Our unique Festivals are innovative trips designed to celebrate all aspects of wildlife and are accompanied by one or more wildlife celebrities, and top experts in their field. Join us on the Festival of Wildlife, Festival of Whales and Festival of Bears for the ultimate wildlife experience.
Why our Wildlife Festivals are so special
What to expect on a Wildlife Festival
The concept of Wildlife Festivals was conceived by Wildlife Worldwide founder Chris Breen, whose vision was to run a trip to “celebrate all aspects of an area’s flora and fauna”. Over the years this has evolved into special itineraries packed with a rich variety of activities.
Each day will bring new wildlife experiences, talks, workshops and master classes with a prestigious line-up of experts. Many participants appreciate the unique experience that a festival offers, and return regularly to enjoy the celebration.
Travel with the Experts
The experts that are likely to accompany you on a Festival include naturalists,wildlife photographers, writers, television wildlife presenters, film/documentary makers, sculptors and artists. A team from Wildlife Worldwide also accompanies each Festival to manage this unique wildlife event.
On our Festival of Wildlife 2020 in Spitsbergen, we will be joined by broadcaster and conservationist Mark Carwardine, plus award-winning wildlife photographers Nick Garbutt and Bret Charman.
Workshops & Presentations
Throughout the Festival there will be a comprehensive programme of activities or illustrated talks you can choose from. Depending on the festival and the location, these might include photography workshops, sculpture or sketching workshops, erudite lectures and/or illustrated talks. Each evening there will normally be an after-dinner presentation by one of the Festival experts. Meticulous long term planning ensures that nothing is left to chance. One thing is certain – you won’t be short of things to keep you busy!
The location of any festival is carefully selected for its potential for unmatchable sightings of the region’s most iconic wildlife – the focus may be a single species that inhabits or is endemic to the area, or the broad range of inhabitants of a particular habitat.
On our next Festival of Wildlife, we head to the remarkable archipelago of Spitsbergen, high above the Arctic Circle, for our Festival of Wildlife. Its spectacular coastline, littered with glaciers flowing into the sea, and high cliffs offer endless opportunities for wildlife viewing. Bearded seals and walrus cruise the icy fjords, whilst polar bears are often seen from expedition vessels, and cetaceans such as minke, humpbaack and blue whales can be found the rich seas around Spitsbergen. The birdlife is equally impressive with huge nesting colonies of little auk, Brunnich’s guillemot and Atlantic puffin, to name a few.
Our Festival of Whales has historically taken place at San Ignacio lagoon in Baja California, the desert peninsula that extends down Mexico’s Pacific coastline, where the focus was grey whales. This Festival has now moved to the stunning Bay of Fundy on Canada's Atlantic Coast, where we charter our own boat to spend maximum time with a variety of whale species, in particular the endangered North Atlantic right whale.
Our Festival of Bears has become so popular that it now runs each year, staying at a location in British Columbia that is renowned for sightings of brown (grizzly) bears. The lodges we select all offer comfortable accommodation, but more importantly, heart-stoppingly close encounters with the bears, as these magnificent forest-dwellers forage and fish at the height of summer. The resident experts on these trips are naturalist, writer and broadcaster Mark Carwardine and Wildlife Worldwide founder Chris Breen - both 'bear men' through and through.
Such was the success of our first Festival in Kenya’s Masai Mara in 2004, that subsequent festivals took place in the Galapagos Islands in 2005, Ranthambhore National Park in India in 2006, the Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia in 2007, Madagascar in 2008, Tanzania’s legendary Serengeti in 2009, and the Pantanal, Brazil in 2010, with each festival focussing on the area’s wildlife in depth. The somewhat smaller Festival of Whales started in 2014, and the Festival of Bears in British Columbia, Canada, the same year.
The wildlife focus has featured lions, tigers, jaguars, lemurs, grey whales, grizzly bears, as well as those species which led Charles Darwin to formulate his ground-breaking theory of evolution.
On all our Festivals, we select wonderful, characterful accommodation, located in the best possible locations for wildlife viewing. Our group will have exclusive use of the lodge/camp, which allows for an even more intimate experience. Our venue for the Festival of Bears in Canada is the waterfront Spirit Bear Lodge, perfectly located for bear viewing in the Great Bear Rainforest. On Canada's Atlantic coast, our Festival of Whales sees us taking up residence in the summer home of former US President Franklin D Roosevelt on historic Campobello Island.