Tracking wild animals in the snow
To our cave-dwelling ancestors, Europe was a land of wild forests, where large animals were once both hunter and hunted. Today, the ancient forests of eastern Poland offer the most authentic glimpse of this primeval past, and remain a refuge for much of the wildlife once common across the continent. Winter offers a special perspective, with the snow-covered terrain criss-crossed by tracks. Top quarry for the trackers is the European bison, a shaggy bovine now re-established here after near extinction a century ago. Elk, boar and deer may also be encountered, and the lucky few may glimpse a beaver or otter. Wrap up warm and venture out at night to raised viewing hides and you may even see wolves. Meanwhile, whitetailed eagle, hazelhen and nutcracker are among the treats for birdwatchers. Top tip Camera batteries run down quickly in the cold; keep spares close to your skin. How to book Naturetrek (01962 733 051; naturetrek.co.uk) offers a sevennight Poland in Winter tour, from £1,695 per person (two sharing) including flights, transfers and meals, plus the services of a Naturetrek expert guide and a local guide. Departing January 28 2018.
Iceland: Orcas and Aurora