I’m not going to lie, I’m a sucker for a cute animal. I’m one of those people that will share a picture of a puppy or kitten on Facebook purely because it looks sweet.
Seeing a picture of a baby Labrador when I log on in the morning makes me smile, and provides a nice feeling to start the day – and that’s what’s inspired me to write this post.
Step away from the PC, here are some furry feel good factors you can actually experience for yourself around the world.
Walk between the trees and get up close and personal with the Orangutans in Borneo.
10 Furry Feel Good Factors
Wave to The Orangutans
Jungles are exciting places to visit at the best of times, but when you know one of these orange fleeced, hair balls could swing in front of your path at anytime, things suddenly get a whole lot more thrilling.
Trek through the jungles of Borneo and keep your eyes peeled to the tree tops above as hordes of orangutnas swing from tree to tree overhead – causing mischief and enjoying the presence of their visitors.
Play With Lions
What could be more of a feel good factor than settling down to play with baby lion cubs within their natural habitat, knowing that your very presence there is helping keep them, and the generations that will follow them, safe and prepared for life back out in the planes of Africa just as nature intended.
Buy volunteering with lions in Zambia you not only get to help preserve the species but you also get lots of play time too – feel good factor guaranteed. Check out Emma’s account of her time at the reserve in our Why I Volunteer: Lions in Zambia blog.
Lions cubs of the Zambia Research Project.
Go Tiger Hunting
They may not be as welcoming to visitors as the orangutans or koalas but tigers are definitely furry and to see them is one of the biggest feel good factors you can get (so I’ve heard). I spent a day Tiger hunting around Chitwan National Park in Nepal as part of our Kathmandu to Delhi Adventure Tour and although I didn’t manage to spot any, the thrill of knowing I could see one of these highly endangered and completely magnificent animals at any moment was huge.
Cuddle a Koala
Usually to be found huddled up a tree, Koalas are probably Australia’s most famous (and definitely its’ cutest) resident. A 5 minute cuddle with one of these adorable hairballs is worth the journey alone.
Head to Cairns Tropical Night Zoo or the Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas to get your snuggle time – and a great picture to send home.
Awww! You won't be able to resist being charmed by the cheeky koalas.
Race a Kangaroo
Ask anyone who has driven through the Aussie outback and they will tell you that dodging Kangaroos en route was one heck of an effort – but lots of fun. You never know when the next Skippy is going to bounce out from behind a tree.
Australia has such a huge array of unique native wildlife and you never know what you’re going to see – or when. The buzz of driving your camper along a stretch of deserted road with only your friends, some great tunes and a load of bouncing kangas for company cannot be oversold.
Pat an Alpaca
In Peru, Alpacas are man’s best friend. They’re so important to the local people that you can’t fail to love them just as much as the locals do.
Whether they are helping to carry your things along the rocky Inca Trail en route to Machu Picchu, or they’re keeping you warm in the form of a woolly jumper under the stars on a chilly night, or whether they’re just making you laugh with their 80’s style mullets and silly faces, the Alpacas of Peru absolutely deserve a place on this list.
Alpacas are a friend indeed during those long Peruvian treks.
Gorilla Spotting in Uganda
They’re the biggest primates on earth and getting close to one will send a shiver up the back of your neck. Trekking through the jungles of Uganda is no easy feat – it’s tough. But the prize is big.
To get up close to these hairy giants is of life biggest thrills. A trip such as Uganda and Gorillas Overland is the perfect way to get up close to wild gorillas in a way that’s safe and not too intimidating for both you, and the animals.
Help Save a Panda
Pandas are one of the most endangered species in the world, and high up in the mountains, deep within the jungles of Chengdu, China, conservationists have settled next to the Pandas in their natural habitat, in an attempt to keep them from extinction.
It’s possible to visit the site and meet the Pandas that will hopefully become parents to the next generation. They’re super mischievous and an absolute pleasure to be around – and if you’re desperate to get a little close to these magnificent animals it’s the perfect way to make that happen. Find out what happened when I spent a few days volunteering there in our Why I Volunteer: Pandas in China blog.
Panda's are the king of cute animals.
Gaze at a Polar Bear (from a distance!)
The arctic is one of the great unexplored wildernesses left in the world. To travel here at all is tough, so trips have historically been reserved for only the most extreme adventurers. But now, thanks to trips such as Realm of the Polar Bear, everyone has the opportunity to explore the untouched terrain that sits neatly at the very top of the world.
And everyone also has the opportunity to come face to face (although not too close!) to what looks like the sweetest, but is actually one of the scariest and most ferocious mammals in the world. The feel good factor here is born from the pure excitement you’ll feel in the presence of a polar bear – just don’t try and smooth them!