Ready for a walk on the wild side? Check out these hotels near wildlife sanctuaries where your neighbours are real party animals!
If you want a holiday packed with wonder and adventure, leave the cares of civilisation behind and get personal with wild and exotic local critters.
Below, we list five comfy accommodations on islands, savannahs and jungles that get you close enough to lions, tigers or bears to exclaim “Oh my!”
1. Jungle Lagoon Safari Lodge, Chitwan, Nepal
Jungle Lagoon Safari Lodge lies between two Nepalese national parks (Royal Chitwan and Royal Bardia) teeming with undisturbed wildlife. Explore them on foot, driving a land rover, aboard a riverboat or from the back of an elephant.
After stalking the savannah, come back to enjoy a local dish at the restuarant and swap stories of your wild encounters in the bar. Animals to spot include rhinos, crocodiles and Bengal tigers.
Rooms from €11.49pn
2. Jungle Lore Birding Lodge, Noida Nainital, India
You’ll know you’re not in Kansas anymore when you check into your cottage at the Jungle Lore Birding Lodge deep in an alpine forest. The bungalows have air conditioning and fireplaces for year-round comfort.
Families appreciate the larger bungalows with loft rooms for the kids and couples love the intimate cottages with private bathrooms. Take a trip onboard an elephant to tour the surrounding ancient forest and meet the many exotic birds that call it home.
Rooms from €57.58pn
3. Cabinas Caribe Luna, Cahuita, Costa Rica
Lap up the privacy at the Cabinas Caribe Luna just outside the Cahuita National Park where the both the sea and the jungle abound with wildlife. Choose a fully equipped apartment with kitchen, TV, wireless internet and a hammock or opt for more primitive cabins.
Feast on Jamacian spice cake and fresh papaya juice from the local vendors or seafood at the coastal restaurants. Hang in the lounge to find out about the best beaches for snorkelling or surfing. The tour desk can arrange a bicycle or horse so you can to head off to waterfalls where birds, monkeys, sloths and bears share your peaceful retreat.
Rooms from €61.29pn
4. Chobe Safari Camp, Kasane, Botswana
The name of the Kwalape Lodge at the Chobe Safari Camp translates “at home,” so prepare to be treated like family in this rural African settlement. Choose to sleep outdoors in high-end safari tents or settle into a chalet with private balconies and bathrooms.
After a big day watching the wild herds of elephants or journeying to nearby Victoria Falls, indulge in the hearty fare at the Boma Restaurant and join fellow travelers at the Sundowner Bar. Other animals to spot include cheetahs, wild boars and lions.
Rooms from €30.64pn
5. Belum Eco Resort, Perak, Malaysia
Indulge in your fantasy island dreams at the Belum Eco Resort, but be aware you share your private island with free roaming tigers, bears and elephants! Situated in the middle of Lake Temenggor, the entire area is a sanctuary for 14 endangered species.
Stay in a dorm-style room or private chalet built in the comfortable native Asli style with beautiful lake views. Guests congregate in the open-air restaurant featuring local cuisine and sing karaoke together in the games room.
Dorm beds from €12.17pn, private rooms from €48.68pn
Looking for more wild ideas for your next trip? See the five crazy hostels your mother would hate
Words: Lela Lake