Nothing can quite match seeing wild animals in their natural habitat, be it big game or small, birds and reptiles or marine life. Here are our recommendations of experiences for would-be naturalists and wildlife buffs.
The Amazon is the longest river on earth and is responsible for about one-fifth of all fresh water that flows into the world’s oceans. In Peru the Amazon region occupies a staggering 60% of the country’s total area and is an unmissable wilderness experience. The best way to experience it is from a small ship and with A&K guests travel aboard Aqua Expeditions’ two luxury vessels - MV Aqua and MV Aria. On naturalist guided jungle treks and excursions by tender, guests venture deep into the five million acre Pacaya Samiria Reserve. This protected wildlife area teems with macaws, snowy egrets, laughing falcons and Amazon kingfishers in the air, squirrel monkeys and sloths in the trees plus pink dolphins, piranha and caiman in the water.
A journey to Antarctica is one of the world’s great adventures. As well as being the harshest, driest and coldest region on the planet it is also home to remarkable wildlife. The abundance of krill in the deep, icy waters feeds everything from the region’s celebrated penguins to its colossal whales. On an A&K adventure to the white continent our expedition leaders introduce guests to a variety of penguin species including the Gentoo, Adelie, chinstrap and on South Georgia, the king penguin. There are leopard and elephant seals, humpback whales, orcas, incredible birdlife and more. The A&K journey is on board MV Le Boreal which carries just 199 guests in spacious, designer comfort. With over 20 years of experience in Antarctic cruising, A&K hand picks the expedition leader and guiding team, all of whom are exceptionally credentialed.
On the other side of the world, a journey to the High Arctic Svalbard archipelago offers wildlife of a different kind. Travelling on MV Le Boreal, guests are within 1,000 kilometres of the North Pole and are accompanied by A&K's seasoned expedition team. The mighty polar bear is king here and Spitsbergen is polar bear capital of the world. There are also Arctic foxes, walrus, reindeer, guillemots, puffins, kittiwakes and beluga whales.
A cruise around the Galapagos Islands is the ultimate biology lesson. This truly unique wildlife haven is home to a remarkable number of birds and animals which are impervious to human presence and which A&K travellers get right up close to. There is the extraordinary blue-footed booby, prehistoric looking land and marine iguanas, centuries old Galapagos tortoises, sea lions, turtles, penguins and flamingos with unique wildlife highlights on each island visited.
The diversity of Madagascar’s wildlife reflects the fact that the island has been isolated for about 88 million years. It has some of the world's most interesting species, about 90 percent of which are found nowhere else on the planet. Classified as a biodiversity hotspot, Madagascar is best known for its lemurs and there are over 100 different species of them plus an incredible birdlife and two-thirds of the world's chameleons.
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