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Global Wildlife Travel Index: The Best Destinations for Wildlife Travel

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Where in the world is best for wildlife travel? That’s what we set out to discover in our brand new Global Wildlife Travel Index

About the Author

About the Author

We’ve gathered our team’s knowledge, research and travel insights to bring you the best tips for visiting spectacular destinations around the world.

True Luxury Travel Team

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Wildlife travel is an increasingly popular choice for tourists, with wildlife holidays now even overtaking the traditional beach holiday to be the fourth most popular holiday choice with Brits. At True Luxury Travel, wildlife holidays are one of our key offerings and we understand and share the passion which many of our clients have for exploring the world’s fascinating wildlife on our incredible safari holidays.

Of course, safaris aren’t the only way to enjoy wildlife on holiday and when it comes to planning a wildlife travel experience there are so many amazing destinations to choose from that it can be difficult to know where to start.

That’s where our newly launched Global Wildlife Travel Index comes in. We have ranked every country based on its wildlife travel offering, analysing a variety of factors including wildlife biodiversity, conservation efforts and prevalence of national parks to compile our index.

Coming out on top is the USA, which placed in the top spot thanks to its vast number of national parks and natural history museums as well as its excellent conservation efforts and vast diversity of wildlife species.

Other destinations which we were thrilled to see score highly in our index include Thailand in fourth place, Tanzania taking the fifth spot and Australia ranking in ninth place.

Results

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The number one spot in our Wildlife Travel Index is awarded to the USA.

With a grand total of 60 national parks and a whopping 757 natural history museums, the USA offers an exciting variety of wildlife explorations and education for visitors. The USA is also home to one of the oldest national parks in the entire world, Yellowstone which was founded in 1872. It is a common misconception that this is the oldest national park in the world, but in fact that honour lies with Mongolia where Bogdkhan Uul was founded in 1783.

The USA also scored highly thanks to its impressive megafauna conservation efforts, for which it has been ranked one of the best in the world according to the Megafauna Conservation Index.

Following the USA in the top 10 countries are:

  1. Venezuela
  2. Brazil
  3. Thailand
  4. Tanzania
  5. Colombia
  6. Croatia
  7. Mexico
  8. Australia
  9. Canada

Venezuela ranked in second position due to its high prevalence of national parks and protected natural areas. In fact, Venezuela has the greatest proportion of natural protected areas in the world, with protected natural areas accounting for 54.14% of the total land.

We were thrilled to see our destination of Thailand take the fourth spot. The Southeast Asia country ranked highly based on a variety of factors but was particularly strong in its megafauna conservation efforts, for which it is one of the best in the world, plus its prevalence of national parks and natural history museums.

Another of our destinations leading the index is Tanzania in fifth place. This destination is also a strong contender across a variety of factors but is particularly notable in its conservation efforts for which it is third in the world according to the Megafauna Conservation Index, with Botswana and Namibia taking the first and second spots respectively for megafauna conservation.

Another of our destinations ranking highly on the Global Wildlife Travel Index is Australia, which is ranked in ninth position. Again, Australia performed well over a variety of categories including wildlife biodiversity and prevalence of natural history museums, but its standout strength was national parks, for which it has the most in the world boasting a grand total of 685 national parks.

The results by continent are as below:

  1. Best Country for Wildlife in Africa: Tanzania

    Best Country for Wildlife in Asia: Thailand

    Best Country for Wildlife in Europe: Croatia

    Best Country for Wildlife in North America: USA

    Best Country for Wildlife in South America: Venezuela

    Best Country for Wildlife in Oceania: Australia

    The index may also throw up a few surprises. One interesting result is that three European countries ranked within the top 20, these are Croatia, Italy and Sweden. This may come as a surprise as European countries are not typically one of the most associated destinations for wildlife holidays.

    Croatia ranked highly on our index due to its prevalence of protected natural areas, which accounts for 38.11% of its total land. The country is also home to a high biodiversity of wildlife and one of the world’s earlier established national parks.

    Italy also has one of the world’s earliest established national parks and is home to a vast number of natural history museums, in fact it is within the top 10 countries in the world for its array of natural history museums.

    Sweden ranked within the top 20 countries due to its megafauna conservation efforts, for which it is one of the best in the world and the second best in Europe. Sweden is one of Europe’s top countries for number of national parks, plus it has one of the world’s longest established national parks which was founded in 1919.

Methodology

To compile the Global Wildlife Travel Index, we used the following methodology. Every country was scored on a scale of 1-7 for the below categories based on the analysis of resources stated in the sources list:

– Wildlife Biodiversity

– Megafauna Conservation

– National Park Prevalence

– National Park Pioneers

– Protected Natural Areas

– Natural History Museums

The scores for each of these countries was totalled to give each country’s total Global Wildlife Travel Index Score, with a score of 42 being the highest available.

The countries were then ranked by their Global Wildlife Travel Index Score to create the ranked Global Wildlife Travel Index.

Where a country scored the same Wildlife Travel Index Score, their Megafauna Conservation Index score was used to determine the ranking position between these countries.

Sources:

https://news.mongabay.com/2016/05/top-10-biodiverse-countries/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2351989416300804

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_parks

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_parks

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/ER.LND.PTLD.ZS

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_natural_history_museums

Data was not available for the following countries:

Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Bermuda, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Cyprus, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Eritrea, Faroe Islands, Fiji,

French Guiana, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Iceland, Jamaica, Jordan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Madagascar, Maldives, Malta, Martinique, Mauritius, Mayotte ,Monaco, Montserrat, New Zealand, North Korea, Oman, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent’s & Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands,  South Sudan, Taiwan, Tonga,Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands, Virgin Islands (UK), Virgin Islands (US), Yemen

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