Lonely Planet Writer

Here are some great destinations for wildlife lovers to mark World Wildlife Day

Today is World Wildlife Day, a day created by the UN to raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. To help travellers get closer to nature and have awesome encounters with some of the planet’s most incredible wildlife, Booking.com has selected a round-up of the best destinations to stay in, ranging from luxurious safaris to Alaskan expeditions.

Victoria Falls Safari Suites, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

You can spot the Big at Victoria Falls Safari Suites in Zimbabwe. Image: Booking.com
You can spot the Big Five at Victoria Falls Safari Suites in Zimbabwe. Image: Booking.com

Ideal for families and small groups who want stylish private accommodation, the sunset-facing Safari Suites are set in a natural bush environment on the edge of Zambezi National Park in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Here you may spot the Big Five: elephants, lions, buffalos, leopards and white rhinoceros. Also, you’ll find the epic Victoria Falls, one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World,’ located just 2.5 miles away.

You can spot the Big Five at Victoria Falls Safari Suites in Zimbabwe. Image: Booking.com
You can spot the Big Five at Victoria Falls Safari Suites in Zimbabwe. Image: Booking.com

Hotel Alyeska, Girdwood, Alaska

Hotel Alyeska is in the heart of the Alaskan wilderness. Image: Booking.com
Hotel Alyeska is in the heart of the Alaskan wilderness. Image: Booking.com

Located less than 40 miles from Anchorage, Hotel Alyeska is in the heart of the Alaskan wilderness. Guests staying at the resort can easily observe exciting wildlife, such as grizzly bears, moose or reindeer. You can also take a ride on the hotel’s tramway, which takes you to the top of the mountains so you can enjoy unrivalled views of the surrounding area.

Hotel Alyeska is in the heart of the Alaskan wilderness. Image: Booking.com
Hotel Alyeska is in the heart of the Alaskan wilderness. Image: Booking.com

Eliyanth Udawalawe, Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka

Eliyanth Udawalawe is located less than 6 miles from Udawalawe National Park. Image: Booking.com
Eliyanth Udawalawe is located less than six miles from Udawalawe National Park. Image: Booking.com

Eliyanth Udawalawe is located less than 6 miles from Udawalawe National Park in Sri Lanka and can cater for the most adventurous guests. Seen as a major eco-tourist spot, the Udawalawe National Park boasts herds of elephants, wild buffalo, leopards and deer. A must-see visit for nature lovers, flocks of birds also inhabit the park including herons, peacocks, parrots and eagles.

Eliyanth Udawalawe is located less than 6 miles from Udawalawe National Park. Image: Booking.com
Eliyanth Udawalawe is located less than six miles from Udawalawe National Park. Image: Booking.com

Relax Natural Village, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

The Relax Natural Village is located a short drive from the Jaguar Rescue Centre which looks after injured or orphaned sloths. Image: Booking.com
The Relax Natural Village is located a short drive from the Jaguar Rescue Centre which looks after injured or orphaned sloths. Image: Booking.com

Costa Rica is well-known for its sloth population, with a number of sanctuaries dedicated to protecting this unusual species. Just a four minute walk from the beach and a short drive from the Jaguar Rescue Centre which looks after injured or orphaned sloths, the Relax Natural Village is located in the Cocles region.  This bed and breakfast also offers bike hire so you can explore the area to your heart’s content.

The Relax Natural Village is located a short drive from the Jaguar Rescue Centre which looks after injured or orphaned sloths. Image: Jaguar Rescue Centre
The Relax Natural Village is located a short drive from the Jaguar Rescue Centre which looks after injured or orphaned sloths. Image: Jaguar Rescue Centre

Blue Heron Galápagos Villa, Puerto Ayora, Galapagos Islands

The Blue Heron Galápagos Villa is a great place for bird-spotting. Image: Booking.com
The Blue Heron Galápagos Villa is a great place for bird-spotting. Image: Booking.com

This property in Ecuador is a one-minute walk from the beach, so you can wake up to a view of pelicans, herons, mockingbirds and finches each morning. It is located close to the Puerto Ayora National Park and the Charles Darwin Research Centre, which are popular attractions on the Galápagos islands. The nearby Academy Bay is also a great spot to see golden rays, iguanas, Galápagos sea lions and an array of fish.

The Blue Heron Galápagos Villa is a great place for bird-spotting. Image: Booking.com
The Blue Heron Galápagos Villa is a great place for bird-spotting. Image: Booking.com

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