Africa / Middle East

A wild year on planet Earth

PlanetWildlife.com, a leading provider of diverse wildlife travel and tours around the world, presents Wildlife’s Hot Spots for 2012 – a month-by-month directory of what’s happening and when – and itinerary suggestions to inspire nature lovers to experience some of the seminal seasonal events of the natural world.

To explore all the ideas and options available, visit PlanetWildlife’s Calendar presented on the website under ‘Travel’…..itineraries are all-inclusive from point of departure but do not include international flights.

January  –  India

  • January is the breeding season for the green sea turtles around the Galapagos Islands – www.planetwildlife.com/travel/itineraries/galapagos-island-hopping-tour – is a five-day itinerary priced at £1,661/US$2,594 per person (pp)
  •  This is also an excellent time of year to go tiger spotting in India when the clement weather facilitates close study of these rare and endangered big cats – www.planetwildlife.com/travel/itineraries/classic-explorer-kanha-and-bandhavagarh – a six day safari itinerary including elephant rides in Central India priced at £756/US$1,180pp

February – Nepal

  • February is a good time to go trekking in Nepal with better than usual odds of spotting the famed Bengal Tiger – www.planetwildlife.com/travel/itineraries/chitwan-explorer is a nine-day itinerary in Chitwan National Park priced at £1,465/US$2,287pp.  This is also an ideal month for tracking the rare and beautiful snow leopard in nearby Ladakh, India – visit www.planetwildlife.in/travel/itineraries/snow-leopard-experience for a 13-day trekking adventure priced at £2,163/US$3,377pp.
  • February also sees the gathering of hundreds of thousands of spectacular pink flamingos on Lake Nakuru in Kenya, Africa  –  www.planetwildlife.in/travel/itineraries/simba-safari is a seven-day safari priced at £2,027/US$3,164pp.

March – the Arctic

  • When the days start to lengthen and become milder in the Arctic region, this is an ideal time to spot Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights – and a cruise is one of the most enjoyable ways to experience this natural wonder – www.planetwildlife.com/travel/itineraries/lofoten-aurora-borealis through Norway is an eight-day journey on the schooner ‘Noorderlicht’ priced at £1,979/US$3,090pp.

April – Galapagos

  • April presents another excellent opportunity to go bird-watching in Galapagos where enthusiasts can spot blue-footed boobies, swallow tailed gullies, frigate birds and red-billed tropic birds amongst others. www.planetwildlife.com/travel/itineraries/galapagos-island-hopping-tour is a five-day itinerary priced at £1,661/US$2,594pp).

May – India – Ladhak and Karnataka

  • In India, the weather is perfect for an extensive trek around Ladhak in the Himalayas – www.planetwildlife.com/travel/itineraries/amazing-leh-community-service-trek – presents an unusual 13-day itinerary and the opportunity to become involved in local community service in the villages of Spango Valley while learning about and tracking the elusive snow leopard – priced at just £569/US$888pp.
  • This is also an opportune month to visit Karnataka in India and the Bandipur National Park and Tiger Reserve, the natural habitat of Bengal tigers, leopards, elephants and hyenas – www.planetwildlife.com/travel/itineraries/classic-explorer-karnataka is a five-day itinerary including the fascinating cities of Bangalore and Mysore and priced at £1,330/US$2,076pp.

June – Rwanda

  • Head to Rwanda this month to witness a unique baby gorilla naming ceremony, “KwitaIzina” – an annual ceremony attended by hundreds of local villagers but international visitors are also welcome –  www.planetwildlife.com/travel/itineraries/gorillas-wildlife-and-chimpanzees is a comprehensive seven-day adventure through some of Uganda’s best national parks of Kibale, Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi and is priced at £4,457/US$6,958pp.

July – Costa Rica and Brazil

  • Latin America is the destination to head for this month to spot the endangered green and hawksbill turtles nest on the beautiful Caribbean beaches of Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica. The park is also home to manatees, crocodiles, tropical gar, jaguars, sloths and basilisks, amongst other exotic wildlife  –  www.planetwildlife.com/travel/itineraries/forests-and-volcanoes-costa-rica is a 15-day excursion round Costa Rica and the Caribbean priced at £3,662/US$5,717pp.
  • Alternatively, in Brazil’s Pantanal area this is the best time of year for jaguar sightings and for close study of many other endangered species including the hyacinth macaw and the maned wolf  –  www.planetwildlife.com/travel/itineraries/voyage-heart-amazon is an eight-day voyage to the heart of the Amazon and is priced at £2,940/US$4,590pp

August  –  Kenya

  • Head to Kenya this month to be amongst the first to witness one of nature’s greatest shows – the annual Great Migration sees thousands of wildebeest, gazelles and zebras make a dash across the Mara River risking death from predators such as the crocodile – www.planetwildlife.in/travel/itineraries/simba-safari is a seven-day safari priced at £2,027/US$3,164pp

September – Botswana

  • This is an ideal time to ravel to Botswana and explore the wilderness of Chobe National Park and the Okavango delta and take in the full majesty of the famed Victoria Falls  –  www.planetwildlife.com/travel/itineraries/best-botswana-chobe-and-okavango is an eight-day itinerary commencing in Maun and finishing at the Victoria Falls prices at £2,664/US$4,159pp

October – Madagascar

  • During this dry month off the coast of Africa, lemurs are particularly active and playful on the island of Madagascar  – www.planetwildlife.in/travel/itineraries/magical-madagascar is an exciting eight-day adventure combining lemurs and bird-watching as well as interaction with tribal villagers and is priced at £1,713/US$2,674pp.

November – the Falkland Islands

  • Head to the bottom of the world to the Falkland Islands (classified under the Antarctic zone) to watch five different species of penguins breed at this special time:  the King, Rockhopper, Gentoo, Magallanic and Macaroni penguins – the islands also present a chance to spot the rare black-browed albatross – www.planetwildlife.com/travel/itineraries/antarctic-peninsula-weddell-see-falkland-islands is a 14-day cruise from Ushuaia in Argentina to the Falklands priced at £8,995/US$14,041pp

December –  Sri Lanka

  • In southern Sri Lanka, this is the best time of year to spot one of the natural wonders of the world – the Blue Whale….nowhere else do they come as close to the land as they do near the coast of Sri Lanka.  The www.planetwildlife.com/trave/itineraries/blue-whale-and-leopard-experience is a nine-day itinerary commencing in Colombo which combines blue whale and dolphin spotting with safaris in Yala, home to elephants and leopards – priced at £2,520/US$3,934pp.

For further information, visit www.planetwildlife.com or contact a PlanetWildlife office (listed on the website).  PlanetWildlife is as a leading international provider of diverse wildlife and safari tours with over 300 creative itineraries in 26 countries around the world catering to a wide range of interests and budgets.

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