BA destinations with interesting wildlife

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Old Feb 4, 19, 7:45 am
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
I assure you that Cape Town is still most civilised. A sheep was slaughtered on a beach in Clifton (not Camps Bay) several weeks ago for a (peaceful) political stunt. Ever since things have been quiet. I'd certainly feel less safe in Zambia (though not unsafe, beautiful country)
Maybe not so peaceful for the sheep!
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Old Feb 4, 19, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by sweetsleep View Post
Forget about Kenya(Nairobi) over the Easter week. Many things are pretty much shut down Good Friday-Easter Monday-found that out personally in 2017.

Cape Town is having some political turmoil right now-might not be the safest. Protests on beaches(including a sheep slaughtered on a Camp's Bay beach), arson fires, traffic blockades by militant factions of the ANC. I have read reports of tourists being attacked/robbed/harassed very recently.

Botswana is wonderful but very expensive.

Zimbabwe is very unstable right now as well. Vic Falls is terrific though.

Maybe Zambia?
Originally Posted by Taltem View Post
Maybe not so peaceful for the sheep!
Plenty of vegan restaurants in CPT for those who prefer
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Old Feb 4, 19, 7:51 am
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The more interesting wildlife can be found in London. Perhaps San Francisco.
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Old Feb 4, 19, 7:54 am
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The iconic wildlife in the USA and northern Europe (bears, wolves, bison etc) is going to be hard to see at Easter. I wholeheartedly recommend the Grand Teton & Yellowstone area for wildlife but it's a May-October destination. Similarly, the Utah / Arizona / California loops will still be very cold / snowy at Easter and so you won't see much wildlife. Amazing scenery and geology, but not wildlife at that time of year.

+1 for Sabah / Sarawak, paying for a domestic from KL to KK or similar. Haven't been in many years though, so the rampant palm oil plantations are probably much worse than what we saw, and I cried. Japan also has some amazing wildlife, including bears, wild cats and 'snow monkeys' (though they probably won't be in the hot springs by April) but I think that would take more research / organising than Costa Rica!

India is a very good shout, because of the time of year. But you'll need to put in some effort to organise a reputable tour or way of getting around.

Almost impossible to do more than half way there with the companion voucher, but for the most wildlife density in any place I have ever visited, I would recommend Tasmania combined with either Kangaroo Island and the Grampians or Flinders Ranges (to see koalas, goanna, emus, more kangaroos) or north Queensland (for some tropical birds and mammals). With the right planning, TAS can almost guarantee (eastern grey) kangaroos, many smaller macropods (wallabies, pademelon, potoroo, bettong, bandicoots), echidna, wombats and platypus, and marine life including penguins. You might also see wild quoll and Tas devils if you stay in the right places. But TAS doesn't have koala or many really colourful parrots (they have a few but not the same at the tropical north).

Or much closer to home, there are still wild areas of Europe; you could easily spend a week focusing on seeing lynx in Spain or brown bears in Italy, Croatia or Greece, or walking the woodlands of eastern Poland (the boreal forest further north like Finland will still be snowy in April).

I personally would go for Kruger NP because it is so easy to organise and it is the most affordable way to 'do' a safari of iconic African wildlife. However, Easter is pretty much booked up in the southern half of the Park, so you would have to work around that at this late stage of booking. One downside is the heat, even in April you can expect ~30C in the day in the Kruger area so air conditioning is helpful! Fly into Durban and out of Johannesburg and spend some time in KwaZulu-Natal (Drakensburgs if you like mountains, St Lucia / wetlands for relaxing beaches and hippos, and rhino at Hhluhluwe-iMfolozi) then through eSwatini to Kruger for a week. You'll be recommended anti-malarials for Kruger in April (end of the wet season) but no other vaccinations are needed. Or if you can afford it, the Okavango Delta area of Botswana is the world class area to visit, but it will still be hot, it can be the tail end of the wet season and the influx of water from Angola generally won't have started. But because of that many lodges do have specials on. Still insanely expensive mind.
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Old Feb 4, 19, 7:59 am
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Go to Namibia. Fly Comair from JNB. Drive from Windhoek up to Etosha, then west to the Skeleton Coast, Damaraland, then south to Walvis Bay , Sossusvlei and then back to Windhoek and home. Fabulously empty and very safe country. Plenty of animals. It's all self drive through the Etosha Pan so you can take your time.
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Old Feb 4, 19, 8:05 am
  #36  
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Does BA still go to Australia? I'm charmed by all the special Aussie animals, the penguin parade, and then there are the sharks.

It's not real clear to me whether the OP specifically means viewing wild animals in the wild (safely of course?) or special zoos (specializing in local animals) such as the panda research center in China, places where you can hold a koala (for a fee, of course) or the zoos in Sydney and Melbourne where you walk in among the kangaroo and can pet them or feed them.
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Old Feb 4, 19, 8:31 am
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Does BA still go to Australia?
The only BA operated flight is to Sydney, hence it's notoriously difficult to get reward availability. But you can get to HKG or SIN or KUL (or even China or Japan) and fly on from there with stopovers to de-risk the separate ticket connections.

PS please don't "hold a koala". It is very stressful for the animal and is banned by most states. Feeding is ok.
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Old Feb 4, 19, 8:36 am
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Manchester T3.
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Old Feb 4, 19, 8:39 am
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Originally Posted by konagirl2 View Post
The only BA operated flight is to Sydney, hence it's notoriously difficult to get reward availability. But you can get to HKG or SIN or KUL (or even China or Japan) and fly on from there with stopovers to de-risk the separate ticket connections.

PS please don't "hold a koala". It is very stressful for the animal and is banned by most states. Feeding is ok.
I don't/didn't and I wouldn't hold a baby panda either, but the hold the koala place I went to (IIRC Lone Tree near Brisbane) claimed to do this in a way that wasn't stressful to the animals as they had so many that each one only did a brief shift and not even every day. For me it just was fun to see so many of them (fairly up close) and to see the different groups.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 1:51 pm
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Thank you to all for the helpful and interesting suggestions, which are really appreciated!
There's quite a bit to think about here, including whether it's just best to stick with Costa Rica!
I will report back once we settle down what we are doing.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 2:58 pm
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If you do go to Oz, go to Melbourne, then to Philip Island, and book ahead to go on the special tour with a penguin conservationist. You go out before nightfall in dark clothing with night vision equipment (supplied) and no cameras to sit on the beach. Be vewwwy vewwy quiet when observing penguins: you get to see them come in from the sea and go their burrows, passing close to you. When it's entirely dark, you are led up over the dunes and onto the paths leading back to the public areas.

It's far, far better than being in the crowd on the stadium seating with a glimpse of a vaguely visible penguin or two in the distance. Spaces on the tour are limited.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 3:20 pm
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Faro in December. A substantial proportion of the birds of Northern Europe seem to head there for the season.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 1:41 am
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You can't get all the way there on BA and I wouldn't go in April, but I can strongly recommend Alaska for a great wildlife experience. In particular, Brooks Falls is amazing. Every year for a few weeks around late July, salmon swim upstream to spawn. They have to jump the series of waterfalls at Brooks Falls, which is spectacular enough but waiting for them are brown bears. Some try to catch them as they leap, others "snorkel" for them in pools. You can get very close to the bears, among them really. It was brilliant. You can do a day trip there from Anchorage or stay at the lodge.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 3:46 am
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Into JNB and then a 4 hour drive to Madikwe. Malaria free and a relaxed way to do a safari in a managed reserve. We did this a few weeks ago and loved it.
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Old Mar 17, 19, 10:45 am
  #45  
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Hi all,
Just to give some feedback on the outcome , I ended up sticking with Costa Rica with a return from Mex which definitely isnt easy on the wallet , but I hope will be good fun.

Again thanks for all the input . Theres a few bankers there. Namibia and Borneo for instance.
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