Rewilding vacations: Where to see rewilding in action

If you’re the type of traveler who wants to escape crowds, immerse yourself in nature and discover wild places, a rewilding vacation could be for you. A new kind of ecotourism, vacations to see rewilding in action are gaining in popularity. More than just seeing amazing places they are a conscious choice to embrace the wild, choose a sustainable way of traveling, and witness some hope amongst climate change doom and gloom.

What is rewilding?

Rewilding aims to restore natural ecosystems that have been changed by human activity, often by reintroducing native plants or animals. It can be small-scale projects in cities or large-scale efforts in national parks and wilderness areas. It’s a way to address biodiversity loss, combat the impacts of climate change, and promote a more harmonious relationship between us and the natural world.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is often used as the poster child for rewilding. In 1995 eight gray wolves from Canada were let loose in the park, after the last native pack were hunted to extinction. Cue an ecological transformation that is still yielding positive results today. The elk population went down, vegetation that was previously grazed flourished, and species that had disappeared returned, creating a much more biodiverse park. For an immersive trip try glamping at one of the many sites near the Yellowstone entrances. Take a safari through the park to observe bears, bison and beavers in their natural habitats and listen out for the wolves howling through the night.

Białowieża Forest, Poland

Bison (another name for buffalo) used to roam the forests of east and west Europe until human settlements and poaching meant they disappeared from the wild. They are known as a ‘keystone species’ as they interact with many others. Birds use their hair to build nests, seeds are spread when they eat, and their grazing helps maintain a patchwork of grass habitats that supports hundreds of species. Białowieża forest, deep in rural Poland, is a protected UNESCO site and one of the last primeval forests left in Europe. Białowieża village has cute places to stay in traditional rural Polish chalets and you’ll find restaurants serving up pierogi, stuffed cabbage leaves and potato pancakes with wild mushrooms.

Knepp Wilding, England

Stay in a treehouse, yurt or shepherd’s hut in the heart of West Sussex in England at one of Europe’s most exciting rewilding conservation projects. This 3,500 acre farm had been intensely farmed since the second world war and was a biodiversity desert. That was until the owners gave up on fighting against nature and reintroduced longhorn cattle, pigs, deer and ponies. Their grazing created a mosaic of habitats that has successfully attracted many species back to the site. In less than 20 years nature has recovered, showing it is possible to regenerate intensive agricultural land and giving hope for the future if we let nature lead the way.

Florida Keys Coral Reserve

Florida has experienced huge losses of living coral reefs in the last 40 years, with much still under threat due to rising temperatures and pollution. To restore the ecosystems, coral has been grown in offshore nurseries and 220,000 have been returned to the coral reefs. Many of these have regrown into thriving colonies and have the ability to spawn, so the reef can start to naturally recover itself. Stay near Key Largo or Biscayne Bay to experience a rewilding vacation near Florida’s beautiful reefs. Key Largo is known as the ‘dive capital of the world’ and you’ll find accommodation and rentals for snorkeling and diving in nearby John Pennekamp State Coral Reef Park.

The Great Bear Rainforest, Canada

The Great Bear Rainforest is 6.4 million hectares of rainforest in British Columbia’s north and central coast, much of it untouched. Through conservation projects, including habitat protection, sustainable resource management, and Indigenous-led stewardship, the project protects the rich biodiversity of this pristine wilderness. Stay in an eco-lodge and discover the mountains, fjords and forests teeming with life. Kayak along the coast, hike through ancient forest and watch waterfalls tumble into the Pacific Ocean. You can also engage with the Indigenous communities that live here and learn about their deep understanding and connection with the earth.

Long Story Short...

Rewilding vacations give us the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful and untouched parts of the planet and contribute to the conservation projects supporting them. As the demand for meaningful travel grows, rewilding adventures allow opportunities for ecotourism, to immerse ourselves in nature whilst becoming contributors to global positive change.

Written by Laura Sedlak