Connect with nature and wildlife

Looking to connect with nature on your trip to Europe? The Netherlands offers a network of stunning wildlife areas that allows visitors to connect with nature in a unique and captivating way. Among these treasures, De Hoge Veluwe National Park stands out as a shining star, beckoning locals and tourists alike to experience the wonders of Dutch wilderness.

De Hoge Veluwe National Park

Located in the province of Gelderland, De Hoge Veluwe National Park is the largest and most renowned nature reserve in the Netherlands. Encompassing a diverse landscape of woodlands, heathlands, sand dunes, and lush grasslands, the park is a testament to the country’s ecological diversity. The park’s centerpiece is its ancient and dense forest, where centuries-old oak and beech trees tower above visitors, creating an enchanting atmosphere.

One of the unique features of De Hoge Veluwe is the presence of free-roaming wildlife, including red deer, wild boar, and mouflon. Visitors have the chance to observe these majestic animals in their natural habitat. Additionally, the park is home to various bird species, making it a  birdwatchers’ paradise. Cycling is a popular way to explore De Hoge Veluwe, and the park provides free-to-use bicycles at multiple entry points. This sustainable approach to exploration allows visitors to cover significant ground while minimizing their carbon footprint.

Another natural area to explore is situated in the province of Flevoland:

Oostvaardersplassen is a vast, unique wetland nature reserve that showcases an entirely different facet of Dutch wilderness. Created unintentionally when a land reclamation project left large areas of land below sea level, the region eventually transformed into a wetland paradise teeming with life.

Oostvaardersplassen is renowned for its dynamic ecosystem, comprising reed beds, open water, and grassy plains. The reserve boasts an impressive array of bird species, with resident and migratory birds finding sanctuary in this vital habitat. Birdwatchers flock to Oostvaardersplassen to catch glimpses of spoonbills, ospreys, and numerous waterfowl.

The reserve also features populations of large herbivores, including Konik horses and Heck cattle. The sight of these animals grazing freely across the wetlands provides a glimpse of a primeval landscape untouched by human intervention. The reserve’s unique blend of wet and dry landscapes makes it a haven for biodiversity, attracting researchers and nature lovers alike.

Whether you are a nature lover, a curious explorer, or a dedicated wildlife enthusiast, the wildlife areas in the Netherlands have something remarkable to offer and leave a lasting impression of the country’s beauty beyond its urban allure.

Imagine spotting a colorful kingfisher perched on a cattail, waterside at Oostvaardersplassen
Imagine spotting a colorful kingfisher perched on a cattail, waterside at Oostvaardersplassen, ©Anja Stolwijk.

Things to consider before traveling

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