This article about a national park in Norway where visitors can sleep with wolves has taken the Internet by storm. And why shouldn’t it? Communing with nature can be a great way to experience a place, especially if animals are involved. We were inspired, so we found five other places around the world were you can have close encounters with wildlife.

Jamala Wildlife Lodge (Canberra, Australia)

Andrea Izzotti / Shutterstock

Andrea Izzotti / Shutterstock

Jamala Wildlife Lodge in Canberra is a part of a major zoo founded in 1998 that houses animals in comfortable, natural habitats. This unique lodge offers visitors the opportunity to interact with some of the world’s most dangerous and endangered animals. It also boasts five-star accommodations including Giraffe Treehouses, Jungle Bungalows, and the uShaka Lodge. These luxurious lodgings, along with gourmet cuisine, make for a high-end animal experience in Australia.

Hestheimar Ranch (Hella, Iceland)

Daria Medvedeva / Shutterstock

Daria Medvedeva / Shutterstock

Horse lovers should head to Iceland‘s Hestheimar ranch to learn about (and ride) their regional horses. Thanks to the many riding trails in the area, there are plenty of opportunities for experienced equestrians and novices alike to get to know their equine companions. Visitors can stay at the well-appointed guesthouse and participate in ranch life as much as they would like – tending to horses, lambs, goats, and calves. Young visitors will enjoy playing with the resident dog and cat as well.

Mara River Safari Lodge (Bali, Indonesia)

Jamen Percy / Shutterstock

Jamen Percy / Shutterstock

An African-inspired resort located in the Bali Safari and Marine Camp, Mara River Safari Lodge is a haven for animal lovers. In addition to first-class accommodations, you’ll have the opportunity to see exotic endangered animals wander right outside of your door. Bali Safari & Marine Park’s Elephant Back Safari offers visitors the chance to ride an elephant through natural surroundings inhabited by wildebeests, zebras, rhinoceros, and more. During the ride, experienced guides will introduce you to these beautiful animals and share fascinating information about their behavior, skills, intelligence, and natural habitats.

Elephant Nature Park (Chiang Mai, Thailand)

hangingpixels / Shutterstock

hangingpixels / Shutterstock

Imagine spending the night in the midst of an elephant herd! You can at Thailand’s Elephant Nature Park. Since it was established in the 1990s, the organization’s goal has been to provide a sanctuary for rescued elephants (many of whom have had difficult pasts, which is why no riding is allowed). The friendly elephant herd will welcome you as you feed them nutritious food and learn about them from local experts. It’s hard not to be moved by interacting with these majestic animals who have been rescued from all over Thailand. Guests can stay in cabins at the park or in one of the myriad nearby hotels.

Giraffe Manor (Nairobi, Kenya)

Byelikova Oksana / Shutterstock

Byelikova Oksana / Shutterstock

Giraffe Manor is part of the Safari Collection of luxury boutique camps and lodges throughout East Africa. Located on 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of indigenous forest in Nairobi, this boutique hotel offers more than bespoke accommodations. It’s also home to a herd of Rothschild giraffes that frequently stick their head into the windows to greet guests as they’re having breakfast. The hotel offers a variety of itineraries that take guests throughout the entire region, depending on what types of habitats and animals they want to see.

Have you had any interesting animal experiences while traveling? Let us know in the comments section!

 

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About The Author

Jen Bouchard

An insatiable foodie, art collector, and international literature aficionado, I have traveled throughout Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Canada. For the past fifteen years, I have written about my adventures for various travel and literary publications. I am the owner of Lucidité Writing (www.luciditewriting.com) and Bouchard Design Co.