March 3 marks World Wildlife Day, and to celebrate the occasion, adventure travel specialist Explore has put together the ultimate wildlife spotting calendar. See Bengal tigers in the wild in Satpura National Park, set out into the Belarusian wilderness in search of wolves, or spot playful bear cubs on a long weekend in Finland.
Your year of top wildlife encounters starts right here.
JANUARY – Colourful Marine iguanas and giant tortoises in the Galapagos Islands
Discover the wildlife-rich Galapagos Islands, spending seven nights on the ‘The Montserrat’ cruising through the archipelago’s western, central and eastern islands. Look out for playful sea lions, visit the tortoise breeding centre and witness the incredible marine iguanas turning bright green, red and black as they prepare to nest. The only thing missing is David Attenborough’s narration…
The Galapagos Highlights trip aboard the Monserrat is a 10 day adventure starting from £3,685 per person on a sharing basis. This price includes return flights, seven nights’ boat accommodation, two nights’ hotel accommodation, most meals and naturalists.
FEBRUARY – Bengal Tigers in India
Search for the majestic Bengal tiger in four different national parks on Explore’s Indian Wildlife Adventure. As well as looking for the illusive tigers in Satpura National Park we venture out by canoe, four-wheel drive and on foot in search of sloth bears, leopards and crocodiles. Chital deer, Sambar deer and Neelgai are often spotted in Kanha Tiger Reserve whereas Pench National Park is the delightful inspiration for Kipling’s Jungle Book. We also visit Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve which takes us off the beaten path to a rarely visited park. This is a perfect trip for anyone wanting to see Indian Wildlife.
Travelling for 13 days, this trip starts from £2,695 per person on a twin share basis and includes return flights, 10 nights’ hotel accommodation and two nights’ tented camp accommodation, most meals, an Explore tour leader and guides.
MARCH – Leopards in Sri Lanka
Buddha’s Island is a comprehensive tour of the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ covering Sri Lanka’s many highlights at a relaxed pace. We visit Wilpattu National park, located in Sri Lanka’s dry zone; renowned for spotting leopard, elephant and samba deer. This park is much less crowded than Yala National park and offers a much more responsible and enjoyable viewing experience. This trip also features visits to cave temples, the famous Adam’s Peak, Lion’s Rock and Unawatuna’s beautiful beaches.
This 15 day trip starts from £2,099 per person on a twin share basis and includes return flights, all accommodation, some meals, an Explore tour leader and a local guide.
APRIL – Wolves in Belarus
With the new procedure now firmly in place you can visit Belarus for fewer than 5 days completely visa free* and we think this is the perfect amount of time to take part in Explore’s Wolf Watching trip. Adventure into the wild by both vehicle and on foot to witness wolves, bison, beavers, elk and eagle in their natural habitat. This trip gives you a true wilderness experience as you also get to spend 2 nights in a simple eco station perched in a remote forest location where you will learn the secrets of the Belarusian wildlife from a local guide.
Wolf Watching in Belarus starts from £895 per person on a twin share basis including flights, all accommodation, some meals, an Explore tour leader and local guide.
MAY – Orangutans, Proboscis Monkeys and Pygmy Elephants in Borneo
Enter the jungle and explore some of the oldest rainforest in the world on a Explore’s Kalimantan Adventure. This trip takes you to the vast jungles of Tanjung Puting – a haven for Orang-utans, proboscis monkeys and an array of birdlife. As an extra Explore twist, as well as bamboo rafting, a speedboat through the mangroves and swimming in waterfalls, you can also visit a lake full of stingless jellyfish where – if you are brave enough – you can even swim.
This 16 day trip starts from £2,855 per person on a twin share basis and includes flights, two nights’ boat accommodation, five nights’ guest house accommodation and eight nights’ in a hotel as well as some meals, an Explore tour leader and local guide.
JUNE – Bear cubs in Finland
Catch a glimpse of curious baby bears and potentially even a wolverine with Explore’s Brown Bear Weekend trip. June is a great time to visit as the cubs have started to come out and explore their surroundings. The month of June also brings more daylight to give you the best possible chance of viewing wildlife and also means the landscape will be abundant with lush vegetation and blossoming plants. Travelling deep into the forest to specially prepared observation hides, we aim to observe this amazing animal in its natural habitat during this exciting short break.
This four-day short break starts from £799 per person on a twin share basis. This price includes return flights, a night in a simple hut, two nights in a simple lodge, most meals an activity guide and an Explore tour leader.
JULY – Komodo Dragons in Indonesia
Experience the best of Indonesia as we showcase the islands of Flores, Komodo, Bali and Lombok on this family adventure of a lifetime. Board a boat for three days on the waters off the Komodo archipelago to search for the famous Komodo dragon, the world’s largest species of lizard, brought to a global audience by Sir David Attenborough. End with time to relax on the golden sand beaches of Lombok.
The Family Indonesian Highlights trip is a two week adventure that starts from £2,325 per adult and from £1,835 per child and includes return flights, two nights’ simple boat stay, one night homestay and ten nights’ hotel accommodation. Also included are some meals and an Explore tour leader.
AUGUST – Sloths, turtles and the colourful Quetzal in Costa Rica
Journey through the rainforests of Costa Rica in search of the countries unique wildlife on the Costa Rica Canopy and Coast trip from Explore. Search for sloths, toucans and hummingbirds as well as one of the world’s most beautiful birds – the Quetzal.
For an alternative visit to Costa Rica, join Mike East in Jaco.
Cruise the jungle waterways, experience the remarkable cloud forest reserve and – between June and September – witness over 5000 green, leatherback and loggerhead turtles come ashore to nest on Tortuguero’s beaches.
Explore’s Costa Rica Canopy and Coast trip starts from £ 2,245 per person on a twin share basis. This price includes return flights, 12 nights’ hotel accommodation, two nights’ lodge accommodation, some meals, an Explore tour leader and a local guide.
SEPTEMBER – Puffins and Whales in Canada
Wander to the edge of the wilderness and explore Newfoundland – an island celebrated for its panoramic coastal scenery, glistening icebergs and prolific birdlife. Explore’s Walking in Newfoundland trip takes you along the East Coast Trail on foot – known as ‘The Rock’ by the locals.
For more nature experiences in Canada, visit Ontario celebrating 125 years of provincial parks.
Hop in a zodiac and glide across the waves in search of icebergs and whales and lace up your walking boots before hiking on the Klondike Trail where you can capture a shot of the picture perfect Puffins. Pack your bag and head to Canada’s best kept secret.
Discover Explore’s 6 day Walking in Newfoundland trip from £2,095 per person on a twin share basis. This price includes return flights, all accommodation, some meals and an Explore tour leader.
OCTOBER – Lemurs in Madagascar
Witness Lemurs leaping through the trees on a cycling adventure in Madagascar. Explore highland plains, verdant rainforest and tea plantations as well as discovering reptiles, colourful birds and a mix of incredible plant life. After visiting the Malagasy capital of ‘Tana’ we venture to the edge of the country and enjoy the enticing waters of the Indian Ocean. Cycling is a great way to travel Madagascar as you can venture down quiet roads as well as explore on foot to bring you closer to the sights, sounds and smells of this unique country.
This 16 day trip starts from £3,070 per person on a twin share basis and includes return flights, 13 nights’ standard hotel, some meals, bicycle hire and an Explore tour leader.
NOVEMBER – Gorillas and chimps in Uganda
Make like Dian Fossey but instead of heading to Rwanda explore the nearby Ugandan Rainforest with a population of over 1,000 chimps and 13 varieties of other primates including Red-Tailed monkey, Colobus monkey and many others. Spend two days in Kibale Forest – the best place in Africa to spot chimpanzees and take a day walk in the majestic Rwenzori Mountains – also known as ‘Mountains of the Moon’ – and visit local villages around the area. You also have the chance to join a cruise in the Kazinga channel, a real highlight and a chance to observe hippo, crocodile, buffalo and herds of elephants at close range before taking game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park where we hope to spot the famous tree climbing lions. We then travel deep into the rainforest near Bwindi, where we experience the ultimate wildlife encounter -we get up close and personal with the endangered mountain gorilla in its natural habitat. Lastly, take a swim or a boat ride in Lake Bunyonyi, surrounded by verdant rolling hills and a walking safari around Lake Mburo.
The Gorilla and Chimp safari trip starts from £3,799 per person on a twin share basis; this price includes return flights, all accommodation, most meals an Explore tour leader and ranger.
DECEMBER – Penguins and seals
Explore the incredible Southern Ocean, learning about the fascinating history and wildlife of the Falklands before heading east on this thrilling expedition trip. Visit South Georgia; characterised by snow-capped mountain landscapes, deep fjords, tousled tussock grasses and wild beaches. Here lives the most important colony of king penguins, fur seals and elephant seals in the world and it is estimated that over 10 million sea birds visit South Georgia each year. The islands are steeped in the history of Antarctic exploration and here we find the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton. Continue south and on to Antarctica via the British research station of Port Lockroy and the sunken caldera of Deception Island before stepping foot on the Great White Continent. Enjoy time observing rookeries of Chinstrap, Gentoo and Adelie penguins as well as the breath taking scenery of this vast wilderness.
The Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica trip is a 21 day expedition and starts from £8,999 per person on a quad-share basis.
* UK passport holders – nationalities please check relevant government website.
For more information, or to book visit explore.co.uk or call 01252 884 723.
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