_Looking for ways to engage with nature this month? These are the best wildlife events and trips to have on your radar in June 2019.
Watch the polar bears in their natural habitat - Norway
Though you may have resigned yourself to the fact that seeing a polar bear in the wild is highly unlikely, this summer time tour of the Arctic island of Spitsbergen offers just such an opportunity. Embark on this 11 day tour that takes you around the island that lies just 600 miles south of the North Pole. Including 9 nights on board a chartered ship, you’ll get the opportunity to observe a range of polar wildlife including walruses, beluga whales and harp seals, as well as the magnificent polar bears, whose numbers have increased to almost 3,000 in these parts in recent years. Potentially able to reach up to 3 metres long, polar bears are the largest land carnivores living on Earth today, cutting a particularly impressive figure as they pick their way across the terrain. With its never-setting sun and dramatic ice-capped landscapes, this part of the world feels like it belongs to a different planet entirely.
From £6,895pp | Naturetrek | Find out more
Go flower foraging in the Swiss Alps
Keen botanists will love this trek into the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland - a lush expanse of greenery and azure blue lakes overlooked by the snow-capped Swiss Alps. June is a particularly fruitful time of year, with Globeflower, Trumpet Grentians and Lady’s Slipper Orchids all flowering. Led by an expert botanist, the tour takes you by train and cable car to the foot of the Eiger mountain where you can study pretty blooms before heading to the Lauterbrunnen Valley - an oasis of waterfalls and vibrant Alpine meadows that make a perfect setting for rooting through the undergrowth and spotting the birds and butterflies that make their home there. If fresh air and wide open spaces sounds like your idea of a relaxing getaway, this is an excellent option. The tour lasts for eight days and starts in Zurich.
From £1,825pp | Naturetrek | Find out more
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Observe jaguars in their natural habitat
Of all the jungle cats, Jaguars are probably the least well-known, mainly because they are continually elusive and their numbers are declining. But on this 12 day tour to Pantanal in Brazil - the largest tropical wetland in the world - you’ll get the opportunity to observe them in their natural habitat. Though often mistaken for leopards thanks to their similar colourings, jaguars are particularly impressive, being the largest cats after lions and tigers. So far boasting a 100% sighting success rate, this trip will take you right into the heart of their territory with boat excursions along the rivers increasing the odds of catching sight of one whilst it feeds on a Caiman crocodile. Not your typical safari, the lush biodiversity of this South American landscape is the perfect home for species including anteaters, giant otters and hyacinth macaws, meaning you’ll likely be treated to an incredibly array of other wildlife too.
From £3,795pp | Naturetrek | Find out more
The Big Wild Weekend
The Wildlife Trusts - a UK based charity that helps connect people with nature and works to preserve and protect wildlife and wild places - will be hosting events up and down the country as part of its Big Wild Weekend. The campaign, which runs from the 15th - 16th of June, will be running events all over the country in the aim to get local people excited about the wildlife on their doorsteps. From wildflower walks to nature rambles, badger watching to educational workshops, the aim is to get as many people as possible (whatever their age) engaged in and talking about their local wildlife. Events will be running across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, so to find out what’s going on near you, take a look at their website here.
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Nature Talks at the Natural History Museum, London
You might not know this, but the Natural History Museum in London offers way more than just its longstanding exhibitions. From a series of overnight museum stays (you need to book these months in advance if you want to join in) to behind-the-scenes tours, there are several events throughout the calendar year. In June, the Attenborough Studio will host a series of Nature Talks with experts, explorers and scientists, covering everything from the diversity of corals to the role that meteorites play in our solar system. These are all free and hosted in the middle of the day. Each only lasts for half an hour, making them an unusual and engaging lunchtime pursuit for anyone who happens to be in the local area.
Find out more about what talks are coming up here.
Words: Bianca Barratt