The Indian Ocean is often glossed over when thinking of wildlife destinations, even though it is home to a host of creatures on both land and in the water.  Whether you’re an avid diver, snorkeller or love the thrill of racing across the plains in search of wildlife, the Indian Ocean can provide.

For athose with a love of water, the Maldives are an especially glorious destination. With each island usually ringed by a reef, it takes mere steps into the water to see the wealth of aquatic treasures flitting beneath the surface. Many of the resorts will have a marine biologist and marine centre where you can learn about what you’ll be seeing on your excursions and some even have on island sanctuaries caring for injured wildlife.

Two of the Maldives’ most magnificent wildlife experiences are swimming with manta rays, and with whale sharks. Both bucket-list favourites, these experiences are simply magical. Both the Seychelles and Mauritius are also home to beautiful crystal clear waters and are ideal destinations for snorkellers and divers alike, whilst the Seychelles are also home to giant tortoises and the coconut crab, the world's largest terrestrial invertebrate.

Sri Lanka also has some beautiful areas for snorkelling and diving – especially along the South West coast – however, it is better known for its national parks and plethora of land based wildlife. Yala National Park in the South is the most visited park in Sri Lanka. It owes this to the array of ecosystems, two pilgrim sites and the leopards, elephants and Sambar deer found within its boundaries.  Udawalawe National Park – also located in the south – is famed for its large herds of elephants, so is a must for any elephant fans!

Other top wildlife destinations