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About our Wildlife holidays

You'll never forget the experience of spotting your favourite animal in the wild. And whichever animal or bird you want to see, we've likely got a wildlife tour you can see it on. 

The majority of our tours include the opportunity to spot wildlife in the wild, and we know this is an experience that our customers love. We also run specific Wildlife tours which are all about seeing the animal kingdom up-close, with opportunities to photograph and learn about the animals, their behaviours and habitats. We offer lots of wildlife holidays, from safari holidays to bird watching holidays

As with most of other tours, our wildlife holidays are small group tours led by a expert tour leader. They may be an expert on the wildlife of the area, or on some tours you'll also be joined by a guide who will share their knowledge of the animals and help you spot them.

New to Explore? We've answered some of the most-asked questions about our small group tours.

Our most popular Wildlife holidays

Costa Rica Wildlife Trip code CC
Best Seller
15 Days From £2499 without flights
Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe Wildlife Trip code BW
Best Seller
14 Days From £3345 without flights
Sri Lanka Discovery Trip code SL
Best Seller
15 Days From £1789 without flights
Namibia Wildlife Trip code NL
Best Seller
12 Days From £3095 without flights
Madagascar Wildlife Trip code MD
Best Seller
15 Days From £2635 without flights
Ecuador, Galapagos Wildlife Trip code GPS
Best Seller
15 Days From £3280 without flights

Responsible wildlife watching

Responsible travel and tourism is essential to us at Explore. We don't visit zoos; we see animals in the wild where possible, even endangered animals. But where, sadly, it's unlikely or not possible to see the animals in the wild, we visit rehabilitation centres that are working hard to care for the animals and increase their populations. We will never knowingly compromise the welfare of any animal for the purpose of our trips. We want to protect animals, keep them wild and contribute towards the best welfare standards in the industry. We launched our Animal Protection Policy in 2021 and we launched our Explore Foundation to not only positively improve the lives of communities worldwide but to also promote conservation.  

We also support wildlife conservation charities, through financial donations or by including visits in our itineraries. Learn more about our charities and partners.

Frequently asked questions about our Wildlife holidays

What sort of wildlife holidays does Explore offer?
We offer trips worldwide that include the opportunity to spot wildlife. Take any Discovery small group tour with us and you'll likely see the wildlife of the area, but our dedicated include wildlife-watching as a focus in the itinerary. 

Our wildlife holidays include safaris, trekking to see gorilla and chimp in Ugandaspotting sloth in the rainforest of Costa Rica and seeing the majestic Bengal tiger in India's national parks.  

Why should I choose a small group wildlife tour?
Our wildlife itineraries are expertly designed to make the most of a country’s national parks and hidden hotspots, at the best times of year, to ensure an unforgettable wildlife-spotting experience, wherever you choose to go. Our local leaders have expert knowledge of the animals, including how to track them so you can get up close. And you'll stay in prime locations to immerse yourself in the animal kingdom (whilst also keeping you safe of course).

In our opinion, March until April is the best time for tigers in India because it’s hotter and therefore easier to them lying in the shade or next to water sources. November after the wet season is also great if you’re looking for a cooler time of the year – and super green vegetation.

In Botswana - the most popular time to visit is May through to October; the delta is at maximum flow by August - that said outside of these times are also good, November is very arid - with excellent game viewing opportunities as a result. Feb and March are the opposite - very green, birdlife is amazing - it can be harder to spot more elusive wildlife. We don't operate Dec to mid Feb due to the rains.

Costa Rica is a year-round destination. It all depends on what you’d like to see. July/August are perfect turtle watching months, as well as whale watching. It's the 'rainy season' but only short tropical afternoon downpours which make the rainforest come alive. You will also have less people visiting during this time. Typically, the dry season (December to April) has less rainfall but can be much busier, particularly in the peak months January and February.

It's a real balance with group tours as there are lots of different interests among the groups. For our wildlife tours we have fantastic wildlife guides who help everyone get the best from the tour. I'd recommend chatting to your tour leader and guides on tour to let them know what especially interests you - they then use that info to make sure everyone in the group has a brilliant experience. Our guides are wonderful for adjusting the pace of the tour for the group, especially if you want to get that money shot!

We don't have any photography specific tours on sale now, however we do encourage groups of friends with the same interest to book a departure together which could work for a photography specific departure.

Yes, we do have specific family trips if you would like to travel with kids up to 17 (kids from 18 onwards are free to join the adult tours). Our Costa Rica family trip is very popular. We also have a brilliant Family Botswana and Zimbabwe Safari Adventure. The India Tiger safari is not yet set up for families, but we do have a family India trip (the Family India Golden Triangle Adventure) that visits Ranthambore National Park with several safaris.

That’s the million-dollar question. We can’t guarantee it, but it is incredibly likely that you will have multiple sightings on your trip. You’d have to be very unlucky not to see one.

Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against Tetanus, Infectious Hepatitis, Typhoid and Polio. Please consult your travel clinic for the latest advice on Malaria, Dengue and Zika Virus and check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. Vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

You will be spoilt in India for sure - not just for the wildlife but the colours and light too! In terms of distances, it really depends. The guides are very good and will generally stick to the tracks and keep their distance, but you may get lucky where a tiger might cross right in front of the vehicle. In general, though, I would say a 300mm focal length would get you close enough to most wildlife. If you are prepared for carrying the size and weight of the kit you could bring a longer lens, then even better.

Lightweight clothing is best, and in pale, muted colours so as not to stand out to the wildlife. Take a couple of warm layers for the early mornings and evenings - it can get surprisingly chilly. It's worth taking comfy clothes for the evening when you'll be relaxing in the lodges and chatting about all the amazing things you've seen in the day, plus a sunhat and sunglasses are a must. Footwear should be closed toe shoes for walks during the day and take some comfy sandals or flip flips for the downtime.

There will be charging options at all the accommodation, but taking a small solar power bank is a great idea to ensure you never run out – especially when camping.

When camping in Chobe, Moremi, and Savuti you are in open camps. So once everyone else leaves the park, you will be able to stay in the park and get to enjoy the sights and sounds of all times of the day. The camp crew rotate to keep watch so no unwelcome visitors will come to the camp.

The vehicle has open sides, so there aren’t any windows that would reflect and block you from any views. The front row has 2 seats, and all the other rows have 3 seats. The views are great, no matter what seat you are on and usually people tend to switch it up and sit in on different seats during the different game drives. The middles seat offers the advantage of you being able to get the best views from both sides but don’t worry, our guides will make sure to change the angle of the car, so the ‘window’ seats also get an uninterrupted view.

You will be able to leave the safari vehicle (but stay close) during lunch or toilet breaks and when the guide sees fit but will be asked to stay in the car during the game drives as it is dangerous to leave the vehicle.

Most of the guests on our small group tours are travelling solo. All our tours have an optional single supplement to upgrade to a single room (visible on the website), but you will have a twin share room with another solo traveller with no additional cost.

We have a maximum group size of 16 on most of our tours, but some (such as the Botswana trip) are lower due to vehicle sizes. In Botswana we take a maximum of 12.

Our groups are a mix of solos, couples, friends travelling together - no group is the same but around 60% of our customers are travelling solo. The age range is equally varied, and we welcome everyone to our groups, the average age is around 55 and typically ranges from 40 - 70 and plenty either side.

We offer the Loyalty Switch option to join our loyalty scheme. We really want you to try our trips, so say you've completed 5 trips with a competitor you'll join us as a Gold Explorer giving you a 7% discount.

You can read more here.

We can book flights from any of the UK airports, give us a quick call and we can chat through options from your preferred airport.

Transfers are always included with Explore if you're joining on the first day of the trip, so we'll pick you up from the airport no matter if you've booked your flights with us or not. That gives you some piece of mind at the airport on arrival.

An adventure travel company you can trust

There's a reason why 98% of customers say they'd book an adventure with us again.

Unforgettable experiences

From big wows to hidden gems, our tours leave you feeling that you've really explored.

Expert tour leaders

Chosen for their great knowledge of your destination and a passion to make your trip extraordinary.

Small groups

Average groups of 11; solos, couples and friends, united by a desire for authentic experiences.

Responsible at heart

How we operate sets us apart; our flexible booking policy, our loyalty scheme & sustainable approach.

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