Cat lovers know that life is better with cats. By extension, travel is better with cats too. Here are five places around the world every cat person needs to tick off their bucket list.
Found high in the mountains of Central and South Asia, these big cats are about as hard to find as a car park when you’re running late. So difficult are they to find, people pay thousands of dollars for a quick glimpse of the camouflaged cat and often go home from expeditions with not a single sighting.
Unfortunately, snow leopards are sitting at the wrong end of the endangered list with estimated numbers tapering down to around 4000 cats in the wild - now is the time to make the trip. If you do find yourself on the tail of the snow leopard, now is the time to whip out that telephoto lens and tripod. Your shaky smart phone might not be up to scratch.
Pop over to the land of whitewashed houses, olive oil and the Olympics and you might find yourself in the constant presence of our feline friends. Perched on walls, sitting at your feet during dinner or swarming at the docks for a tasty fish scrap, cats have become so present in Greece they have become an attraction.
Tourist shops sell bags, calendars and postcards featuring ‘The cats of Greece’ ensuring all cat-lovers will go home with a souvenir. Besides choosing which beautiful beach to spend the day, your only other hard decision during your holiday in Greece will be which cat picture you should post on Instagram.
Any true cat lover will want to tick a wild lion sighting off their bucket list and Tanzania, with the world’s largest lion population, is the place to go. Reenact your best lion king impressions (maybe not the Mufasa/Scar scene), be in awe of the king of the jungle, and try your best not to become a lion’s next snack. Fly into Arusha or Dar Es Salaam and use these cities as a launch point to go on Safari. The Serengeti awaits!
In a nation where you can’t go two minutes without seeing Hello Kitty, you’re bound to find some cats. And Houtong village in Taiwan doesn’t disappoint.
Cat lovers will find a friend in a lady named Peggy Chien. Peggy helped raise her small Taiwanese village to international fame by posting pictures of the town’s effort to look after their stray cat population. The town, an abandoned mining village, have embraced the ‘Cat village' label. You can find Kitty souvenirs, cat-friendly restaurants and photo opportunities galore. If you're dragging along a not-so-keen partner or dare we say it, dog person, the gentle sloping hills of the surrounding countryside are an attraction in themselves.
Imagine a small island where cats outnumber humans six to one. Step off the boat at Aoshima in Japan, and you will soon realise what this means. Visitors are greeted by a stampede of hungry cats as soon as their feet hit the dock. Accidentally take a snack in your pocket or bag and experience what it would be like to be mauled by the cuddly kitties you have gone there to see. Wanting to visit? There are only two ferries a day, and the island has no restaurants or hotels. Cats are all you need, right?