Every country offers vastly different experiences based on its geography and ecosystem, but some destinations are undeniably more suitable than others for a wildlife-based trip. Compiled by True Luxury Travel, the new Global Wildlife Travel Index analyzes a variety of factors, including wildlife biodiversity, conservation efforts, and the volume of national parks and protected areas, to determine a definitive list of the best countries for wildlife travel. The highest possible score is 42 points. The index puts a spotlight on the recent popularity of wildlife travel, and can be an incredibly helpful tool in planning your next vacation.
A quick perusal of the list makes it obvious that the Americas dominate wildlife travel. The United States takes the top spot with 37 points, followed closely by Venezuela and Brazil. Colombia, Mexico, and Canada are also in the top ten, along with Thailand, Tanzania, Croatia, and Australia. The United States’ 60 national parks, 757 natural history museums, and impressive conservation efforts were all contributing factors to landing the top spot, as well as its megafauna conservation efforts, which are ranked among the best in the world. Venezuela’s high percentage of nature preserves catapulted it to second place, with 54.14 percent of its total land mass being categorized as a protected area.
While European countries aren’t typically considered prime destinations for wildlife-viewing, Croatia ranked highly due to its abundance of protected natural areas and high biodiversity. Italy performed well thanks to its vast number of natural history museums, and Sweden due to its megafauna conservation efforts.
H/T: Lonely Planet