Close Encounters: Best Destinations For Animal Lovers

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Festive period well and truly over, it’s about the right time of year to start thinking about your summer vacation. This year you want it all. A destination that will give you culture, art, relaxation and …. Cats? 

There are an abundance of species that we will never get to see in our lifetime, but if you are die hard animal lover we’ve compiled the best, and sometimes quite bizarre, places to go experience encounters with some of the most beautiful creatures on earth.

Cat Island, Japan


Ok, so it’s not actually called Cat Island, but the fact that these purr-ty felines outnumber their human neighbours earned the island it’s namesake. Aoshima is actually one of 11 islands where you are greeted by hundreds of cats as you arrive. Perhaps it’s the fact they are never too far from fish that’s settled the kitties on these islands but if you are a lover of the whiskered aloof then get yourself over there. It ought to be noted that these aren’t your average domestic pet. The cats of Aoshima outnumber humans 6 to 1 and are quite savvy at getting what they want. Including your lunch! 

Saving The Rhino, South Africa


Rhino tend to look like a sturdy animal capable of surviving most things nature throws at them. However, like with most things, humans pose their biggest threat. Poaching is rife in the country and rhino horn pays big bucks on the black market. Rhino conservation is an opportunity to get involved with the study and protection of these animals to help put an end to poaching and ensure their future is safe and long. You will get the opportunity to track black rhino, which is a pretty adrenalin pumping experience and along the way South Africa offers up a host of other wild animals including lions, cheetah and Elephants. 

Monkey Beach, Thailand 


Is there anyone who doesn’t love watching the mischievous nonsense of monkeys? There are a number of reasons to visit Thailand, Phi Phi Island is one, The monkeys live high in the mountains but realised where there are humans, there is food. In the afternoon you will find more macaque sunbathing than you will people. There is a lot of danger to be aware of, we aren’t monkeying around here, whilst they look cute and cuddly they are extremely cunning at getting what they want. They are wild and whilst you may feel you’ve made a new best friend, bear in mind the monkey probably doesn’t feel the same! Advice from the visitor centre is to keep a safe distance to take photos and perhaps not to consider this a beach for relaxing on!

Each of these countries are also home to a varied and exciting collection of wild and exotic animals, we have just highlighted a few to get you inspired. Don’t waste the opportunity of getting up close to the different birds, fish and even insects whilst you have the chance. Coming home and telling your friends you saw a crocodile having its lunch whilst canoeing along the amazon, is a pretty awesome tale to tell!

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