What is top of the experts’ bucket list? We asked the well-travelled team here at Explore what wildlife experiences they’d love to have.
"Everyone should have seeing elephants at the top of their bucket list for wildlife; the beauty is that there are many destinations you can see them. I was fortunate enough to see them in Sri Lanka and in South Africa, they appear to have the most gentle personalities but with such a strong physical presence. I would love to see the Lemurs in Madagascar, this appeals to me because Madagascar in itself conjures up images of another world. Lemurs are very intriguing creatures, there are so many different varieties and to be honest I just love their huge eyes and fluffy tails!"
Sarah King, Sales Manager
"I have always been fascinated with Lemurs. They have an intense look in their eyes and I would love to come across one whilst walking in pristine rainforest in Madagascar. The fact that there are over 100 species is incredible; I could spend months tracking them! Madagascar must be next for me."
Jonny May, Operations Manager
Make it happen: The Lost Continent
"Visiting the place that was instrumental in Darwin forming his theory of evolution has long been at the top of my wildlife bucket list. The Galapagos Islands are brimming with wildlife, much of it endemic and some species endemic to a particular island. Being in a remote location away from human persecution, many animals have no reason to fear people and so it is possible to get quite close. I would love to see blue-footed boobies ‘dance’ in their courtship rituals, frigate birds displaying their amazing red throat pouches and marine iguanas sunning themselves on the shoreline. Then there are playful sea lions, plodding giant tortoises and the endearing Galapagos penguins – the only penguin species to live north of the Equator. I would love to go there with my camera and spend the day immersed in wonderful wildlife moments."
Louisa Richardson, Marketing Communications Manager
Make it happen: Visit the Galapagos Islands
"It was Explore customers who introduced me to the delights of watching birds, back when I was leading tours in Asia and Africa. It’s fun to get to know their distinctive plumage, song and habits and then spot them in the wild! Wetlands are always a magnet for birds and travelling on the water is such a relaxing way to explore. I’d love to stay on a houseboat on Botswana’s Okavango Delta with my binoculars."
Caroline Phillips, Programme Manager
Make it happen: Botswana Wildlife Safari
"I’ve travelled widely in Africa but never experienced what I think must be the continent’s ultimate wildlife moment: coming face-to-face with the endangered mountain gorilla. I imagine the encounter would be humbling, inspiring and also a huge privilege, as there are fewer than 1,000 mountain gorillas left in the wild."
Peter Crane, Head of Product Strategy
Make it happen: Gorilla and Chimp Safari
"As an avid diver and lover of all things marine life and aquatic, I would love to swim with the whale sharks off Djibouti. The largest fish in the ocean and a complete gentle giant it would be an absolute dream come true to see these magnificent creatures up close. On dry land I would love to see the Orang-utans in Borneo. Having been lucky enough to see the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda (by far my wildlife highlight of my travels) I would love the opportunity to see more of the great apes in the wild and in particular the beautiful Orang-utans. As their habitat is slowly disappearing, I feel it is one of those things that if I don’t do it soon I won’t be able to."
Jo Rolls, Operations Manager
Make it happen: Borneo
"Top of my list is a trip to Costa Rica to search for sloths. I’m fairly obsessed with these incredible animals and to see them hanging out in the wild would make my year!"
Hannah Methven, Product Manager
Make it happen: Quetzals of the Cloudforest
"Although I have travelled through East Africa I have never experienced the Serengeti migration. For me this is a good enough reason to return!"
John Telfer, Product Director
Make it happen: Try a Serengeti safari
"I have always loved Orang-utans and have wanted to see them in their native country since I was young. It would be a fantastic experience to observe this endangered species in their natural environment and impact positively on the charities and projects that are helping their existence."
Olivia Lewis, PR Executive
Make it happen: Sabah Naturewatch
"Polar Bears! They are probably high on most people’s list but, having seen Giant Pandas, Grizzlies and Black Bears, this is the last big bear for me to see in the wild. So far I have been to Barrow in Alaska and Spitsbergen, Norway to see these mighty animals but have only seen trace and no actual bears. So now I am saving for a trip of a lifetime - an Arctic cruise."
Alison Butler, Cycling Product Manager
Make it happen: Arctic adventures
"My bucket list on wildlife is a long list, and it covers several continents – I would love to see the Lemurs in Madagascar, go on safari in Tanzania or Botswana, try tiger searching in Ranthambore, see the giant Pandas in China, watch the migration of the Bison in western USA…gosh I wish I was 21 again!"
Yvonne Ramsay, Operations Manager
If you're like Yvonne and simply can't narrow your choices down, have a look at our range of wildlife holidays.