The Polar Regions of the earth spend much of the year under thick ice. Although Antarctica is a land mass, the Arctic is made up of floating ice. In mid winter there the sun never rises and temperatures reach minus 50C. In summer the reverse happens, when ice melts and the sun is out at midnight!
Life has adapted as it does everywhere, to exist in frozen climates and indeed the people of these icy lands have inhabited places like Greenland, Russia, Canada and Lapland for many centuries. Off the icy shorelines of polar regions wildlife such as Caribou, Polar Bears, Seals and Narwhals, Arctic Foxes, Whales and Penguins can be found.
Areas of snow and ice top most of the world’s mountains too, with places like Mount Rainier in America being so inhospitable you would think nothing grows there, but algae grow beneath the surface, supporting insect life and in some places such as the peaks of Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya in Africa there are plants and animals living on the slopes.
The Andes in South America are often frozen but animals live here too – mammals protected by thick fleecy coats and plants that bury themselves for much of the year, the Llama family have been specially adapted and indigenous people of the region farm them for their wool and meat.
If you are up for adventure, there are lots of polar expeditions to be enjoyed – circumnavigate the Arctic Circle, join an Antarctic cruise or trek across the tundra of North America and Asia. If you prefer more comfort in your white environment, book a winter sports trip or a visit to Lapland, staying in cosy chalets and mountain lodges.
If you enjoyed David Attenborough’s Frozen Planet series on BBC TV with it’s amazing photography and stunning coverage of the natural world that can be explored – ask me how to get you there!
Give me a call to put together a tailor made wildlife holiday to your own Frozen Planet!
…… Where in the world would you rather be?