I really enjoyed seeing the little penguins (formerly known as fairy penguins) on Phillips Island in Melbourne, and have been lucky enough to do this twice. The first time, I purchased a package that included a guide who sat with us on the beach while we waited for the little penguins to emerge from the ocean, where they would walk past us and into their burrows. The guide provided us with binoculars and some insight as to when and where the penguins would emerge, so we were able to view them. It was an amazing, awe inspiring experience!
There are various day tours you can take to see animals in Sydney. Many will even allow you the opportunity to pet a koala, but it’s worth note that Queensland is the only state in Australia that will allow you to hold one. Before I went to Australia I always thought I liked koalas better than kangaroos, but I learned that they are quite temperamental and spend most of their time sleeping. Once I saw this, I appreciated kangaroos and wallabies much more. I had many opportunities to feed and pet the kangaroos, and while they were quite timid, they do enjoy being fed if you approach them slowly.
On my first trip to Kenya I visited a giraffe sanctuary, where we got to feed and pet the giraffes. They really are quite a beautiful animal with their long blue tongues! The animals you’re able to see on safari are used to seeing the vehicles and people so they don’t pay much attention when you pass by, but they do allow you to get within close proximity, which I experienced a few times. One of my favorite moments was seeing a female lion lie down right behind our vehicle. She was so close I could have reached out my window and touched her paw! Unfortunately, that didn’t present a great photo opportunity for me, but it sure did for people in the vehicles around us. An even better moment was when the mother of four cubs, two of which were very small, walked right past our vehicle. I hung my head out the window and as the cub came past, it looked up at me. That was a moment I will never forget; it was truly breathtaking!
I’ve even had amazing animal experiences closer to home. At Jungle Cat World I had the opportunity to do a behind the scenes tour, where I saw three different animals. I got to pet an eight-month old tiger, which actually was almost full grown, and an amazing, unbelievable experience. I was also able to go into the cage of ruffled and ring tailed lemurs, where I was fed them grapes. They were very friendly and enjoyed climbing on me. My favorites, however, were the three-month old tiger and cougar cubs we saw together. They were absolutely precious, and it was an indescribable feeling to hold and interact with them.
These are just a few of the many amazing animal experiences available around the world. Do you have any to share?