Top 16 Jungle Escapes Around the World

The world we live in today comprises more and more cities, encroaching on the natural environment as they grow ever upwards and outwards. This creates ethical issues regarding man-made practices, how we treat nature and more specifically, jungles or dense forestry. The term ‘sustainable tourism‘ has become an increasing trend, comprising social responsibilities within communities and eco-friendly practices.

Jungles aren’t just lush areas of land filled with every green you can imagine on a painter’s pallet. They’re filled with abundant wildlife big and small, from under the ground, to the top of the tallest trees on the planet. Welcome to the jungle! Some of the world’s most famous and renowned naturalists, zoologists, adventurers and leading academics can be found in dense jungles collecting and gathering data on the natural environment.

“The more the world and its inhabitants become aware of the carbon footprint being left behind, jungles especially can attract more attention to be conserved and maintained, instead of becoming lost amidst all other initiatives to preserve.”

Ben Irvine - Author

So why not join them as a humble traveller and learn about conservation efforts in the remotest parts of the world. When you think of accommodation in these areas of the world, you think of tents and hammocks. Well, you’re right! But, luxury can also be achieved through admiration and the use of sustainable resources from operators in the chosen country. We have handpicked our places to stay that are situated in truly unique locations in jungles nestled within far-flung destinations of the world.

African Jungle Escapes

When you think of Africa, jungles may not be the first thing to come to mind. Your go-to is safaris and a vast array of wildlife like lions and zebras, but Africa actually houses the Congo river basin with its indigenous gorillas and chimpanzees. It also features lodges that put you in the heart of the jungle, where you won’t get a nights sleep with the sound of wildlife, but you’ll still enjoy every minute!

In many instances, jungles encroach onto the sea and Greystoke Mahale takes full advantage of this with the main lodge being on the beach and backing onto thick greenery, shadowed by the Mahale mountains. If you’re after a more mountainous setting, there’s Bisate Lodge with its amphitheatre of villas shaped like cones with epic views of Bisoke and Karisimbi, rearing up through the Afro-alpine forests of nearby Volcanoes National Park.

Our second to last pick for Africa is Buhoma Lodge, especially if you’re after a trip that includes close encounters with gorillas as the lodge lets you participate in numerous trips through the jungle to catch a glimpse at these endangered, beautiful animals.

Last, but by no means least, is Phinda Forest Lodge. Set deep in the heart of a rare and beautiful dry sand forest, the award-winning andBeyond Forest Lodge fuses architecture and conservation with 5-star luxury. Who said you can’t go to a densely forested area and not get luxurious and relaxing accommodation? Like we said, Africa isn’t just safaris and vast plains of land, its rich and diverse forestry can enthral people from all ages to be part of conservation and stay in vividly green locations.

Asian Jungle Lodges

Asia can be best described as “the land of many wonders” with such diverse and awe-inspiring locations and culturally, heritage-rich people. The wondrous, colourful cities and wonderfully different culinary delights have made this a destination for students in their ‘gap year’, wanting an escape from everything under the term “life”. That doesn’t mean to say that luxurious accommodation isn’t a priority here, as tourism has boomed in countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia, creating more opportunities for locals to generate income and a higher focus on sustainable development.

If there’s one thing that Asia isn’t lacking, its jungles and the handpicked lodges here are a testament to the country’s efforts to preserve the environment and create unique places to stay within such exotic surroundings. Eco-lodges and environmentally focused accommodation in Asia can be found throughout the continent giving tourists a valuable insight into relatively untouched jungles. From Borneo to Sri Lanka, our 4 lodges sit, nestled within dense forestry with “once in a lifetime” opportunities to get up close and personal with species of animals rarely seen.

Visit an ethical elephant community, which brings guests closer to the native intelligent inhabitants of this region. Anurak Community Lodge ensures that elephants that make up a large part of this excursion, are treated ethically, and do not condone riding elephants or any other activities which support animal cruelty. The impressively situated Borneo Lodge sits amidst towering foliage where long walkways between the trees gets you up close and in-person to 340 species of birds.

An ideal paradise for wildlife photographers or lovers of nature! Set upon a hill in the five hundred-acre division of the Enselwatte Tea Estate in Sri Lanka, you’ll find a curious array of small buildings with your only neighbours being other nature lovers and a cornucopia of animals.

Our final pick is Veranda Natural Resort in Kep National Park. With its strong sense of social responsibility for the community which neighbour the accommodation, the resort helps to supply clean water to those who live in Kep. The Resort funnels profits directly into programmes which improve the level of education for the children in the nearby community, hoping for a more fortunate future for both the individual and the community.

In addition, the resort provides comfortable luxury without compromising the surrounding natural resources, committing the protection of the environment through the management of waste, water and energy.

South American Jungle Lodges

South America is synonymous with the Amazon rainforest and efforts to incorporate places to stay here have increased, due to a higher demand for tourists to lay witness to a true natural wonder of the world. With an increasing number of visitors, this creates worries about mass tourism in such a natural area, however, the benefit it draws to the local economy and generating income to the community is crucial.

Asawi Iguazu, a fairly newly built property, situated in the Atlantic rainforest. View rare birds, orchids and ferns completely unique to the Atlantic Rainforest, see tapirs, Capuchin monkeys and puma, jungle trails encompassing endangered trees, visit Archaeological Jesuit ruins, meet local Guarani tribes who practice ancient artisan crafts and know more about the rainforest than any of your friends back home. Do all this with a personal guide or off the beaten track with your own 4WD vehicle.

Wildlife in South America is abundant, with Brazil alone having in excess of 100,000 invertebrate species, with the country’s jungle alone being over 24 times the size of the United Kingdom. Everyone’s requirements for a jungle stay are varied; some want comfort, cultural experiences or budget living, so being situated in the worlds most famous rainforest creates a different story for every individual.

Brazil covers the largest area of the Amazon and for us to round it down to Anavilhanas Lodge was challenging, but for those who want 5 star luxury, unique experiences in a remote location and modern comforts, this is the choice for you. Each lodge nestled within the Amazon may seem similar, but they’re tailor-made with differing species of indigenous wildlife and experiences. Expeditions lodges in Peru is nestled within a natural reserve where you bear witness to spider monkeys, white-lipped peccaries and even jaguar!

When you think of a rainforest, wildlife and dense forestry with varied weather conditions come to mind. One of the best ways to view all these attributes is to traverse a canopy walkway 940 feet in the air! Sacha Lodge brings to the forefront your senses, with crisp forestry air, and the smells and sounds of a true natural environment.

Central American Rainforest Lodges

Costa Rica, the crowned environmental champion of the Earth, features solely on our list due to its aforementioned title. Countries like Belize, Panama and Guatemala (to name a few) make up this beautiful continent but Costa Rica makes up one of our top destinations to travel to for 2022. The country is committed to the environment and its protection, while preserving the culture of a country that has benefited from one of the most diverse biological environments in the world.

The combination of luxury and sustainability make Lapa Rios an interesting and incredible property to visit in Costa Rica. The National Geographic Magazine describes The Osa Peninsula as “The most biologically intense place on earth”, making this a must for any visitor wanting photo opportunities and a unique stay! Venturing further north in Costa Rica, you’ll find Evergreen Lodge, with access only becoming available via a plane or a mix of land and fluvial transport. Its remote setting in Tortuguero National Park, next to the Penitencia River creates a feeling of complete emersion from society.

Thus, staying in such a widely known country to partake in forward-thinking and environmentally conscious practises, you’ll be responding to the message of “we need to act now”, by getting involved in initiatives during your stay. One such example of this is Maquenque Eco Lodge who actively try to maintain and conserve wildlife habitats that are in the surrounding area of the accommodation. Become immersed within the rainforest and experience what it’s truly like to live among the canopies in the lodge’s very own tree houses, greeted by Spider monkeys as they climb among the canopy and bats swooping through the trees.

Ever heard of Arenal Volcano? Well, you should have, as it’s one of Costa Rica’s renowned and famous towering marks on the landscape. With Amor Arenal being in eyeshot, this creates an immersive experience and something you won’t forget long after your adventure in Costa Rica! The benefit of being so close to the volcano is the climate it creates with cooler temperatures and constant breezes that will surely attract you to the outdoors.

“I could not believe there was such places in the world, where you can quite literally get away from the rest of the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and be amidst the beauty of nature.”

Ben Irvine
Ben Irvine

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