an­i­mal en­coun­ters FOR THOSE WHO ARE GAME

Leop­ards, tigers and sloth bears, oh my! Wild ad­ven­tures around the globe

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Better Travel -

when you think of go­ing on sa­fari, im­ages of African plains and the Big Five come to mind – but if it’s an­i­mal en­coun­ters you’re af­ter, then per­haps it’s time to search a lit­tle fur­ther afield...

ELU­SIVE BEN­GAL TIGERS OF IN­DIA

In­dia is an en­er­getic col­lage of cul­ture, colour, aroma and flavour, pro­vid­ing a feast for the senses and a hol­i­day ex­pe­ri­ence like no other. Un­be­known to most, it is also home to some of the rarest an­i­mal en­coun­ters on the planet. Go on a quest for elu­sive Ben­gal tigers with the help of ex­pert nat­u­ral­ist guides in Ran­tham­bore Na­tional Park. This stun­ning en­dan­gered sub­species, along with leop­ards and crocodiles, has made this for­mer royal hunt­ing ground home – re­sult­ing in some of the best game view­ing pos­si­ble at this vast wildlife re­serve in north­ern In­dia. Em­bark on APT’S Spirit of In­dia jour­ney to view the tigers first­hand.

‘THE GATHER­ING’ IN SRI LANKA

Not only a warm, friendly and sun-drenched beach des­ti­na­tion, Sri Lanka is also home to nu­mer­ous world-class na­tional parks. Visit

in Sep­tem­ber to Oc­to­ber to wit­ness ‘The Gather­ing’ at the Min­ner­iya Na­tional Park, where up to 300 Asian ele­phants come to­gether for the largest con­gre­ga­tion of its kind in the world. Or take a walk on the wild side with a stay at the Chena Huts, perched on the out­skirts of the Yala Na­tional Park – home to unique an­i­mals such as leop­ards and sloth bears, to name a few. Stay amid na­ture in a lux­u­ri­ous pavil­ion, tak­ing in the mag­nif­i­cent views of the sur­round­ing jun­gle and seascape while loung­ing by a pri­vate plunge pool. Em­bark on APT’S 13-day Spirit of Sri Lanka tour to ex­pe­ri­ence the lux­ury of Yala Na­tional Park. Visit ap­tour­ing.com.au/trips/asia/sl13

CLOSE EN­COUN­TERS IN THE GALA­PA­GOS IS­LANDS

South Amer­ica of­fers more unique an­i­mal ex­pe­ri­ences than any other con­ti­nent, with the Gala­pa­gos Is­lands and Ama­zon re­gion be­ing two stand­out des­ti­na­tions for an­i­mal lovers. Lo­cated in com­plete iso­la­tion from the rest of the world, some 1000 kilo­me­tres from South Amer­ica, the Gala­pa­gos Is­lands are as spec­tac­u­lar as they are ec­cen­tric. Em­brace this frag­ile ecosys­tem – re­ferred to as a liv­ing mu­seum and show­case of evo­lu­tion – with a stay at Finch Bay Ho­tel, lo­cated in the heart of the is­lands, for a truly once in a life­time ad­ven­ture.

TO FIND OUT MORE

Visit APT’S wild en­coun­ters at ap­tour­ing.com.au or call 1300 196 420.

300 Asian ele­phants

come to­gether for the largest con­gre­ga­tion of its kind in the world

Drink in ocean views from the Chena Huts. Go leop­ard spot­ting in Sri Lanka.

The huts are perched on the out­skirts of Yala Na­tional Park.

Lunch with a view at the Chena Huts. Nap time for this Gala­pa­gos fur seal.

Hear the call of the wild in Yala Na­tional Park.

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