Africa may have a lock on our collective imagination when it comes to safaris, but there are plenty of places outside of Africa where you can come face-to-face with wildlife in its natural habitat, too — think Canada’s “Kings of the Arctic,” Brazil’s big cats, the wolves of Romania, and so much more.
So, if Africa doesn’t figure into your travel plans this year, don’t despair. Here are seven trips that prove you don’t have to go all that way to have an authentic bucket-list safari.
Meet polar bears, ‘Kings of the Arctic,’ in Manitoba, Canada
What it doesn’t have in Big Five wildlife, Canada more than makes up for with its own impressive safari finds, including moose, grizzly bears and even reindeer. Still, it’s seeing polar bears in the wild that many people consider North America’s once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experience.
Churchill, a town on the western shore of Hudson Bay in Canada’s Manitoba Province, is known as the “Polar Bear Capital of the World,” with approximately 900 to 1,000 of these magnificent, ice-dwelling mammals living in close proximity to humans.
Adventure tourism operator Churchill Wild offers a variety of polar bear safaris every July through November, ranging from up-close viewing aboard specially designed tundra vehicles to on-foot photo safaris. Depending on the trip you choose, you may even spot beluga whales or get to chase the northern lights — a cosmic safari all its own.
See bouncing marsupials and egg-laying echidnas on Australia’s Kangaroo Island
Australia’s Kangaroo Island is the country’s third-largest island: a 2,734-square-mile landmass covered in dense bushland, wetlands and forest. More than a third of it is protected nature…