This website showcases some of my favourite nature & wildlife areas around the word. Scan the navigation column on the left for an alphabetical list of COUNTRIES and regions. Underneath each country are national parks and lodges to visit. The most important recommended spots are listed, but not every place is mentioned in the column, so click on the country to get extra information and links to smaller pages. Below are some suggestions of wildlife you might be looking for, and where it is best to see them...
Flying Fish are widespread throughout the tropical and subtropical oceans of the world. The best way to photograph them is from the front of ship as they leap out and glide from the water in response to the movement of the vessel. Smooth calm sea days are ideal. I have seen them off the coasts of Australia, Indonesia, the Solomon Islands and Japan.
Dolphins turn up anywhere there is non-polluted oceans and rivers. The most fun dolphins are 'Spinners' and 'Dusky Dolphins'. The former are seen across the tropical Indo-Pacific such as Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. The latter (pictured above) are most easily watched in Kaikoura, New Zealand.
Hummingbirds can be seen around flowers anywhere in the tropical Americas, such as around lodges in national parks. Examples in the drier open country include Hotel Pantanal Mato Grosso or Pousa Alegre in the Pantanal of Brazil. Of course even better is to go to a lodge in the rainforest with hummingbird feeders. The busiest and most diverse ones tend to be in the cloud forest of the mountains, at lodges such as Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge, and WildSumaco Lodge of the Ecuador highlands.
Jellyfish lakes are pretty amazing places, and there are not many of them around the world. My favourite so far is on Kakaban Island.
Want to watch penguins? You can see Little Penguins, Fiordland Penguins and Yellow-crested Penguins in New Zealand, Humboldt and Magellanic Penguins in Chile, African Penguins in the Boulders at Cape Town, and Adelie, Chinstrap, and Gentoo on the Antarctic Peninsula. But the best place for thousands of penguins are the sub-Antarctic islands such as South Georgia and Macquarie Island.
Tigers are best seen at Kanha National Park in India.
Places to flutter with the butterflies? Papua New Guinea, Satonda Island (Indonesia), Khao Sok, (Thailand), and Iguazu Falls (Brazil) are all great spots. The former is the epicentre for Birdwings, the biggest of all the butterflies.
Damawewe Caves in Papua New Guinea is great for the 'bird-eating spiders'. Most lodges in South America, particularly around the Amazon, have guides that can find tarantulas. I found big spiders easiest to find at night at Wildsumaco Lodge.
The best place to find cassowaries? I find Etty Bay to be the most reliable.
Where to find orang-utans? The Sumatran species is most easily seen at Bukit Lawang National Park. The Bornean species can be seen in various places in the wild in Kalimantan (the Kumai River) and Sabah (the Kinabatangan River), as well as in feeding areas at Camp Leakey, Semengoh and Sepilok.
Donsol in the Philippines is a good place. It is very cheap, so if you don't see one on your first go, you can have another try. The best viewing in the world is probably at Cenderawasih Bay in Indonesian New Guinea