‘Slow travel’, the concept of reducing the emphasis on ‘seeing it all’ in favour of a more relaxed, quality experience, fits in perfectly with today’s specialised wildlife holidays. This kind of experience allows the genuine nature lover to travel to some of the more unusual destinations and enjoy an exploration of the natural world at a leisurely pace.
The Principles of ‘Go Slow’ Wildlife Holidays
Dedicated wildlife holidays with a ‘go slow’ itinerary are specially designed to allow for a slower pace over gentle terrain with extended periods of time spent out in the natural surroundings. The aim is to leave less of an impact on the environment, enjoy quality sightings of more species and gain a genuine insight into the animals’ behaviour and habitat. Whether it’s birdwatching in Spain or following the trail of Tigers in India, ‘go slow’ itineraries offer a fulfilling and truly immersive experience.
The Best Destinations
‘Go slow’ wildlife holidays are available to a range of destinations and the programmes are not limited to any particular country or terrain. By their nature they do tend to take participants to ‘off the beaten track’ places, to which a relaxed itinerary is most suited.
Trinidad: Explore the exotic birdlife and natural history of Trinidad, while basing yourself at the world-famous Asa Wright Centre set amidst 2,000 acres of lush rainforest. It is one of the most renowned birding facilities in the world; a week’s experience will introduce bird lovers to some of the country’s 400 endemic and migratory species.
India: For those who want an encounter with the magnificent Tiger, a week at Satpura National Park, one of the lesser-known reserves in India, offers a wonderfully relaxing base and the opportunity for multiple sightings of the elusive big cat.
Sweden: Keen birdwatchers will appreciate the stunning avian life of Central Sweden, which can be spotted in the boreal forests, farmland and meadows. A holiday in this abundant region will provide sightings of a huge range of birds, including seven species of owl and a plethora of migrating waders.
The Camargue: The Camargue is one of France’s premier wetland habitats. A relaxed week in this wonderful region affords a host of opportunities to get out and explore, all while observing the myriad bird species.
Southern Spain: Spain is country that’s perfected the art of a leisurely life. Slowed down itineraries here allow nature lovers to not only catch sightings of a plethora of avian species, but also take advantage of the wonderful culture, history and gastronomy.
Alderney: As one of the lesser-known Channel Islands, Alderney offers a nature holiday that’s most definitely off the beaten track. Despite its isolation, Alderney is well facilitated by the new Bird Observatory. The area also offers numerous curated daytime and nocturnal walks to learn about moths, butterflies, birds and wild flowers.
In a world striving for faster food, technology and transport, ‘go slow’ wildlife holidays offer a memorable and authentic way to get closer to the fascinating plant and animal species that inhabit our planet.
Author Plate Marissa Ellis-Snow is a freelance nature writer with a special interest in birds. With a passionate interest in rare avian species, Marissa chooses the expert-led wildlife holidays organised by Naturetrek, which have brought her unforgettable sightings of a wide range of flora and fauna in some of the most spectacular regions on Earth.