Which animals and wildlife destination does the world want to see most?

Which animals and wildlife destination does the world want to see most?

Have you got a hankering to spot a hippo? Maybe a seal is on your mind, or an elk?

Well, you’re not the only one because new research from adventure tour operator Explore Worldwide has revealed which animals people want to see most in each country and which wildlife destinations are most popular. By analysing 170 species in over 180 different countries, Explore Worldwide has answered these burning question that only a few people have ever asked (probably while drunk at a party). Australia’s choice will surprise you!

The Animals The World Wants To See

  1. Tigers: In the majority (44) of the countries shown on the world map, tigers come out as the animal most people are keen to see in real life – topping the tables in Mexico, Zimbabwe, and Malta, among others.
  2. Hippos: According to Google searches made in Switzerland, Haiti, Guinea and 25 other countries, hippos are the second animal most countries want to see. With only two remaining species of hippos in the world, those who want to see them in the wild must head to sub-Saharan Africa to safe parks dedicated to their conservation.
  3. Dolphins: Dolphin watching comes out high on Central America’s wildlife wish list, with Guatemala, Honduras and the Cayman Islands all wanting a closer peek at these intelligent marine mammals.
  4. Whales: Whale spotting is a strong desire for inhabitants of 16 countries, including Brazil, Italy and Greenland. With 40 distinct types of whales to spot in the world’s oceans, seeing these incredible creatures appeals to people from all over the world.
  5. Gorillas: Eight countries want to see gorillas more than any other animal, making it the fifth most-commonly desired animal to encounter. Gorillas are only native to Africa, and your best chance of coming across them in the wild is in Uganda, where half of the world’s mountain gorilla population can be found.

In light of these findings, Explore’s MD Michael Edwards encourages travellers to seek out tours and sites that prioritize the conservation of wildlife, ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy the beauty and diversity of these creatures in their natural habitats. “We hope our research inspires travellers to see that a wildlife adventure isn’t just restricted to seeing elephants and tigers,” Edwards said.

Regardless of which animal is on your wish list, if you want to embark on an animal spotting tour, always opt to visit species in their natural habitat.

“We encourage you to visit sites that focus on the conservation and protection of these creatures so many more generations to come can spot the wonderful species out there.

Most Popular Wildlife Destinations on Social Media

Explore’s Wildlife Report also shows that, according to Instagram and TikTok, Canada is the country that has been tagged and viewed the most in wildlife content, followed by Australia, the UK, South Africa, and Brazil.

CountryTikTok & Instagram Wildlife Hashtag Post & View Total
3United Kingdom68,490,337
4South Africa14,746,866
7Costa Rica7,269,472
13New Zealand1,132,082
17Sri Lanka675,874
18United States419,725
  1. Canada: Canada comes out as social media’s most popular wildlife destination with Instagram users displaying all of Canada’s incredible wildlife both big and small. Over 190,000 Instagram posts are tagged with #canadawildlife or #canadianwildlife, and they include incredible snaps of everything from the humble hooded merganser duck to icy-eyed mountain lions.
  2. Australia: There are well over 150 million views of TikTok videos tagged with #australiawildlife, and nearly 450,000 Instagram posts with the same hashtag, making Australia the second most popular wildlife destination on social media. Social media users particularly like to share photos of Australia’s cuddly and cute koalas, alongside dramatic photos of creepy crawlies such as the peacock spider and the diamond python. 
  3. UK: With over half a million Instagram posts tagged with #wildlifeinbritain, and TikTok videos with the hashtag clocking up millions of views, Britain’s wildlife is the third most popular on social media. Although it’s home to larger wildlife such as deer, otters, seals, dolphins, and foxes, social media users are often showing off Britain’s incredible variety of birdlife, with lots of posts of barn owls, blue tits, and kingfishers.
  4. South Africa: With over 14 million total views and posts on TikTok and Instagram for content tagged with #southafricawildlife, South Africa comes out as social media’s fourth most popular wildlife destination. On social media, South Africa’s wildlife posts showcase everything from playful baby lions to serene flamingos.
  5. Brazil: Landing in fifth place in social media’s favourite countries for wildlife is Brazil. Instagram shows stunning wildlife photography of Brazil’s birds, including peacocks, macaws, and toucans. Leopards also heavily feature in Brazil’s social media wildlife content, alongside exotic ocelots, and black lion tamarins.

Has this got you inspired to travel the world? The Travel Weekly team has now added at least another five destinations on our already endless array of bucket list destinations.

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