Elephant on the banks of the Kinabatangan River

Wildlife vacations

When it comes to wildlife experiences in Asia, it’s impossible not to think of Borneo.

There are more plants and animals in Borneo than in Europe and North America put together, making it one of the best places in the world to immerse yourself in the mind-boggling diversity of nature. But it’s not the only wildlife hotspot in Asia. In fact, the region is home to nearly 15 percent of the world's tropical forests, so there are plenty of amazing nature-based experiences to be discovered here. We've collected some of our favorites below.

These span bonding with elephants in Thailand, checking camera traps and salt licks in the rainforests of Laos, and joining in with conservation efforts in the threatened wilderness of Cambodia’s Botum Sakor National Park. What they all have in common is a strong focus on environmental conservation, community-based tourism and animal welfare, so you can be certain that your visit will make a positive impact on the places, people and animals you visit.

Our top itineraries for wildlife lovers

A selection of itineraries focusing on wildlife and conservation

Top destinations for nature buffs

Our favorite places to appreciate Asia’s spectacular wildlife

Borneo

Sepilok isn’t just the best place in North Borneo to see orangutans – it's one of the island’s premier conservation destinations, with exemplary projects doing fantastic work.

Borneo

Stay in an eco-lodge on the banks of Sabah’s longest river, where elephants, macaques and gibbons forage in the dense riverside foliage, and frogmouths, nightjars and hornbills wheel overhead.

Laos

A visit to Laos is all about the wild and untamed beauty of the mountains – and it doesn’t get much wilder and more untamed than this. Covering nearly 6,000 square kilometers, Nam Et-Phou Louey provides a haven for endangered animals.

Cambodia

Covering most of Preah Vihear Province in the remote northern plains, Kulen Promtep is a haven for rare birds, and one of the few remaining places to see the endangered giant ibis — Cambodia’s national bird.

Cambodia

A visit to Mondulkiri is about feeling as far away from civilization as it’s possible to be, sleeping in rainforest huts surrounded by the hoots of yellow-cheeked crested gibbons and trekking through jungle to meet rescued elephants.

Borneo

Danum Valley is one of the few places in the world that has never been settled, logged, hunted or otherwise interfered with by humans. Hidden in its untouched forests, wildlife thrives – from the world’s tallest tropical tree to the highest concentration of orangutans anywhere in the world.

Borneo

Covering an area twice the size of Singapore, come to Tabin for mud volcanoes, jungle trekking, an orangutan release center, and the chance to spot over 300 types of exotic bird – from the bronzed drongo to the blue-crowned hanging parrot.

Cambodia

Forget jostling with sharp-elbowed crowds to get that perfect sunrise snap of Angkor Wat. What if you could explore 800-year-old cave temples with only silver langur, barking deer and pileated gibbons for company?

Laos

Home to the largest elephant population in Laos – as well as a stellar conservation project working to ensure their survival – remote Sayaboury is one of our favorite places to get up close and personal with these gentle giants.

Cambodia

A tatty yet alluring colonial town on the Mekong River, not far from the Laos border, Kratie is one of a handful of places left in the world to spot the endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin.

Malaysia

Home to sun bears, elephants, Malayan tigers and clouded leopards, Taman Negara is among the oldest primary rainforest in the world. Explore its tangled depths on a treetop-skimming canopy walk, whitewater raft, or challenging mountain hike.

Wildlife-themed experiences

Our best guided tours and excursions for experiencing Asia’s wildlife

Culture
Responsible entreprise
Wildlife

North of Mandalay, the Irrawaddy is wide and meandering, the horizon low and longtail boats line the sandbanks. Fishermen here have a symbiotic relationship with the critically endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin.

Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary
Wildlife

Greater adjutants, rufous-winged buzzards, Indochinese bushlarks and white-winged ducks: a list of Kulen Promtep’s avian residents reads like a page out of Darwin’s logbook.

Taman Negara National Park
Active
Scenery
Wildlife

This two-night tour barely scratches the surface of this 4,000 sq km, 130 million-year-old rainforest – but it’s an excellent place to start.

Kuching
Wildlife

Just south of Kuching, the Semenggoh Wildlife Reserve has provided a sanctuary for rescued orangutans since 1975.

Responsible entreprise
Wildlife

If you love elephants as much as we do, you must visit Green Hill Valley. It’s a family-owned sanctuary that not only provides a refuge for ex-logging elephants, but also aims to preserve the natural environment and create working opportunities for people from the local villages.

Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area
Adventure
Scenery
Wildlife

If you want a real adventure (and we’re talking the old-fashioned kind, complete with creepy crawlies, strenuous exercise, and lots of sweat) this one’s for you.

Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area
Adventure
Scenery
Wildlife

By night, the jungle comes alive with the hoots, squawks, screeches and chirps of a whole new cast of characters.

Mondulkiri
Responsible entreprise
Wildlife

Gargantuan and yet surprisingly sensitive, an elephant can crack a peanut shell without breaking the seed and react to the touch of a feather on their leathery hides.

Khao Sok NP
Responsible entreprise
Wildlife

Combine luxurious, safari-style tents with a world-class, animal-friendly elephant sanctuary — all set against the backdrop of the magical Thai rainforest — and you get one of our favorite wildlife experiences in Southeast Asia.

Proboscis monkey - Alastair Donnelly

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