Wildlife reserves that you can actually stay at

Mar 15, 2018

From one-of-a-kind eco lodges to sustainable hotels, here are some protected places around the world where you can stay surrounded by wild creatures and rare plant species.

South Cardamom National Park, Cambodia

rainbow lodge cambodia south cardoman national park

This newly protected area of rainforest in Koh Kong links with other national parks to provide a critical wildlife corridor for endangered animals such as Indochinese tigers and southern river terrapins. Many undiscovered species of flora and fauna are thought to grow here too. Although illegal logging and industrial development have threatened the forest, community conservation efforts have helped turn things around, creating new jobs for tour guides and rangers. Find out more with a stay at Rainbow Lodge (above), which is helping to promote sustainable tourism.

SEE ALSO: Down-to-earth eco-friendly stays where you can get back to nature 

Mashpi Forest, Ecuador

mashpi lodge ecuador

Mashpi Forest is at the forefront of rainforest conservation and researchers have recorded astonishing biodiversity within it, supporting 165 types of mammals including pumas, sloths and armadillos. Its unique flora and fauna is shaped by the steep landscape of the cloud forest. Up on a plateau, Mashpi Lodge (above) offers spectacular views and a dreamy base for birdwatching and exploring the nearby waterfalls and hiking trails.

De Hoop Reserve, South Africa

de hoop nature reserve

This World Heritage Site boasts over 70 km of protected coastline and is one of the best places in the world to watch whales. In the summer (June to November), you don’t even need to leave land as the majestic mammals belly-flop so close to the beach. Hundreds arrive each year due to the warm, safe waters – ideal for calving. Stay close to all the action in one of the reserve’s cottages, suites or houses, and take guided marine walks, eco boat trips and more. Visitors pay a conservation fee on arrival.