Worldwide wildlife tours

Date Posted: 04/05/2012

Pictured: Whale-watching in Baja California, Mexico

Get closer to nature with these top ideas for wildlife tours and experiences across the globe.

From dolphin-watching off the Dorset coast to Arctic adventures, there are a host of wildlife experiences allowing special interest groups the chance to get closer to nature.

Travelling with a specialist wildlife tour operator, your group can explore far-flung corners of the globe, with experiences ranging from botanical treks and bird watching, to bear, whale and tiger-watching holidays, as well as expedition cruising and conservation tours.

Touring with like-minded companions in the company of expert naturalist guides, means you will be led directly to some of the best locations for wildlife.

Naturetrek is one such operator, offering a portfolio of 350 tours worldwide. The UK-based company has been running for 26 years, with a focus on small group tours (an average of between ten and 12 passengers) led by expert ornithologist or botanist guides.

We spoke to Naturetrek to find out more about its most popular wildlife tours and experiences. Here’s a run-down of top ideas for nature-enthusiasts and special interest travellers looking for a wild time...

Tour highlights across the globe


Popular European tours include:

•  Spring and autumn birding holidays to destinations such as Portugal, the Greek Islands and southern Spain.
•  Mammal-watching (with dedicated wolf and bear-watching trips) in Spain, Sweden, Poland and Finland.
•  Butterfly-watching tours to Italy, Croatia, and France, amongst others.
•  Wild flower holidays in the Swiss Alps and Italy.

Wildlife Cruises

Exclusively chartered wildlife cruises benefit from the expertise of a team of top naturalist tour leaders and guides. With excursions in RIBs to reach wildlife and wilderness habitats, access remote areas which would otherwise be impossible or extremely difficult to explore.

Popular cruises for groups include:

•  Searching for Polar Bears and other Arctic wildlife in Spitsbergen.
•  A whale-watching holiday in Baja California and the Sea of Cortez.
•  A pioneering cruise to the ice-edge in Greenland to look for rare Bowhead and other whales amongst the stunning scenery of Disko Bay.
•  A cruise down the Brahmaputra river in India, stopping at national parks en-route.


Discover the Indian subcontinent. How about exploring Nepal and Bhutan?

Tours available include:

•  Dedicated tiger-watching holidays - with a 100 per cent success record in seeing tigers over 20 years.
•  Tours specially designed for families, and others which cater for photographers.
•  Holidays which combine seeing culture and wildlife, with opportunities to travel to several areas during the tour.


With a selection of classic safaris to countries including Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa, groups are offered a choice of walking safaris, or to stay in luxury camps.

More unusual African tours are:

•  Looking for Ethiopian Wolves in the Bale Mountains.
•  Rare species focus, including bird watching holidays to Ghana and Morocco.

South America

A wide variety of tours to the South American continent are available for group travellers, including:

•  A two-week Galápagos Islands cruise.
•  Dedicated jaguar tours in the Pantanal.
•  A tour that goes in search of pumas in Chile.
•  A spectacled bears and condors tour to Peru.

Your Naturetrek experience

Naturetrek is focussed on responsible wildlife experiences around the world. The operator offers a tailor-made holiday service, with a wide choice of extensions available.

The aim is not to race from place to place in minibuses with the sole purpose of accumulating long lists of wildlife sights. Instead the tours attempt to search for birds, mammals and plants on foot, moving at a relatively slow pace which allows time for photography, detailed wildlife exploration, relaxation and the chance to experience a region’s culture, history and architecture.

Many of the general wildlife tours follow a daily pattern of wildlife walks in key areas, stopping for picnic lunches, followed by further excursions in the afternoon. Typically, the group will gather together for a convivial dinner and to go over the day’s sightings, perhaps making an optional evening excursion to look for bats or other nocturnal wildlife, or to set moth-traps, depending on a group’s particular area of interest.

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