Animals have always had a way of moving me one way or another from a very young age. My household growing up was never lacking a furry four-legged friend. I believe that many animals whether domesticated or living in the wild, are far more intelligent than many people give them credit for. However, the world seems to be changing and more and more people are adopting pets in need into their homes and spending time and donating money to animal awareness organizations. It is quite often I am scrolling through my social media feeds when a heartwarming story pops up regarding some animal that grabs my attention and pulls at my heart strings.
There are many places I have wanted to visit throughout the world to view these spectacular creatures since a young age. Now that I have a greater interest in photography, I really yearn to visit some if not all of the places on the list below.
Antarctica is best known for it’s frigid temperatures. Approximately 98% of the land is covered in thick ice. Many different species of penguins inhabit Antarctica. I would love to observe penguins in their natural habitat and capture them with my very own lens. Many species of birds, fish, several species of seals and whales can commonly be spotted there as well.
5) Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon is well known for its vast diversity of bird species and is a huge contributing factor to visitors from other countries. Amazon spans across much of South America including: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Venezuela with the majority of the area encompassing Brazil. Today over half of the world’s existing rainforests are contained within the Amazon. The Amazon houses one in ten of the world’s known species. This is unquestionably a place where one interested in wildlife would not get bored.
4) Northern India
Some of the worlds most endangered animals inhabit Northern India. Many of these animals are being protected by various organizations against poaching. Animals such as tigers, lions, deer, elephants, and monkeys can be found in this region. There are also various species of reptiles including some of the deadliest snakes on the planet and birds that cannot be found elsewhere in the world. With approximately 490 wildlife sanctuaries in India, it is apparent why India is one of the top visited tourist destination for safari seekers.
3) Costa Rica
With over 500,000 species of wildlife, it is evident why Costa Rica is a tremendous tourist attraction. Unfortunately, out of those 500,000 species of wildlife, over half of them are insects! With such a vast amount of species, Costa Rica is about 20th in the world with the highest biodiversity in the world. Over 175 different species of amphibians can be found here and 85% of these are frogs. Some of the most colorful and beautiful frogs are often shot from Costa Rica. Many different species of monkeys can also be found here, as well as jaguars and mountain lions.
2) Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands are often at top of most wildlife adventure seekers’ list because of their unique wildlife and natural beauty. Located just west of South America, the island is cooler than most would typically imagine which contributes to the vast amounts of animals that inhabit the island. The largest land animal is the tortoise which can weigh up to 551lbs. It is fascinating to think that these islands were never attached to any continent so for any animal to inhabit these islands they had to either swim or fly when they first arrived.
1) Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, is the world’s largest coral reef. It is also one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It is the only natural wonder that can be seen from space with the naked eye. The reef encompasses approximately 3000 unique reef systems.
The following is a list of the wildlife that can be found here:
- 1625 species of fish, including 1400 coral reef species
- More than 3000 species of molluscs (shells)
- 630 species of echinoderm (starfish, sea urchins)
- 14 breeding species of sea snakes
- 215 species of birds including 22 species of seabirds and 32 species of shorebirds
- Six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles
- 30 species of whales and dolphins
- One of the world’s most important dugong populations
- 133 species of sharks and rays
It is without question why this is one of the main attractions in Australia not to mention it’s breathtaking scenery.
The prices of any one of these vacations can vary depending on length of stay and choice of accommodation. The photography gear on the other hand can get pricey quickly and range anywhere from the low $2,000’s (Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM) to as much as over $20,000 (Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens) for a superior lens.
As much as I appreciate the beauty in nature and would love to visit several if not all of these places, the thought of all the insects gives me the heebie-jeebies. Until I can find a way to deter the flies and eight legged creatures, I will likely have to put any of these extraordinary adventures on hold.
Until next time,
*Featured image taken by S. Unterthiner 2008 photographer of the year.