The wild side

It’s night-time, you’re in the middle of a national park and all you can hear are the sounds of Africa’s Big Five (and the animals that can unknowingly become prey at any second). This would be a scary situation – if you weren’t on the Pride of Zambezi tour.

The three-day itinerary navigates along the Zambezi and Chobe River, into small passages of Chobe National Park, providing some of the closest wildlife encounters you could ever want.

Further north, Holland America Line’s ms Westerdam is part of a 22-day Spectacular Rockie & Alaska Inside Passage journey around Canada. Animal-spotting starts from the get-go with the Beluga whales at Vancouver Aquarium. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to meet elk, bears, goats and even salmon in spectacular surroundings of snow-capped mountains, national parks and fast-flowing streams.

Closer to home, the nine-day Kimberley Explorer through the Top End, starting in Darwin, showcases local wildlife. A visit to Corroboree Billabong in the Mary River Wetlands will get you close to the world’s largest concentration of saltwater crocodiles.

A few days later, while cruising Geikie Gorge, keep your eye out (and your hands in) on the search for stingrays and freshwater crocs. Finally, a sunset camel ride on Cable Beach in Broome, Western Australia, is a great way to top of the ultimate Aussie experience.