My Wildlife Bucket List dreams take me all over the globe in search of some amazing animals! If you love wildlife as much as I do,
then this article will have you wishing that you could fly the world tomorrow! But for the time, check out my dream list of wildlife adventures,
and start writing down your own bucket lists. Never stop dreaming of the journeys you can take for wildlife!
Churchill’s Bear Congregation:
Each fall, hordes of polar bears congregate in Churchill, Manitoba. They form the earth’s largest concentration of polar bears, earning it the title – “polar bear capital of the world”. The viewing opportunities are unrivaled as the bears wait patiently for the ice to form for seal hunting season to begin. However, my dream of seeing these massive bears is threatened as the effects of climate change begin to shift these seasonal behaviors. Seeing this Arctic wonder of nature before it becomes disrupted is top on my bucket list.
Species to Spot: Polar Bear, Snowy Owl, Arctic Fox
The Last Mountain Gorillas:
The country of Rwanda has redefined wildlife tourism. Their ambitious model ensures that tourist dollars spent gorilla trekking are returned to the community, boosting local investment in conservation efforts. Hiking the mountainous forests of Volcanoes National Park in search of an assigned family troop is an experience many say is unparalleled. Visitors are only allotted a set number of hours they can spend near the gorillas, but every breathe would be unforgettable. The value that Rwanda places on preserving its wildlife and habitats earns its spot on my list of travel dreams.
Species to Spot: Mountain Gorilla, Golden Monkey, Rwenzori turaco
King of Penguin Viewing:
The long journey to the remote Falkland Islands off the southern tip of South America, is royally rewarded with fascinating marine life. My attention is set on the world’s most accessible king penguin colony at Volunteer Point. But don’t worry, in this case accessibility doesn’t mean shoulder to shoulder tourists. As nature would have it, the Falkland Islands are home to far more penguins than people. Making this wildlife destination far from being overrun with tourists. Volunteer Point hosts well over 1,000 breeding pairs of king penguin, meaning I would be pleasantly outnumbered by these black and white beauties.
Species to Spot: King & Gentoo Penguins, Elephant Seal, Orca, Commerson’s Dolphin
America’s Yellowstone Safari:
The world’s original national park still reigns king as the ultimate wildlife viewing destination of the continental United States. Yellowstone is a hub of biodiversity, specifically of free roaming American megafauna. The park’s intersection of predators and prey provides an authentic circle of life storyline where the hunter and the hunted intertwine. I hope to soon witness this tale of nature unfold with my own eyes.
Species to Spot: Bison, Grizzly Bear, Gray Wolf, Elk, Pronghorn, Black Bear
Indian Striped Safari:
Ranthambore National Park is often considered India’s premier tiger viewing destination. Tourists flock to catch a glimpse of a striped cat meandering out of the underbrush to quench their thirst from the Indian heat. The arid habitat of Ranthambore is home to more than its famous tigers. My binoculars are equally as focused on the park’s cast of Jungle Book characters including; sloth bears and leopards.
Species to Spot: Bengal Tiger, Sloth Bear, Leopard, Axis Deer, Striped Hyena, Nilgai
Grizzly Scenes of Katmai:
Flying into Katmai National Park by float plane transports visitors to this land of bears. This true Alaskan wilderness is the source of the iconic photos of bear swiping at leaping salmon. The salmon-rich waters of Brooks Falls are where all the action occurs, and visitors can watch it unfold from the elevated viewing platforms. Once autumn arrives devouring salmon is the only goal the bars have, they need to get ready for the long Alaskan winter. There are few other places on earth that have comparable viewing opportunities to observe the hundreds of grizzly bears that converge to Katmai for spawning salmon.
Species to Spot: Grizzly Bear, Moose, Sea Otter, Gray Wolf
South America’s Wildlife Extravaganza:
Though the Amazon Rainforest is far better known, the Pantanal offers unparalleled wildlife viewing. As the world’s largest seasonal floodplain, the Pantanal sprawls across three countries – Bolivia, Brazil, and Paraguay. The vast freshwater marshes and dotted forests are teaming with iconic species that can be viewed on foot, by boat, or 4×4 making for an epic South American wildlife safari.
Species to Spot: Jaguar, Maned Wolf, Capybara, Giant Anteater, Caiman, Hyacinth Macaw, Giant River Otter
Giants of Asia:
Chitwan National Park is home to three iconic Asian species I dream of encountering – rhinos, tigers, and elephants. This national park is found directly on the Nepalese and Indian border and encompasses a massive 800 square mile sanctuary for Asia’s megafauna. Most notable, Chitwan National Park has had superb conservation success in protecting and boosting endangered wildlife numbers.
Species to Spot: Bengal Tiger, One-horned Rhino, Asian Elephant, Sloth Bear, Gaur
Madagascar, the Eighth Continent:
A world apart on its own, Madagascar is a kaleidoscope of diverse ecosystems. Over 80% of the island’s species are found nowhere else in the world, making it a hard to top wildlife viewing destination. Close encounters with unusual species aren’t uncommon, given that the local wildlife are more than accustomed to visitors.
Species to Spot: Over 100 Lemur Species, Radiated Tortoise, Fossa, Ploughshare Tortoise, Tenrecs
Hop to Kangaroo Island:
Coined the “Down Under’s version of The Galápagos”, this scenic island paradise hosts all manners of Australian animals. My vision of being surrounding by iconic Aussie creatures could come true with Kangaroo Island’s furred, flippered and feathered inhabitants. Just off the coast from Adelaide, this accessible wildlife hub is calling my name.
Species to Spot: Koala, Kangaroo, Wallaby, Australian Sea Lion, Echidnas