It is no secret that one of my big passions is African safaris. I love the sense of adventure and the opportunity to see unique landscapes. Of course, the real draw is the wildlife! So, I was surprisingly in my element when I recently traveled to Hawaii on an educational trip with The Four Seasons hotels! The Hawaiian wildlife is unique, varied, and quite accessible.
My top 5 Hawaiian Safari experiences:
- The Green Sea Turtle: I had two excellent turtle encounters during my week-long trip: first, while outrigger canoeing in Maui and then, while swimming in the ocean at the Four Seasons Hualalai on the Big Island. Hualalai has a pretty active surf and so the hotel has built a protected swimming cove. Hotel guests aren’t the only ones that appreciate the calmer waters. While I was swimming, two curious sea turtles swam right up to my group to see what we were up to!
- Resting Sea Turtles: At Hualalai, you are also asked to share the beach with these peaceful giants and you will likely encounter several napping turtles during your stay. For me, this was a gentle reminder of the fragility and vulnerability of the species.
- A Family of Francolins: Also at Hualalai, my private patio was home to a friendly family of francolins. These birds were happy to hang out in the nearby bushes while I enjoyed my morning coffee. One curious youngster even tried to check out my room!
- Wild Turkeys! The Four Seasons Lodge at Koelein the center of Lanai offers a very unique setting quite unexpected from what most imagine Hawaii is like. At some moments, you might think you are at a ranch in Wyoming instead of Hawaii! To further this atmosphere, the property has several families of wild turkeys roaming the grounds! My time in Africa has taught me that I’m a birder and there were plenty to be seen on all 3 of the Hawaiian Islands that I visited!
- Swimming with Sea Cucumber: I love to snorkel; I find it so relaxing and I love to see new reefs and new sea creatures! The sea cucumber was a new one for me and I wish I had an underwater camera. These giant slug-like creatures aren’t really attractive, but a nice item for my wildlife checklist!
Bonus: While she is definitely not a wild animal, I loved spending time with Koele the 17 year old house cat at the Lodge at Koele. Not much bothers or excites her, but she’ll happily reward you with a purr if you oblige to scratch her ear!
Through our affiliation with Brownell Travel, our clients enjoy the fantastic Four Seasons Preferred Partner Amenities at any Four Seasons hotels including Hawaii. Contact me if you are looking to plan your own Hawaiian trip with a bonus safari!