Six months, six stunning wildlife holidays you will not want to miss!

Below for your viewing pleasure, we have compiled our 6 month ‘countdown’ to wildlife viewing heaven. Giving you the best months to see a variety of incredible wildlife stars, from female grizzly bears and their cubs near Vancouver Island, to Polar Bears in the High Arctic, Wild Dogs packs, tigers and leopard in Nagerhole, the chance to be at Brooks Falls lodge in 2024 without having to win the lottery, amazing opportunity to see Giza, the Black Panther causing a media storm in Kenya and finishing off, we have our clients favourite big cat destination, the amazing Pantanal and its Wild Jaguars.

May – Grizzly Bear mating season, gorgeous spring cubs and crazy Bald Eagle encounters

Best places to see grizzly bears and cubs near Vancouver Island

You will not see many people heading out to the west coast of Canada for wildlife encounters in May/June, but those in the know will be there and enjoying some of the most spectacular early season wildlife viewing available in North America without the crowds. So, what do they know that we do not?
Firstly, this is the peak season for huge male boars being active and on the lookout for females ready to mate and that means that they are much more visible, as they search for the ladies, day and night. They may also encounter other males in their territory and this can lead to some spectacular fights and chasing sequences.
Far away from all this male testosterone are females who have emerged for their dens and have one, two or three spring cubs in tow. To protect their precious offspring, they need to stay away from the estuaries where large males are active and forage as a family in ‘safe areas’. Our local guides know the best places to see grizzly bears and their cubs and will give you a chance to see and photograph them in an ethical way. Check out our bespoke Spring grizzly bear viewing holiday on Vancouver Island.

June – Polar Bears jumping across ice floes in the High Arctic, Walrus colonies and the chance to see up to 5 species of whales.

Before Wildlife Trails visited Spitsbergen in 2008, we did not feel that Arctic cruises were a good option for us, or our clients. We had been at the forefront of organising some incredibly adventurous and unique Arctic adventures in the Canadian High Artic off the southern tip of Baffin Island. We found it hard to believe that an Arctic cruise could offer the same thrill as Nunavut and the chance to see swimming polar bears, Bowhead Whales and Narwhal…………. but we were wrong.
The first thing that strikes you on the cruise is how you remain close to the ‘Tolkienesque’ landscape all the time and that simply means there is wildlife action pretty much 24/7. That might mean ‘just’ an Ivory Gull, or Puffin, flying over the deck. For us, it meant a wakeup call at 03:00 in the morning to get into the Zodiacs and get a wonderful close up of a female Polar Bear with her two cubs.

Currently there is a great offer of FREE SWAROVSKI BINOCULARS ON SELECT CRUISES with our partner, Oceanwide Expeditions. Contact Willdife Trails for the best deals and to book accommodation in both Oslo and Longyearbyen. This offer is time critical, because there are very few flights available.

Best Arctic cruises Spitsbergen. Photo of a polar bear jumping across the ice

July – The magic of Wild Dogs in Nagerhole during the Monsoon. Where else can you see Tiger, Leopard and Wild Dogs, all in the same wildlife sanctuary?

Yes, I know, it sounds a little crazy, photographing wet wild dogs – however cute they are – in the middle of torrential rainfall in the south of India; but that’s not the true picture for wildlife holidays in India during the ‘rainy season’. Way back in 2008 I decided because of the significance of the monsoon to India, its wildlife, its people and indeed many of my Indian friends, I needed to head out there during that time and visit the national parks which stayed open as part of a month long road trip with my dear friend, Vipul Jain, from Ranthambhore. Despite some amateur mistakes, like taking Vipul’s open jeep in temperatures of 45C in Rajasthan (this was before the rains arrived!), I realised two very important things. Firstly, the rains although very heavy in patches do not last that long and secondly, it’s really cool to be in a national park observing wildlife just after the first rains bring that beautiful fresh greenness and flowers onto the palette.
So, fix that image in your head and imagine a cast of spectacular Indian apex predators running in front of your camera. Starting with those incredible vocal packs of Wild Dogs (Dhole) scenting the chance of a kill and setting off at an incredible pace under the guidance of the Alpha male and female. Then you have the ever growing population of magnificent tigers and the ever present leopards. I have been visiting India’s national parks since 1997 and I have never seen a park as consistent as Nagerhole for the chance to see these three incredible mammals.

Join is for some Indian Monsoon magic with the Wild Dogs of Nagerhole

Indian wild dogs safari at Nagerhole. Photo of the Alpha male and female

August – Every wildlife lover has to do Alaska at least once in their lives and these days, very few people get to stay at the iconic Brooks Falls Lodge – but we have your ‘free pass’ to bear heaven, without winning the lottery!

Like a missile shot from the depths of the ‘L’eau vive’ the salmon explodes towards the two metre rock barrier which blocks its mission impossible. Everything about its launch is perfect, the right speed, the right trajectory, the right amount of hang time to clear Brooks Falls and continue with his epic journey and destiny. There was just one fatal miscalculation – a huge 500kg male grizzly had positioned its mouth at the perfect interception point and that was that.
There is a simple reason why so many of the best images of Grizzly Bears catching salmon are from Brooks Falls and that is simply because the final viewing platform there (there are actually three at Brooks Falls) is perfectly positioned to photograph large male bears who dominate both the top and bottom of the falls. Even though visitors are controlled on the various boardwalks, on a good day you can probably get your best photos of your entire Alaskan trip here.
There is a HUGE ADVANTAGE of actually staying at Brooks Falls Lodge itself because the bear viewing platform are open from dawn to dusk, whereas the fly-in bear viewing tours from Anchorage and Homer do not arrive until around 11am and have to leave by 5pm.

There are only 4 spaces available at Brooks so don’t miss out on this opportunity.

Best places to see bears in Alaska. Photo of a bear catching salmon at Brooks Falls
An Alaskan brown bear perfectly positions himself above Brooks Falls to catch a leaping salmon.

September– Your chance to see the legendary Black Panther, Giza, in Kenya

Wildlife Trails and our clients have been blessed to see the legendary Saya in Nagerhole, India and if you love your Leopards then a sighting of a Black Panther takes your big cat photography to another level. A friend of Wildlife Trails and amazing photographer, Chris Brunskill, has just come back from a stay at Laikipia wilderness camp with a ‘Hollywood reel’ of amazing photographs of Giza, a black panther who is as bold, as she is beautiful.
We have been incredibly lucky to secure 7 nights at the camp in peak season and since we have several regular Wildlife Trails clients who just love Black Panther, we expect this Kenya wildlife holiday to sell out fast. We have costed this Black Panther wildlife tour in Kenya at £4550 per person for a 5 night stay at the lodge, but you can add another 2 nights at the camp for the cost of one night only. As well as Giza, this is a superb location for leopards and has also enjoyed excellent African wildlife dog sightings in the past.

This unique tour will sell out fast so if you can make these dates, please let us know ASAP.

Black Panther wildlife tour. Photo of Black Panther in the moonlight

October – It has to be the Wild Jaguars of the Pantanal; a place that Wildlife Trails clients can simply not get enough off.

In the very early days of Wildlife Trails, or Tiger Trails as we were known way back, we were often amazed at how many of our clients returned to India, time and time again. However, the new kid on the block for client ‘location loyalty’ is Brazil and our amazing Jaguar safaris in the Pantanal. Yes, it’s a long way to fly and yes, it’s expensive, but all those clients and Wildlife Trails who have been lucky enough to visit multiple times, must have a point, surely? Quite simply, there is no place in the world where big cat action is so spectacular and regular as the dry reason in Brazil. Wild Jaguars are simply put, the ultimate big cat killing machine and remain active through the entire day and that is why photographers and big cat lovers keep coming back to Brazil.

We have recently reduced the cost of our small group photography tour to the Pantanal with six full days on the Cuiaba River and the chance to extend.

Jaguar safari in the Pantanal, Brazil