Since I was little, I’ve loved animals. I even contemplated being a Vet but decided that it was too messy for me. However, since I started travelling I’ve been lucky enough to see some amazing creatures all over the world.
My Bucket list is filled with must see wild life encounters all over the world all in their natural habitat. I’ve never been a fan of zoos and I enjoy seeing animals roam free with no human interaction is a beautiful sight. Observing these creatures up close (or at a safe distance) and putting on my own David Attenborough voice over.
Over the past few years, I’ve ticked a few Wildlife experience off my ever growing bucket list and caught some of them on camera too. Here are the best of the bunch, herd, troop, colony, litter…you get my drift.
10. FEEDING PRAIRIE DOGS
During my last visit to America, we stumbled upon real Prairie Dogs. I’d heard about Prairie Dogs but didn’t really know what they were so it was a massive surprised when we spotted them. They’re like a cross between a gofers and a beaver. Cuter, quicker and hungrier. Check out my Badlands Travel Vlog for more cute Prairie Dogs.
9. SINGING WITH SEA LIONS
I went to Vancouver in search of Whales and ended up failing my mission. Massively. However, we did see a lot of sea lions and some were singing along with us which was amazing. I love sea lions. They remind me of my 2nd home California. There’s loads of these beautiful creatures down the Pacific coast.
8. BISON SPOTTING TRAFFIC
I saw so many Bison in Yellowstone and Jackson but it was this group of sassy Bison that left a lasting impression on my while I was on the way to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. Crossing the road and taking a cheeky stop to give us a power look before making the final move to the other side. Cheeky.
7. SWIMMING WITH STINGRAYS
I can’t tell you how scared I was of this experience. I’m terrified of Open Water and not a fan of slimy things. Didn’t realize what they felt like till it was too late and one wanted to give me a kiss. Not on a first date. I wanted to face my fears but I only managed a few minutes in the water before having a panic attack. Maybe next time but I’m proud of myself for actually getting in the water at all.
6. PLAYING WITH SWAMP PIGS
I went on a Swamp Tour in New Orleans to find some crocs but ending up seeing some babies and these Swamp Pigs instead. Not what I was expecting and they weren’t shy. They came right up to the boat to say hello and swamp in circles around us. The swamp was stunning and looked right out of The Muppets “Rainbow Connection“. Love that song. See you soon Miss Piggy.
5. MAKING FRIENDS WITH A ZEBRA
I went to South Africa for my friends wedding and during our stay she took me for a “surprise outing“. Knowing how animal crazed I am, she took me to see some Zebras. I was definitely dressed for occasion with my zebra pants and they came right up close to me, which my friend said they don’t usually do. They must have thought I was one of them. Imagine having Zebras opposite your house! Madness. I want to move to South Africa.
4. BLACK BEAR SPOTTING IN CANADA
You are more likely to spot a Black Bear in the Americas than Grizzly Bears. However, I didn’t expect to see 21 bears in Canada last year! That’s insane. Before I went on the trip, I said I was going to be so gutted if I didn’t see one bear after my Whale Fail but the offs were in my favourite. I went to Canada in May/June so they were all out and about for the Salmon run and just out of hibernation. Great timing. Most of them were Black Bears which we found on the road. We were very lucky.
3. RIDING CAMELS IN THE DESERT
One of my biggest Bucket list goals this year was to ride a camel in the Sahara Desert. The Desert was incredible. Just vast open sand plains and mountainous sand dunes. Instagram goals. I’ve never seen anything like it and we got to watch the sunset over the dunes before taking camels out the next day. They’re not very comfortable to ride and we did all have some major bruises afterwards. I did love just taken photos of them just chilling out in the dunes. 100% a birthday I will never forget.
2. FINDING A FAMILY OF GRIZZLY BEARS
What a find! It’s very rare to see Grizzly Bears but we managed to find a whole family in Canada. We stayed in the van as it was a lot safer as it was a mother with her cubs. They can be very protective and she didn’t look too happy with an audience. I saw what happened to Leonardo Di Caprio in Revenant. I didn’t want a sequel. She came right up to the van so we drove off sharpish but I got a quick shot of them before we left. Incredible!
1. GETTING UP CLOSE TO ENDANGERED RHINOS
During a South African Safari, we spotted two Rhinos. Just incredible. I can’t say where in South Africa as poachers use articles like this to find them so I want to keep these beautiful creatures alive. They came right up to our vehicle and their horn could potentially go straight though the vehicle which is pretty impressive but scary too. I would love to go back to Africa to see more Rhinos and attempt the BIG FIVE!
My Wildlife Bucket list is far from being completed. Most of the trips I have planned over the next year have an animal I am excited to see. There’s many left on my list from all over the world but what’s the Top 3 on the list?:
SPOTTING MY FAVOURITE ANIMAL IN THE WORLD
My favourite animal is a Tiger. I’ve loved Tigers since I was a child. I used to draw them, make them out of pottery, make them in textiles. I was a bit obsessed. They’re the most beautiful animals, there are so many species and unfortunately they are becoming extinct. I would be slightly emotional to see one out in the wild. I’m saving a special trip to Asia to finally see one of the fascinating creatures roaming free.
MONKEYING AROUND IN THE WILD
One of my favourite Disney songs is “I wanna be like you“. I would love to see Monkey’s in person. Just to watch them or give one a cuddle while it gives me a little groom. How amazing would that be to see an Orangutan swing from the trees in the rain forests of Borneo or Sumatra!
'After visiting the nursery at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Sabah, my guide and I were walking along the boardwalk through the jungle to a feeding station, when three released orangutan swung in from the trees beside us. They seemed as interested in us as we were them, and playfully pulled one another's tails and wrestled around just a few feet from us. These Orangutans were rescued orphans, rehabilitated for up to 10 years with around the clock motherly care and help from the more advanced apes before reaching the confidence and maturity to be fully released into the reserve. Approximately 80 released Orangutans now live wild in the 43 square km protected jungle reserve.' – Borneo specialist Mat
SWIMMING WITH SEA TURTLES
I’m terrified of open water but I’ve been making baby steps so I can snorkel in in the gorgeous Caribbean or Blue waters of Australia to find sea turtles and have a swim with them. It’s been on my list for a long time and I’ve been struggling with my anxieties to put this fear behind me to tick this off my list. See you soon Dude Crush!
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What’s your favourite wildlife spotting so far? Or what’s at the top of your Wildlife bucket list? Let me know in the comments below.
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Disclaimer: This blog post is an entry in to the Trips100/Audley Travel blogger challenge. As always, all opinions and words are my own.