With exotic travels off the agenda for the time being, why not discover the wilderness on your own doorstep?
From tapirs and terns to alpacas and bats, there’s sure to be something for you to discover among the creatures of the Wild East. Here is our round-up of the most exciting, outdoor wildlife adventures to be had in the region.
Nightingales get into full voice as spring really gets going, and late April is a great time for this star songbird singer. Led by David Grimwood of The Froize Inn, Chillesford, the tour begins at 8am with tea or coffee and an introductory chat followed by a masterclass on searching for Nightingales and other birds that you may come across. The trip finishes at 1pm with a scrumptious lunch back at the Inn, where you can relax, enjoy your meal and discuss your morning’s sightings. Priced: £35 including masterclass and lunch. Book your safari here.
Seal Trips in Norfolk
A ‘must do’ when visiting the Norfolk coast is a trip to see the seals at Blakeney Point. It’s a treat to see the common and grey seals lolling about on the shore, with the more inquisitive of these marine mammals swimming up to the boat to say hello. This area of the coast is also famous for its bird life, with its most popular summer visitors being the terns – mainly common, sandwich and little terns and, quite often, Arctic terns. The popular sea trips operate from early spring, leaving from Morston Quay. Book here.
Priced: adults £13, children £7, booking recommended by phone: 01263 740505 or 01263 740038.
Join the Wildlife Trust on a ‘Bat Safari’ punt for adventures at dusk on Grantchester Meadows. The local bat population emerges from hibernation in May, with several species flying close to the water and the punts. The chauffeured tours are led by knowledgeable Wildlife Trust Bat Experts and they’ll make sure you get the most from your experience, including the use of specialist electronic bat detectors which convert the bats’ sonar signals into audible frequencies. Your guide will outline the characteristics and habitats of bats likely to be encountered on your trip and teach you how to use the detectors. Click here to book.
Deer Safari in Norfolk
Snettisham Park is a 329-acre working farm, featuring a spectacular deer safari, where you can meet their magnificent red deer herd. The tractor and covered trailer, or Safari Land Rover ride, is an experience not to be missed. During the 45-minute round trip you will meet, and be able to feed, the spectacular herd of red deer with over 60 hinds and two stags. You can be sure to get an amazing close encounter with the deer, all of which are more than happy to feed from your hands.
Running every hour from 11am. Pre-booking essential 48 hours in advance by calling 01485 542425.
Have you ever thought of becoming an alpaca trekker? Well, if you like your wildlife cute and fluffy, alpacas are for you! Let’s Go Alpacas in Wretham offers a 40-minute walk through the lovely scenery of Thetford Forest with these amazing and characterful creatures, with time for a selfie stop along the way. Alpacas are adorable and well natured, although they can be lovably stubborn! Hand feeding is also available, so that you can give your walking companion a tasty treat.
Jimmy’s Farm and Wildlife Park
You’ve probably seen Jimmy Doherty on TV on Jimmy’s Farm, but did you know that he also has a wildlife park? Get up close with crocodiles, camels, capybara and skunks, and book for a private animal encounter. Join one of the experienced keepers in the animal enclosure of your choice. Here you will get the opportunity to learn about the animals whilst giving them a feed, grooming them or even giving them a bath! Experiences include Reptile Madness, where you will meet tortoises, snakes, lizards and crocodiles, and Tapir Tummy Rubs, where you can get hands on with Teddy and Tip Tap, their two adorable lowland Tapir. Find out more.