Small Group Wildlife Holidays 2022

Wildlife Trails have some truly unique and diverse small group safari holidays planned for 2022. Not only do these take account of the current global health situation and vaccination requirements, but they also stay true to our fundamental ethos of small group sizes – generally a maximum of 6 travellers – and longer stays at the National Parks and wildlife sanctuaries to ensure we maximise our wildlife encounters.

What to Expect with Wildlife Trails

On our small group safari holidays in 2022, you can expect like-minded wildlife enthusiasts with an age range from their 30s to 70s, keen photographers mainly interested in mammal viewing, expecting quality time in the wilderness with expert local wildlife guides and staying at the best wildlife lodges available. When we talk about the best wildlife lodges available, we are not talking about luxury but mid-range safari lodges and above which are often ideally placed to ensure we get to where the wildlife action is quickly and enjoy more time wildlife viewing.

Small group wildlife holidays in Europe

Our small group safari holidays follow the principles as described above and include a diverse range of countries in this beautiful continent, which of course is much easier to travel to if you are coming from the UK. We have some superb Scottish small group wildlife holidays focused on Golden Eagles, White-tailed Eagles and Otters. Or if you like guaranteed late summer sunshine, why not enjoy our Black and White Storks gourmet birding holidays in the South of France. We also offer some of the best whale watching in Europe as part of our Azores small group whale watching holidays, where we charter our own boat with just 6 clients and include 3 full days of private whale watching tours.

Small group safaris in Africa

Wildlife Trails has been on a mission to make Africa safari holiday more affordable and diverse for our discerning clients as well as many people who feel an African wildlife holiday is out of their budget. This is a very ethical way of going about your safari business as you attract a more diverse clientele and also with cheaper African safaris you can design longer itineraries and avoid unethical trips which only last a few days after a long flight from North America or Europe.

Our focus is clear, either fully organised full-service camping safaris or linking up to good quality budget and mid-range accommodation with an expert African wildlife guide in a custom made vehicle. We have used this approach very successfully for our Uganda gorilla trekking holidays, as well as our Botswana small group tours.

Small group wildlife holidays in North America

Locations like Alaska in North America are famous for some of the best wilderness lodges and the chance to see giant brown bears fishing for salmon. One of the advantages of a small group wildlife holiday with Wildlife Trails is that sometimes we have the opportunity to reserve the entire Alaska wilderness lodge for our group, giving us a privileged insight into Alaska wildlife such as bears and wolves, in the company of the best local guides. We can also use this approach in Canada on our small group polar bear tours, as well as our Yellowstone wolf watching tours.

Small group wildlife holidays in South America

There are considerable advantages to undertaking a small group wildlife holiday in countries like Chile and Brazil. Brazil is famous around the world for its Pantanal jaguar safaris, but these are very expensive as a private tour for a solo traveller or couple as there is a considerable cost for the boat safaris which can cover more than 100km in a day and all vehicle transfers and guides – who are off superb quality – come at a significant price. When these costs are shared amongst a small group of 6 clients you still have the same intimate safari experience and close relationship with the local expert guide, but your holiday will be half the price compared to a private tour. Two of our most popular small group safari holidays in South America are our 10-day Jaguar safari in the Pantanal and our Puma tracking holiday in Chile.

Small group wildlife safaris in Asia and India

In Asia, we have three main countries where we organise our small group wildlife holidays, which are India, Sri Lanka and Borneo. All these countries offer superb wildlife viewing and with a small group of 6 clients we can reserve one of the best local wildlife guides who will either travel with the group around several of the countries National Parks or for very specialist wildlife safari like our Black Panther tour to Nagerhole in India, the guide will be with them as both a naturalist and fixer to ensure the group has the best possible chance to see wildlife like leopards, tigers and Indian wild dogs. Another favourite India small group wildlife safari is our Assam wildlife tour, which starts in Kolkata and visits Kaziranga National Park, the Gibbon Sanctuary and Manas National Park.

Our Sri Lanka Big 5 safari goes looking for Leopard, Wild Elephants, Sloth Bears, Blue Whales and Sperm Whales. It is also possible to see hundreds of Spinner Dolphins and rare, beautiful birds like the endemic Blue Magpie.

Our most famous Borneo small group wildlife safari is the ‘The Glory of Wild Sabah’ which visits Danum Valley, the Kinabatangan River and Deramakot Wildlife Reserve, which is the best place to see Clouded Leopard in Asia.

Azores Whale Watching Holidays

The Azores is one of the best places to see whales and dolphins in Europe and the island of Pico is world famous as one of the best locations to see Blue Whales; particularly in the months of April and May. However, Pico has a long whale watching season from April to October and the magnificent Sperm Whale is another species which visits the waters off this beautiful island, with the famous Pico Volcano providing a stunning backdrop to your activities. Over 20 species of whales and dolphins either inhabit or pass by these waters along their migratory routes, so that Pico is one of the very best spots in the world for Whale Watching.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 10
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£1890
Black Panther Wildlife Tour and Safari in Nagarhole Kabini Wildlife Trails

Black Panther wildlife safari in Nagarhole national park

Sometimes circumstances come together at just the right time in the world of wildlife travel and big cat safaris, to inspire you to put together a specialist photography wildlife tour that will focus on just one species; and this is exactly what we have here with this small group Black Panther safari in Nagarhole national park. Not only was I lucky enough while in India during May 2017 to make contact with a wildlife guide who has seen and photographed the Black Panther on a number of occasions; but he also agreed to be our main guide for the entire stay at Nagarhole national park – this is crucial to the success of the Black Panther wildlife tour due to the ‘intense’ bureaucracy in India’s national parks. Not only do we need to apply for special permissions to have the right type of vehicle for our photography group; we also need a wildlife guide at Nagarhole that can optimise our choice of zone or route in order to maximise our opportunities to see the Black Panther in Nagerhole.

Best time to see Black Panthers in Nagarhole national park?

According to sources in Nagarhole national park the best time of year to see the Black Panther is March and April, so on this basis we have meticulously planned our dates to (1) Avoid the very busy Easter Holidays and (2) Avoid some local holidays in South India to be at the park at a ‘relatively’ quieter time. This is relative, as with such a longer, specialised safari lasting 7 days, it is impossible to avoid the weekend; which is what we would normally do.

Nagarhole national park – what did we see during the March 2018 and 2019 tours?

Both trips in 2018 were a huge success, with both groups enjoying a single sighting of the Black Panther which was the main objective of the trip. However, even more enjoyable was the almost constant action inside the park, as we enjoyed up to 7 tiger sightings, 5 leopard encounters and multiple superb encounters with a pack of 8 wild dogs, that were an absolute joy to photograph. It is important to point out that a rapidly growing tiger population could make seeing leopards in general (not just the Black Panther) more difficult in the future, so we would strongly suggest visiting ASAP. We just completed our third trip for the Black Panther in March 2019 and this time we missed out on a sighting of the melanistic male leopard. However, the great combination of good quality tiger and leopard action continued for our group members.

Client feedback from 2018.

Seeing 6 tigers ( 3 very good sightings) and 4 leopards (one amazing sighting) in Nagarahole (including the one with the all important black features) was truly beyond our expectations. Arjun was really very helpfull in managing the jeep safaris into the park. We only had to go on a boat safari once and the 2 last days he even arranged it so we could go both morning and afternoon drives into zone A. Thanks Arnie

Just a brief note to thank you for a superb trip to Nagarahole. We were fortunate to see the black panther, albeit briefly, early on during the trip. It was not through lack of trying that we didn’t see him again but had excellent big cat sightings of leopard and tiger as well as other wildlife including elephant, squirrel, mongoose, otters and python. Good food and great company with Richard, Arnie and Edith. Thanks John

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 8
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£2710
Brazil Jaguar Safari with Four Full Days of Private Boat Safaris

There are several different types of major habitats accessed by using the Transpantaneira road and you will have quality time in two of them. In particular, the Cuiaba River (and its tributaries) where approximately 90% of the jaguar sightings take place during boat safaris. You cannot visit this area for just a couple of days and expect to see Jaguars and you can certainly not expect to see them if you do not go to the end of this famous road and spend some quality time on the water. Most other operators return to their lodges or houseboats for lunch, but we take packed lunches and stay out all day. Unlike other big cats around the world, Jaguars are sighted often in the middle of the day; either relaxing under the shade of the riverine forest, or sometimes hunting Capybara, Caimans or other prey species.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 9
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3690
Clouded Leopards and the Imbak Canyon

A unique Borneo safari which few companies offer. Combining three stunning and very different wildlife locations to maximise your animal encounters. Dermakot is now famous in Borneo for the chance to see nocturnal species such as Clouded Leopard, Leopard cat and Malay Civets. It is always thrilling to enter a wildlife location that is still very much new and off the radar and our time walking and driving in Imbak Canyon is sure to reveal some amazing birds; including up to 8 Hornbill species. This pristine rainforest landscape is also an important sanctuary for rare and endangered species including the Bornean pygmy elephant, clouded leopard, orangutan, proboscis monkey, Bornean gibbon, grey, silver and red leaf monkeys.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 12
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£2750
Danube Delta, Brown Bears and Wild Cats

Romania is a fantastic wildlife watching destination in Europe where our partners has more than 20 years of experience. Based on our best knowledge we designed an autumn wildlife watching tour with special focus on mammals and birds. Autumn is migration time for birds and bats so we going to see a good selection of these species but this tour were created to see a good selection of mammal species as well. Some of the mammals are possible in daytime like European Souslik, Red Squirrel, Roe Deer, Carpathian Chamois, Red Fox, Brown Bear, bats in the day roost but no doubt the best time to find mammals is in the dark, at night.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 10
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£2100
Gourmet Spring Birding & Wine in the Mediterranean

Spring birdwatching, gourmet food & wine tasting in the Narbonnaise regional park with two expert local guides accompaning a maximum group size of just 6 people. This tour is not for hardcore birders, but for people wanting to combine the pleasure of food, wine and birding in the beautiful warm and sunny region of Occitanie in May 2021.

Allan and Kirsty Blanchard have had a house in the Languedoc (Occitanie) since 2010 and although mammal viewing options in France are still fairly limited in scope – although the Wolves are coming! – there are some spectacular and diverse landscapes for birding and the region has the highest bird count in France. The food and wine in this region are also spectacular, so for our very first ‘wildlife tour’ in France we are promoting this ‘Gourmet Food, Wine and Birding tour’. This tour is suitable for all fitness levels and is definitly not a hardcore birding trip. Instead it is a gentle immersion into the regions various delights, which include spectacular scenery, amazing regional food, stunning wines, historic Cathar castles and some excellent birding. The tour has a lovely bilingual leader, as well as a charming French female birding guide to look after our small group of 6. Anyone looking to extend their stay or take part in activities close to our hearts – Allan (walking and kayaking) and Kirsty (horse riding) are welcome to speak to us direct and it is very likely we will be in the area during May 2021, when the tour is planned.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 8
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£1850
Jordan Photography Holiday

There has never been a better time to visit Jordan and the iconic Petra due to the very limited number of tourists who will visit this year. Not only will this make visits with our small group of 6 more pleasurable, it will also open up amazing opportunities for photography at iconic locations, such as Jerash, Salt, Petra and Wadi Rum. Currently Jordan is on the UK amber list and with its relatively high vaccination rates it is likely to stay there; which means you will not need to quaratine on your return home. This Jordan photography holiday is designed to maximise our photography time and is suitable for clients with medium fitness and all levels of photography.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 10
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£2550
Lemur Magic in the Forests of Madagascar

There is no doubt that the island of Madagascar is one of those stand out wildlife locations in the world, that captures the imagination of thousands of wildlife lovers and photographers around the world. Having been lucky enough to visit this wildlife jewelon a few occasions, I can say hand on heart that I enjoyed it all; the lemurs, the forests, the chameleons, the local villagers and even the long tiring car journeys inbetween the fragmented wildlife hotspots. However, if you ask me to design the best photography tour of Madagascar for Lemurs and make it more way more efficient with regards to less time on the road and more time with the Lemurs, then this is exactly the Madagascan safari I would put together for you. This is absolutely the best of the south west forests and eastern forests for the lemur photography and we are avoiding at least three full days of vehicle lockdown for a similar tour by road only.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 13
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£4390
Lions, Wolves & Asiatic Wild Ass

India is famous in wildlife circles as the place to see wild tigers, but is also home to some lesser known but even rarer and more endangered species like the Asiatic Lion, Asiatic Wild Ass, and Great Indian Bustard. India also boasts an impressive array of canids including the Striped Hyena, Indian Wolf, Jackal, Indian Fox, and Desert Fox. This bespoke Gujarat wildlife holiday will take you to an India which few explore and will reward you with rare wildlife, stunning landscapes and a tribal culture that shines brightly in the desert.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 16
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3350
Magical North East with the Elephant Gathering and Leopards of Yala

Although we have of course visited Sri Lanka multiple times before, it will be our first visit to Jaffna and the famous port of Trincomalee which is a whale watching hotspot in the ‘summer’ season. In August the sea conditions will be at their best on the north east coast and we can take advantage of this with both whale watching, snorkelling and diving opportunities. Jaffna will be an intoxicating mix of culture, food and history and we will also try to gain an understanding of how the north is rebuilding itself after the long conflict which causes so much devastation and suffering for the local Tamil population.

After filling up on culture, history, marine life and some coastal R&R, we focus on elephants, first with ‘the gathering’ at Minneriya where depending on recent activity we may in fact find the biggest herds at Kaudulla, Minneriya or Hurulu National Parks.  Then onward to Gal Oya with a wonderful diverse choice of activities, we will take a night time drive in the buffer forest, a morning guided walk and a boat safari hoping to catch sight of elephants as they ‘snorkel’ their way across the huge lake.  The route to our campsite at Yala for more elephants and of course the leopards, takes us via the hill country, with a train ride through tea country, treks to view the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka, and to Ravana Falls, Little Adam’s Peak and/ or Ella Rock.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 22
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3850
Puma Safari Near Torres del Paine National Park

Join us on a 7-day photography adventure focused solely on Chilean Puma sightings. Other animal extensions are available upon request.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 7
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3575
The Glory of Wild Sabah

When you combine Dermakot, Kinabatangan and Danum Valley within the same Borneo safari, you are without doubt looking at the most diverse and wildlife rich tour itinerary possible in Sabah.

HERE ARE JUST SOME OF WILD ANIMALS OF BORNEO YOU MAY ENCOUNTER

Orangutan – Pygmy Elephant – Clouded Leopard – Tarsier – Slow Loris – Leopard Cat – Marbled Cat – Sun Bear –      Rhinoceros Hornbill (and the other 7 species) – Proboscis Monkey – Bornean Gibbon – Civet Cats – Flying Squirrels – Estuarine Crocodiles – Sunda Skunk – Maroon Langur – Grey Langur and a variety of spectacular birds and reptiles.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 13
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£2850
Two Rivers Pantanal Jaguar Safari

This really is the ultimate Jaguar safari in Brazil, as we take you to two famous Brazilian rivers, each with a high density of wild jaguars. Less people visit the Paraguay river and the Taiamã Ecological Reserve where you will be taking your boat safaris. In the last few years there have been more Jaguar sightings closer to our riverside lodge on the banks of the Paraguay and we can use the latest sightings reports to plan our daily activities. We have a large spacious boat designed for 12 but only carrying 4 Wildlife Trails clients; who will enjoy a huge amount of space for their comfort and all important camera equipment. After 4 nights on the Paraguay river we drive back to Cuiaba and start our journey down the Transpantaneira road. We focus on two different habitats along this road, the drier north where you are more likely to see Tapir, Giant Anteaters and Ocelot and then the end of the road for our Jaguar boat safaris; where we are also likely to see Giant river otters, Howler monkeys, Caiman and Capybara. To have the best possible chance to see Jaguars we again have a large boat with just a few clients in and we go out as early as possible and take packed lunches. Which means that we are still viewing and photographing Jaguars, while the other groups are back at the lodge or on their houseboats having siestas.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 13
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£6155
Ultimate Pantanal Birding Tour

When you visit Brazil on a wildlife holiday even if it involves a Jaguar Safari in the Pantanal you soon pick up on the fact that nearly all the local guides are full on birders and will take every opportunity to point out ‘special’ birds to their clients. As all birders know, if you want to maximise the variety of sightings and species you need to visit a diversity of habitats and altitudes in the company of an expert guide. This combination of higher altitude Cerrado plateau and Wetland habitat – without the need to travel too far in Brazil – is ideal for keen birders and those looking to see a diversity of landscapes and wildlife in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 6
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£2500
Visiting Brooks Falls, Alaska

This is one of our most exciting 10 day bear viewing tours in Alaska, as it combines the world famous Brooks Falls for those most iconic of ‘bears catching salmon’ photos, with the much less visited Wolverine Creek on the west coast of the spectacular Kenai Peninsula. One is a fly-in option that lets you photograph brown bears fishing for salmon from dusk to dawn – so you can avoid the fly-in clients who arrive for the afternoon. The other is an independent self-drive of the peninmsula; combining a glacier and wildlife tour from Seward with a superbly organised and intimate grizzly bear safari out of Nikiski.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 10
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£4950