Are you looking for ethical wildlife experiences in Myanmar? Well, we have great news! We are very proud of the amazing wildlife of Myanmar, however, we strongly believe that any visit to wildlife in Myanmar should be responsible and ethical. Luckily, there are many amazing ethical wildlife experiences in Myanmar.

Why is Ethical Wildlife Travel in Myanmar Important?

While there are many tour operators in Myanmar that run tours to see our amazing wildlife, they are not all ethical and sustainable. Unfortunately, this can mean that the animals – as well as their habitat – are damaged by the impact of tourism.

Often, people are drawn to visit and experience wildlife because of their love for animals – however not all animal experiences are good for the animals. Some, such as watching animal performances, may inadvertently support cruel practices.

At Pro Niti Travel, we love animals and we want to make sure that our guests – and future generations – can see animals in their natural habitat. Therefore we are proud to support visiting Myanmar’s wildlife in an ethical and sustainable way.

Where can you visit Myanmar’s Wildlife Ethically and Sustainably?

Fortunately, there are several areas to take in ethical wildlife experiences in Myanmar. Myanmar has a number of amazing animals, and we truly believe that the best place to see them is in the wild. Here are some of the best places to see Myanmar’s intriguing animals in their natural habitat.

Mainmahla Island

Mainmahla Island is one of the most unique and incredible places to have marvelous wildlife experiences in Myanmar. It is located in the southern Ayeyarwaddy Delta, and is surrounded by mangroves and forests. This unique environment nurtures many different fascinating animals. These include:

Ayeyarwaddy Dolphins

Lovable Ayeyarwaddy (or Irrawaddy) Dolphins are one of the rarest species in Myanmar as well as in the world. They are unique due to their flat faces and shy personalities. They are sometimes called the smiling dolphin – one look at their adorable faces will show you why!

Sadly, Ayeyarwaddy Dolphins are critically endangered so it is extremely important to only support responsible tourism to spot the dolphins. On Mainmahla Island, you may get a chance to spot them in their natural habitat, which is a real treat.

Crocodiles

Historically, there have been four different species of crocodiles in Myanmar – but today only one remains, and it becomes endangered. Therefore, every sight of the famous saltwater crocodiles of Myanmar is a reminder of how important it is that we conserve our amazing wildlife.

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Crocodiles in their natural habitat at Mainmahla Island

The best place to see the crocodiles of Myanmar is within the Meinmahla Kyun (Island) Wildlife Sanctuary. In particular, this is the only place where you can see crocodiles breeding – so it is certainly a unique experience! Don’t worry, our guides know how to keep a safe distance from the crocodiles, for their safety, and yours!

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A heap of baby crocodiles in Mainmahla Island hatching out of the eggs

Turtles

Who doesn’t love cute and curious turtles? It’s always a thrill to spot these amazing creatures, and especially to get the opportunity to see them being born and making their journey to the sea. If you love turtles, you’ll love Myanmar – did you know that there are more than 25 species of turtles and tortoises found around Myanmar? In fact, we have five out of seven of the world’s species of sea turtles.

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A sea turtle wandering in the water (image source: Stencil)

One of the best places to see them is on a small island near Mainmahla Island. It’s a bit of a boat ride to the island, but you’ll be richly rewarded by the chance to see some of the world’s largest turtles, and their hatchlings.

Mergui Archipelago

One of the most astonishing things about Myanmar is the opportunity to see many untouched and pristine environments. These wonderful places also nurture some of the most unique animals on earth. One of these places in the Mergui Archipelago, a true pristine paradise that will take your breath away, Wa Ale Island, in particular, is absolutely stunning – and a place we’re proud to visit.

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Wa Ale Island, Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar

Monkeys and Gibbons

It’s hard not to fall in love with the many different species of monkeys and gibbons that can be found around the Mergui Archipelago. There’s an amazing variety of species, all with their own unique features and facts.

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A small troop of monkeys spotted in nature

Some of these include leaf monkeys, a gorgeous small monkey that’s sure to captivate your imagination. One particularly interesting species is the Dusky Langur, also known as the Spectacled Leaf Monkey due to the rings that frame their eyes, just like glasses.

Sunda Pangolins

If you’re a bit of a nature encyclopedia then you might know about the unique pangolin, however many visitors to Myanmar have never heard of them. Fittingly, this unique reptile is also known as the scaled anteater. As the name suggests, they love snacking on ants and other insects around the Mergui Archipelago.

Sadly, Sunda Pangolins are critically endangered, however, there are much conservation works currently ongoing around the Mergui Archipelago. As most of this area is pristine and undisturbed, they have a continuing chance to thrive peacefully. It’s a wondrous place to ethically visit the animals of Myanmar.

Lesser Mouse Deer

While we’re on the topic of unusual animals – what else would get much more unique than the Lesser Mouse Deer, the world’s smallest hoofed animal? Weighing only about 2 kg and standing at less than 50 cm tall, it really is the kind of teeny-tiny animal. However, good things often come in small packages – and that’s certainly the truth here.

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The Lesser Mouse Deer (image source: Wikipedia)

The Lesser Mouse Deer is one of only a few animals that are endemic to the Mergui Archipelago. They can be found elsewhere in Southeast Asia, however, they are at risk of extinction in many places due to hunting and habitat destruction. Luckily, the pristine wilderness of islands such as Lampi in the Mergui Archipelago is a wonderful habitat for them.

Oriental Small-clawed Otters

Yet another small animal with a big personality is the Oriental Small-Clawed Otter, which can be found throughout the Mergui Archipelago. Unlike some of the other Myanmar animals on this list, the otter mainly prefers to stay on-land, although they can also be found frolicking in the sea as well.

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An Oriental Small-Clawed Otter (image source: Stencil)

Although at first glance they look like regular otters, if you look closely you may notice that their paws are not webbed like other otters. In other ways, however, they are similar – such as living out their days in monogamous pairs. If you’d like the chance to meet these critters in their natural habitat, then the Mergui Archipelago is a wonderful place to go.

Monitor Lizards

One of the most unique reptiles that can be discovered around the Mergui Archipelago is the Large Monitor Lizard. Monitor lizards inhabit throughout Asia, however they have thrived around the Mergui Archipelago due to the beautiful environment.

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The Asian Monitor Lizard (image source: Stencil)

Taking a trip around the islands and waters of the archipelago is one of the best ways to see Monitor Lizards. So, if you’d like to see these incredible reptiles up close, you’ll love visiting the beautiful Mergui Archipelago.

Plain-pouched Hornbills

Birds don’t come much more unique and extraordinary than the Plain-pouched Hornbill. This threatened species can be found throughout the Mergui Archipelago, and is always a thrill to spot in the wild. It’s impossible to miss this fabulous bird – just look for the large, ‘pouched’ bill that gives it its name.

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A Plain-Pouched Hornbill (image source: Stencil)

They are found in a few places around Myanmar. Yet, one of the best places to see them is throughout the Mergui Archipelago. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as they are incredibly photogenic!

The Crested Partridges

Yet another beautiful and colorful bird is the Crested Partridge. As its name suggests, this bird is most famous for its gorgeous, brightly-colored plumage (feathers on top of its head). It’s not the biggest bird in the Mergui Archipelago, but it’s one of the most unique.

For those who have seen this plump bird, it may come as no surprise that it usually prefers to run (or walk) rather than fly. So, if you’re hoping to spot one of these amazing birds around the Mergui Archipelago, you’d best keep your eyes toward the ground!

Where else can you do on an Ethical Visit to Wildlife Experiences in Myanmar?

These are just some of the amazing animals and places you can visit in Myanmar. There are even more! We’d love to talk to you about other options for visiting wildlife in Myanmar, and perhaps combining it with a visit to other cultural sites as well. Why not contact us so we can discuss your ideas?

How can you make sure your visit to Myanmar’s Wildlife is Ethical and Sustainable?

Many tour companies and packages advertise themselves as ‘ethical’. However it is important to look a lot closer to make sure they are genuine.

The most important thing is to always do your research about any company you are considering  wildlife with. At Pro Niti Tours, we are proud to have supported ethical and sustainable travel from the very beginning. We are open and transparent about our commitment, and you can also read our TripAdvisor reviews to verify our approach!

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It is ultimately and responsibly the best to see and care animals we love in their natural habitat and traits in the wild.

Some other tips for being a responsible tourist when visiting wildlife in Myanmar:

  • Give animals their space! We know it is tempting to get close for that perfect picture and some of the animals look very cuddly. However, they are wild animals and should always be treated that way. Allow them to go about their business so that they can continue thriving in the wild.
  • Support businesses that support animals – one of the best ways to encourage ethical treatment of animals is to support businesses that do the right thing. This is not just tour operators, but also hotels, restaurants and other businesses that act responsibly. By supporting these organizations, hopefully, we can all work together to protect the amazing wildlife of Myanmar.