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Yellowstone: North American Safari


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2 years ago I went on a North American Safari to Yellowstone. It was gorgeous. Beautiful landscapes and a pretty large concentration of mammals. I saw lots: Wolves, Grizzly and Black Bears, Elk, Mule Deer, Moose, Otter, Beaver, Bald Eagle, Pronghorn Antelope (Second fastest land mammal, however sustains high speeds longer than a cheetah), Big Horn Sheep, Osprey, Ground Hogs and of course the great migration of the North American Bison. It was a one week trip all done by RV, but we also did a day of horseback riding and one day of a river safari down the Missouri River Headwaters. All of this was organized through a company called the Yellowstone Safari Co.

 

Personally, I found the landscapes to be breathtaking, and with the animals, it was the perfect short wildlife trip, especially for us Americans. The safari outfitter was "meh", enthusiastic at times but not as engaging about the animals, they were much more interested in explaining to me the history of the park for example: The Lewis & Clark Adventure. Now, that also being said, I really feel that Americans are some of the worst wildlife tourists out there. I saw a couple of times people getting out of their cars to get close to take pictures of the wild animals which either spooked the Bison/Elk or provoked the animal to charge. I also encountered a few morons revving their motors of their motorcycles up just to flex their muscles to to say and that would also scare away some wildlife off. The tourism etiquette was not as bad as in India, I find that Indian wildlife tourists can be loud and also litter buggy, but it was up there. The park was in general really clean and super protected. I just wish someone would give a course to the tourists about respecting the animals space and being quit while observing. Below you will find some of my highlights of my trip:

 

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The Pronghorn Antelope

 

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Old Faithful Geyser

 

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Great stuff. I love Yellowstone and Teton. September is a great time to visit, when the crowds are down a little and the elk are bugling.

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Beautiful shots, thanks for sharing. I went with my family and another family, friends of ours, a few years ago and had a great time. We visited Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons and it was a road trip as we live close enough to drive over 2 days. Quite the adventure. We did more of a general overview of everything rather than focus on wildlife only, but I'd like to return and this time focus more on the wildlife. I was thinking of hiring some kind of guide for at least a few days to help us try to find the wildlife as much as possible. You say you weren't too happy with yours - may I ask who it was so perhaps I might avoid that one? Thanks.

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Tremendous! Wonderful variety. How long did you spend?

 

Natural Habitat! I've gone with them. Great trips. I don't know if they offer day trips in Yellowstone, though. Finding a competent guide in Yellowstone at a reasonable price is tough. I've discussed it with several people lately. The costs they were quoted were something like $700 for a guided day trip. Years ago I used a company that merged with the Teton Science School (I think that's the name.)

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Thanks Atravelynn! I was in Yellowstone for 7 days. Personally, it was 2 days too long in my opinion. I would have rather of spent a few extra days tracking mountain lion up Glacier National Park. I hear that outfitters are starting to do no "No Hound" tracking for wildlife photography enthusiasts.

 

I actually have heard some great things about the week trips that they offer. When I was in Wyoming I met a family who was on my particular safari (Yellowstone Safari Co.) and said that they had gone with Natural Habitats 2 years prior and that it way surpassed in terms of enthusiasm and tracking skills. And the interaction that I had with NH's team in India (Kaziranga & India) really made them stand out in my mind. They were sooooooooooo into animals!

 

Natural Habitats will most probably handle my South American Safari, thanks to you ;)

 

Safaris have been my obsession since I went on my first one (Tanzania) about 4 years ago. Since then, it's been an ongoing chase. Growing up though I lived literally IN John PennyKamp State Park in Key Largo FL, that's where I think my love for nature really began.

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Safarichick, I will be headed to Yellowstone in Dec, specifically for wolves and snow covered shaggy bison. Using a company called the Wild Side, owned by Dr. Nathan Varley, a wolf expert, to guide us. It is not cheap, but not terribly expensive either when you think about Africa vehicle and private guide fees. Will let you know how it goes, but I did quite a bit of research and am looking forward to good sightings as long as luck holds out. Staying inside the park at Mammoth Hot Springs for a week over Christmas.

 

If I recall correctly, price is a little less than $500 per day of guided day trips. They provide high quality scopes, proper vehicle and upto 8 hours of their time at that price.

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Thanks Danny and Sangeeta. I'm glad you are trying the Wild Side, Sangeeta, as I had done a little research and thought I'd like to use them as well, so I'll look forward to your report! They sound great and they have a variety of options, even just a day-long trip that seems pretty reasonable to me if you have a group of 4 people as they'll do a day for $480 flat rate for a group of 1-4 people, up to 8 hours.

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Lovely! I've not seen any of those awesonme animals in the wild. The only wildlife I've seen in the US is, Deer and the odd Coyote in the North East.

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you should come to my backyard - there are tons of "wild" squirrels! ;)

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I loved Yellowstone too. We just self drove it, and saw loads no need to pay for a guided trip unless you go in winter. :)

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