A new study has revealed nearly nine in 10 (87 per cent) of UK travellers want to see wild animals in their natural habitat but are unaware of where some of the most impressive wildlife can be found.



A poll of 2,000 adults commissioned by Audley Travel has uncovered that respondents would be prepared to travel up to 12 hours to see wildlife on their bucket list. However, not everyone is sure of where and how to find the animals on their list — the study revealed some gaps in people’s knowledge of the natural world, suggesting that they’d benefit from the guidance of wildlife-travel experts.


Answers from the survey showed that there’s often confusion around where tigers are found, with 48% of respondents convinced that the big cats are in Africa, while a third believed Emperor Penguins roam the Arctic, despite them only being found in the Antarctic.


Nearly three in 10 (29 per cent) of those surveyed would love to see a whale in its natural habitat, but results indicated that many people aren’t clear on the best places to see humpback whales with 26 per cent believing the best place to find a humpback is in the Arctic. However, they only occupy these waters in the summer – with Hawaii one of the best spots to find them as they gather for the breeding season.  It also emerged that 28 per cent even believe blue whales are common in the UK, despite there being just one sighting in British waters.


A crocodile was voted as one of the most popular animals to see, although 44 per cent were confused about the difference between this animal and its alligator cousin which has a more curved snout and can be found in fresh waters, with a croc preferring saltwater environments.


It also emerged four in 10 like to do as much as they can fit in on their holidays and 28 per cent consider themselves adventurous when it comes to trips abroad, according to the stats by OnePoll.


Even if you do know the countries or continents where your favourite animals roam, planning a trip with Audley’s experts in wildlife travel will ensure you’re visiting the best parks, reserves, and wild corners for encountering them in the wild.


Richard Wise, Head of Concierge at Audley Travel, said: ‘It’s fantastic that people place such enormous value on seeing animals in their natural habitat and would venture further afield to do so — this sort of travel supports conservation efforts, helping animals to thrive in the wild.’

‘Whether you want to encounter the Galapagos Islands’ see polar bears gather around the icy waters of Hudson Bay, or spend time on an African safari for a chance to spot the Big Five, the first step is knowing where the animals can be found.‘

Other findings from the study were that 77% of adults believe seeing certain animals in the wild is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Additionally, 49% have a long list of animals they want to see in their natural habitat, including elephants, crocodiles, whales, tigers, and emperor penguins.



To help inspire future wildlife trips, Audley has created a wildlife quiz for those looking to test their knowledge of the natural world and see if they know their crocodiles from their alligators. And, for anyone who’s ready to plan their wildlife-focused escape, Audley’s experts will be on hand to create a trip shaped around their animal checklist.



  1. Elephant
  2. Tiger
  3. Dolphin
  4. Lion
  5. Whale
  6. Giant Panda
  7. Giraffe
  8. Penguin
  9. Polar bear
  10. Kangaroo
  11. Zebra
  12. Gorilla
  13. Cheetah
  14. Rhino
  15. Brown bear
  16. Chimpanzee
  17. Hippopotamus
  18. Giant tortoise
  19. Turtle
  20. Shark


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