Get Wild – Natural Animal Encounters


Natural wildlife encounters are a reminder of the absolutely awesome world that we live in. They make you stop and think of mother nature and the truly precious world that she created. Depending on the animal encounter, this can also be a moment in time to feel very small in this big world – think swimming with a whale shark or coming face to face with a solid silverback gorilla!

A question we are often asked by travellers is ‘Where can I go to see wildlife in its natural habitat?’ so this blog post will cover a few of our top experiences which offer the chance to view creatures, both large and small, where they belong – in the wild!

Spotting Gorillas in Rwanda

Our Gorillas & Rainforests small group tour is a life changing journey through Rwanda, a land made up of rainforests, volcanoes, jungles and primates. The critically endangered mountain gorillas of Rwanda live in forests high in the mountains, at elevations of 8,000 to 13,000 feet. They have thicker fur, and more of it, compared to other great apes. The fur helps them to survive in a habitat where temperatures often drop below freezing. But as humans have moved more and more into the gorillas’ territory, the gorillas have been pushed farther up into the mountains for longer periods, forcing them to endure dangerous and sometimes deadly conditions.

What might have been a bleak outlook for the subspecies just a couple of decades ago has brightened in recent years due to conservation efforts. Despite the ongoing civil conflict, poaching and an encroaching human population, populations of mountain gorillas have increased in numbers.

Gorillas & Rainforests small group tour offers our travellers the opportunity to witness these giants in their natural habitat and be in awe at their gentle nature and human-like qualities. Spending time with the Gorilla Doctors, who run a mountain gorilla veterinary project, you will learn about their efforts and projects to help save these endangered primates as they not only educate the locals on anti-poaching practices but how to sustain the fragile environment the mountain gorillas need for survival.

Salmon Run in Wild Kamchatka (Russia)

Rugged and remote, The Kamchatka Peninsula is a vast blade of land stabbing southwestward through cold seas from the mainland of northeastern Russia. The scalloped coastline is in sharp contrast to its highlands which rise to cone-shaped volcanic peaks, snow-streaked in summer, and to ridges of bare, grey rock. Depending on the timing of your visit, the countryside is an upholstered tapestry of boreal greens, fire engine red, nasturtium yellow and saucy gold. It’s a wild place, in which brown bears and Steller’s sea-eagles thrive on a diet rich in fatty fish. And those fatty fish are one of six species of Pacific Salmon.

Wild salmon are the foundation of Kamchatka’s ecological, economic, and cultural welfare. Many of Kamchatka’s rural and indigenous Koryak and Itelman people still rely on salmon for basic needs. Salmon supports one in five jobs in Kamchatka and provide food for over 137 species. Kamchatka provides nesting and stopover sites for millions of waterfowl, and as already mentioned supports the largest wintering area for Steller’s sea eagles, and hosts the highest brown bear density in the world.

Our Wild Kamchatka small group tour is a chance to view the salmon (as well as brown bears and scores of varied birdlife). Our guides will share their local knowledge of the area and also help you to understand the recent conservation efforts that have been undertaken to ensure that this wild salmon territory remains for many years to come.

Salmon run, Kamchatka
Salmon run, Kamchatka

Wildlife of the Amazon 

Amazon wildlife comes in all shapes and sizes. To date, at least 40,000 plant species, 427 mammals (e.g. jaguar, anteater and giant otter), 1,300 birds (e.g. harpy eagle, toucan and hoatzin), 378 reptiles (e.g. boa), more than 400 amphibians (e.g. dart-poison frog) and around 3,000 freshwater fishes including the piranha have been found in the Amazon. These numbers are dwarfed by estimates for the smaller life forms: just in Brazil, between 96,660 and more than 100,000 invertebrate species have been described by scientists. Whether it’s high up in the rainforest canopy, or all the way down, where the worms move underground, the Amazon abounds with life.

Amazon Jaguar || Photo Credit: WWF

Our Amazon Wildlife Rehabilitation small group tour offers you the opportunity to help build a world where nature conservation and sustainability thinking are cornerstones of a society’s development and well-being. The result, a healthy and prosperous Planet Earth for everyone. This is a hands-on experience – be part of a project focusing on scientific research; learn about local environmental education; help out at the local wildlife welfare and rehabilitation shelter. be guided by the field coordinators and learn first hand about the wildlife research and conservation work that is undertaken. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of something that is making a difference.

Poison Dart Frog || Photo Credit: WWF

Make this experience yours! Why not join one of our Animal Encounter small group tours or get in contact with our Tours By Design team today and allow us to create the perfect wild adventure for you!