If, as with our family, Sir David Attenborough’s recent planet Earth II series was required viewing on a Sunday night, you are probably being pestered right now to go and see some of that amazing wildlife face-to-face. Here, on an episode-by-episode basis, are some of the places you can get up close.
For families, I always like to combine a sprinkling of beach, with a hint of culture and a dash of wildlife and Indonesia is a great place to do this. Experience Travel lets you combine the famous dragons of Komodo with Bali, taking in the cultural capital of Ubud as well as the beach.
If the budget can stretch, somewhere that should appear on every bucket list is the Galapagos Islands, the birthplace of Darwinian evolution. The islands are a long way off the Ecuadorean coast so you will want to fly and then explore them by boat, just as Darwin did, albeit in considerably more luxury. Expect to pay around £5,000 per person.
The Planet Earth footage of grizzly bears scratching their itches to the strains of Jungle Boogie was some of the most memorable in the whole series. You can go and see the bears of Kananaskis Country in the shadow of the Canadian Rockies. Although you might not catch a bear getting its groove on, you will see some of Canada’s most beautiful scenery. A great way to explore Canada’s wilderness is to take a tailormade self-drive holiday with guided hikes. Specialist Canadian Sky ) can help with this plan.
If you want to see the mountains at their wildest, where else than the Himalayas? Snow leopards like to keep out of sight but there are chances of seeing one if you are lucky. Even if not, there is plenty to amaze on visits to the rugged Ladakh region and specialist TransIndus can organise independent jeep safaris here.
More than half of the area of the Central American country of Costa Rica is rainforest and it is one of most spectacular places in the world to experience the jungle. Remember the tree-frog battle against the wasps from the series? This is where it happened. Journey Latin America can arrange everything from a budget essentials trip to a luxury private tour.
Some of the cutest creatures in this episode were the endangered indri of Madagascar and you can visit them yourself on a Madagascar wildlife discovery holiday with Rainbow Tours. Visit any time from April to November to see these animals in the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park.
The hauntingly beautiful country of Namibia was centre stage in this episode. You can explore the Kalahari, the famous Skeleton Coast and see a startlingly diverse range of wildlife including meerkats and giraffe on a desert safari with Wexas. The wildlife is not the only thing to see – the desert is home to some huge dunes.
The slot canyons of Arizona and the raw gorges of Utah provided some of the memorable backdrops to this episode. Explore these and other dramatic national parks with Audley Travel on a three-and-a-half week driving odyssey.
Botswana’s Okavango Delta starred in this episode where we saw lion cubs seeing water for the first time and a huge Cape buffalo in a life-or-death battle with five lionesses. Natural World Safaris offers a number of itineraries to this unspoilt country. Best time to visit is May to September.
A little less exotic than some of the destinations in this series is Norfolk, where a harvest mouse escapes the clutches of a hungry barn owl in one of the county’s many meadows. You can explore the Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, also featured in the series, as well as the North Norfolk coast from this set of cosy cottages in the grounds of Sharrington Hall.
The free-running langurs of the Indian city of Jodhpur were one of the highlights of the final episode of the series. India, of course, is home to a wealth of wildlife, from the country’s famous elephants to the birds of Bharatphur. Discover them all on a private tour of the country with TransIndus.
The episode’s message was less about the wildlife and more about what humans have done to the planet. If you prefer your wildlife a bit tamer, you can always visit Manhattan, as they did in the series.
Better still, do something to reduce humanity’s impact on our beautiful and fragile planet — here are some ways you can help.
Mark Frary is family travel editor of 101 Holidays (www.101holidays.co.uk).