If your kids are anything like mine then animals come high on the wish list when planning a family holiday. Here then are some of our favourite family-friendly hotels for a true Dr Doolittle experience, from meeting reindeer in Finland and washing elephants in India to feeding goats in The Philippines, releasing baby turtles in Sri Lanka and riding camels along the beach in Oman. Binoculars at the ready!
1. Swim with an Elephant in India
What more could a child ask for than a safari in an open jeep searching for tigers, followed by a meeting with Tara the elephant and a swim with her in the river? Scrubbing clean a docile Tara lying in the water is a priceless experience and the photo of the year for parents. Take a look at Kipling Camp, Madhya Pradesh. See what other families are saying on TripAdvisor
2. Meet Reindeer in Lapland
For a magical winter adventure like no other, head to Lapland in northern Finland. This is the place to come for a snowy wonderland filled with family-friendly activities including snowshoeing, sledging, snowman-building, santa-visiting and, meeting reindeer. One of the best ways to enjoy this frozen world is with a stay at Yllashilla, a gorgeous log cabin located on the outskirts of Akaslompolo. Take a look at our Yllashilla review.
3. Feed Baby Goats in The Philippines
La Chevrerie is a wonderful place for families with grassy lawns, hammocks and inflatable rings for floating around the swimming pool. But possibly the best activity for kids is feeding the resident baby goats. Take a look at La Chevrerie Resort & Spa, Mabini. See what other families are saying on TripAdvisor.
4. Watch Whales Breach in Mexico
Forget the mega-resorts and glitzy malls of Cabo San Lucas and come here to see magnificent Humpback whales breaching the ocean waves. From late December to late March hundreds of whales migrate from the frozen waters of the Arctic for some winter sun choosing the warm, calm waters surrounding the Baja Peninsula to birth and rear their young. Take a look at The Bungalows, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California.. See what other families are saying on TripAdvisor
5. Ride a Camel in Oman
The hotel boasts several wonderful swimming pools, a lazy river, a pirate ship and water fountains as well as a kids club. Our favourite hotel highlights, however, are the daily camel rides along the beach. Take a look at Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Muscat. . See what other families are saying on TripAdvisor
6. Search for Rhinos in India
The early morning elephant safari is a must do and suitable for the whole family. You will get within metres of the great Indian rhinos and hopefully spot some of the other 34 major mammals including wild elephants, swamp deer, wild buffalo and gaur. Take a look at Diphlu River Lodge, Assam. See what other families are saying on TripAdvisor.
7. Release Baby Turtles in Sri Lanka
Near to this beautiful hotel are a handful of turtle hatcheries, established to help conserve these wonderful creatures, and visitors are more than welcome. Kids can see turtles’ eggs buried in the sand, hold baby turtles and then help release them into the ocean. Take a look at Club Villa, Bentota. See what other families are saying on TripAdvisor
8. Go on a Tiger Safari in India
This eco- and family-friendly camp, run by award-winning naturalists, is truly a wonderful place for kids. The focus is on educating children to appreciate wildlife and the importance of conservation; their motto is “seek the tiger, find the jungle”. There are dozens of fun, educational activities for kids, plus, you might spot a tiger! Take a look at Jim’s Jungle Retreat, Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand. See what other families are saying on TripAdvisor
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