Nowadays it’s impossible to think of the history of humankind and animal-kind without having a thought for Charles Darwin. Whether you believe in it or not, you’ve probably come across references based on his evolution theory, such as joke images showing the evolution from the cave man to the cyber man. But Darwin’s scientific mind had a love for all things nature, especially wildlife. There are three destinations in the world where you can follow Darwin’s adventurous steps and explore wildlife.
In the first half the 19th century, Darwin decided to embark on a five-year long study of the species around the world. From his observations came the famous theory of evolution. But more importantly, it’s his sense of nature and discovery that I want to celebrate here.
You may not have the mind of a scientist but are still interested in discovering something new in the world. After all, the world is a big place that offers a lot of options for exploration. For a taste of Darwin’s mind and with a sense of adventure, here’s where your next explorative journey should take you.
The Galapagos, where it all started
The Galapagos islands are where Darwin spent a lot of his voyage collecting notes and observing the principles of natural selection. You may not discover new species, but the Ecuadorian archipelago offers a fantastic landscape for an outdoor adventure. The isolated islands are home to a variety of wildlife, many found nowhere else in the world.
If you want to make sure that you don’t miss anything, you should join one of the many Galapagos tours that take you snorkeling among sea lions and giant tortoises. In the Galapagos, the animals have grown used to human presence, making it a fantastic experience to be able to stand directly by them.
One little piece of advice: although situated on the Equator, the archipelago is constantly surrounded by cold water from the Humboldt current. This causes a lot of rain throughout the year. In short, pack your raincoat too!
Madagascar, the paradise of unique species
The small African island offers an incredible biodiversity. Madagascar is home to several wildlife species that are only found here. You certainly will feel your explorer’s soul bouncing with joy at the idea of observing the pochard of Madagascar. Unique to the island, this is the rarest duck in the world that lives only in the freshwater lakes on the island. Or the famous rare blue coua, a cuckoo with a stunning deep blue plumage.
And yes, you’ll find many lemurs, but they won’t sing and dance like in the movie.
Most of these species are protected and not accustomed to human presence, so it is best to tread carefully. However, if you’re patient and you ask your guide, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful discovery. Remember to pack your binoculars and your camera with a zoom lens, though!
Tasmania and its devilish cutie pie
Tasmania, Australia’s south coast island, is famous for two reasons. It gave the world Errol Flynn, and it is the home of the marsupial with a terrible hunting reputation, the Tasmanian Devil.
Stop at the Bonorong Wildlife Park for a guided tour through the wildlife habitats. Here you’ll get the chance to meet real-life Tasmanian devils that look nothing like the ones we grew up watching in cartoons. You’ll soon notice that their unfair reputation of mean scavenger and destroyer is unjustified. Tasmanian devils can actually be very friendly creatures, especially if the park ensures they are well fed! They are carnivorous after all.
Are you ready to step into Darwin’s shoes and explore the marvels of the world? Whether you start your exploration by Ecuador, Africa, or Australia, you’ll soon realize how amazing and precious the creatures of nature are. Let your explorative wildlife adventure be the first of many others!