Top 10 animal experiences to celebrate “Be Kind To Animals” week

In honor of “Be Kind to Animals” week,

Rare Finds suggests one of our 7 favorite animal encounters

Kissed by an elephant

Going to Thailand?  Always dreamt of playing with an elephant in the river for bath time?    Want to feel an elephant’s wet trunk nose around on your palm?

Patara Elephant Farm offers 1/2 day Elephant Day Care and full day Adopt an Elephant.    You might even get kissed!

Swimming with 25′ mantas in Hawaii

Clients of Rare Finds are on the Big Island right now, and they’re taking their 2 grade-school sons on a night snorkel with these giant mantas.   The mantas are prehistorically terrifyingly beautiful as they wing in from the depths of the dark sea, into the beam of a submerged light whose rays attract plankton.   That’s what the mantas are after, and they barrel-roll, circling beneath you, scooping it up.

I can still remember the flutter of their giant wings under my belly as I floated on the surface.  And when I took my own family, my  8 year old clambered up on my back and screamed a combination of fright and thrill through his snorkel.

Awed by the claws of Katmai’s grizzlies

It’s a day that you will never forget!

One bush plane and one float plane out of Anchorage deliver you to Brooks Falls of Katmai National Park, and if you time it right (July or September), the grizzlies will be there to meet you.

The park service has created a system of boardwalks so Katmai offers you the unique opportunity to hang out and watch the grizzlies as much as you like.   Up on elevated boardwalks, the bears stalk below you and navigate river boulders to feast on the migrating salmon.  And when you want a hot chocolate or a bathroom, the small lodge is only steps away.

Petting baby Gray Whales

They migrate down the Pacific coast to bays on the western shore of Baja where they give birth and nurse their babies.

You can stay in one of these spring whale camps, sleep in a tent on the shore, enjoy meals and bar at the dining halls, take solar showers, and – under the tightly permitted guidance of a ranger, take 3 hour boat rides out into the bay to pet the babies!

This is how close you get!


Sleep out in polar bears country

In the Canadian town of Churchill, the big white fluffy things come right into town to raid the garbage cans and skulk around the streets.  But the best way to see them is in a tundra-mobile (imagine a sleeper train retrofitted with snow treads) that will set you up out onto the open tundra where you can spend 1-3 days in they polar bears’ natural environment.  Watch them throughout the day and night as they fight, hunt, mate, and – sometimes – wander curiously right up to your tundra mobile.

The babies of East Africa

March might be my favorite time on safari in Kenya.   Just before the rainy season (April and May) when most camps close, your visit will be rewarded with a Mara full of babies from zebras to giraffes.

In Nairobi, waiting for safari?

Adopt an elephant at the local orphanage

or enjoy high tea at Giraffe Manor where scones are served alongside buckets of pellets.

Swimming with sea lions

One of the delightful surprises of my trip to Baja last winter was the chance to swim with a cove-ful of sea lions.   The more I dove and played, the more excited they got!  Watch the video…

Meet Moby Dick

One of the wonderful things about my job is that I learn new things every day from my curious clients.

Did you know that the male sperm whales migrate to northern Norway each summer?  If you strike out to Andenes, a village on the island of Andoya which is perched out by the continental shelf of the Atlantic, you will get prime viewing.

Connecting with an orangutan

” I reached out towards him, and he reached back. We held hands for a second and a half before he flew away again, back into the leafy refuge of the trees. The warmth of his rough finger making a complicated memory on my palm.”

Robert visited Sumatra where he “met” this orangutan.

Whale sharks are not sharks at all

He may be the largest fish on the face of the earth but he’s harmless.

Like the mantas, he’s a baleen feeder who lives on plankton – he’s a vegetarian!

I swam with them in the Sea of Cortez but you can also swim with them off of Cancun, Belize, and Costa Rica, depending on the season.

Love animal experiences?   We do too.  And we are here to help you plan your next vacation.  

With Rare Find Travel, it will be a one-of-a-kind adventure!

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