The Most Popular Example of Wildlife Tourism: Exploring Animal Encounters

Choose the example you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 22, 2024 06:03
Welcome to StrawPoll, your ultimate destination for discovering the most popular examples of wildlife tourism! As an adventurer, you can't miss the opportunity to explore the wildest corners of the planet and witness the fascinating creatures that inhabit them. From the thrill of an African safari to the enchantment of swimming with dolphins, we've got it all covered in our extensive ranking list. So go on, immerse yourself in the captivating world of wildlife tourism and vote for your favorite experience, or even suggest a hidden gem that deserves recognition. Let your voice be heard and join the thousands of fellow travelers who can't wait to uncover the next extraordinary adventure. Dive into our rankings now and fuel your wanderlust for the most unforgettable wildlife encounters!

What Is the Most Popular Example of Wildlife Tourism?

  1. 1
    African safaris are the most popular form of wildlife tourism, offering visitors a chance to see the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo) and other wildlife species in their natural habitat.
    Safari in Africa is an exhilarating expedition that offers a unique opportunity to explore the stunning wildlife and natural beauty of the African continent. It is an unforgettable adventure that takes you on a journey through the vast savannahs, dense forests, and diverse landscapes of Africa.
    • Duration: Typically ranges from 3 to 14 days, depending on the chosen package
    • Destinations: Popular destinations include Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia
    • Wildlife Viewing: Offers an opportunity to witness the famous Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, rhinoceros, and buffalo) and a wide variety of other unique African wildlife
    • Accommodation: Ranges from luxury lodges and tented camps to more budget-friendly options, ensuring a comfortable and authentic experience
    • Activities: Game drives, guided walks, bird watching, cultural visits, hot air balloon safaris, and sometimes even gorilla trekking in specific regions
    Safari in Africa in other rankings
  2. 2
    Whale watching
    Michaël CATANZARITI · Public domain
    Whale watching is a popular activity worldwide, especially in coastal regions where whales migrate. Tourists can observe these majestic creatures from boats or shorelines.
    Whale watching is a popular form of wildlife tourism where visitors venture out into the open seas to observe whales in their natural habitats. This thrilling activity allows people to witness the majestic beauty and behavior of these incredible marine mammals.
    • Location: Whale watching tours can be found in various locations worldwide, including coastal regions of North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
    • Whale Species: Different tours offer the opportunity to see a variety of whale species, such as humpback whales, orcas (killer whales), blue whales, gray whales, and more.
    • Seasonality: Whale watching seasons vary depending on the location. It is common to have certain months of the year designated as prime whale watching season when the chances of sightings are higher.
    • Boat Tours: Whale watching tours often take place on specialized boats equipped for passenger comfort and safety. These boats provide excellent vantage points for observation.
    • Knowledgeable Guides: Experienced guides accompany the tours, providing information about whale behavior, conservation efforts, and answering visitor questions.
  3. 3

    Gorilla trekking

    African Wildlife Foundation
    Gorilla trekking is a unique experience that attracts tourists to Africa. It offers a close encounter with endangered gorillas in their natural habitat.
    Gorilla trekking is a popular example of wildlife tourism that involves tracking and observing gorillas in their natural habitat. It provides a unique opportunity for travelers to experience the majestic creatures up close and learn about their behaviors and conservation efforts.
    • Location: Primarily in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
    • Group size: Limited to small groups of usually 6-8 people per gorilla group.
    • Permit: A permit is required in advance to participate in gorilla trekking.
    • Duration: Typically a half-day trek, but can vary depending on gorilla location.
    • Fitness Level: Moderate to high fitness level is recommended due to the trekking involved.
  4. 4
    Polar bear watching is a popular activity in the Arctic regions, where tourists can observe these magnificent animals from a safe distance.
    Polar bear watching is a popular form of wildlife tourism that involves observing and experiencing polar bears in their natural habitat. It typically takes place in regions such as the Arctic Circle, specifically in countries like Canada and Norway, where polar bears are found. This activity offers a unique opportunity to witness these magnificent creatures in their icy environment.
    • Location: Arctic Circle
    • Countries: Canada, Norway, and others
    • Best Time: Usually between October and November
    • Duration: Typically 4 to 10 days
    • Observation Methods: On land or from specially designed vehicles or boats
  5. 5

    Bird watching

    Tuite Morn
    Bird watching is a popular form of wildlife tourism that involves observing and identifying birds in their natural habitat. It is a peaceful and educational experience.
    Bird watching is a popular form of nature tourism that involves observing and studying various species of birds in their natural habitats. It provides an opportunity for enthusiasts, called birdwatchers or birders, to appreciate the beauty and behavior of birds while contributing to their conservation. Bird watching can be done in various settings such as forests, wetlands, grasslands, and even urban areas. This activity requires patience, knowledge of bird species, and the use of optical equipment like binoculars and spotting scopes.
    • Observation Method: Visual observation using binoculars or spotting scopes
    • Habitats: Forests, wetlands, grasslands, urban areas, etc.
    • Time of Day: Best during early morning or late afternoon when birds are most active
    • Seasons: Different bird species can be observed throughout the year, while some migrate during specific seasons
    • Identification Skills: Recognizing birds by their appearance, calls, behavior, and habitat preferences
  6. 6
    Sea turtle watching is a popular activity in many coastal regions, where tourists can observe these ancient creatures nesting or hatching.
    Sea turtle watching is a popular form of wildlife tourism that allows visitors to observe and learn about the fascinating lives of sea turtles in their natural habitats. This activity typically takes place in coastal areas where sea turtles come to nest or feed. Tourists can witness the incredible sight of female turtles laying their eggs, or the hatchlings making their way to the ocean. It is an eco-friendly experience that promotes conservation efforts and educates visitors about the importance of protecting these endangered species.
    • Location: Coastal areas with sea turtle nesting or feeding grounds.
    • Season: Varies depending on the turtle species, typically during nesting seasons.
    • Time of day: Usually early morning or evening, when turtles are more active.
    • Duration: Tours can range from a few hours to multiple days.
    • Group size: Limited group sizes to minimize disturbance to the turtles.
  7. 7

    Dolphin watching

    Dolphin Watching Tours Inc.
    Dolphin watching is a popular activity in many coastal regions, where tourists can observe these intelligent creatures in their natural habitat.
    Dolphin watching is a popular form of wildlife tourism where participants go on excursions to observe dolphins in their natural habitat. This activity typically takes place in coastal regions and involves spotting, observing, and sometimes interacting with dolphins in the wild.
    • Location: Coastal regions worldwide
    • Duration: Usually 2-4 hours
    • Method: Boat-based observation
    • Common dolphin species: Bottlenose dolphins
    • Other species spotted: Common dolphins, spinner dolphins, orca whales
  8. 8
    Elephant trekking is a popular activity in Asia, where tourists can ride elephants through jungles and observe them in their natural habitat.
    Elephant trekking is a form of wildlife tourism that involves riding on the back of elephants to explore their natural habitats or tourist attractions. It is a popular activity in several countries, particularly in Southeast Asia. Tourists get the opportunity to observe elephants up close and witness their behavior in the wild while also enjoying the scenic beauty of the surroundings.
    • Location: Primarily found in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar.
    • Duration: Trekking experiences can range from a few hours to multiple days, depending on the package chosen.
    • Trekking Routes: There are designated trekking routes that take visitors through forests, mountains, and rivers, providing a diverse and immersive experience.
    • Elephant Care: Responsible elephant trekking operators prioritize the well-being and care of their elephants, ensuring they are properly fed, provided with shade, and not overworked.
    • Interaction: Tourists have the opportunity to interact with the elephants, feed them, and learn about their behavior and conservation efforts.
  9. 9
    Shark diving is a popular activity in many coastal regions, where tourists can observe these fearsome creatures up close.
    Shark diving is a popular form of wildlife tourism that involves diving or snorkeling in the presence of sharks. It offers an exhilarating and unique opportunity to observe these magnificent creatures up close in their natural habitat. Shark diving is typically conducted in areas known for their high shark populations, such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Bahamas, or South Africa.
    • Location: Various locations worldwide
    • Activity Type: Diving/snorkeling
    • Species: Various shark species
    • Difficulty Level: Varies (some experiences require scuba diving certification)
    • Safety Measures: Strict safety protocols and guidelines maintained
  10. 10
    Komodo dragon watching is a popular activity in Indonesia, where tourists can observe these giant lizards in their natural habitat.
    Komodo dragon watching is a popular wildlife tourism activity that involves observing and studying the fascinating Komodo dragons in their natural habitat. These ancient reptiles are endemic to the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and Gili Motang in Indonesia, making it an incredible opportunity to witness their behavior up close.
    • Location: Komodo National Park (Indonesia)
    • Duration: Half-day to multiple days, depending on the tour
    • Best time to visit: April to September (dry season) for increased Komodo dragon activity
    • Safety precautions: Strict adherence to park regulations and guidance of experienced guides/rangers
    • Access: Boat trip required to reach the islands of Komodo, Rinca, or Flores

Missing your favorite example?


Ranking factors for popular example

  1. Species diversity and abundance
    The destination should be rich in a wide variety of species and have a large population of animals, providing tourists with ample opportunities to view their desired wildlife.
  2. Accessibility
    The destination should be relatively easy to reach and have a well-developed local infrastructure, such as accommodation, transport, and guided tours, to support tourists during their visit.
  3. Natural beauty and habitat
    The destination should be situated in a picturesque environment, with unique landscapes, ecosystems, or habitats that provide the perfect setting for viewing wildlife.
  4. Conservation and sustainability
    The destination should prioritize the protection of its wildlife populations and habitats, with conservation efforts and sustainable tourism practices in place.
  5. Safety and ethical considerations
    The destination should observe strict guidelines for responsible and ethical wildlife interaction, ensuring the safety of both tourists and animals.
  6. Unique wildlife experiences
    The destination should offer unique wildlife-viewing experiences that cannot be found elsewhere, potentially making it a top choice for wildlife enthusiasts.
  7. Seasonality and timing
    The destination should have predictable and optimal seasons for wildlife sightings, making it easier for tourists to plan their visits during peak activity.
  8. Educational opportunities
    The destination should provide opportunities for visitors to learn about wildlife behavior, ecology, and conservation efforts through guided tours, interpretation centers, or other educational tools.
  9. Reputation and reviews
    The popularity of the destination among wildlife enthusiasts, positive reviews, and recognition in the media can be key factors in ranking the destination as one of the best for wildlife tourism.
  10. Cultural and historical significance
    The destination may have cultural or historical factors that enhance the overall wildlife tourism experience, either related to indigenous communities or the history of conservation in the area.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular example of wildlife tourism. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Example is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 150 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Example once every 24 hours. The rank of each Example is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular example of wildlife tourism

Wildlife tourism is a type of tourism that involves observing and interacting with animals in their natural habitat. It has become a popular form of travel in recent years, as people seek to connect with nature and experience the beauty of wildlife up close. From safaris in Africa to whale watching in Alaska, there are countless examples of wildlife tourism around the world. However, with the rise in popularity of this form of travel comes the need for responsible and sustainable practices to ensure the welfare of the animals and their habitats. As such, it is important for travelers to do their research and choose ethical wildlife tourism experiences that prioritize animal welfare and conservation efforts.

Share this article