"Antarctica, November 2007" by Martha de Jong-Lantink via Flickr Creative Commons

There are more unique insects and butterflies on this continent than on any other in the world. There are thousands of birds on islands and swamps, sharks and whales in the ocean, penguins in the polar reaches and even some dangerous types like poison dart frogs and caiman. It’s a wildlife lover’s prime destination.

  1. Emperor Penguins, Snow Hill Island Rug up to make 4000 bow tied friends on this remote island. Emperor Penguins are some of the hardest birds in the world to see. They breed in winter and the single egg is incubated by the male when night lasts for months and temperatures reach minus 60 degrees Celsius. Brrrr.
  2. Sharks, Mexico Get intimate with great whites, tiger sharks and even giant squids off Isla Guadalupe. Cage dive or use the deep dive submarines to experience the excitement underwater.
  3. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador These islands are like being inside a nature flick. You can swim with sea lions or giant tortoises and walk among blue-footed boobies.
  4. Falkland islands Amazing arrays of spectacular wildlife call these islands home. Come to see the species of penguin, elephant seals, sea lions and fur seals in a completely unspoiled environment.
  5. Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica This outstanding wildlife sanctuary is home to more than 400 species of birds, 100 species of mammals and over 1,500 plant species. Take a walk on trails in forests draped in orchids. Keep an eye out for the quetzal, sacred bird of the Mayas and Aztecs, distinctive for its long green plumes. There’s also a butterfly garden, with a greenhouse and netted flyway.
  6. Guyana Guyana’s amazing rainforests and stunning rivers are a naturalists dream with a multitude of birds, giant river otters, tapir, tira and spider monkeys. Look out for speckled caiman and Arapaima (the world’s largest fresh water fish).
  7. Panama Panama boasts a number of reserves and national parks literally brimming over with wildlife. Visit La Amistad International Biosphere Reserve for tropical bird life, Bastimentos National Park for its tiny poison dart frogs or Darien National Park to surround yourself with macaws.
  8. Valdes Peninsula, Argentina This wildlife rich area is home to elephant seals and sea lions as well as the unusual flightless rhea. Mingle with seabirds, flamingoes, guanacos, Patagonian foxes, armadillos, Magellanic penguins and orca whales.
  9. South Georgia Take a march with the tens of thousands of King Penguins on this island south of Latin America. It is also home to mind-boggling numbers of elephant and fur seals, macaroni penguins and albatross. Stunning scenery, immense ice-crowned mountains, pristine beaches and whaling stations complete the package.
  10. Torres del Paine National Park, Chile It’s not just the peaks, lakes, ice fields and green valleys you come to see here but the wildlife too. Enjoy the deer, pumas, skunks, condors and flamingo.

Click here for the Top 10 Safari Vacations in Africa and the Middle East