By Lauren Kilberg
Check in to one of these hotels where wild animals roam free, and you could be sharing your breakfast table with giraffes, lounging poolside with elephants, or peering out from your hotel room window at a rookery of penguins.
1. Makanyane Safari Lodge, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Located within the Madikwe Game Reserve, the Makanyane Safari Lodge offers guests up close views of the surrounding bush and the wildlife that resides within it. The secluded suites have floor-to-ceiling glass windows perfect for watching passing elephants, and the main lodge is conveniently located next to a water hole visited by an abundance of wildlife. Makanyane Safari Lodge is known for being a “big five” resort, where you have good odds of seeing all five of the most legendary African big animals: lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard.
2. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort, Orlando, Florida
A stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort in Orlando will feel more like a visit to Africa than Florida. Take a walk around the grounds, and you’re likely to spot more than 30 species of African wildlife. The lodge is home to 200 resident animals and birds, including gazelles, flamingos, zebras, and giraffes.
3. Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya
This intimate hotel outside of Nairobi lets you get up close and personal with Rothschild giraffes. The original manor was built in 1932 and has served as a giraffe sanctuary since the 1970s. Today, Giraffe Manor has six bedrooms and offers guests the chance to share their breakfast table with the eight resident giraffes. All of the hotel’s profits go to support the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife.
4. Lapa Rios Eco Lodge, Islita, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
The Lapa Rios Eco Lodge in Costa Rica is tucked within a 1,000-acre rainforest reserve, so the question is less about what wildlife you will see, and more what you won’t see. Book one of their 16 open-air bungalows and monkeys, macaws, sloths, and toucans are just a few of the guests you’ll share your stay with.
Stay at one of these extremely animal-friendly hotels on your next vacation.
More from CNTraveler