Top 10 Natural and Wildlife Adventure Travel Trips

Nature and wildlife adventure travel trips are growing in popularity. Would you like to dive with tiger sharks, watch wildebeest thunder across the Serengeti-Masai Mara during the annual Great Migration in Africa, or track wolves with your camera in Yellowstone National Park? If so, here's a selection of exciting natural and wildlife adventure travel trips and tours. Some of these excursions take place a few times a year, others just during specific seasons, while some are even offered year-round.

  • 01 of 10
    Espanola Island, Galapagos Islands. Galapagos sea lions are a subspecies of the Californian sea lion.
    ••• Kevin Schafer/The Image Bank/Getty Images

    Exploring blue-footed boobies on the Galapagos Islands and swimming near playful sea lions and giant tortoises in the surrounding ocean is the equivalent of putting yourself inside a good nature flick. And, this is why so many travelers are choosing to spend days on a boat exploring these islands. Many companies offer Galapagos trips throughout the year. Some companies offer family friendly itineraries as well. The very best nature trips have a naturalist onboard the ship. The award-winning Ecoventura, International Expeditions, ​and Geographic Expeditions offer departures throughout the year.​

  • 02 of 10
    Great shark investigating cage divers, Guadalupe Island, Mexico
    ••• Rodrigo Friscione / Getty Images

    Shark Diver offers a variety of intimate encounters with great white sharks, tiger sharks, and even giant squid, depending on where you want to travel. How about a cage dive to view great white sharks off Isla Guadalupe during a five-day trip leaving from San Diego, California, or Ensenada, Mexico?​

    Shark Diver offers trips in the Bahamas to see tiger sharks, vacations in Mexico to watch giant squid, and has a deep dive-submarine so you can see giant sharks in Roatan.

  • 03 of 10

    African Photo Safaris During the Annual Animal Migration

    Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus), Gnu migration, wildebeest while crossing the Mara River, Masai Mara, East Africa, Africa
    ••• Ingo Schulz / Getty Images

    Many companies offer trips to Africa during the annual wildlife migration when more than a million wildebeest race across the Serengeti-Masai Mara grasslands. Among the ​animals you may photograph are lions, leopards, buffalo, elephants, rhinos and perhaps even cheetahs. Time is also spent learning more about the Masai tribes, which stay true to many of their traditions despite the encroaching modernization around them. Overnights can be in simple to luxury lodges or tents, depending on how much you want to spend. Some of the companies offering these tours include International Expeditions, Natural Habitat Adventures, and Abercrombie & Kent.

  • 04 of 10
    Dogsledding in Canada
    ••• Kraig Becker

    With Arctic Dog Sled Odyssey Tours you'll steer your dog team through the wilderness and alongside the fjords north of the Arctic Circle on the east coast of Canada's Baffin Island. You'll mush from a wilderness lodge and be led by an Inuit guide. Trips are nine days, but shorter experiences can be arranged from March through June. You can return to the hotel nightly, or stay out in the wilderness.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    Yellowstone River
    ••• The Yellowstone River. National Park Service

    The Yellowstone Association offers a wide array of daily tours, Lodging and Learning programs, field seminars and backpacking courses. The Lodging and Learning programs, designed in cooperation with lodge operator Xanterra Parks & Resorts, are multi-day packages that can include wolf watching, learning more about the park from naturalists and other activities. The Yellowstone Association’s summer Ed-Ventures include such programs as Geysers, Mudpots, & Hot Springs: Old Faithful Area; Natural History & Geology: Yellowstone Lake & Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Winter Ed-Ventures include Wildlife Watching on the Northern Range, and Yellowstone by Ski or Snowshoe.

  • 06 of 10
    Swimming with rays
    ••• Kraig Becker

    Adventurous travelers are lining up to join Seacology’s island expeditions. These excursions are “win-win” for travelers and local communities. Whether the goal is to help islanders create a man-made eco-reef or install a new water purification tank, travelers combine vacations on intriguing islands with the opportunity to help locals with an important project. The ecologically minded who prefer armchair travel can enjoy by osmosis; simply visit Seacology’s website to read travel dispatches and look at photos from Fiji or some of the other 80+ islands where there are Seacology projects.

  • 07 of 10
    Blue Hole and Lighthouse Reef Atoll
    ••• In Belize, dive the Blue Hole with Wild Planet Adventures. Macduff Everton / Getty Images

    Wild Planet Adventures offers eco-tours designed to bring you into the natural habitats of exotic wildlife in Costa Rica, the Galapagos, Peru, Panama, Belize and other locales. Each trip promises experiences led by local guides who often take you to sites where there won’t be a lot of other tourists.

  • 08 of 10
    Horseback riding in remote Mongolia
    ••• Kraig Becker

    Several companies offer horseback riding in Mongolia, some with reindeer herders and others on trails that follow in Ghengis Kahn's footsteps. Equitours, a company that offers horseback riding tours in the US as well as more exotic locales, runs a variety of riding trips in Mongolia. One is to a remote region of northern Mongolia that's inhabited by the Tsaatan people, nomadic reindeer herdsmen. Black Ibex Expeditions offers two-week trips, where riders follow a nomadic path. Mongolia Horseback Riding runs many trips through the year, and Tusker Trail takes adventurous travelers into the remote Altai Tavn Bogd National Park.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10
    An orangutan in the trees
    ••• Eleifert via WikiMedia

    Adventure Indonesia puts together this trip to the jungle, which includes a boat trip down the Lamandau river to learn more about orangutans, visit Camp Leakey where older orangutans are ​reintroduced to the rain forest, and visit Dyak Tribe villages too. 

  • 10 of 10
    Great Bear Lodge, Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia, Canada, North America
    ••• Great Bear Lodge. Michael DeFreitas / Getty Images

    Wildlife viewing, with twice-a-day opportunities to watch grizzly bears in their natural habitat, is the focus for guests at the floating Great Bear Lodge, May through October. Guests take a seaplane to reach the lodge, located about 50 air miles from Port Hardy, British Columbia, Canada. One- to seven-day visits can be booked. Visit the website for streaming video of bear and wildlife excursions in the spring, summer, and fall.