In today’s post, Agness and Cez of eTramping will introduce you to the magnificent world of Greenland and its wildlife.
Now, be completely honest – are you drawn irresistibly to travel? Do you find yourself frequently perusing maps, atlases and an endless bookshelf of travel guides? If you ever find yourself absentmindedly spinning a globe, you will at some point undoubtedly have come across a large chunk of land on top of the earth – more commonly known as Greenland. Greenland? What’s in Greenland? you might be asking. Greenland is big and icy, in fact over 80% of the country is ice! What then, could possibly live, let alone flourish, in such a place? Apparently, quite a lot! We decided to take a look at the wildlife of Greenland, to see what creatures we could possibly encounter on a trip up to the north, and you might be surprised at what we discovered.
Great big fluffy…bears!
For starters, there are polar bears. Big, white, furry, and fierce polar bears. Don’t be deceived by their cuddly-looking fur. They are far from cuddly. These amazing animals hunt on the ice and show remarkable endurance by swimming for miles in the icy waters in search of food. Now that’s determination!
While tourists aren’t likely to bump into a polar bear during a trip to Greenland (so don’t worry, you can visit the local post office without fear!), these are just one of the amazing animals to be discovered on an Arctic expedition.
Arctic foxes are another elusive creature inhabiting this vast country. If you’ve ever seen an Arctic fox, you’ll know how unforgettable they are. In contrast to your typical red fox, the Arctic fox has sleek white fur, which is an effective camouflage against the snow.
Apart from having beautiful fur, we just think they’re just really cute and we think they would be a lot of fun to observe! Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to watch a litter of Arctic fox pups romping in the snow, while their mother sits by and looks out for danger? Definitely not something you see every day, and well worth seeking out.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed…….
Reindeer don’t only appear on Christmas cards in December. Many of these impressive animals, with their regal antlers, like to live in Greenland! They wander the frozen hectares of Greenland in herds throughout the year. Greenland even has reindeer farmers who farm these magnificent beasts. For anyone not used to seeing a reindeer out and about, then this would be an impressive sight to behold. Just imagine a whole field of gently grazing reindeer.
Forget about paddocks of sheep and cows and horses. Perhaps a visit to a reindeer farm might be in order.
Hitching a ride with man’s best friend…
There are plenty of domesticated animals in Greenland too. Sled dogs are a big part of the way of life for the people living there. Man’s best friend does so much more than providing loyal companionship and fetching warm slippers. These dogs work very hard, in pretty tough conditions and in all kinds of harsh weather.
How amazing that they can pull heavy loads through the cold and snow, and work together as a team. Taking a ride in a dog-sled would definitely have to be on the To-Do List when visiting Greenland. Be sure to rug up nice and warm, and enjoy the ride. It will be a fantastic way to see the local area, while listening to a soundtrack of joyful barking! And before you leave, perhaps remember to thank your new doggy friends for the ride!
Out of the deep…
As for creatures of the ocean, there are plenty of those too. There’s just as much activity, if not more so, going on below Greenland as there is above on its frozen land. Narwhals frequent the icy waters of Greenland, as they hunt in their native home. The narwhals, with their spears emerging from the deep, surely have to be called the Vikings of the sea. And they aren’t the only whales to be seen in Greenland.
Humpback whales are an incredible sight to see in any part of the world, but what an awesome sight it would be when their enormous bodies rise from the ocean, then shatter the icy waters with their tremendous weight. Be sure to plan for an Arctic cruise and spend some time with these impressive mammals. And you’ll want to be sure that your camera has plenty of storage space! You’re going to need it.
Along the icy coasts you may be able to spot a walrus or two. These massive creatures with their long tusks like to hang out on the ice, where they seek out their food. Apart from having big dopey eyes, the walrus has a formidable mass, and can look a little intimidating – even from a distance. Similar in shape, though much smaller in size, are the seals who call Greenland home. They love to frolic in the cold waters and will surely put on an entertaining show for travellers enjoying the sights on an Arctic cruise.
Walruses and seals are just another of the many attractions to look forward to when visiting Greenland.
Who would have thought that such a barren-sounding place could be filled with so much wildlife? We were amazed at what we discovered, and these examples are really only just the ‘tip of the iceberg’. There’s so much going on in this frozen animal kingdom. The strength, resilience, and beauty of these animals of the ice would be reason enough to pack up your bags, get on a plane, board an Arctic cruise, do whatever it takes to get up close to the animals of Greenland.
Some of them may be a little trickier to find, but if you keep your eyes peeled, there are plenty of rewarding encounters to be had. After a holiday with the wild life of Greenland, we’re likely to never be the same again. Are you ready to go make some new animal friends?
And also check out the amazing Sirius Patrol who is responsible for security in the world’s largest national park.