Hot Trips

6 Ideal Wildlife Holiday Destinations When Traveling With Kids

Wildlife has always been a big fascination for young children. Whether through bedtime stories or animated movies, kids are always eager to know more about the amazing creatures they have yet to see in real life. Giving your child an opportunity to see animals in their natural habitat is the next step in teaching them about the ecosystems in which they share the planet.

There is a definite thrill in wildlife watching and it will not only enrich your child’s knowledge of the world, but will also offer a great opportunity to bond with the family. From the Kruger Park to the waters of the Norwegian Sea, there is so much to see and do in wildlife holiday destinations that it will make for an ideal family holiday. Here are some of the best family holiday destinations for spotting wildlife.

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South Africa

If you want to see the Big Five, head to South Africa. It is an El Dorado for all families who are in search of the fauna in their natural habitat. The families looking to explore Africa will find a level of comfort second to none and the dreams of seeing the elephants, lions, and rhinos could become a reality. An ideal time to visit the destination is between April and October and the family safaris in South Africa are an ultimate travel experience for all ages. Imagine walking on the bush tracks of the Kruger park with your children holding their binoculars and excited to share all they find there with you. Hot Tip: Don’t forget to equip yourself with a travel-friendly vest with multiple pockets for your safari adventure!

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All of us have seen the magnificent island nation in movies but it is also an ideal family holiday destination. It has a whole world within itself which is why it was chosen as the setting for the movie with the same name. If you are headed toward the East coast, the Kirindy Forest Reserve is a great place to be. It comes to life in the night when the rats, mice, and dwarfs are all out and about. When you travel to the west coast, you will find yourself in the lush jungles with several exotic creatures. An ideal time to visit is from April to June or September and November. The experience is mainly through the road and the journey could take longer than intended which is why it may not be the best destination for young children. However, if you are traveling with infants, you may want to carry head supports for car seats to ensure that they have a safe place to rest when tired.

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Sri Lanka

Do not worry if you cannot make it to Africa, you can plan your family holiday in Sri Lanka. It is an ideal destination to travel with children and there are many parks accessible to children. Sri Lanka is known for the Asian elephant and your children will spot one of those in the jungle. Most safaris here start early in the morning and within no time, you will find yourself close to the herds of wild elephants. The best time to visit is between November and April and besides elephants, you will also be able to see sloth bears, leopards, purple-faced langur, and a massive birdlife. 

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The dense wood forests of Northern Finland are right out of the Slavic fairytale. You will get to see wolves and brown bears that reign in this isolated realm which can feel like the end of the world at times. Take your time and soak in the sights, observe the creatures from up close by staying at the specially designed hide which is deep in the forests. It is one destination that has exceptional wildlife all year round and the spring will bring the bears while the winters will be all about the wolves and lynxes. It is an ideal destination for kids aged 5 and above. When in Finland, look for the rarest species of seal in the world- Saimaa ringed seal.

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If you are looking for the Big cat, you cannot miss out on the Asiatic Lion. India has several ecozones which include the jungles, desert areas, and mountains. The main attractions here are the Asiatic lion and the royal Bengal tiger, which is found only in India. If you travel to the eastern part of the country, you will see the one-horned rhinoceroses and on the western coast, you will get to see tigers, elephants, and many bird species. The best time to visit the country is between November and March.

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Costa Rica

Known for the biodiverse rainforests, Costa Rica will certainly provide an adventure of a lifetime to young wildlife enthusiasts. It is highly recommended to start with the Manuel Antonio National Park where you will be able to spot two-toed and three-toed sloths in addition to the different monkey species, iguanas, dolphins, and a wide variety of birds. To upgrade your adventure, you can make your way to the forest reserve of Monteverde which is home to the world’s largest collection of birds, amphibians, and wild orchids. If possible, spend time in the Corcovado National park, which remains one of the most biodiverse spots in the world. The best time to visit is between December to April.

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That’s a Wrap!

Time to make you and your kids’ fantasy a reality by taking them on a wildlife adventure! These exotic travel destinations have so much to offer that your family will remember this trip forever. There are obviously some precautions you need to take when traveling to wildlife destinations with children. You need to ensure that the necessary vaccinations have been taken and you are traveling in the right season.

If a real-life wildlife experience interests you and you need help planning you trip, I am a travel agent. Contact me today and I will make it happen!

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I am a busy mama with 3 delicious babies and a serious itch for travel and writing (when I am not bartending, that is)! After graduating from Cal State San Marcos with a B.A. in Communications, I decided to start a family and pursue a career in freelance writing. I created HotMamaTravel as an outlet to do what I love while sharing useful travel tips and inspiration with others. Our mission is to show parents how to master travel with kids, while keeping your Saturday-night selves. We call it "Family travel...with a twist".

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