Styles & Experiences

Best Destinations for a Jungle Holiday

Discover the best destinations around the globe for a jungle holiday.

Explore the best jungle holiday destinations

Who wants to go to the jungle for a holiday? These days, the jungles and rainforests of the globe offer some of the best wildlife and natural world experiences on the planet. Throughout the text below, we bring you some of our favourites, from staying overnight in a Survival Camp with your family in the forests of Borneo, to tracking the endangered mountain gorillas of Uganda and Rwanda.

Discover the best jungle safari destinations.

Borneo

Unfortunately, with so many threats to Borneo’s rainforests in this day and age, the vast forests of this tropical island are rapidly diminishing. There are, however, still some great places to visit to see some of the worlds most endangered wildlife on this beautiful tropical island.

THE MIST-SHROUDED FORESTS OF BORNEO - THE MOST ANCIENT FORESTS OF THE WORLD - are awe-inspiring.

DANUM VALLEY

Probably one of the most sought after locations in Borneo being part of the Danum Valley Conservation Area. With canopy walkways, forest tracks, running rivers and the beautiful comfort of Borneo Rainforest Lodge, this is one not to be missed (but book early as it is in high demand!). Danum offers a variety of resident wildlife including the ever elusive Asian elephants (often seen on night drives), a healthy population of wild orangutans, howling gibbons through the morning forest mists and a fair few leeches to!

TABIN WILDLIFE RESERVE 

Often overlooked for its more popular cousin Danum, Tabin is still a great jungle destination. A popular home for elephants as well as orangutans (not such high densities as Danum), Tabin offers more of a wilderness experience with a variety of nature trails that get you off the beaten track. Tabin Wildlife Resort is the best place to stay with forest bungalows overlooking the river below. 

KINABATANGAN RIVER 

One of the best places in Borneo to see orangutans in the wild. Whilst this is not a traditional rainforest as such (due to huge logging having taken place), most of your safaris take place in boats along the river. Along the way, you can hope to see macaques, proboscis monkeys, orangutans, elephants, crocodiles and a variety of tropical birdlife. At Natural World Safaris we always endeavour to put you in the right place at the right time in order to maximise your wildlife experience; to this extent we recommend the picturesque Kinabatangan Riverside Lodge, which offers not high-end luxury but charm, sustainability and full immersion in the glorious natural surroundings.

Madagascar

Often referred to as “The Red Island” due to the deforestation that has taken place over the years and the red laterite soils being washed out into the surroundings oceans, Madagascar is still fortunate enough to have some pristine tracts of rainforest left intact. 

This rainforest is home to the fun and funky lemurs that make any wildlife safari truly unique.

Andasibe Reserve

If you want to see the largest living lemurs left in the wild, then this is the place to come. Expect to put the effort in in Madagascar, as all of the exploration is done on foot as opposed to by 4x4 as you would expect in traditional African safari destinations. Andasibe is home to the teddy bear like indris who will wake you in the morning with their early calls drifting through the mist shrouded rainforest. With a few choices on the accommodation front, Vakona Lodge is probably the best (with its own lemur island – prepare to be jumped upon!) closely followed by Andasibe Hotel.

Ranomafana National Park 

Home to the cyanide eating bamboo lemur, this is a rainforest hotspot for Madagascar. Setam Lodge is the best option in Ranomafana closely followed by Centrest; neither are of a 5 star status however they provide great access to the park and all it has to offer. We also offer an exclusive visit from Ranomafana to visit the Kianjavato Lemur Project (no other operators have access to this project), where you can expect to visit the tree planting project, the local school and also one of the most elusive creatures in Madagascar, the bizarre looking aye-aye.

Rwanda

Forming part of the Congo Basin, both Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Bwindi Forest of Uganda, are home to some of the last remaining mountain gorillas of the world inhabiting dense tropical rainforest. 

The Congo basin itself conjures up images of vast dense jungle, wild rivers and undiscovered tribes and to an extent this still remains true today.

Bwindi Forest

The last stronghold of the mountain gorillas of Uganda, Bwindi also offers stunning nature walks, visits with pygmy tribes and hidden waterfalls. If you want jungle canopy views and the space to wander under your own steam then Bwindi Lodge is the one for you.

Volcanoes National Park

The section of the park that falls on the Rwandan side of the border (rather than the side of the Democratic Republic of Congo) is also home to one of the largest remaining populations of endangered mountain gorillas. With five volcanic peaks stretching off into the distance, volcanic lakes, and thick jungle, this is the heart of Africa. The park itself (on the Congolese) side forms the oldest National Park in Africa (Albert National Park), having been established in 1925 and then later being extended to encompass the Rwandan side and the Belgian Congo.

A highlight of any stay includes tracking the breath-taking mountain gorillas, however also spare some time to take in the other attractions including tracking the golden monkeys, a visit to the grave of Dian Fossey and the gorillas with which she worked, the local cultural village and for a small conservation fee, even a visit with the Gorilla Doctors who work with the gorillas on a daily basis. 

For stunning views of the Virunga Volcanoes drifting off into the distance, then Virunga Lodge is a must, for the utmost in luxury however then Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is also worth considering.

Costa Rica

Not only is the wildlife incredible here, there are also loads of wonderfully exciting activities that will help you explore the best bits of this fascinating country, from canopy walkways and jungle trekking to white-water rafting and zip-lining. 

Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse areas of the planet, with jungles and cloud forests just brimming with colourful wildlife.

Manuel Antonio National Park

In the 'Green Zone' of this coastal national park, you could come face to face with endangered squirrel monkeys, spider monkeys, howler monkeys and the white-faced monkey, as well as sloths, iguanas and more. Called the green zone for a reason, this vibrant area provides you with typical jungle vistas, untouched beaches and chattering wildlife. A little further south, a stretch of wild beach leads onto Ballena Marine National Park, excellent for sightings of whales, dolphins and turtles.

Monteverde Cloud Forest and Santa Elena Cloud Forest 

Often characterised by the veil of clouds lingering in the treetops, these cloud forests provide a unique jungle experience. Home to over 100 mammal species, 400 bird species and 1,200 reptile and amphibian species, these two forests play home to similar wildlife species, including Latin America's most famous cats: jaguars, ocelots, pumas, oncillas, jaguarundis and margays. You will also find the resplendent quetzal, the symbol of Costa Rica. Unlike Monteverde, in Santa Elena you might even come across the spider monkey. Activities include aerial trams, hanging bridges, butterfly farms and birdwatching expeditions, as well as zip-line tours and insect museums.

India

One of the flagship endangered species of global wildlife, the Royal Bengal tiger still patrols the forests of the Indian subcontinent. With its habitat quickly disappearing, it is more essential than ever to visit the terrain of the tigers in show of support of their never-ending battle. 

THE JUNGLES OF INDIA ARE PATROLLED BY TIGERS. 

KANHA, RANTHAMBHORE AND BANDHAVGARH NATIONAL PARKS 

All home to the tiger, these jungle parks are now tracts of what were once vast expanses of forests. Efforts are continually made to regain the corridors of land that join these individual strongholds, however none have yet been entirely successful. Kanha is probably our favourite national park covering a much wider area and therefore offering a much more wilderness feel. Ranthambore and Bandhavgarh, whilst smaller parks, do also offer quality tiger viewing and are essential in the continuing effort to conserve wild tiger populations. These three national parks form the best places to see tigers in the wild.

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