Five Best: Wildlife retreats

1. Vamizi Island Lodge, Mozambique

Vamizi Island is part of a vast eco-project covering a 33,000-hectare wildlife area in Maluane, in northern Mozambique. Maluane has a large elephant population, many antelope species, a growing number of predators and abundant tropical marine life. Low-impact tourism and conservation partnerships with the likes of London's Zoological Society should help it remain that way. Vamizi Island Lodge comprises 10 palm-thatched beachfront houses with four-poster beds, private lounges and shady verandas decked with Swahili day beds. Scuba-diving the pristine coral reef is the favoured pastime, along with watching the Samango monkeys chasing land crabs through the brush.

Vamizi Island Lodge (0027 11 884 8869; www.maluane.com). Doubles from $740 (£370), all-inclusive



2. Karanambu Ranch, Guyana

This place is remote. The sort of remote that means taking planes, boats and cars with lots of gears to get to it. This is arguably what makes Karanambu, deep in the Guyana's southern interior, so special. There is a private landing-strip but the long route, by dugout boat through jungle waterways, reveals such wildlife as harpy eagle, spider monkey and scarlet macaws. The welcoming committee at this rustic lodge is the pack of giant river otters that will be your co-guests. This ranch is based around an otter-rehabilitation centre, run by the inimitable Diane McTurk, a Guyana-born Scot with a passion for the rare creatures that has bought her the attention of David Attenborough and Gerald Durrell. Traditional clay, thatched cottages make up the accommodation, each en-suite with hammock-strung verandas.

For more information contact Wilderness Explorers (www.wilderness-explorers.com) or visit www.karanambu.com



3. Tiger Tops Jungle Lodge, Nepal

A stay at this venerable lodge within Nepal's Chitwan National Park offers one of the best chances to see a tiger in the wild. And how do they track the beasts here? Nothing so mundane as a 4x4 jeep but, rather, on elephant back. And if you aren't game for the big game, there are horses to ride out through the surrounding riverine forest. But with crocodile, leopard and great one-horned rhino as the big cat's companions, you might prefer to be up on elephant back. The lodge's simple, elegant, tree houses and bungalows are made from sustainable Nepali materials. The whole place is solar-powered and the food, local and western, is top notch.

Tiger Mountain Jungle Lodge (00 977 1436 1500; www.tigermountain.com). Doubles from £225 a night, all-inclusive



4. Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Borneo

People come to this nature reserve on the island of Kota Kinabalu for the orang-utans. But along with these marvellous mammals the place boasts pygmy elephants and 10 species of monkey. Built from local hardwood, this simple 20-room lodge is designed like a Malaysian long house and has an imposing raised jetty and riverside veranda structure, a covered rainforest boardwalk and an open-plan living area. Rainwater and solar energy provide the necessary fuel and the only access is by boat.

Sukau Rainforest Lodge (00 60 88 438300; www.sukau.com). Doubles from RM1,031 (£150) per person, per night, all-inclusive, including road and river transfer



5. Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia

Mongolian wildlife abounds at this luxury eco-expedition camp in the Gobi desert. Sheltered by a 47-million-year-old volcanic outcrop, the lodge was built with the participation of the local community to Mongolian-Buddhist architectural standards, without using a single nail, and utilises natural materials and renewable energy resources. Stay in 30 elegant gers, the hand-made felt tents of Mongolia's nomadic herders, here with western-style bathrooms and views of the vast Gobi-Altai mountain range. Hiking and horse-riding in the Gurvansaikhan National Park brings sightings of argali (wild sheep), ibex (wild goat), wolves and antelope.

Three Camel Lodge (00 976 11 313 396; www.threecamels.com), en-suite doubles from $120 (£60)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - major leisure brand

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Partner

    £25000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Partner is required to ...

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - OTE £36,000

    £12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Knaresborough ...

    Beverley James: Accounts Payable

    £23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...

    Day In a Page

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003