattended with your pet, who may chew on or eat them, Klein said. Eclipse glasses that have scratches or punctures should not be used. 

Should you keep your pets inside or outside during the solar eclipse?

Veterinarians agree that it's likely best to keep pets inside during the eclipse, especially if they're stressed by crowds or events like storms or fireworks. 

"If possible, keep them indoors in a comfortable environment where they will feel more secure because the feeling of this is probably the most important thing," Klein said.

Owners planning to go to eclipse events should be respectful of their pet's boundaries. 

"Not all animals do well with large crowds or with you being distracted with other things, so leaving them at home or calling a trusted pet sitter are probably the best bet," Greenstein said.

At home, owners can try distracting a pet with a favorite toy, vets said. Pets who are often anxious may benefit from anti-anxiety medication during the eclipse, but owners should check with their veterinarian for specifics before giving their dog or cat any medication, Krebs said. 

"If you plan to stay home during the eclipse, your pet may seek out extra attention or comfort, so providing them with extra comfort and reassurance may help," Krebs said.

More pet safety tips to keep in mind

If you've decided to take your dog to an eclipse event, it's important to make sure they're microchipped with current info in case they get stressed and run away, Klein said. While there, make sure they're well controlled on a leash.

"By and large, we're not thinking this represents any major danger, but definitely pet owners should use their judgment," Greenstein said.

Aliza Chasan is a digital producer at 60 Minutes and She has previously written for outlets including PIX11 News, The New York Daily News, Inside Edition and DNAinfo. Aliza covers trending news, often focusing on crime and politics.

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Solar eclipse 2024: 'Eerie' shadows, quiet wildlife in Michigan during total coverage

We brought you solar eclipse 2024 coverage from luna pier, detroit, northern ohio (in the path) and even the delta flight to dtw..

Today was the Great American Eclipse, and it was quite the show for crowds in southeast Michigan.

The April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse is the last of its kind to cross the United States until 2044 , giving millions of Americans a once-in-a-generation celestial show.

The eclipse's path of totality grazed Michigan as it passed through central Indiana and northern Ohio. The Free Press had journalists dispatched in Detroit, Luna Pier (which sits along the edge of the path of totality), northern Ohio and even the Austin-to-Detroit flight today , to bring the eclipse experience to you.

See a replay of our live updates below.

5:51 p.m.: Over the moon about a totally hidden sun in Toledo

Thousands of visitors packed the Toledo Zoo to watch the eclipse. The zoo reached maximum capacity shortly after 1 p.m., forcing staff to turn away a long line of vehicles. The estimated attendance of 10,400 was busier than a normal Monday, although short of any record.

The Toledo sky was slightly overcast by midafternoon, permitting skygazers to capture the key seconds before and after the full eclipse without special eyewear.

The crowd cheered moments before the sun disappeared behind the moon, plunging the day into temporary nightfall. Several minutes later, cheers rang out again as the sun reappeared.

“People were going nuts! Everyone was just so excited to share in something together,” said Amanda Zwiren, of Royal Oak, who drove to Toledo with her brother, Kyle Zwiren, and his two young sons.

Other Michiganders in the crowd included Rachel Farley, 37, of Mount Pleasant, and her two young sons, Max and Rex.

They, too, were thrilled by the whole experience.

Although like some others in the crowd, particularly those for whom it was a first eclipse, they had expected an even deep darkness.

“I thought it would be like midnight dark,” Max Farley, 9, said.

For Joe and Nancy Trela, who traveled from their home in Allen Park, the event marked their second full eclipse.

Their first was in August 2017 in Jefferson City, Missouri.

They watched that eclipse more or less by themselves in the middle of a field. For this eclipse, they said, they wanted to be part of a big crowd.

— JC Reindl

5:10 p.m.: Sometimes, you can't fly high enough to capture history midflight

Free Press photographer Eric Seals gamely boarded a most unique eclipse pathway flight from Austin to Detroit. Unfortunately, it didn't quite go as hoped for, but there were a few fun surprises along the way. Check out his wrapup post here:

— Eric Seals

4:20 p.m. : Local watering hole welcomes eclipse watchers

Mike Doyle, of Farmington Hills, gazed upward, his paper glasses firmly affixed to his face and exclaimed, “It’s astronomically wild. It’s the last in my lifetime and it’s spectacular.”

Doyle, 77, admired the solar eclipse as it approached 99% totality Monday afternoon. He was one of about three dozen people who came to Stella’s Black Dog Tavern in Plymouth to view the solar eclipse. The place is special to him because his brother used to own the tavern years earlier. 

As the moon crept over the sun, a parking lot full of people outside of Stella’s grew chilly, streetlights went on, silence ensued — and 3:13 p.m. looked and felt more like 8 p.m. Several pedestrians from nearby downtown Plymouth wandered over to talk to total strangers, bonding over the remarkable celestial event everyone was witnessing.

“He has a telescope if you want to look at it,” Rose Rosin said to a 30-something businessman who came to Stella’s parking lot in awe of how “wild” it suddenly felt outside.

Indeed, John Bentley, of Plymouth, had brought his powerful Celestron NexStar telescope to Stella’s. The tavern was hosting an eclipse party from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., offering a $10 buffet and drink specials that included a “Dark and Stormy,” made with dark rum, lime juice and ginger beer, or a “Solar Eclipse,” which is tequila, simple syrup and lime juice.

Bentley set up his telescope in the parking lot. 

“I wanted everyone to be able to have a look at it, and experience it because it happens so infrequently,” Bentley said. “It’s going to be exciting today.”

Stacy and Jeff Evans both got lucky to have the day off from work and came from their home in Northville to Stella’s because they are friends with the owners and wanted to be part of the community in experiencing the eclipse, they said.

“It’s once in a lifetime and it’s pretty amazing,” Stacy Evans said.

The next solar eclipse isn’t expected for two decades, but this one had such a profound effect on Rose Rosin. She stared up at it during near totality and exclaimed, “This is just beautiful. I’ll have to drink more so I can live to 96 to see the next one.”

— Jamie L. LaReau

4:16 p.m.: Wild weather as eclipse temperatures yo-yo

Our own weather watcher here, editor Maryann Struman, reports just now that our local National Weather Service outpost says temperatures dropped 3.8 degrees Fahrenheit at their office during the solar eclipse, but have quickly rebounded back to 70 degrees. The rest of the evening? Mild and clear.

— Maryann Struman

4:10 p.m.: A day for science, and all scientists

As Michael Stafford puts it, “I’m an archaeologist. I look down.”

Monday’s solar eclipse was about looking up. But Stafford is also the director of the Cranbrook Institute of Science, so as the eclipse waned and the throngs began to drift away from metro Detroit’s largest viewing event, he was darned near starry-eyed.

“This was citizen science at its best,” he said. “We loved it.”

Stafford loved, he said, that some of the 600 or so people in attendance arrived in strollers, and some came on buses from senior centers. Loved that members of the Warren Astrological Society showed up with large telescopes and expertise to share. Loved that Cranbrook was able to demonstrate that its buildings and staffers serve more than the student body of an exclusive campus.

The 800 available tickets sold out online, so there were some no-shows. That was to be expected, he said; sometimes work can’t be swatted away on a Monday, no matter how tempting the weather or the attraction.

The sun and moon did their part, and the science center did its part. People wandered through exhibits that had nothing to do with astronomy, and maybe saw things that will bring them back even on days when TV crews stay home.

“We want to be the focal point for citizen science,” he said, and as they used to say when astronauts strolled the moon, mission accomplished.

— Neal Rubin

3:47 p.m.: And a round of clapping in Detroit, too

“Don’t look at it,” someone at the riverfront yelled about the sun, as the darkened so that the sign for Caesar’s casino across the river in Windsor glowed especially bright.

And then, when the sky reached its darkest, the crowd of hundreds, even thousands, clapped in unison.

Mary Davis applauded when the sky reached its darkest point. She marveled at the unity of those who joined in. “Wasn’t that a joy that we were all one,” she said. Davis, who is 86, is visiting family in Detroit from Portland, Oregon.

— Georgea Kovanis

3:45 p.m.: Astronomical applause inside the path of totality

The Luna Pier Beach crowd erupted in cheers as the eclipse went total and darkness descended on an otherwise sunny, nearly cloudless day.

Tom Kosek said afterward that it was worth the 12-mile drive to this site.

"The best part was that it looked like a sunset in the east" over Lake Erie, he said.

— Keith Matheny

3:41 p.m.: As sun disappeared, time to don glasses

At its peak, the sun was only a small sliver, but the sky, while remarkably more dim, never completely went dark.

“It’s so amazing,” Kabita Gurung, 47, of Warren, said, as she held her protective glasses to her eyes. “It’s something, hopefully, I will experience with my children when they are older, too.

Around her, other spectators remarked that they felt like they were freezing and everything looked strange, including the shadows.

Gurung and her husband brought their two young daughters, age 6 and 8, to the Ford House to see the solar eclipse — and are already thinking about the next one in North America in 20 years.

— Frank Witsil

3:38 p.m.: Moon over sun over Motown? Why not.

Thanks to our very own music writer here at the Free Press:

— Brian McCollum

3:30 p.m. Take in the eclipse view from Detroit's epicenter

Here's an image captured by one of our own executive editors:

— Anjanette Delgado

3:18 p.m. So close to 100%

In Grosse Pointe Shores, eclipse totality, the science center astronomer said, is 99.4%.

“There’s a noticeable difference now, from when we started,” astronomer Paulette Epstein said. “The spots on the sun are a 1,000 degrees cooler.”

She said she had to put on a jacket. Then the birds quieted. Their behavior will change, Epstein said.

The crickets began to chirp. And the shadows began to change and, she said, will get “eerie.”

3:15 p.m.: Sure, the eclipse, but don't forget about Mercury

As a professional astrologer, Jane Pierce, watched the eclipse at the RiverWalk in Detroit, with certain trepidation. Any eclipse is disruptive, she said, but this one could be extra disruptive.

“Because it’s so visible,” Pierce, who is also known as Tarot Jane, said.

And something else: Mercury is in retrograde.

She already had an example of the eclipse’s disruption: It had taken a whopping 40 minutes for Panera to get her lunch order — a salad — together.

And to guard against any complications, 56-year-old Pierce, of Mount Clemens, has booked a refundable Airbnb reservation for her trip to the Catskills later this week.

3:05 p.m. Pint-sized astronomy fan showcases her passion, even on her boo-boo

Helen Martella is 3 ½ years old and her family went on vacation to Cape Canaveral and she met a real astronaut and she fell this morning and got a boo-boo on her knee and her Band-Aids have planets on them.

She likes astronomy.

Helen was at the Cranbrook Institute of Science on Monday, along with hundreds of other people with a particular interest in the solar eclipse. Unlike most of them, she brought her lunch, and it had a Moon Pie.

She was with her dad, Christopher, 45, who had popped over from the nearby law firm where he works, and her nanny, Katie Nitschke, who used to study physics and astrophysics.

You might think Nitschke launched Helen’s interest in space, but it was already there when Katie came to work for the family in Birmingham six months ago.

“We love science,” said Christopher, who was planning to be a paleontologist when he was not much older than Helen. “It’s near and dear to all of our hearts.”

As the moon began to track across the face of the sun Monday, Helen was being very good about only looking through her special glasses. When she wasn’t doing that, she took a seat in a gravel pathway in the museum garden and played with the pebbles, because fun is everywhere, just like science.

But she knew what was happening 93 million miles overhead.

In preschool, a few hours earlier, she said, “We made a map so we could see the moon covering the sun.”

There would, she predicted, be a shadow. We all had to be careful about looking straight at the sun. Oh, and on that trip to Florida? You know what else happened?

“I met Elsa,” she said. “From ‘Frozen.’ The real one.”

2:58 p.m.: University of Michigan astronomy buffs travel south, find clear skies

The University of Michigan Student Astronomical Society traveled to the University of Toledo to experience the total solar eclipse. They just emailed us to say they arrived safely and were welcomed by clear skies.

Sophia Davis is majoring in astrophysics and museum studies. She is serving as a NASA Eclipse Ambassador, which allows her to provide solar viewing glasses and "share eclipse knowledge with underserved communities off the central paths," according to the new NASA-funded program, Eclipse Ambassadors Off the Path.

"My primary research is actually in solar physics where I study interplanetary shockwaves from the sun. I am also passionate about scientific outreach, and I am serving my community as a NASA Eclipse Ambassador for the April 8 solar eclipse, which is a particularly special one," Davis said in a statement before the trip. "This eclipse means a lot to me as it serves as a focal point for all members of the community to come together and just be excited about science regardless of their scientific backgrounds — it's just cool."

Sanil Mittal is the president of the Student Astronomical Society and is majoring in astronomy.

"This eclipse is a unique opportunity for budding astronomers in Michigan who only have a short trip to Ohio to experience totality," Mittal said in his statement. "For this reason, I wanted to organize an effort to travel to Toledo to observe the eclipse. We aim to inspire people about astronomy and this is the perfect opportunity to do so. I eagerly await the solar corona, which can be seen with the naked eye during a total solar eclipse. As an astronomy student, I want to learn more about the universe we live in, and the eclipse provides a great opportunity to learn more about the sun."

Andrew Smedley is a physics and mathematics major, and secretary for the Student Astronomical Society.

"The total solar eclipse this year is an extremely rare opportunity for those in Michigan and the greater Midwest to view the phenomena" Smedley said in his statement. "As a group of mostly science students, we have had the chance to study physics, space, time and otherwise in great detail, so actually seeing those things play out in such an incredible way like an eclipse is an exceptional moment that reminds me of the wonder that first inspired me to go into this field. Sharing that moment with SAS is especially exciting, and I'm looking forward to seeing something unforgettable with everyone together."

— Matthew Dolan

2:50 p.m. Picnic-style party for Detroit eclipse

At the watch party along the Detroit RiverWalk near Cullen Plaza, eclipse enthusiasts lined the river in lawn chairs brought home. They sat on the grass. And on benches and berms.

For Janelle Ikonen, of Waterford, it was a chance to bond with her three children — Hannah, 9; Elim, 12; and Isaac, 14 — who she took out of school for the day.

“I wanted to experience a unique event with them,” said Ikonen, who is 47. “It’s one of my big deals to me, to experience things with my kids. … I hope they’ll remember spending time with me.”

2:45 p.m.: Grand Rapids drawn to bridge for partial eclipse

In Grand Rapids, dozens had gathered on the city’s “Blue Bridge” by the time the partial eclipse began just before 2 p.m. The bridge offered a view of the eclipse over the Grand River, and with no cloud cover over the city, visitors had an unobstructed scene Monday.

Through specialized eclipse glasses, visitors could peer at the eclipse as well as through a series of solar telescopes set out by the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Grand Rapids would see about 94% eclipse coverage, with max coverage taking place at 3:11 p.m.

Jill and Wes Johnson, 50 and 14, were among those awaiting max coverage Monday afternoon. Wes Johnson didn’t remember too much about the most recent eclipse in 2017, but was excited to leave school early and be among those on the bridge Monday.

They’d considered traveling from Grand Rapids to a place with total coverage, but with Michigan’s second largest city experiencing 94% coverage, Jill Johnson said it was worth staying home.

“I think people are excited to see something unique,” Jill Johnson said.

The excitement in Grand Rapids was evident hours before the eclipse began. A massive line gathered inside and outside the museum to purchase eclipse glasses when the museum’s shop opened at 10 a.m.

A museum employee said all of the remaining eclipse glasses had been sold by the time partial coverage began at 1:55 p.m.

— Arpan Lobo

2:40 p.m. It's starting! Check out this Mandi Wright image from Bloomfield Hills.

— Mandi Wright

2:31 p.m.: Temperatures begin to drop at Ford House

As the moon started to move across the sun, the temperature began to noticeably drop.

Marge Hilgendorf, 82, of Grosse Pointe Farms, said her father, who was born in the 1900s, would tell her stories about the solar eclipse, so she always wanted to witness one.

“I definitely can feel the temperature going down” she said. “We’ve heard so much about it.”

She went to the Ford House viewing party with her friend, Patricia Steele, 64, of Grosse Point Park. Steele said she was interested in science growing up and this was a special opportunity.

They both said they were pleased to see so many younger faces, especially girls, and their interest in science.

2:28 p.m.: Clouds rolling in over downtown Detroit, Toledo

Our reporters in downtown Detroit and Toledo are watching clouds beginning to cover large portions of the sky as the eclipse approaches.

2:17 p.m.: Ship has sailed on a last-minute trip to Luna Pier

Thinking of an on-the-fly jaunt from metro Detroit to catch the eclipse's path of totality in Luna Pier , a small town in southeastern-most Michigan near the Ohio border?

The sun has set on that idea.

Those arriving at the small town of just under 1,400 residents reported southbound I-75 is "a parking lot," with Waze and other navigation apps sending motorists on farm roads from Carleton, more than 30 miles to the north. The trip from metro Detroit — at 12 noon — was taking over two hours.

At Luna Pier's Water Tower Park, James Winters, of Ypsilanti, was ready — a Nikon camera with a giant lens on a tripod, pointed skyward.

"I'm an astrological buff — I had to come with the total eclipse so close," he said.

Winters had a special filter for his lens to be able to shoot the sun.

Parked next to Winters with a telescope were Rita and John Gilliam and their friend Lori Filippelli, of Canton.

When asked what compelled them to make the trip to Luna Pier, John Gilliam simply said, "Bucket list."

2:08 p.m.: Share your own post-eclipse experience with the Free Press here

Did you see the 2024 solar eclipse? Tell us about it in a letter to the editor at , and we may publish your letter online and in print.

— Nancy Kaffer

2:04 p.m.: It's all happening at the Toledo Zoo

The Toledo zoo saw long traffic backups on Hippo Way, its main entrance, and reached full capacity shortly after 1 p.m. Officials began turning people away after that.

The zoo is packed with Ohio families and children, with crowds starting to gather at an outdoor amphitheater for eclipse viewing. Zoo staff still had plenty of viewing glasses available for patrons, however.

1:50 p.m. Scary moment for Free Press photographer on eclipse flight

Free Press photographer Eric Seals learned about the kindness of a stranger as he feared missing a magical moment:

1:38 p.m. Eclipse fever strikes Detroit waterfront

Sitting on a chaise lounge along the Detroit River, not too far from the city's Cullen Plaza and the carousel, Desiree Williams, of Belleville, considered impending eclipse.

She’d brought several grandchildren with her. “I wanted them to have this experience,” 61-year-old Williams said. It’s a chance to see nature at its finest.

But to Williams, the eclipse is something else, too. It’s a great unifier. “For me, it’s not local or state history,” she said, about an hour before the eclipse was to begin. “It’s one of these things that ties all of us together. It draws all of us together, not for wars, but for a positive thing.”

And that is what are hopes her grandkids remember.

Update: After the eclipse came and went, Williams said she’d wished it had gotten darker outside, but that she’d enjoyed the event nonetheless. She said she felt like she’d been part of something big and looked forward to talking about the eclipse to friends and family members across town and across the country

1:29: Delta rolls out eclipse swag for Detroit flight

1:20 p.m.: spotting the sun safely with a pricey device.

Where there is a need, science will provide. Or capitalism will. Or both.

The need Monday was to not have anyone damage their eyes staring at a near-total solar eclipse. In the garden at Cranbrook Institute of Science, as hundreds of people strolled the building, poked around exhibits and waited for the main event, museum educator Jason Kuzera was demonstrating a device called a Sunspotter.

Sold by a company called ScienceFirst in Yulee, Florida, the Sunspotter looks like a large wooden sextant, with an open-sided triangle atop an upwardly curved base. It has an objective lens on one side of the triangle, and mirrors in each interior corner that combine to diffuse the sunlight and project it on a white sheet of paper.

As the moon passes in front of the sun, its progress will show on the paper — a real-time reproduction “which you can see safely,” said Kuzera, 23.

The Sunspotter retails for $533, in case you’re interested. It’s made in China, rather than domestically, so too bad for that missed opportunity.

On the other hand, we get to watch an eclipse today, and China doesn’t.

1:12 p.m.: A generational sighting approaches Ford House

Someday, perhaps, if 6-year-old Julian Marchese one day has children of his own, he will remember this day — April 8, 2024 — when he went with his mom, Jessica; his dad, Bill; and his little sister, Junia; to the Ford House in Grosse Point Shores to see the sun disappear, and day turn into night.

At the moment though, he was more interested in crafts, making a sun visor for his eclipse glasses.

The sun, of course, won’t really disappear, as Mary Lee with the Michigan Science Center explained. The view of the sun, and its intense rays, were obscured by the moon, which will block the light, and the heat.

“We saw an ad on Facebook about the event and always wanted to check out the Ford House,” Jessica Marchese, 37, of Warren, said. “So, we wanted to do something with the kids, who are home-schooled. So, it’s an extra lesson for them.”

Lee added: “We won’t have another one for another 20 years.”

For days, weather forecasters and eclipse viewing party organizers wrung their hands wondering whether clouds would ruin the day, but as it turned out, by late morning, the sky was blue, and as clear as could be.

Julian said he wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but eager to find out as he drew a rainbow with crayons.

Just before the eclipse, an astronomer from the science center, Paulette Epstein, would give the crowd a talk about what to expect, and give them safety tips, such as not to look directly at the sun without their protective solar-viewing glasses.

As they waited for the eclipse, 5-year-old Augie Morren built a moon base — or what he imagined one would look like — out of blocks.

His mother, Stephany Morren, 55, of Grosse Pointe Shores, looked on.

Augie had been to the Ford House before, but this time, they wondered what would happen to the animals, especially the beavers. Morren wondered whether they would come out, as the sun got dark, because they might think it was nighttime. For the event, the science center set up tent stations to teach astronomy lessons.

Moreen said she expected the eclipse to be extra special because she was witnessing it with her son, and remembered as a child, seeing a partial solar eclipse. For this one, they are on the edge of what scientists call the path of totality.

Here, an estimated 99% of the sun is expected to disappear when the moon passes in front of it.

1:05 p.m. Meanwhile, back at Cranbrook....

Stacey DuFord was a morning radio host in 2017 when metro Detroit last gazed upward — carefully — at a major solar eclipse.

Now a weather forecaster at WWJ-TV (Channel 62), she is taking more of a precise and professional interest in this one. But between reports from the garden deck at the Cranbrook Institute of Science on Monday, she admitted fudging one fact, if only slightly.

The peak viewing time in southeast Michigan, with just under 99% totality, will come at 3:14 p.m.

“I’ve been telling people 3:13,” she said, “because we’re Detroit.”

1:10 p.m.: Clogged highway as motorists flock to see best view of total eclipse

— Tanya Wildt

12:48 p.m. Ford House prepares for eclipse excitement

12:42: preparing to fly to detroit amid midair eclipse, 12:40: hear wedding bells south of us the 'elope at the eclipse' is coming soon.

— Ryan Garza

12 noon: Great American Eclipse, meet some great American traffic

This live stream from WXYZ shows the roads heading south from Michigan into the Path of Totality (Hi, Ohio!) are getting crowded:

11:42: a.m. Cranbrook to host hundreds for a sky-darkening day party

The head of astronomy at the Cranbrook Institute of Science had his feet firmly planted on the ground as he waited for up to a thousand guests Monday.

“We’re basically just the facilitators,” Mike Narlock said. “The universe puts on the show. We just kind of escort them to their seats.”

The institute sold out 800 tickets online for what’s believed to be the largest eclipse-watching party in metro Detroit, with another 200 available for walk-ins.

Admission was $14 for adults and $10.50 for seniors or kids, ages 2 to 12. It’s that last group he had high hopes for on a day when most everyone will be looking upward.

“An event like this raises the profile of science,” said Narlock, 53, dressed for comfort in jeans and a sweatshirt. “If it sparks a long-term interest, so much the better.”

Narlock, Cranbrook's astronomy guru, became fascinated with the stars as a kid in Arizona.

Looking at the desert sky, free from the light pollution of a city, “I had questions,” he said. “My parents didn’t have answers.”

He found them in books, and now tries to provide them with the telescopes and hands-on exhibits that guests were encouraged to explore at the Institute of Science get-together.

“Educate, excite, and make available the wonders of the universe,” he said. “That’s our goal.”

A few lumbering steps from the entrance to the Cranbrook Institute of Science stands Steggy, a life-size, tan-and-white statue of a stegosaurus.

Some 150 million years ago, he and his peers would have looked skyward during an eclipse and thought, with their walnut-sized brains, “What the heck is this?”

Monday, he was wearing oversize, squared-off sunglasses.

For those who couldn’t obtain proper eyewear, Cranbrook Head of Astronomy Mike Narlock said, “you can use the trees to see the eclipse. Or a colander. Just look at the shadow.”

11:15 a.m.: A flight for the ages

Free Press photographer Eric Seals will be on the flight from Austin to Detroit today to catch the solar eclipse from his seat. Here's the scene at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport:

10:54 a.m.: A celestial event to hit a historic home

Across North America, millions of people have been eagerly anticipating when the bright sun dims — either partially or entirely while covered by the moon — and day looks like night. For the moment, people have planned weddings, astronomy lessons and viewing parties with commemorative drinks.

Only a tiny corner of Michigan — which includes a city with the perfect name for viewing the eclipse, Luna Pier — is in the path of totality, but radiating out from there, Michiganders are expecting to witness at least a partial eclipse, depending on the cloud cover.

At the Ford House — the historic family home of Edsel Ford, the only son of Henry Ford — in Grosse Pointe Shores, a sold-out solar eclipse viewing event was set to go Monday, from noon to 4:30 p.m. Organizers promoted the experience as “an ethereal dance of light and shadow.”

In addition, the Detroit-based Michigan Science Center also is set to be on hand to explain the astronomy and help with hands on activities, making pinhole projectors; aiming solar telescopes and sunspotters; and designing a moon-based camp.

A solar eclipse is a rare thing to see, but more than that, event organizers said, whether the sky was cloudy or perfectly clear, a moment for memories, especially families. Years later, they will be able to reminisce about the day the sun went dark, like it was night.

Part of the experience, scientists say, is not just what you can see — or more accurately, don’t see — but also hear and feel. Animals, as it gets dark, become disoriented, with crickets chirping and birds stop singing. Sometimes, pets lie down, as if to go to sleep.

And the temperature drops, as the sun disappears, by 10 to 15 degrees.

The Ford estate, with is manicured grounds and gardens, opened for stargazers to look up, in part because it offers unobstructed views of the celestial phenomenon.

But as those wait for the moment of darkness — not entirely, but close, at let’s say 3:13 p.m., for the sake of geographical poetry — can also enjoy the house.

And for those willing to pay a little more — $50 or $60, instead of $7 and $5 — for tickets, in addition to protective solar eclipse glasses, patrons will receive snacks, wine glasses, and a bottle of Heron Hill’s Eclipse wine to toast the special moment.

Follow the Detroit Free Press on Instagram ( @detroitfreepress ), TikTok ( @detroitfreepress ), YouTube ( @DetroitFreePress ), Twitter/X ( @freep ),   and  LinkedIn , and like us on Facebook ( @detroitfreepress ).

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  1. The 25 Top Wildlife Destinations in the World

    When visiting Australia, one of the best places to go to see all of this wildlife in one location outside of a zoo is the Lone Pine Sanctuary. Located in the suburbs of the city of Brisbane in Eastern Australia, the Lone Pine Sanctuary is Australia's oldest and biggest koala sanctuary. In addition to the adorable koalas, the sanctuary also ...

  2. The 15 Best Places to See Wildlife Up Close

    Mountain Gorilla, Rwanda. Coming face-to-face with a mountain gorilla—a creature that shares 97 percent of our DNA composition—is arguably the ultimate wildlife encounter. In the mist of ...

  3. 8 Best Places to See Wildlife in the U.S.

    To see bison: Custer State Park, South Dakota. Located in western South Dakota among the Black Hills, Custer State Park provides a peaceful home for America's "First National Mammal" (thus ...

  4. 9 Best Trips for Unforgettable Wildlife Encounters Around the ...

    Looking for Beluga Whales in the Northwest Passage. "For travelers who want a truly unique wildlife experience, a cruise can be the best option. On a 16-day trip aboard Ponant's Le Commandant ...

  5. The best places to see wildlife around the world, according to the

    What you will see: Elephants, game and birds. Where to stay: Depending on your budget, there are two options.Stay at Tinga Camp for a more affordable trip, or make the most of their luxury fly camp, Camp Nomade - situated on the best viewing plains, chefs from Michelin-star restaurants cook for you under the stars every night. Remember that access to this park is only during the dry season ...

  6. Wildlife Vacations: The 10 Ultimate Trips for Animal Lovers

    Antarctica. For many travelers, Antarctica is the wildlife trip of a lifetime. The climate is hostile and the journey to get there is long, but the rewards are many: Picture elephant and fur seals ...

  7. The USA's best wildlife experiences

    You might also like: How to visit all of California's national parks in one epic road trip At the wolf's door: Yellowstone's winter wildlife The 5 best places to see wildlife with your kids This article was first published March 2020 and updated April 2022

  8. These are the 10 best U.S. national parks to see wildlife

    Drive the 3.7-mile Bison Flats Road or hike the steep, challenging Boland Ridge Trail for the best chance to see animals. 7. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida. Contrary to its name, water makes ...

  9. 12 Incredible Places to Travel if You Love Wildlife

    Costa Rica. Famous wildlife: toucans, coatimundis, crocodiles, white-faced capuchin monkeys, scarlet macaws, two-toed sloths. Wildlife abounds in Costa Rica. From the cities to the beaches to the national parks, animals are everywhere. One of the most popular places to scope out animals is Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio.

  10. The 12 Best US National Parks Where You Can Actually See Wildlife

    With 63 parks covering more than 84 million acres, that's a lot of wildlife. If your main goal is spotting animals in their natural habitat, you should know that some parks are better than others. Katmai National Park's brown bears, alligators in the Everglades, the Channel Islands' whales and dolphins, and the largest herd of bison in the U.S ...

  11. The 20 Best Wildlife Parks & Wildlife Tours in the World

    2. KRUGER NATIONAL PARK (South Africa) Covering more than 7,500 square miles in the eastern part of South Africa, Kruger National Park ranks alongside Etosha among the largest wildlife reserves in all of Africa. Established in 1926, it's South Africa's oldest national park and part of a protected UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

  12. The Best Places To See Wildlife In The U.S.

    The best places to see wildlife in spots like Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain National Park, Glacier National Park, and Grand Teton National Park, show off an array of creatures that'll help you reconnect with the outdoors. National parks make it especially easy to see wildlife via established trails and known grazing grounds.

  13. Places to See Animals: My 28 Favorite Wildlife Encounters in the U.S

    Alaska is one of the best places to see animals like this majestic moose! The rest of the week resulted in a few more moose sightings, including a couple in the high grass right off the road. The wildlife of Denali was pretty epic in general. 14 Beluga whales in Alaska.

  14. The 7 Best U.S. National Parks for Wildlife Spotting

    Idaho, Montana, Wyoming. America's first national park is also one of the best places for wildlife watching. Yellowstone is home to the largest concentrations of mammals in the lower 48 states ...

  15. Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park

    Wildlife spotting is one of the main reasons people visit Rocky Mountain National Park, which is home to large wild animals, including elk, bighorn sheep, moose, and bears.

  16. 16 Best U.S. National Parks for Wildlife Watching

    Image credit: Bram Reusen. One of the great joys of spending time in Grand Teton National Park is the amazing opportunity to see wild animals. From bison, elk and moose to black and grizzly bears, yellow-bellied marmots and countless birds, the wildlife watching in Grand Teton National Park is among the best in the national park system.. Yellowstone's smaller neighbor to the south, Grand ...

  17. 7 great places to see wildlife in the United States

    2. Mount Washburn, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. When I worked in Yellowstone and people asked me what to do if they only had a day in the park, I would recommend the Mount Washburn hike ...

  18. Places to Visit

    The CDFW Lands Viewer provides geospatial data about the CDFW's lands and facilities. The department manages over 1,100,000 acres of fish and wildlife habitat and these properties provide many opportunities for the public to hunt, fish, watch wildlife and learn about nature. Come visit and explore a wildlife area or ecological reserve near you!

  19. Best Places For Spotting Rare Wildlife Up Close

    Stunning wildlife sightings aren't simply possible on land -- there is a new whole world of animals to visit in the seas. There is no better place on Earth to dive into the ocean world than the ...

  20. 10 Best Spots To See Wildlife in Colorado

    13 Best Tourist Attractions in Colorado. 2. Lookout Mountain Park. 987 Lookout Mountain Rd, Golden, CO 80401 ( Google Maps) (720) 865-0900. Visit Website. Breathtaking views and wildlife abound at Lookout Mountain Park. Located just outside of Denver, this park is a great spot for a day trip or weekend getaway.

  21. Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Delaware gets new visitor center

    One of the best bird-watching spots on the East Coast, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge near Smyrna, is adding a new $5.6 million visitor center. ... To sign up or for more information, call ...

  22. 9 of the best places to see wildlife in the UAE

    The land was previously a salt flat which flourished into a natural and man-made lake enabling many of Abu Dhabi's wildlife to flourish. Speckled amongst nature, you will spot a large population ...

  23. From beaches to baseball: Top 10 things to do in Jupiter

    A bucket list of best things to do in town. Jupiter has got mountain biking, beaches, baseball and more (the Maltz theater; Busch Wildlife). Best movies of 2023 🍿 How he writes From 'Beef' to ...

  24. Electrostal History and Art Museum

    Mission Inn Museum Bukit Ampang Lester Park Mount Huashan Ostional National Wildlife Refuge Wiener Stadthalle Long Island Rail Road Animate Ikebukuro Flagship Store Boston Water Taxi Torrox Market Patom organic village farm Thai cultural work shop Floating market tour bangkok Victoria to Seattle High-Speed Passenger Ferry: ONE-WAY Whale Watching in Kaikoura by Boat 2 hours Boat Rental Lake ...

  25. 40 Facts About Elektrostal

    In conclusion, Elektrostal is a fascinating city with a rich history and a vibrant present. From its origins as a center of steel production to its modern-day status as a hub for education and industry, Elektrostal has plenty to offer both residents and visitors. With its beautiful parks, cultural attractions, and proximity to Moscow, there is ...

  26. How does the solar eclipse affect animals? Veterinarians share insights

    The travel, noise and crowds can be stressful for animals. Some animals that depend more on the light-dark cycle, like birds, may be more affected because the sky will darken during the eclipse ...

  27. Total solar eclipse 2024 in Michigan: 'Eerie' shadows, quiet wildlife

    Grand Rapids would see about 94% eclipse coverage, with max coverage taking place at 3:11 p.m. Jill and Wes Johnson, 50 and 14, were among those awaiting max coverage Monday afternoon.

  28. HPAI Detections in Wild Birds

    Confirmed HPAI Detections. Captive wild birds, defined by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) as a wild animal that is captive or otherwise lives under or requires human supervision or control, are included in the numbers reported on this page. Captive wild birds, including sick wild birds that may have died after being found and taken to a rehabilitator or sanctuary, will have the ...


    Apelsin Hotel, Elektrostal: See 43 traveler reviews, 19 candid photos, and great deals for Apelsin Hotel, ranked #1 of 4 hotels in Elektrostal and rated 4 of 5 at Tripadvisor. ... Nearby attractions include Epiphany Cathedral (3.3 miles), Tikhvin Temple (3.3 miles), and Summery House A.I. Morozova (4.9 miles).

  30. Visit Elektrostal: 2024 Travel Guide for Elektrostal, Moscow Oblast

    Electrostal History and Art Museum. You can spend time exploring the galleries in Electrostal History and Art Museum in Elektrostal. Take in the museums while you're in the area. Travel guide resource for your visit to Elektrostal. Discover the best of Elektrostal so you can plan your trip right.