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Wildlife at your window

There’s no need to even venture out for these wonderful wildlife encounters!

Nothing beats lying in bed listening to a lion roar, or sitting drinking coffee on your veranda as a herd of giraffe strolls by.

We have sought out some of the most spectacular lodges where taking a game drive or bush walk is strictly optional: the wildlife will come to you.
 
Read on to discover our favourite places to get up close and personal with our world's most incredible creatures.
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Giraffe Manor, Kenya
At Kenya’s aptly named Giraffe Manor, a gorgeous 1940s boutique hotel, the resident Rothschild giraffe have no sense of privacy or personal space. They might well accost you in the middle of breakfast, poking their heads through the window with the promise of a tasty snack. Get used to giraffe kisses, especially if you cross the lawn to the AFEW Giraffe Centre.
Giraffe Manor, Kenya
At Kenya’s aptly named Giraffe Manor, a gorgeous 1940s boutique hotel, the resident Rothschild giraffe have no sense of privacy or personal space. They might well accost you in the middle of breakfast, poking their heads through the window with the promise of a tasty snack. Get used to giraffe kisses, especially if you cross the lawn to the AFEW Giraffe Centre.
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Old Mondoro Bush Camp, Zambia
In Zambia, Old Mondoro sits right on the bank of the Zambezi River, just where the elephant cross. In fact, elephant often wander straight through the camp on their way to drink and bathe, in large family groups.
Old Mondoro Bush Camp, Zambia
“First time in Africa, first day, not even left camp, and I had an elephant searching my boots for seed pods with its trunk! Just half an hour before, my guide had told me I’d never get closer to an African elephant on foot than I was right then — roughly 10 feet away behind a fallen tree on the edge of the lagoon at the camps boundary — how wrong he was! To this day, this is still my favourite place on the planet.”
PAUL HAWLEY
HEAD OF JOURNEYS
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Sable Alley, Botswana
You’ll have a similar experience at Botswana’s Sable Alley: the hippo laze in the waterhole in front of the main lodge all day, then climb out and become increasingly active (and vocal) once darkness falls.
Sable Alley, Botswana
You’ll have a similar experience at Botswana’s Sable Alley: the hippo laze in the waterhole in front of the main lodge all day, then climb out and become increasingly active (and vocal) once darkness falls.
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Lapa Rios, Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s Lapa Rios offers a completely different environment — it’s surrounded by the rainforests of the Osa Peninsula. 17 private bungalows line the top of the ridges, putting you on the same level as the birds swooping above the forest canopy. Monkeys might chase you along the wooden walkways, and tree frogs will jump across your path. Toucans and macaws are the most colourful of neighbours, their bright plumage clearly visible even from some distance away.
Lapa Rios, Costa Rica
You might as well be inside an aviary, such is the concentration of tropical birdlife around you. You can sit in bed and rack up lifers just looking out of the French doors — to date, 325 species have been recorded in and around the lodge. The black-cheeked ant tanager is a particularly special local sighting.
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Arviat Polar Bear Cabins, Canada
Stay in Arctic Kingdom’s polar bear cabins at Arviat and you’ll have front row seats to ‘Polar Bear Alley’, watching as the world’s heaviest carnivore makes its stately way across Hudson Bay at the start of the annual seal hunt.
Arviat Polar Bear Cabins, Canada
There’s space for only eight guests in the cabins, which are positioned just inside an electric fence. So curious bears can wander right up to say hello.
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Email: inspireme@journeysmiths.co.uk