Excited about the release of David Attenborough’s new Netflix series, Our Planet, on 5 April? Make like the man himself on your own wildlife adventure with these holiday ideas from our friends at Travel PR.
Conservation in action on Scotland’s West Coast – from £735 pp with McKinlay Kidd
McKinlay Kidd has partnered with the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust to raise awareness of its work. McKinlay Kidd was the first tour operator to offer whale-watching holidays in Scotland, to encourage visitors to learn about the wildlife and environment of Scotland’s West Coast. The Mull Week of Wildlife holiday includes a day whale-watching with a marine biologist and an on-land safari, plus a boat trip to Staffa and the Treshnish Isles, seasonal home to thousands of puffins. The trip costs from £735 pp (two sharing), including six nights’ B&B, return ferry crossing (one car and two passengers), wildlife tour, whale-watching and boat trip. Call AITO* member McKinlay Kidd on 0141 260 9260 (www.mckinlaykidd.com).
Education, game and beauty in Zambia – from £3,260 pp with Robin Pope Safaris
Join the Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP) team in Zambia’s South Luangwa for Carnivore Week, from 21 November. Spend a week at Nkwali Camp: authentic and understated, this is the perfect base for exploring. Meet ZCP’s stellar team to track carnivores and to understand anti-poaching techniques, habitat conservation, ecological survey activities and lion identification. In your down time, relax in the swimming pool where elephants are often spotted, or take part in a walking safari or game drive with your guide. The seven-night trip costs from £3,260 pp (two sharing), including full-board accommodation, all safari costs, domestic flights and transfers plus a donation to ZCP. Flights extra. Visit www.robinpopesafaris.net.
Three weeks, three countries: Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe – from £3,924 pp with Expert Africa
A true adventure across three countries for thrilling wildlife experiences and memories to last a lifetime. Stay for two nights at Cheetah View Lodge, learning about conservation and the rehabilitated rescue cheetahs. Then drive north for a four-night stay in Etosha National Park, where birds soar overhead and animals roam wild. You might even catch a glimpse of black rhino at one of the floodlit waterholes. The Pygmy Mouse Self-Drive costs from £3,924 pp (two sharing), including 18 nights’ B&B, some meals, return flights (Heathrow), car hire with insurance, airport transfers and a Bradt Travel Guide to Namibia, plus information and maps. Call AITO* member Expert Africa on 020 3405 6666 (www.expertafrica.com).
Explore the natural wonders of our planet in Brazil – from £5,090 pp with Sunvil Latin America
Home to some of the most exquisite wildlife and spectacular natural wonders, a visit to Brazil’s jungle makes for an unforgettable experience. Explore the best of the Amazon on this Natural Wonders of Brazil tour. Spot exotic birds, pink river dolphins and alligators while staying in the heart of the rainforest, hike through the Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park, witness the Iguacu Falls, one of the greatest spectacles on earth, and visit Pantanal, where deer and jaguars live amongst Boa constrictors and caiman. The tour costs from £5,090 pp (two sharing), including BA flights (Heathrow), private transfers, 14 nights’ B&B and excursions. Call AITO* member Sunvil on 080 8758 4774 (www.sunvil.co.uk).
Lemur-watching in the wildlife reserves of Madagascar – from £4,495 pp with Naturetrek
Biodiverse Madagascar boasts an abundance of species, approximately 80% of which are endemic, with over 100 species of lemur. Encounter tiny mouse lemurs, the rare Golden Bamboo Lemur and more on this 15-day tour, taking guided walks amid lush rainforest and the baobab-filled Spiny Forest. Wildlife tourism is vital to keeping the island’s reserves and National Parks intact, and you’ll visit community reserves such as Anja, where locals protect the forests on their doorsteps. Madagascar’s Lemurs costs from £4,495 pp (two sharing), including flights (Heathrow), transfers, 13 nights’ full board and expert naturalist guides. Departs 21 September & 19 October. Call AITO* member Naturetrek on 01962 733051 (www.naturetrek.co.uk).
See orangutans and go ‘spelunking’ in Malaysian Borneo – from £2,525 pp with Jules Verne
With their numbers in decline, it is difficult to see these incredible creatures in the wild, but wildlife enthusiasts can encounter rescued orangutans in their natural habitat at a rehabilitation centre on this 12-night escorted tour. The group will also visit the Bako National Park – home to the Proboscis, long-tailed and leaf monkeys, explore rugged limestone caves (aka ‘spelunking’), take a boat trip on the Oxbow Lake in search of macaques and Bornean Gibbon, and more. Wild Borneo costs from £2,525 pp (two sharing), including flights (Heathrow), transfers, B&B, six lunches, two dinners, excursions, guides and local reps. Departs 10 April and 8 May. Call Jules Verne on 020 3553 3722 (www.vjv.com).
Wildlife wonderland – The Falkland Islands from £3,670 pp with TravelLocal
One of the world’s ultimate wildlife experiences is, without doubt, the Falkland Islands. Climb aboard a motorised catamaran for an unforgettable day on West Point Island where the albatross soars overhead, Peale’s dolphins play in the waves and Rockhopper Penguins squabble loudly like siblings. On Sea Lion Island, the sheer abundance of wildlife is sublime and the island itself a designated national nature reserve. At Volunteer Point, the largest accessible colony of king penguins awaits. The 15-day Falklands Experience costs from £3,670 pp (two sharing), including accommodation, most meals, transfers, excursions and the services of a local guide. Flights extra. Call TravelLocal on 0117 325 7898 (www.travellocal.com).
*AITO is The Specialist Travel Association: more than 120 specialist travel companies providing an unrivalled collection of holiday ideas that cover every corner of the world. Consumers booking with AITO can be assured of high-quality holidays and excellent personal service. Visit www.aito.com for further information.