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It should come as no surprise that Africa heads the top 10 list for wildlife and safaris. Not only is this where the notion for the safari began, and the origin of the word, but it contains all the big greats of the mammal kingdom. However it’s got good company with the polar regions of the world showcasing their penguin colonies and polar bears. Asia and the South Pacific also delivers some of the world’s most dangerous species and unique animals. Go wild everywhere.

  1. Kruger National Park, South Africa This is the place to see the Big Five – elephant, white rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard. It is one of the most spectacular and diverse conservation areas on the planet with over 147 different species of mammals, 500 species of birds, 100 species of reptiles, 49 species of African indigenous fish, 34 types of amphibians and 300 different species of trees. Now that’s wildlife.
  2. Mountain gorillas, Uganda There are only about 650 wild mountain gorillas left in the world and the place to see and do your Dian Fossey best is in Uganda. You can actually go gorilla tracking in two national parks on the border of Rwanda at Virunga Range or in Bwindi, a thick rainforest.
  3. Wildebeest migration, Serengeti You simply can’t miss this if you’re coming to Africa. This annual wildlife migration of over 1.4 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra and gazelle, relentlessly tracked by Africa’s great predators, is a photographers and naturalists dream.
  4. 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.
  5. Giant Grizzlies, Knight Fjord, British Colombia The giant grizzly is king here and can be seen all year round. In spring they hang out by the water’s edge, in summer they mate and spar on the beach and in autumn they feed on salmon in the Glendale River.
  6. Sailing safari, Greenland Sail into the superb fjords of East Greenland to see the aurora borealis and the wildlife. Polar bears, eight species of whales, two million seals, reindeer, musk oxen, artic hares and artic wolves are just some of the species living here.
  7. Musk-Ox Safari, Greenland Take a husky team or snowmobile from the town of Kangerlussuaq, located at the head of the country’s third longest fjord. Cut through this beautiful region to look for the noble musk ox and with a bit of luck some reindeer and Artic foxes too. It’s extremely cold here but a good place to see the northern lights.
  8. Kakadu National Park Don’t take any inspiration from Steve Irwin; never smile at a crocodile, particularly these saltwater menaces in the superb wilderness of Kakadu. Take a boat safari and marvel at the bird life and wetlands from the safety outside the water.
  9. Panda safaris, China This protected species live in Sichuan Province and just over the boundary line in Gansu and Shaanxi Provinces. In the reserves of Foping and Changqing you can track and view wild pandas in their natural habitat and enjoy the high altitude primary forest.
  10. Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal The steamy Inner Terai of central Nepal was once one of the most famous big game hunting areas in Asia. Fortunately the lead shooting has finished and it now provides protection to the one-horned rhinoceros, tiger, leopard, sloth bear and the gaur (wild bison) and over 400 species of birds.

Click here for the Top 10 Safaris in Europe