Best Places to See Wildlife in Asia
Are you planning a trip to Asia? Would you like to see animals in their natural habiat and avoid unethical zoos and marine parks? There are so many incredible national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and destinations in Asia where you can get close to exotic wildlife.
Check out our list of the best wildlife experiences in Asia below...
1. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Elephants are such beautiful animals but unfortunately in Thailand, and other countries in Asia their future in the wild is looking bleak. Habitat loss, logging and poaching is making elephants numbers in the wild dwindle. The good news is there are lots of wildlife charities and organisations operating sanctuaries rescuing and rehabilitation elephants and other animals.
In Chiang Mai you can find some of the best elephant sanctuaries in Thailand. Or if you would be keen to be more than just a tourisy some sanctuaries offer the chance volunteer with elephants on day trips or longer term projects. Please research all wildlife encounters in Thailand to avoid unethical places like the Tiger Temple.
2. Ranthambore National Park, India
India is making good progress in working to protect tigers and other wildife species in the country through conservation efforts. If you would like to get close to tigers we recommended traveling to the Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, northern India. Thousands of international tourists visit this National Park as it is one of the largest and best national parks in India.
This is one of the best places to book a tiger safari in India where you can see tigers living in their natural habitat. You will also get to see the impressive Ranthambore fortress and other animals like leopards, hyenas and wild boar. There are lots of tours and volunteer programs in India available to book all year round.
The Maldives is simply stunning with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. With crystal clear waters it makes it the perfect location to see marine animals including whale sharks. At certain times of the year you can also go swimming with with whale sharks in the Maldives - an incredible experience! Some operators offer marine conservation volunteer programs where you can help monitor these creatures. If you are worried this destination might be out of reach financially check out our tops tips for visiting the Maldives on a budget.
4. Sepilok Orangutan Center, Sabah, Borneo
Borneo is one of the most exotic destinations in the world and famous for orang-utans. We highly recommend you try to visit the Sepilok Orangutan Center and see the inspirational work being done to protect, rescue and release orang-utans back into the wild. If you have a few weeks or more to spare you can also apply to volunteer with orang-utans in Borneo.
5. Kosgoda, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka might look small on a world map but this country has so many different wildlife experiences available. This is one of the most important countries in the world for sea turtles, as the beaches around the country are where thousands of sea turtles lay eggs every year. There are conservation projects set up around the country where you can see amazing work being done to help sea turtles.
We recommend you visit the town of Kosgoda to visit local sea turtle conservation projects which have been helping sea turtles for decades. Projects were started to help protect nesting turtles and the hatchlings and if you visit at the right time you might get to see baby turtles being released into the ocean. You might like to also volunteer in Sri Lanka to contribute.
6. Palawan, Philippines
The Philippines is spectacular with some of the most beautiful islands and beaches in the whole of Asia. If you go and learn to scuba dive in the Philippines you will get to dive deep and see incredible marine creatures including whale sharks, thresher sharks, giant mantas, frogfish, seahorses and hundreds of species of fish.
7. Danum Valley Conservation Area, Sabah, Malaysia
Another mention for Borneo on our list is the impressive 438sq km Danum Valley which is a relatively unpoilt area home to lots of wildlife species. You can book day and night guided tours of the Danum Valley Conservation Area where you can expect to see orangutans, the Borneo pygmy elephant, Sumatran rhino, sun bear, rare birds and other species.
8. Gunung Leuser National Park, Indonesia
Covering an area almost 8,000km² in size, the Gunung Leuser National Park located in northern Sumatra, is absolutely breathtaking. There are over 500 animal specifies which call this area home including the rare Sunatran tiger, orangutans, lemurs, leopards, flying frogs and sambar deer. This is one of our top recommended destinations in south-east Asia you need to visit if you love wildlife. Apply to volunteer in Indonesia for more options in this country,
9. Chitwan National Park, Nepal
The Chitwan National Park located in Central Nepal is a listed UNESCO and World Heritage Site. You can book a tour and see rhinos, tigers, birds, sloth bears and other animals. Booking a tour of Nepal is the best way to experience the highlights of this National Park and others in the country. You can also apply to volunteer in Nepal where you can work hands on helping animals in the country.
10. Chengdu, China
Chengdu is located in southwestern China in Sichuan province and it is a world famous destination because it is home to giant pandas. This city is home to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base where scientists study and breed giant pandas with the aim of increasing their numbers and preventing exctinction. If you would like to volunteer with giant pandas in China then Chengdu is the place to visit.
These are just a selection of the places you can see wildlife in Asia, if you think we have missed any important locations off our list please contact us. If you would like to do something inspiring check out our volunteer programs with animals abroad.