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)

PROMOTED VIDEO
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

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Excellent opportunities are available for par...

    Investigo: IT Auditor

    £60000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: A global leading travel busi...

    Recruitment Genius: Chef De Partie x 2

    £16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This charming and contemporary ...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £20,000 Uncapped

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Day In a Page

    In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

    Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

    Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
    The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

    The young are the new poor

    Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
    Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

    Greens on the march

    ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
    Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

    Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

    Through the stories of his accusers
    Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

    The Meaning of Mongol

    Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
    Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

    Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

    Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
    Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

    The last Christians in Iraq

    After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
    Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Britain braced for Black Friday
    Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

    From America's dad to date-rape drugs

    Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

    The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
    Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
    Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

    Flogging vlogging

    First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

    US channels wage comedy star wars
    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

    When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible