Have you ever dreamt of swimming with dolphins? How about frolicking with penguins? If you're an animal lover, chances are you've had both these dreams and more. These vacations are the perfect trips for anyone who loves animals and is looking for a little adventure.
1. Swim and play with penguins in South Africa
Table Mountain National Park is home to a beach where endangered African penguins swim and frolic side-by-side with some very lucky humans.
2. Bond with elephants in Thailand
Elephant Nature Park provides an all-day excursion to hang out with elephants as they roam free throughout a wildlife reservation. The day culminates in an opportunity to bathe and swim with the elephants.
3. Swim and play with pigs in the Bahamas
No one knows how they got there, but the world's most adorable pigs run free on the beaches of Big Major Cay Island in the Bahamas. Tourists can swim and snuggle with these cuties all in exchange for some snacks.
4. Research koalas in Australia
Sure, koalas are cute and all, but they're also fascinating creatures worthy of your scientific attention. Alongside the Earth Watch Institute you have the opportunity to study koalas for a week, handling them as well as aiding in a study that's determining their impact on the trees they call home.
5. Get up close and personal with brown bears in Alaska
Alaska is home to a large population of brown bears. Here you can travel deep into the Alaskan wild and watch brown bears hunt for salmon and live in their natural habitat. The tour also offers views of other Alaskan wildlife including a cruise to see humpback whales.
6. Hang out with lemurs in Madagascar
More than 80% of the wildlife that lives on the island of Madagascar exists nowhere else on the planet. One of the animals that lives there just so happens to be the adorable lemur! Natural Habitat Adventures will show you the incredible wildlife that calls the island home, especially the lemur.
7. Research frogs in Australia
Australia is home to many species of adorable frogs, but some clearly thrive while others struggle for survival. In partnership with the Earth Watch Institute visitors are able to aid in the research and study of indigenous frog species in Australia's mountainous Watagan National Park, collecting data and helping to understand this beautiful creature.
8. Care for lion cubs in South Africa
For two weeks you can live on a lion reserve and work with the cubs, feeding them bottles and helping to care for them in the facility. This trip with Real Gap Experience also includes "game drives" to see the pride on the reserve.
9. Photograph rare wildlife in the Galapagos Islands
From the blue-footed booby to the giant sea turtle, the Galapagos Islands are unparalleled for diverse and stunning wildlife. With Natural Habitat Photo Tours you can get up close and personal with these incredible creatures and snap some photos to last a lifetime.
10. Hang out with cats at a cafe in Japan.
Cat cafes have grown in popularity in Japan in recent years, and for good reason. Guests can hang out with dozens of cats as they relax with friends and give the felines treats. Just make sure not to wake the sleeping cats, though; that's against the rules.
11. Swim with dolphins in the Bahamas
If you think dolphins are incredible, just try swimming with them in the ocean! You can do just that in the Bahamas with the help of some snorkeling gear, swimming alongside these amazing creatures in their natural habitat.
12. Sun yourself on the beach with wild ponies in Maryland
The island of Assateague, Maryland is home to a population of wild ponies that are as beautiful as they are friendly. Hang out on the white sands of the beach alongside some of these magnificent creatures.
13. Research owls in Victoria, Australia
The Powerful Owl, Masked Owl, Barking Owl, and Sooty Owl all call Victoria, Australia home. In recent years their numbers have declined, and researchers are working to save them from future extinction. Through the program run by Conservation Volunteers you can do your part to help! Join researchers in Baw Baw National Park and help in the monitoring and research of these magnificent animals, helping to ensure their survival for years to come.
14. Search for the rare snow leopard in Mongolia
The snow leopard is the world's most elusive cat, living in the perilous slopes of Central Asia and the Himalayas. Though it has held a prominent place in Buddhist mythology, the snow leopard is dwindling in numbers. This unforgettable trip takes you through the mountainsides of Mongolia in search of this rare and incredible animal.
15. Frolic with wild donkeys on the island of St. John
Wild donkeys run free on the island of St. John, and they're certainly not shy. A visit to the island means adorable donkeys everywhere, from the beach to your car window! They're always up for a snack in return for a visit.
16. Chill out with bunnies on an island in Japan
The island of Ōkunoshima in Japan was once used to create chemicals for military use during World War II. Since then it's gotten a lot cuter and is inhabited by a large population of wild bunnies. Everywhere you go on the island there are rabbits looking for a snuggle or a treat. Talk about cute!
17. Swim with stingrays in the Cayman Islands
Stingray City in Grand Cayman is home to a huge population of stingrays, and they're more than happy to hang out if you're in the mood for a swim. The site was originally used as a dumping ground for fishermen's scraps, and now it's a great place for visitors to get up close and personal with some really neat rays!
18. Hang out with wild burros downtown in Arizona
In Oatman, Arizona, the burros are in charge. That's because they roam free in the downtown area of this old mining town, visiting tourists and stopping cars at their leisure. These pack animals have rejoined nature and have never been cuter!
19. Enjoy the beach alongside seals in California
La Jolla, California is home to Seal Beach, and it's called that for a reason. Seals call this stretch of California coastline home, and thanks to the sea walls, humans are able to get close enough to the seals to watch them, but still not disturb them. There is nothing cuter than a baby seal basking in the sun!
20. Dine with giraffes in Kenya
Giraffe Manor is a luxury boutique hotel in Kenya that has everything a visitor could hope for, but that's not all. Surrounding the hotel is a herd of Rothschild giraffes that poke their heads into the windows and visit with guests as they relax. They especially love mealtimes!
There are so many amazing animals waiting for you to meet them, and incredible places that you can explore. What are you waiting for? Let's go!
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