7x Wildlife: discover flora and fauna in The Netherlands

25 May 2021

Did you know that you don't have to travel all the way to Africa for the Big Five? In our beloved wee country, our vast green areas are home to our own Big Five: the beaver, the red deer, the roe, the wild boar and even the seal! Spotting wildlife can be closer to home than you might think. We'll take you on a safari in the Veluwe!

1. Up early for the wildlife on the Hoge Veluwe

In the sprawling nature reserve of the Hoge Veluwe, you will find plenty of wild animals, but you do have to look at the right time! The best period to go out to spot wildlife is between June and October.  Are you going to set your alarm to wake up extra early? That's when you have the greatest chance of seeing wild boar, deer or stags in their natural habitat! Not a morning person? Not to worry, you can also spot wild animals around sunset and have a fantastic view during the golden hour.

2. Wildlife watching by car

Driving a Jeep across the African savannah is obviously the ultimate image of a safari. However, you can also spot wildlife by car in the Netherlands, for example in the forests of Nunspeet-Vierhouten where you can do a Big Five tour under the guidance of a real ranger. End your adventurous day in peace and quiet at the Stayokay Apeldoorn.

3. Spotting monkeys at the Apenheul

Not entirely free in the wild but well worth spotting all the same are the monkeys in the Apenheul in Apeldoorn! Look up and see the monkeys climbing and clambering around in the trees. Be careful though, because before you know it, one of them is sitting on your shoulder and your ice cream will be snatched away from you by a cheeky monkey!

4. Swinging between the animals in the climbing forest

Want to explore the heights yourself and swing from tree to tree? In the Klimbos (climbing forest) in the Berg & Bos city park in Apeldoorn, there are climbing circuits in the trees at a range of heights. Do you dare brave the 'No Limit' course at a height of 12-18 metres? Who knows what you will find high up in the trees! Extraordinary birds, curious squirrels or a mysterious owl! So don't forget to look around you while you're climbing. A bit too high? There are also courses lower down in the trees and a Junior Forest for the little ones! 

5. Walking among wildlife

We have put together the three most beautiful walking routes in the Veluwe for you. If you follow one of these breathtaking routes, there's a good chance you'll bump into Dutch wildlife such as roe deer, foxes and badgers. You can decide for yourself how long the 'excursion' lasts; there are walks from 2.5 km to 14 km. Highly recommended for children is the Sprengelberg trail on the Sallandse Heuvelrug, near Stayokay Gorssel!

6. Seal spotting on Terschelling

One of the animals in the Dutch Big Five is not to be found in the Veluwe: the seal. Where can you spot them? In the Wadden Sea at Terschelling for example, you won't even need binoculars! You may see them sunbathing on the beach as you sail on the ferry towards the Wadden Island. If you are heading that way anyway, pay a visit to Stayokay Terschelling, where you will literally be staying amongst the dunes.

7. Staying in the middle of nature

You go in search of wild animals during the day, but at night, the curious creatures come by to check out what you're up to. What could be more exciting than sleeping in the middle of nature? Maybe a deer or fox will walk past your cottage at night, or is that rustling a badger on his way to his lodge? Super exciting! In a Wikkelhouse, you literally sleep under the trees and wake up with a beautiful view across the woods.

What do you need to spot wildlife?

Proper preparation is key! Make sure your bag is packed with the following items: binoculars, torch, DEET (some animals are allowed to stay away ;) ), a camera with a zoom lens and extra clothing in case of rain or cold. Animals in the wild are always on their guard, so don't make too much noise and respect their habitat if you want to catch a glimpse of them!

Don't forget to pack a lunch with a drink when you leave, one of our hostels can provide this for you. Despite all these tips, were you out of luck and didn't see any animals in the wild? You can always go to Burgers' Zoo, where you are guaranteed to spot them!

And, staying the night?

You can do that at one of the following top locations...

Stayokay Arnhem

This hostel is located near De Hoge Veluwe National Park and it is just a stone's throw away from the bustling city. That way, you have the perfect mix between adventure in nature and the vibrant culture and hospitality of the historic centre. There is a playground with a basketball court for the kids next to the hostel, the parents can relax and enjoy the sunny outdoor terrace.

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Stayokay Apeldoorn

This hostel is the ideal location to start your trek past wild animals. Within a matter of minutes, you are on the edge of the Hoge Veluwe National Park, where you can hike, mountain bike or cavort around in the climbing forest. Sustainability is a top priority at this hostel, so there is a beehive and you get to eat local products, perhaps even from their own herb garden! And spending the night, that's something that you do in style here in a Wikkelhouse!

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Stayokay Gorssel

Want to wrap up your 'expedition' in style? You can do that in this really special hostel, which is entirely in the style of a Norwegian hunting lodge. Coming from Stayokay Egmond, you can easily plan a visit to Deventer or Zutphen. There are also plenty of sports and recreational things to do in the area, so you certainly won't be bored here.

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All our locations

Would you rather spend the night on the Wadden Islands near the seals or in the friendly hustle and bustle of the city?

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Did you know that...

we also have private and family rooms?

Choose a private room or family room and sleep in one room with the whole family. Each room has its own bathroom and you can make your stay as comfortable as you like. For example, go for a lazy checkout, choose a discount package or add meals. Breakfast is often even included!

We have different types of rooms: there is something for everyone. Do you want to know which room suits you best?

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Especially for families!

Stayokay is the place to be for a family holiday.

Our hostels are fully equipped to make sure that you and your family have an unforgettable holiday. There is plenty of room for the children to play and a host of activities in and around the hostel. So they won't get bored for a moment and can play to their heart’s content!

On holiday with the family