Pairs of eyes glowing in the darkness...twigs snapping all around you...and alien hoots and howls piercing the silence...
At Exsus, we love creating innovative holidays that allow you to experience the world differently, and one of the simplest but most magical ways of doing this is by heading out on a nocturnal wildlife adventure.
Night Safaris in Africa
If you think safaris are excitement personified, wait til you’ve tried a spine-tingling night drive or nocturnal bush walk. Most of our luxury camps offer these, but the best places to go are Zambia, Sabi Sands in South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana. As well as the delicious frisson of danger that comes with spotting big game (leopard, for example, are most likely to be seen after dark) night time is when Africa’s more unusual creatures come out to play: honey badger, bushbaby, civet, aardwolf, porcupine, and – if you’re incredibly lucky – the elusive and scaly pangolin.
Night Dives in Malaysian Borneo
Diving and snorkelling is fantastic in Malaysia and Borneo with pristine coral reefs to explore, and the chance to swim amongst turtles, barracuda, black tipped sharks, whale sharks, and curious manatees. Then there are the night dives which lend a beautifully ghostly quality to the graceful manta rays, and usher in a whole different cast of alien marine life – pulsating, colour changing, and creeping their way along the sandy floor. Our expert George can also arrange an eerie night dive in amongst un-chartered shipwrecks and sunken World Two planes.
See this fantastic itinerary for an idea of the holiday he can tailor-make for you.
Jaguar Spotlighting in the Brazilian Pantanal
Spotting incredible wildlife in the day time is almost too easy in the Brazilian Pantanal; seeing as it’s comprised almost entirely of wetlands there are fewer places for the animals to hide and so there’s always something amazing to see. However, if you’re after a bit more of a challenge and some hair-raising suspense, go spotlighting for jaguar and big cats on a Caiman Lodge night drive.
Belize is also fantastic for spotting big cats and night – home to jaguar, jaguarundi, puma, ocelot, and margay. Stay at Chan Chich lodge which has cameras and alarm systems set up for nocturnal surveillance.
Cruising the Amazon at Night
A cruise with Aqua Expeditions is mind-blowing by day, with psychedelic frogs and plants that look like they’ve come straight from a sci-fi film, but just wait for darkness to fall when the excitement is heightened even further and your other senses are forced to take over. Look out for fascinating nocturnal creatures including the sloth, caiman, and night hawk; learn about the world’s only nocturnal primate that dwells in the Amazon, and all the while immersing yourself in the croaks, hums, and unidentified scents that fill the darkness.
Hatching Turtles and Night-Time Bug Tours in Costa Rica
Tortuguero in Costa Rica is one of the most important breeding sites in the world for marine turtles, and night time is when you’re most likely to see both the ‘arribadas’ – when the ancient females lumber onto the beaches to lay their eggs – and later on, thousands of tiny hatchlings desperately making their way back to sea. We’re also big fans of nocturnal rainforest bug-walks which give you a chance to encounter some of Costa Rica’s most extraordinary inhabitants.
For this and so much more, we reckon you'll love our Luxury Costa Rica Honeymoon.