This year’s Chinese New Year, landing on February 16, marks the ‘Year of the Dog.’ To celebrate, leader in responsible adventure travel Natural Habitat Adventures brings nature enthusiasts closer to the dog’s wildest relatives in the planet’s most extraordinary destinations. From spotting the most endangered canine in the world on the roof of Africa to searching for wolves in the pale light of sunrise in Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley, join Natural Habitat Adventures to celebrate the beloved canine and this year’s zodiac animal.
How to get close: Yellowstone: Ultimate Wolf & Wildlife Safari
On this small-group Yellowstone adventure, search for wolves in the remote Lamar Valley—the best place on Earth to see them—with the aid of scientist researchers. Elegant predators, wolves are an important part of the Yellowstone ecosystem, where elk, bison and other prey provide sustenance. Winter’s white mantle offers a pristine backdrop against which to search for these elusive wilderness icons. The land itself is part of the magic, too, with steaming geysers and trees covered in ice crystals beneath an immaculate blue sky.
The African Wild Dog
How to get close: Botswana: Kalahari, the Delta & Beyond
The nomadic African wild dog is critically endangered and spotting this canine in the wild during Botswana’s lush summer—its most productive and colorful time—is a natural spectacle few travelers experience. The drier region of the Okavango Delta bordering the Moremi Game Reserve is also superb for wildlife viewing, with stable populations of lion, leopard and the African wild dog active within a wide range of diverse habitats.
The Ethiopian Wolf
How to get close: Wild Ethiopia: The Roof of Africa
Stand on the very roof of Africa atop the Ethiopian Highlands. This carefully designed route focuses on locations where wildlife is most prolific, including Simien Mountains and Bale Mountains national parks—offering the best opportunities to spot rare and endemic wildlife including Africa’s most endangered predator, the Ethiopian wolf, plus walia ibex, mountain nyala and gregarious gelada monkeys. This vast high-altitude plateau, marked with volcanic peaks and rent with deep gorges, is one of the world’s most dramatic landscapes.
The Arctic Fox
How to get close: Ultimate Churchill Adventure
The Arctic fox’s beautiful white coat can make this stunning canine hard to spot against Churchill’s vast tundra backdrop, once it’s cloaked in winter snow. With the aid of the finest naturalist guides on the planet, look for foxes as you also search for polar bears from heated Polar Rovers—specialty tundra vehicles, designed for watching polar bears play and interact feet away. Later, helicopter in to the bears’ denning area, experience the northern boreal wilderness by dog sled, explore the frontier town of Churchill and enjoy cultural activities with local residents.
How to get close: Hidden Jewels of Zimbabwe & Zambia
On safari with just six adventurers in the lightly visited national parks of Zambia and Zimbabwe, the fascinating social habits of the jackal can be observed. Some are found in small groups called packs, while others live alone or in pairs. Zambia and Zimbabwe offer some of Africa’s most prolific and diverse wildlife viewing, as animals such as elephant, Cape buffalo, hippo and rhinoceros congregate in great numbers on the Kafue Plains, in the Hwange region and along the Zambezi River in Mana Pools.
The Red Fox
How to get close: Hidden Yellowstone Wildlife Safari
As an intelligent and cunning canine, it’s no wonder the red fox can be found among the wondrous geology and abundant animals of America’s first national park, Yellowstone. This classic small-group safari through Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons takes travelers into the domain of elk and buffalo herds, bald eagles, bears, wolves and, of course, the fox. Discover wildlife-viewing spots that most tourists miss, along with many scenic surprises revealed by Natural Habitat’s Expedition Leaders, who know the terrain intimately.
For more information about Natural Habitat Adventures’ trips around the world, visit www.nathab.com.