Wildlife specialist Naturetrek has released its 2017 brochure, packed with unique and innovative trips, treks and cruises expertly guided by leading naturalists.
The 2017 programme includes over 40 new tours to the best wildlife locations around the globe. There’s particular growth in tours closer to home in the UK and Europe, as well as in Latin America, with the introduction of new tours in Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Costa Rica.
“The number of new tours available for 2017 is testament to our constant desire to feature the very best wildlife locations around the globe,” commented David Mills, Naturetrek’s founder. “In 2017, we offer our most diverse selection of tours yet, both in terms of destinations and of the spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities available around the world.
This reflects a current demand for holidays focusing on iconic mammals (such as tigers, pumas, jaguars, mountain gorillas and polar bears), an appetite to visit a country opening its doors after a period of instability (such as Colombia or Albania) and the unwavering popularity of the wide selection of European holidays that we offer and constantly add to.”
NEW tour highlights for 2017 include:
The Island of Lundy – England’s first marine reserve, the Island of Lundy in the Bristol Channel is pristine and unspoilt. The huge auk colonies here are a real draw, as well as its nesting puffins, colonies of guillemots and razorbills, and the island is also home to England’s largest Manx shearwater colony. What’s more, Lundy’s botany is at its beautiful best in June, when the trip takes place.
Ardnamurchan – Red Deer Rut – Perhaps as a result of the BBC documentary earlier this year, Scottish trips have been particularly popular, so Naturetrek has introduced new itineraries to Ardnamurchan, a peninsula on the unspoilt west coast. The Red Deer Rut is one of Europe’s most spectacular wildlife events, and travellers should also see pine marten and white-tailed eagle.
Albania in Spring – A pioneering holiday to a little-known Balkan country, taking in the Albanian Alps and the Divjaka-Karavasta National Park. Highlights include a visit to a 4,000-hectare lagoon with a huge population of greater flamingo, as well as being so important for Dalmatian pelican. The itinerary includes a visit to Berat, one of the best preserved Ottoman settlements in all of the Balkans, before moving to the wild Valbona Valley National Park.
Great Whales of The Azores – Naturetrek has launched two new itineraries to The Azores to see whales; the first, based on the island of São Miguel, has excursions focused on seeing fin and sperm whales, with a chance of seeing blue whales, while the second is based on Pico and more suited to travellers whose main aim is to watch blue whales, with the chance also of observing other whale and dolphin species. On land there’s the opportunity to see local races of chaffinch and goldfinch, in addition to a broad range of sea bird species.
Costa Rica – Quetzals & Cloudforests – With a higher percentage of its area protected by national parks than any other country, Costa Rica takes its flora and fauna seriously. This wildlife and birdwatching tour explores the unique ecosystem of the tropical forests in the Talamanca Mountains, home to reputedly the world’s most beautiful bird, the resplendent quetzal, and also takes in the coastal Tortuguero National Park, a remote wildlife haven.
Brazil’s Natural History – Naturetrek’s new 19-day trip takes in the best of Brazil’s key habitats, from the Amazon Rainforest to the grasslands of the Canasta National Park and the endemic-rich Atlantic Forests. The list of potential species to see is impressive, ranging from grey and pink river dolphins and giant river otters to white uakari monkeys and giant anteaters.
Photography Tours and Go Slow Tours – Also new to the 2017 programme are the expert-led photography tours and ‘Go Slow’ holidays. The former is a selection of small group tours pitched at different levels of photographic expertise, in locations as diverse as the Northumberland Coast and Brazil’s Pantanal. The ‘Go Slow’ tours are run at a more leisurely pace, with an emphasis on shorter excursions and more time to relax, as well as great opportunities to view wildlife. They range from the close to home such as Go Slow in Alderney to the tropical Go Slow in Trinidad.
Established 30 years ago, Naturetrek operates the largest selection of escorted birdwatching, botanical and natural history holidays in the world. Naturetrek can cater to any wildlife-watching wish in almost every corner of the globe. Naturetrek holidays and short breaks are small group tours guided by expert British and local naturalists, ornithologists and botanists and there is also a broad range of specialist wildlife charters, as well as trekking and photography options. Tailor-made wildlife trips are also available.