In photos: Wildlife Travel highlights from 2023

January 2024

We were pleased to welcome Sussex-based naturalist Michael Blencowe to the Wildlife Travel team in 2023, as well as adding new holidays to Mongolia and Derbyshire, and planning future holidays in Tenerife and Mallorca.

Devon once again kicked off our year as Mike Symes treated our group to some spectacular West Country winter bird watching, with Slavonian Grebe, Little Gull, Rock Pipit and Purple Sandpiper, and of course no trip to Devon is complete without seeing a Cirl Bunting!

In March, Laurie and Dom headed south to Morocco for a week, for interesting succulent plant communities and some special North African wildlife, from our base in the foothills of the High Atlas.

Laurie, Mike Russell and Mike Symes then accompanied two groups as they travelled between Agadir and Marrakech, spending time on the coast, in the mountains, stony desert and the windswept sand dunes near Merzouga. Between them they found some fantastic birds, including Maghreb Wheatear, Houbara Bustard, Egyptian Nightjar, Thick-billed Lark and Pharaoh Eagle Owl.

Nearby, Philip was busy in Tenerife making plans for our overdue return in February 2024.

Philip, Phil and Sarah were in Cyprus in March for an orchid extravaganza as they explored the Akamas peninsula, along with visits to some of the island’s interesting historical sites.

April took Philip and James to Lesvos, where our travellers enjoyed a fantastic array of wild flowers, and birds including island rarities such as Spur-winged Lapwing.

In May, Laurie’s group were striking east for the Danube Delta and a week on a ‘travelling’ houseboat, with wonderful sightings of White-tailed Eagles, Pallas’s Gull, and lily pad-nesting Whiskered Terns.

Later that month, Charlie’s group paired the wild limestone landscape of the Burren with visits to Neolithic sites and a Michelin star dining room!

Philip and Kieron returned by train to the wild flower paradise of the Cevennes, finding plenty of butterflies along the way.

As June began we were back at St Pancras, as Laurie and Philip showed a group the highlights of the Vercors in France,  which included memorable encounters with Alpine Ibex, Alpine Marmot and Alpine Chamois, set amid stunning alpine meadows.

James joined Jono to lead our popular summer-break in Norfolk, finding everything from Stone Curlew to Military Orchid, and of course a good selection of moths along the way.

It was then Philip’s turn to showcase his home county of Derbyshire, for our first short break here, exploring the southern fringe of the Peak District. 

Shortly after, Michael and Laurie welcomed a group to Sussex, with visits to chalk grassland, coast and heathland, and some fantastic butterflies, including Silver-studded Blue and the canopy-dwelling Purple Emperor.

Following a successful recce in 2022, Philip led our first holiday to Mongolia with the secretive Snow Leopard, ‘grumpy’ Pallas’s Cat, Grey Wolf and Mongolian Saiga among the mammals found.

In August, our travellers combined magnificent scenery, spring flowers, whales and penguins on a visit to South Africa with Claudio.

In September, Mike Russell led an autumnal visit  among the beautiful woodlands and coast of Estonia, with our group treated to the sight and sound of thousands of Common Cranes. With Michael and Laurie visiting Mallorca to plan a new holiday there.

Chile beckoned in November, with Laurie bringing a group to explore some of the less-visited areas of Central Chile.

Jono and James welcomed a group to Norfolk for a winter visit in December, with a focus on birds and seals. Before Philip and Laurie rounded off the year with an ‘unfestive’ break in Cyprus.,

Thank you to all our travellers who joined us during 2023, we look forward to more wildlife discoveries with you in 2024!