Searching for an elusive lion at sunrise, tracking down a lumbering elephant mid-day, and seeking out a well-hidden cheetah perched atop a tree just waiting for its prey to mosey by is all part of the dream safari vacation experience. And it’s one you can have in nations across Africa, including luxury outfitters in Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia, and beyond.
Yes, you really can go on a safari almost anywhere. After all, the term applies to any “expedition to observe animals in their natural habitat.” So why not take it to the far reaches of the earth? Here are seven unexpected places you can go on a safari outside the continent of Africa.
Borneo, an island in Southeast Asia’s Malay Archipelago, is a biodiversity dream. Best known for its rugged terrain, stunning beaches, and thick rainforests, the island is home to a wide array of wildlife, including majestic orangutans, tigers, rhinos, and even clouded leopards. For the ultimate safari experience in Borneo, book a tour with an operator like Natural World Safaris, which offers a variety of tours, including an Orangutans and Beaches family safari, Best of Borneo, and more.
India deserves a spot high up on your must-travel list for many reasons. Paramount of all is its stellar wildlife offerings. Make your way to Ranthambore National Park for a safari experience you’ll never forget as you track down the elusive Bengal tiger. Along the way, see how many crocodiles, langur monkeys, leopards, and even sloth bears you can spot. For the cream of the crop, book a trip with Abercrombie and Kent, which takes up to 18 guests on an 11-day journey through some of the nation’s top wildlife habitats.
The United States may not be the native homeland of giraffes and hyenas, but it sure does have its own massive beasts to contend with. Outfitters like the Yellowstone Safari Company will happily take travelers to some of America’s most beautiful places to seek out animals like brown bears, wolves, and bighorn sheep. Its offerings include single-day and multi-day trips through Yellowstone National Park, including morning and night game drives to maximize the chance of animal spotting.
Not all safaris need to take place on land. For an aquatic safari, head to the Galapagos Islands, a dreamy archipelago off the coast of Ecuador. Here, adventure abounds, from sails to dozens of islands that offer land-based tours to track down blue-footed boobies and plenty of iguanas and swims that take you through its various reefs to look for seals, hammerhead sharks, sea turtles, and even the area’s adorable penguins. Seek out companies like Ecoventura, which offer small boat cruises for more personalized service.
Head down under for a safari through some of the earth’s most pristine landscapes. The continent of Australia offers unique adventure through various ecosystems ranging from dry eucalypt forests to grasslands and alpine ranges to arid deserts. Book a tour with Australian Wildlife Journeys, which offers photography tours, Kangaroo Island tours, and conservation safaris that allow your vacation dollars to go toward helping preserve this special place.
The South American nation of Brazil offers its own spectacular safari offerings through lush landscapes that are positively utopian. Once again, Natural World Safaris is the outfitter of choice, providing varied options for a safari through the country, including boat safaris down the Pantanal wetland area to find crocodiles and even a few swimming jaguars. Travelers can also check out the big cats on the Ultimate Jaguar Safari for eight days you’ll never forget.
Pack a warm coat for this last safari option, which will see you traveling through the snowy landscape of the Swedish Lapland. Several high-end safari outfitters offer options for guests looking to seek out the Aurora Borealis, find massive moose, and careen through the snow on dog sleds. Try companies like Natucate, Virtuoso, and Red Savannah to find the trip that fits your needs best.