The 3 Best Safari Destinations Outside Africa - Handpicked Itineraries
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The 3 Best Safari Destinations Outside Africa

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With stunning nature documentaries on the rise, including David Attenborough's astounding Our Planet on Netflix, who wouldn't you want to hop on a plane and see spectacular wildlife for themselves in their natural habitat? We've covered safaris in Africa a fair bit, so here's our top 3 safari destinations that are 'Out of Africa'...
BY Emma Hookway
Luxtripper Travel Editor

I love wildlife and can't wait to experience these incredible safari destinations for myself! 

1. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, known poetically as the 'teardrop of India', is a jewel in the Indian Ocean, it's varied geographical terrain comprised of bio-diverse rainforests, rugged mountain peaks and dry shrublands. 

Home to an abundance of exotic animals, Sri Lanka is the perfect destination to go on a safari outside of Africa. With 26 spectacular national parks rich in wildlife, you can fully immerse yourself in nature, marvelling at the animals in their natural habitat. The Yala National Park in particular is known for its dense populations of elephants and leopards, and is popular with travellers on a safari in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Animal Spotlight

Sri Lankan Elephant: Sri Lanka has one of the highest densities of elephants in Asia, so if you're an elephant lover, then this is the place to go. Sri Lankan Elephants are found in a variety of habitats, from savannahs to forested areas, with populations in a variety of national parks, as well as unprotected areas. 

Sri Lankan Leopard: Native to Sri Lanka, this subspecies of leopard is most prominent in Yala National Park, with the park having the densest population of leopards in the world! Although they inhabit a range of landscapes, the Sri Lankan Leopard is most frequently observed in scrub jungle and monsoon rainforests. 

Painted Stork: The Yala National Park has many wetland landscapes, and it is in amongst this environment that you'll find the Painted Stork, a brightly-coloured bird, wading through various lakes and marshes whilst sifting through the water in the hunt for food. 

Uga Chena Huts

For each destination, we'll show you two of our favourite luxury getaways, but where is best to stay for a Sri Lanka safari? For the perfect blend of luxury and rusticity, adventure and relaxation, the Uga Chena Huts is the place to go! Set in-amongst untouched wilderness by the sea just minutes from the Yala National Park, the resort has exclusive lodge cabins equipped with rustic log furniture and private plunge pools.

The Uga Chena Huts is a gateway to the Yala National Park, where guests can experience the Sri Lankan safari of their dreams; watch the sunrise and sunset on expert-led bush walks, spot Sri Lankan Elephants on game drives and feast your eyes on wildlife gathering by the water on an all-day Yala tour!

Wild Coast Tented Lodge

This is camping like you've never seen it before! Adjacent to the Yala National Park, the Wild Coast Tented Lodge is the definition of superb luxury, a resort nestled into its natural environment with a mesmerising swimming pool and a jungle spa oozing tranquility. With a selection of deluxe canvas cocoon tents that accommodate both families and couples, you can observe the native wildlife from the privacy of your own viewing deck before unwinding on your four-poster bed. 

The Wild Coast Tented Lodge offers a variety of curated experiences for guests to enjoy the ultimate Sri Lankan safari. With an expert guide, you can experience an immersive Guided Bush Walk, spectacular Game Drives in the Yala National Park with experienced rangers, and a Rural Bike Exploration adventure. 

2. India

India is vast, its geography so diverse that it ranges from snow-capped mountains and tropical beaches to arid deserts and steaming rainforests. With such a varied terrain, it is no surprise that India is home to many exotic and wonderful animals!

With 166 national parks, India is a great alternative to Africa to experience an unforgettable safari. Known for its 'Big 5' (Indian Elephant, Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Lion, Asiatic Leopard, One-Horned Rhino) located across the many national parks, India is the perfect place to encounter extraordinary wildlife in its natural habitat. For big cat lovers, you should visit Ranthampore National Park; as well as having a vast tiger population, visitors on an India safari can also discover a variety of leopard subspecies and jungle cats!

India Animal Spotlight

Bengal Tiger: The icon of India, the Bengal Tiger is a majestic member of the cat family, it's vivid orange and black stripes striking as it prowls in-amongst the greens and browns of its natural environment. The Bengal Tiger is found in a variety of habitats, from grasslands to rainforests. 

Indian Leopard: A majestic cat, the Indian Leopard is a famously good climber, spending much of its time skulking through rainforests and temperate forests as it depend on the trees for protection. Known for their spectacular coat, Indian Leopard's are popular animals to see on an India safari

Sloth Bear: Baloo from The Jungle Book is probably the most famous Sloth Bear, and these bears are found across India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan. Sloth Bears tend to inhabit tropical lowland forests and tall grasslands. 

Aman-i-Khas

On the threshold of Ranthambore National Park, Aman-i-Khas is the perfect blend of splendour and wilderness living. With luxury tented accommodations, the resort offers guests the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in nature and get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life, whilst enjoying multi-sensory spa experiences or relaxing in the swimming pool that is surrounded by nature.

A gateway to adventure, Aman-i-Khas offers twice-daily safaris into Ranthambore National Park in an open-top vehicle for an authentic safari experience. A wildlife-sanctuary since 1955, the national park is home to many exotic animals, such as the Bengal Tiger and Indian Leopard, as well as many species of monkey and reptiles. 

Baghvan Taj Wilderness Lodge

The Baghvan Taj Wilderness Lodge is set alongside a dry riverbed, just minutes from the Pench National Park, once the backdrop to Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. With only 12 standalone bungalows, this is exclusivity at its finest, an ideal retreat in nature to experience a safari in India. The Lodge has a rustic and colonial aesthetic, as well as much-needed luxuries such as a tranquil swimming pool and soothing massage treatments. 

The Baghvan Taj Wilderness Lodge offers signature wildlife experiences so that guests can enjoy the India safari of their dreams. With twice-daily safari drives conducted by an expert naturalist, nature trails and bird watching adventures, you'll have the opportunity to see animals such as leopards, spotted deer and Indian bison, plus lots more! 

3. Borneo

The world's third-largest island, Borneo is located in the heart of South East Asia, surrounded by 4 seas with a largely untouched terrain, including swathes of ancient rainforest, swampy coastal areas and mountainous interiors.

Despite being one of the most bio-diverse places on the planet, Borneo doesn't often spring to mind when thinking of safari destinations. However, visitors to this rainforest-dense island will have the opportunity to see some of the world's most unique wildlife, from orangutans to rhinos to the unique proboscis monkey! With both river and overland safaris, Borneo is the perfect place for adventure-seekers looking to encounter some truly marvellous creatures in the wild!

Borneo Animal Spotlight

Bornean Orangutan: Perhaps the most famous face of Borneo, the Bornean Orangutan's distinct orange fur and lovable nature have made them one of the most popular animals to see in Borneo. Spending their time predominately above the ground, these tree-travellers dwell in the forest canopy of low-lying peat forests and rainforests. 

Borneo Pygmy Elephant: The smallest of all Asian elephants, the Borneo Pygmy Elephant has distinct over-sized ears and tails, as well as a gentle nature in comparison to other elephant species. They are primarily found in the Kinabatangan River floodplain within lowland forest. 

Sunda Pangolin: Despite being the world's most-trafficked mammal, the Sunda Pangolin is surprisingly not as well-known as other animals in Borneo, but it is certainly one of the most unique animals you'll ever see. With a distinct scaly appearance, Sunda Pangolins are found in the rainforest and can roll up into a ball if they fear attack. 

Sukau Rainforest Lodge

Set alongside the Kinabatangan River, the Sukau Rainforest Lodge is an eco-lodge in the heart of the rainforest. One of National Geographic's Unique Lodges of the World, the Lodge combines luxury with sustainability, offering a selection of villas and rooms with solar-heated hot showers. The Sukau Rainforest Lodge is even the home to the Attenborough Boardwalk, featured in several of Sir David Attenborough's documentaries. 

The Sukau Rainforest Lodge is the gateway to Borneo's wildlife, offering overland and river safaris where guests have the opportunity to see the region's most iconic animals, such as Bornean Orangutans, Pygmy Elephants and the Proboscis Monkey! 

Borneo Rainforest Lodge

The Borneo Rainforest Lodge is located within the Danum Valley, an area of ancient rainforest that has never been logged. Some of the last untouched rainforest in the world, the Borneo Rainforest Lodge's remote location makes it perfect for an escape to the wilderness, it's sustainable luxury chalets and villas offering a modern interior coupled with spectacular rainforest views. 

The Borneo Rainforest Lodge offers a variety of safari experiences, where guests can immerse themselves in the spectacular natural environment and discover extraordinary wildlife. From Night and Animal Spotting Drives to Night Walks, you'll have the opportunity to see elephants, wild cats and the wide-eyed western tarsier!

Ready to hop in a jeep and embark on your own safari adventure? Get in touch with our Luxury Travel Specialists and we'll plan your perfect safari holiday!

Hotels in this article

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5
Chena Huts by Uga Escapes
Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka
Chena Huts sits within the dunes and trees of Sri Lanka’s deep south, overlooking both the pristine beach where sea turtles lay their eggs on one side and the lush jungle on the other, offering its guests a rare opportunity
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£3,318.00

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5
Wild Coast Tented Lodge
Palatupana, Sri Lanka
Wild Coast Tented Lodge is an absolutely spectacular hideaway nestled within the verdant forests and secluded coastline of Sri Lanka’s fabled Yala National Park. This stunning destination is home to the world’s largest gathering of leopards, and offers incredible game
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£2,051.00

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4
Sukau Rainforest Lodge
Asia, Malaysia
Immerse yourself in Borneo’s world-famous rainforest at the Sukau Rainforest Lodge. Sustainability is at the heart of the resort, making for an eco-conscious and luxury stay. Choose between an exotic Borneo Villa or an indulgent Superior Room, both with solar-heated
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