Three stags in the Scottish highlands

Best Alternative Wildlife Trips

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Written by
Jonny Humphreys, Susann Pietschmann, Alec Curry, Rachel O'Leary & Kit Wong

Published on: August 15th, 2017

Last modified: November 14th, 2019

Travelling in search of fascinating wildlife doesn’t have to be limited to an African safari.

There are countless incredible places around the world you can go to catch a glimpse of an elusive leopard or take a snap of a rare bird.

Here are our top picks for off the beaten path wildlife trips.

Bird watching
Buenos Aires
Alternative safari
Scottish Highlands
Wild wolves
Glencoe, Scotland

Stags in the Scottish Highlands

You can experience a different type of safari on a private Highland estate in Scotland. From sealife to birdlife and everything in between, the Scottish Highlands are awash with animal activity. Take a photo tour of the lands’ rich wildlife and capture sightings of deer, grouse, red squirrels, birds of prey, salmon, Aberdeen Angus cattle and llamas.

Red Squirrel Scotland

With the chance to see animals as magnificent and archetypal as golden eagles and regal red deer, this is an epic and other-worldly wildlife tour. But our favourite part? You’ll finish your day off with a hosted whisky tasting in Ballindaloch Castle’s distillery.


Jaguars in Brazil's Pantanal

In south Brazil lies the region of the Pantanal, one of the world’s biggest wetlands. There, a conservation project is taking place to protect and study local jaguars. Oncafari, the team behind the project, are working to habituate the jaguars to cars in order to attract more tourism to the area. As a result, they’re also able to study and track them.


The group works with the luxury Caiman Lodge, offering 2 and 3 day itineraries to guests of the lodge to go out in search of the elusive cats. Here you can witness the extraordinary length Oncafari take to learn about and protect these amazing animals. The area is also rife with other wildlife and plenty of birds – it’s a fantastic wetland, often overlooked for the Amazon, but equally as fascinating.

The Pantanal boasts wonderful birdlife

Leopards in India

India, though more known for its mystical cities than its wildlife, has some of our favourite animal reserves of all time. Jawai Leopard Camp in Rajasthan is an amazing “must do” for anyone who loves searching for the elusive leopard.


The luxury camp has a big focus on conservation, and leopards roam free on the grounds. There, you can part take in wilderness drives, bike rides, and even birding walks; it’s full of beautiful wildlife. The area is also home to the native Rabari herdsmen, who have been living among the wildlife for centuries.

Rabari Herdsman with sheep, Rajasthan, India
Buenos Aires Morning

Bird watching in Buenos Aires

You don’t normally think of Buenos Aires as a wildlife destination, but believe it or not it’s possible to experience nature in and around the amazing city. Just 15 minutes from downtown Buenos Aires is the Costanera Sur Nature Reserve – spread over 350 hectares, it’s a huge and diverse green space and a complete haven for wildlife. On average, visitors can expect to see between 60 and 80 species of birds in a day!

Bird Argentina

In the northern suburbs of BA, there are two small reserves, Nature Reserve Otamendi and Ceibas/Entre Rios. You can spend a full day there seeing birds in the marshy area and the riparian forest along the streams at Otamendi. From there you can also go birding in the xeric woodlands and marshes in Ceibas, a very small village in the in the Entre Rios province that is a very well-known place for birders.

birdwatching argentina
Expect to see between 60 to 80 bird species per day

Wild wolves in Ethiopia

Ethiopia isn’t often thought of as a wildlife destination, but that shouldn’t deter you from planning a trip to this fascinating country. The Simien Mountains are home to some unique and endemic wildlife, including Gelada Baboons, the Walia ibex and the elusive Ethiopian wolf.


Ethiopia is also home to the Bale Mountains – also known as the Urgoma Mountains – which are home to the Ethiopian wolf, among many other animals, as well as untouched scenery. Harenna forest nearby is thought to be home to several undiscovered species of reptiles, as well as antelopes and large cats. The possibilities for wildlife spotting are endless.

Simien wolf, Ethiopian Highlands
Simien wolf, Ethiopian Highlands

Feeling inspired? Talk to one of our expert travel designers today and start creating your unique off-the-beaten-track wildlife experience.