Traveling allows people to see the unique geology, culture, and architecture that exists in various parts of the world. Whether you’re visiting Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Avebury in England, or Machu Picchu in Peru, you can glimpse ancient creations unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

Manmade structures and cities fill us with wonder, but there’s something even more impressive out there for adventure seekers. Ecosystems with their unique flora and fauna took millions of years to evolve, and visiting the right ones will give you an unforgettable experience. Here are three places to travel to see unique animal life.

1. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Including this amazing archipelago is a no-brainer. After all, this incredibly diverse chain of islands gave Charles Darwin the idea of natural selection, which helped him figure out the concept of evolution.

The islands host noteworthy populations of iguanas, tortoises, penguins, hawks, sea lions, and of course, the 13 species of finches that Darwin made famous. Travelers can fly into San Cristobal or Baltra and stay at small hotels or campgrounds.

The government restricts the number of visitors and the amount of time they can spend at sites of interest. Don’t worry, a well-prepared traveler can still get their fill at this world-famous destination. Bringing a camera is a must for this trip of a lifetime.

2. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

There are hundreds of archaeological sites in this famous national park, but the real attractions are geological and biological. The park hosts almost 60 types of mammals including many species that were once or are still endangered.

Due to overhunting and intentional extermination, bison, wolves, and grizzly bears were on the brink of extinction. Now, Yellowstone has thriving populations of all of these iconic animals. 

Visitors to the park can also catch glimpses of the endangered Canadian lynx, plentiful black bears (which you should never feed), gigantic elk herds, and bighorn sheep. 

3. Kruger National Park, South Africa

This national park is every bit as iconic to South Africans as Yellowstone is to Americans. The park hosts all five of Africa’s big game animals: lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos, and buffalo.

The park also has hippopotamuses, mongooses, zebras, giraffes, wild dogs, and wildebeests. In addition to the stunning variety of mammals, the park also has a staggering 517 bird species that nest or visit and 33 amphibian species.

Visitors can stay at rest camps, private lodges, or safari lodges. Rest camps offer the most affordable way to visit the park and require no special permits. Guided tours in open game vehicles are a popular option for seeing the park, but primitive camping and hiking on foot offers a more authentic way to experience the bush.