Delve into exciting Nat Hab updates: expeditions, videos, wildlife news and more! And find out more about our first annual Sustainability Report, which highlights our efforts over nearly 40 years to fortify the bridge between conservation and travel.
New Trip—Alaska Bear Quest: A Photo Pro Expedition
If you are a serious wildlife photographer—especially if you’re as besotted with bears as we are—then our newest Alaska trip is for you! We’ve just rolled out the ultimate brown bear photography adventure. Spend 13 days with us next June for the inaugural season of Alaska Bear Quest: A Photo Pro Expedition. We’ve combined our two epic brown bear experiences in one amazing itinerary, maximizing your time for bear photography in the best places on Earth for close-up images. And we’re dedicating our top bear photographer guides to the trip, giving you unparalleled expertise to tap as you seek the brown bear images of a lifetime.
You’ll visit both Katmai and Lake Clark national parks, premier locations on Alaska’s Bear Coast where hundreds of huge coastal brown bears roam the roadless wilderness. Traveling with just eight guests, you’ll spend four nights at Nat Hab’s fly-in Bear Camp, located on a private inholding in Lake Clark National Park—plus four more nights on board our “grizzly ship,” the Natural Habitat Ursus, cruising near Hallo Bay on the Katmai coast and going ashore for photos. You won’t believe how close you’ll safely get on foot! The bears don’t bother us because they have all they need from nature. Watch them fatten up on their summer smorgasbord, devouring sedge and digging for clams on the tide flats.
Enjoy long days of photography in the nearly round-the-clock daylight as you witness mating activity and mothers with cubs. We might see wolves, foxes and bald eagles, too. Our itinerary includes both Kodiak and Homer, with private cruises for marine life photography in both places. This epic adventure is for accomplished photographers, with the goal of getting you bear photos you could only dream of otherwise.
Giant Pandas Return to China—See Them with Us!
It’s hard to imagine. But soon, there won’t be any giant pandas to see in the U.S.—for the first time since 1972. That’s because all zoos in the U.S. must return their pandas to China this year as loan programs expire. We can get you up close and personal with pandas in their homeland!
Check out our Chinese wildlife adventure where you’ll see dozens of giant pandas up close in Sichuan’s famous panda breeding and research bases. You’re sure to see adorable panda cubs when you visit—watch this video of panda playtime at the Wolong Reserve on our most recent China trip!
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Here are some of the highlights of what you’ll experience with us in China:
- Make three separate panda base visits with extended time for observation and photography, and get a chance to volunteer with panda care.
- Explore wild panda habitat on a remote national nature reserve that is essentially untouristed, guided by our North American Expedition Leader and expert local naturalists.
- See other endemic and endangered species within this 100,000-acre mountain sanctuary that is one of the most intact ecosystems in Asia. You may also encounter golden and Sichuan takin, Tibetan and rhesus macaques, musk deer, blue sheep, wild boar and golden pheasant, and more rarely, red panda and moon bear.
- Visit a golden snub-nosed monkey reserve. Because they are acclimated to humans, you’ll get very close to these cute blue-faced primates that live in the alpine forest among lakes, glacial rivers and waterfalls.
- Experience special cultural highlights: the Terracotta Army, the ancient Silk Road city of Xi’an, and an overnight village visit on the Tibetan plateau.
Calling all photographers! Take advantage of the Photo Tour version of our itinerary, with personalized coaching from a top photographer guide. There’s the China of news headlines. And then there’s The Wild Side of China. Discover it with us.
Nat Hab’s First Annual Sustainability Report
If you’re a fan of Nat Hab, you likely care as much as we do about conservation. But what does it mean to be a “conservation first” adventure travel company?
It’s simple. Conservation is first and foremost in all we do. It’s our “why,” our reason for being, and our passion: to protect the planet and all its inhabitants—not least the wild ones you travel with us to see.
Our mission statement—conservation through exploration—captures this focus. And it’s the title of a new publication we could not be more excited to share with you: our first annual Sustainability Report. This colorful, highly readable document features our efforts over nearly 40 years to fortify the bridge between conservation and travel—the connection that launched us, and the foundation for all we do today. From the get-go, Nat Hab has pushed to become a world leader in sustainable nature travel. We’ve continually sought to raise the bar, from being the first travel company to go carbon-neutral in 2007 to running the World’s First Zero Waste Adventure in 2019 and rolling out our first electric safari vehicle in 2023.
We’ve sought to set an example and influence our peers to dig deeper, try harder, aim higher, and leave the places and people we visit better by our very presence. When you delve into our Sustainability Report, you’ll see all the ways we have pursued that lofty goal. Within these pages, you’ll learn about our innovations, our partnerships, our philanthropic initiatives, and much more. And while this is our first-ever such report, it will be an annual roundup: with the many initiatives we have underway all the time, we are already working on our next edition, committed to informing and inspiring you with how conservation travel is helping to protect our wild world.
When you add value to natural landscapes, wild places, and wildlife by bringing small groups of conscious travelers to experience them, local communities directly benefit from keeping nature unspoiled. No resource extraction industry can compare to the value of sustainable nature tourism done right. We hope you’ll appreciate the many heartening accomplishments our report contains. And we hope it will elevate your own enthusiasm for conservation, as part of our passionate community of nature lovers.
New Report from WWF—Snow Leopard Numbers on the Rise
The presence of 134 snow leopards has been confirmed in Bhutan by the National Snow Leopard Survey 2022-2023, supported by the Bhutan For Life project and WWF-Bhutan. This represents a 39.5% increase from the country’s first survey in 2016, when 96 individuals were counted. The finding serves “as continued inspiration for protection of this elusive species,” said Dechen Dorji, Senior Director, Asia Wildlife, WWF-US.
Renowned for their silver coat with black rosettes, snow leopards are found in twelve countries across Asia’s high mountains—and our snow leopard expedition in far-north India gives you excellent odds to see them in the wild. Snow leopards are mostly solitary, and we may see one on the hunt, stealthily pursuing a mountain sheep, or springing onto its back from a ledge. Sometimes, we see mothers with cubs (watch this adorable video!).
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Your chance to witness this elegant apex predator is growing as their numbers increase. Get a preview via this footage from our past trips.
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Our adventure takes place in Ladakh, a sparsely populated region in the Indian Himalayas where Tibetan Buddhist culture predominates. Following the Indus River through remote high valleys, we reach our private expedition lodge. From this comfortable base, we set out each day in search of the “gray ghost”—the snow leopard’s local nickname that’s a nod to its mysterious and elusive nature. We partner with the best snow leopard trackers in the region, however, and our spotters’ ability to detect these masterfully camouflaged cats is second to none.
The surrounding cliffs and alpine meadows provide habitat for the snow leopard’s prey—ibex, bharial and urial—as well as fox, hare, pika and Tibetan wolves. Villagers recognize that protecting snow leopards from illegal hunting and poaching is beneficial—the cats are integral to maintaining ecological balance, and our coming to observe them supports the local economy, demonstrating the value of conservation travel. Join us this winter for a 10-day adventure in the Land of the Snow Leopard!
New Video—Iceland: Land of Fire & Ice
When you’re looking for a nature destination that delivers on bang for your buck, Iceland awaits. And if you need any convincing, watch our new video! Nat Hab’s 11-day Iceland adventure stands alone compared to other offerings. We get you farther afield, in more intimate and authentic settings, with just 11 travelers plus our naturalist Expedition Leader and an expert local guide.
Though it’s only the size of Ohio or Kentucky, this island nation holds Europe’s largest glacier, thousands of waterfalls, iceberg lagoons, glacial rivers, 32 active volcanoes, and more than two dozen geysers. Off the rugged coastline, we find more than 20 whale species, plus dolphins and porpoises. On Iceland’s cliffs and islands, we find more than 4,000 nesting seabird colonies, including 60% of the world’s Atlantic puffins. Our itinerary gets you into exclusive private settings for a more powerful encounter with Iceland’s natural drama. Explore the little-visited Westfjords. Head to Askja Volcano by Super Jeep and hike to the rim to peer inside the crater. Cruise among icebergs in Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon on a private Zodiac tour. Wander black sand beaches, soak in a hot spring, and stay on a family farm.
If you’re a serious photographer, look at Iceland Full Circle: A Photo Pro Expedition. You won’t find a more intensive photography encounter with Iceland: 16 long, light-saturated days; three private flights for aerial imagery, including a helicopter glacier landing; multiple private boat cruises…and capped at just nine guests! Nat Hab truly offers the ultimate immersion in Iceland.