The call of the wild is one which nature lovers simply can’t resist. Whether your bucket list includes getting up close and personal with jaw-dropping natural spectacles, spotting the sort of wildlife you usually only see on TV, or simply swapping the hustle of the big city for breath-taking landscapes, we’ve pulled together a few sensational holidays for the over 50 nature lover. Which one would you choose?
This classic wildlife adventure offers a myriad of ways to discover some of the most fascinating animals on the planet, otherwise known as the Big Five. Lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and black rhino are the Big Five in question - every visitor hopes to tick a sighting of each off their list. However, hippos, zebras and hyenas can be just as exciting to see. You might choose a jeep safari in East Africa to follow the Great Migration across the Serengeti, keeping up with the wildebeest and the predators that follow in their tracks. Botswana and Zambia are popular destinations for the more ardent explorer, keen to hop out of their vehicle and tackle a guided Big Five bush walk or a journey in a dugout canoe. Or you might head to South Africa’s Kruger National Park where around 1600 lions are said to make their home.
The beautiful Galapagos Islands are teeming with diverse and captivating wildlife, and a comfortable cruise is one of the best ways to see all the highlights. The conservation that takes place in the Galapagos is second-to-none, it’s a world where humans are not thought of as predators, where you can sail through waters filled with playful sea lions, walk with iguanas, snorkel with turtles and explore pristine beaches, all in the space of a few days. Whether you’re looking for a high-end luxury experience or prefer to play with a smaller budget, there are boats to suit your needs, each providing access to tours and activities that will showcase this part of the world at its best.
A little closer to home lies Plitvice Lakes National Park, one of the jewels of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. This water-filled paradise has earned itself the moniker ‘the European Niagra Falls’ so you know that you’re in for a treat of epic proportions. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979, the 30,000-hectare park boasts 16 glittering terraced lakes as well as the mighty 78-metre waterfall the Veliki Slap. A two-day stay is the minimum amount of time we’d recommend to truly make the most of this sensational park - take advantage of the hidden pathways and plank walks offering spectacular views of the lakes and falls. There are three hotels perched near the park’s entrance which can provide a comfortable stay, or you might prefer to visit as a stop on a cruise.
Nearly 95% of Yosemite National Park is designated Wilderness - a special distinction granted by Congress to prevent development on the land. If you’re looking to escape from civilisation, you could do a lot worse… With over 750 miles of trail to explore, it’s important to choose the trip that suits your level of fitness and abilities. Fortunately, the National Park Service offers detailed descriptions of potential routes so you can pick the right path for you. Expect to admire scenery that ranges from conifer forests and Valley meadows to magnificent mountains and mighty waterfalls. Plus, if your days of being a happy camper are long past, rest assured that lodging options in Yosemite range from simple tent cabins at the High Sierra Camps to deluxe rooms at The Majestic Yosemite Hotel.
Head to Svalbard, Norway to experience the furthest reaches of the north and admire the phenomenal natural light show known as the Aurora Borealis. Watching the other-worldly colours dance across the sky above the frosty Arctic wilderness is a scene you’ll never forget. Northern Lights season is between November and February each year, but even if you should choose to visit outside of these times, when the eerie twilight of the Polar Night lifts, you’ll be rewarded with opportunities to spot walrus, reindeer and polar bears.
As you make your way round the world, marking off those bucket list destinations, don’t forget to purchase the right travel insurance to cover your trip. Medical Travel Compared can help you find the best policy for your individual circumstances, so that you can spend more time thinking about your holiday of a lifetime.