As if part I wasn’t inspiring enough, we now bring you part II of the world’s best wildlife holidays…
Rwanda Mountain & Gorilla Trek
This spectacular ten-day trek is a brand new offering from Discover Adventure and takes place in Volcanoes National Park in the Virunga Mountains, a chain of jungle-covered volcanoes towering over 4000m. It is well-known as the base of anthropologist Dian Fossey, of Gorillas in the Mist fame, and an acclimatisation trek to her grave provides wonderful inspiration before the itinerary tackles the volcanoes. Trek through tropical flora and misty jungle to summit three volcanoes, returning after each to the central base lodge. The culmination of the trip is an opportunity to track and observe the incredible, critically-endangered mountain gorillas in their remote habitat.
Priced from £2,199 pp (two sharing), and departing 10 February or 20 October 2017, the trip includes all accommodation as well as all flights, transfers, camping equipment (other than sleeping bag and mat), all meals except two, National Park entry fees and all other sites visited as part of the itinerary. Experienced Discover Adventure leaders and doctor (depending on final group size) are also included, along with a local support crew of porters, guides, cooks and drivers.
For further information, visit www.discoveradventure.com or call 01722 718444
Swim with Sperm Whales in Dominica
Have you ever dreamed of swimming with whales in the big blue? Well today could be your lucky day. Experience a once in a lifetime encounter with sperm whales in Dominica this February.This intimate and exclusive safari offers the ideal opportunity to swim with sperm whales around the idyllic island of Dominica. With expert knowledge from BBC photographer Patrick Dykstra guiding a maximum of four people, guests will travel around the warm waters and experience these beautiful creatures at optimum times. Once arriving in Dominica, guests have the opportunity to photograph the magnificent sperm whales as they traverse the water. In-between comprehending the magnificent sights, and capturing the beauty on camera, the prospect of swimming alongside these gentle giants builds an unforgettable experience. In the spare time available, guests are able to experience the local culinary delights, or take a trip to the remarkable hot springs.
Natural World Safaris offers a seven day wildlife safari in Dominica between February 8th – 29th February 2017, from £5,175 per person sharing and excluding international flights
For more information, please visit www.naturalworldsafaris.com/holidays/north-america/swimming-with-sperm-whales-in-dominica
Become a Ranger for a day in the Seychelles
The Seychelles is known the world over as being one of the most beautiful places on earth, so when you team that with a wildlife experience what could be better? Raffles Praslin in the Seychelles has recently introduced a ‘Ranger for a Day’ programme partnering with Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA) to offer guests an exclusive environmental experience. The takes place on the neighbouring island of Curieuse, notable for its bare red earth and Coco de Mer palms. This experience allows guests to discover the nature reserve which is home to some fascinating wildlife and explore areas that are normally off limits to visitors, giving them a rare and unique insight into the local environment. The day starts at 7:30am with an induction to the programme with the SNPA before embarking on the conservation journey. Activities can include turtle monitoring, juvenile lemon shark tagging, or bird nest monitoring, followed by interaction with the giant tortoises, the most popular inhabitants of the island. The programme includes a traditional Seychellois lunch with the rangers at their cabin before transplantation activity at the tree nursery. Participants will also visit the Marine Rangers’ Village where activities on offer include coral reef protection, snorkelling tours to inspect the coral farm and transplantation site.
For more information about the programme as well as the hotel please visit www.raffles.com/praslin/
Polar Bears of Churchill
Churchill, on the coastline of Hudson Bay, otherwise known as ‘The Polar Bear Capital of the World’ is the best place to see this endangered species due to the areas proximity to the polar bears’ hunting ground. Embark on a seven-day itinerary with two-nights in Winnipeg, the gateway to Churchill and three-nights in the Arctic Wilderness. Bear watchers will head out in the warmth and comfort of a Tundra Buggy, enabling encounters at a safe distance of mothers and their cubs and large male bears in their natural habitat. As well as bears, visitors can also catch a glimpse of caribou, arctic fox, red fox, artic hare, lemming, snowy owl and other arctic birds. There is a vast array of exciting activities on offer including dog sledding, Northern Lights spotting and a one-hour helicopter flight to see a birds-eye view of this stunning remote area of the world.
Wexas Travel offers a seven-day Polar Bears of Churchill itinerary from £4,615 per person based on two sharing on an all-inclusive basis. This includes international flights to Winnipeg, domestic flights to Churchill, two nights’ accommodation in Winnipeg, three nights’ accommodation in Churchill, two days bear watching, dog sledding and northern lights viewing. Valid for travel on select dates from September – November 2016. For more information please visit wexas.com
Wildlife in the Badlands
Explore the beautiful Badlands and picture-perfect National Parks of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming and see bison, elk, bears, wolves, moose, pronghorn, mountain goats and maybe more species in their natural habitat. You may even be lucky enough to experience a bison jam – so much better than the M25! In Yellowstone National Park, the single best place to see wildlife is the Lamar Valley, while in Grand Teton National Park, try and spot moose near the Snake River. Discover four Wild West states on a spectacular two week road trip that includes stops at Badlands, Theodore Roosevelt, Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks; Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Devils Tower and Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monuments together with Spearfish Canyon, Custer State Park, Deadwood & Mount Moriah Cemetery in South Dakota and Montana’s Going-To-The-Sun-Road.
Bon Voyage has a 14-night Beautiful Badlands & Picture-Perfect National Parks fly-drive of the Real America from £2,455 per person based on two adults travelling. The price includes flights from London Heathrow to Rapid City (South Dakota), returning from Jackson Hole (Wyoming), mid-size SUV car hire for the duration and 14 nights’ accommodation in sought after national park locations. Bon Voyage customers will also receive a personalised road book containing their day-to-day driving itinerary, travel tips and area information. For more information please visit bon-voyage.co.uk
Romance in India & Jungle Safari
India is place full of colour, spice, romance and wild beauty. Here at H&L we think that it’s important to experience all the elements that make India beautiful so we have found a fantastic 13-day tour. This tour of India combines the rich cultural history of Delhi and Agra with an array of wildlife in India’s jungles. You will begin the journey in Delhi, taking in the vibrant highlights of the city including a rickshaw ride through the renowned Chandhi Chowk. You will also have the opportunity to embark on an interpretive tour of the Jama Masjid and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Humayun’s Tomb. From there, you will visit three of India’s most prized wildlife parks in search of tigers. Kanha National Park was one of the first areas to be protected under Project Tiger and boasts the ideal habitat for them. Here you will stay at Banjaar Tola Tented Camp in a luxurious tented suite along the riverbank. Next stop is Bandhavgarh National Park, renowned for being one of India’s highest concentrations of tiger, it is an essential stop on any serious tiger safari. If you are in search of an authentic jungle experience then you will not be disappointed staying at Mathua Kothi Jungle Lodge, where you can explore the vast grounds on bicycle. Enjoying twice daily game drives, you will have the chance to encounter not only the King of the jungle but an array of other exotic wildlife too. From there you will head to the pristine Panna National Park, staying at Pashan Garh Wilderness Lodge, in search of five other species of cat including leopard, jungle cat, leopard cat, rusty spotted cat and caracal. The adventure will come to an end with a train ride to Agra, famous for handicrafts products such as inlay work on marble, carpets, jewellery, zari and embroidery work. The trip would not be complete without a visit to the iconic Taj Mahal.
The 13-day Romantic India & Jungle Safari runs from 16 October 2016 – 15 April 2017 and costs from £7,172 per person based on two sharing. This includes 12-nights’ accommodation, meals, as per the itinerary, transfers, sightseeing excursions and overland trips in air-conditioned vehicles, reduced fares in economy class on all internal flights, entrance fees and English-speaking guides. For further information or to book contact your preferred Africa travel specialist or visit www.andBeyond.com
Swim with Whale Sharks and Manta Rays Year-Round at Mirihi Island
Although this wildlife encounter may only be for the brave hearted, if you do decide to take the plunge you will experience a day unlike any before with a whale-shark safari off South Ari Atoll in the Maldives with Mirihi Island. Mirihi Island is one of the few places in the world that offers guests the chance to spot whale sharks year-round. Guided by a team of local experts who know the waters as well as they know the land, you will be taken for a day sailing aboard a beautiful 55ft pine-wood yacht trying to find these mysterious creatures of the deep. We must stress, whale sharks, though daunting in terms of size, are harmless to humans, feeding mainly on plankton. If lucky enough to spot the Maldives’ largest sea inhabitant, you are encouraged to jump into the water and snorkel alongside these gentle giants; a breath-taking and humbling experience. The Whale Sharks often swim so close to the snorkellers that, were it not to scare them away, one could reach out and touch them.
Whale Shark safaris at Mirihi Island take place from 09.30 until 15.00. Prices start from $125 including lunch and soft drinks based on ten guests sharing the excursion. Prices per person are subject to 10% service charge and 12% GST.
Nightly rates start from $600 per villa, on a B&B basis, based on two people sharing. Prices are subject to 10% service charge and 12% GST. For more information or to make a reservation visit www.mirihi.com or call +960 668 0500 or email email@example.com
Tasmania is teeming with wildlife from Tasmanian Devils, quolls, platypus, wombats, bandicoots, echidna, pademelons and white wallabies to albatross, sea eagles and fairy penguins (they have 12 endemic birds). Here at H&L we think that booking through Tasmanian Odyssey is a must- the knowledge is second to none and they can arrange private guides or self-guided self-drive holidays, wildlife walking holidays, wildlife photography holidays or a combination of all of the above. All trips are tailor made to meet your specific wildlife requirements.
For more information please visit www.tasmanianodyssey.com/what-to-see-and-do/wildlife-tours.aspx
Zambia – Liuwa Plains and Kasanka with Robin Pope
According to Wildlife Worldwide’s MD Chris Breen, Robin Pope is Africa’s greatest guide and has more knowledge of the Liuwa Plains than anyone else in the world. Having knowledgeable guides is the key to having a successful safari experience. Join Robin, founder of Robin Pope Safaris, for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Zambia to witness two of the natural world’s greatest migrations. First, on the remote Liuwa Plains, marvel at the arrival of thousands of blue wildebeest and zebra, while staying in the luxurious surrounds of the new Mambeti Camp (opening early 2017). Then travel to Kasanka National Park for the gathering of 10 million fruit bats, a spectacle that creates the highest density of mammals on the planet. Aside from the spectacular migrations, guests will also see a variety of birdlife including the rare Pel’s fishing owl, wattled crane and Ross’s turaco.
Prices start from £9,295pp sharing, including 9 nights’ accommodation, most meals, international and domestic flights, transfers, and the services of Robin Pope with Wildlife Worldwide (For more information please visit wildlifeworldwide.com. Departs 2 November 2017.
Aria Amazon, Peru
The architecturally-designed, custom-built Aria Amazon brought the very first luxury cruise to the Amazon River in Peru in 2008, offering travellers nature-based adventures combined with the comfort and sophistication of 5-star, boutique hotel accommodation and gourmet cuisine. The Peruvian side of the Amazon River is the lesser known; the isolation and stunning scenery, combined with the luxurious set-up of the boats, make this the ultimate Amazon adventure. Under the expert guidance of local guides, you will undertake daily excursions on the vessel’s skiffs or on a guided jungle trek to spot the bountiful wildlife, flora and fauna of the Amazon, venturing deep into the rainforest to immerse yourself among an extraordinary array of mammals and birds. The Amazon adventures explore within the five million pristine acres of Pacaya Samiria Reserve, a protected wildlife area teeming with lifelong mating pairs of blue-and-yellow macaw, flocks of snowy egrets, laughing falcons and Amazon kingfishers in the air, squirrel monkeys frolicking in the trees and pink dolphins poking their dorsal fins above the river water while colossal Victoria Regia water lilies float along the surface. Canoe amidst this natural paradise, fish for Piranha at the Charo and Carocurahuayte Lakes, explore the Yacapana Islands, and visit the Manatee Rescue Centre – every morning you will wake to a new view of the Amazon from your cabin’s floor to ceiling windows; no two days on the river are the same…
For more information please visit www.aquaexpeditions.com