Although there are some of us obsessed with wild animals, at some point, the zoo in our own country just isn’t enough. We long to go out into the wider world and discover other stunning
Although there are some of us obsessed with wild animals, at some point, the zoo in our own country just isn’t enough. We long to go out into the wider world and discover other stunning creatures up close and in their natural habitat. This wish may be the only thing driving our travel plans as we search for places with the most incredible wildlife. Below, we’ve gathered a list of countries you can go to experience some magnificent animals. And if you haven’t check hour the first part of this post, you can read it here.
Mexico – Grey and Humpback Whales
Every year – at the end of December – hundreds of gray whales begin to reach the coasts of Baja California after a two-month journey from the Bering Strait. They come to give birth to their young or to mate in the lagoons of San Ignacio, Ojo de Liebre and Magdalena, three shallow bays of barely 15 meters. This is the largest documented migration of a mammal: 20,000 kilometers of travel. In these shallow salt lagoons, they do not find food but feel safe to give birth and raise their calves during the first three months of their lives. Humpback whales also arrive in the Los Cabos area and in La Paz Bay. From several ports in these lagoons, boat tours are organized to see these huge and peaceful mammals up close.
Spain – Migratory Birds
To see animals in the wild, you don’t have to go to exotic places. Spain is one of the countries with the greatest biodiversity in Europe. And we are a key stop for thousands of migratory birds. For example, every winter, thousands of cranes from northern Europe arrive in the Gallocanta lagoon, between Teruel and Zaragoza, and in the meadows of Extremadura. Seeing them return to their nests at sunset after a long day of eating in the pastures or in the lagoon is an unforgettable sight. Another good birdwatching spot is the Strait of Gibraltar, one of the two natural bird passages between Europe and Africa (the other is the Bosphorus). On a good day you can see more than 20,000 kites or 18,000 beekeepers crossing between the shores of the two continents.
Ecuador – Hummingbirds
Richard Parsons and Gloria Nichols are two British-Colombian philanthropists who have purchased hundreds of hectares of primary cloud forest in Ecuador to save it from logging. Their Bellavista Reserve, in the Tandayapa Valley, just 80 kilometers from a major urban area like Quito, is a bird sanctuary unique in the country. They own 700 hectares (700 soccer fields!), 400 of their own property and the rest from friends and acquaintances they convinced to buy the forest to protect it. They belong to the Ecuadorian Network of Private Forests, an association of foreigners, nationals and indigenous communities committed to maintaining the country’s original vegetation cover. This is one of the best places in Ecuador to watch birds, especially hummingbirds.
Cazorla – Deer and Mouflons
The Natural Park of the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas, in Jaén, is the largest protected natural area in Spain and home to one of the largest masses of native pines on the European continent. After its declaration as a national reserve in 1960, it was repopulated with deer from different parts of Spain. Wild boar were also reintroduced from the Coto de Doñana and Andújar; mouflon came from France; and fallow deer from Riofrío, in Segovia. Today, even a “reconstructed” jungle? It is one of the best places in Spain to see the great herbivores, a gigantic forest mass in the middle of the Andalusian olive trees to accompany the little ones from home so that they can have the pleasure of seeing the animals in their natural habitat.
You now know where to go for your next trip if you are looking to experience some mesmerizing wildlife around the world. Don’t forget to leave a comment below if you’ve already been to one of those places.