Teutonic Safari Spotting Rare Wild Animals in Germany

Wolves, big cats, colorful birds: Anyone craving a safari doesn't have to visit Africa -- with a few tricks, rare animals can be tracked down in Germany too. SPIEGEL ONLINE presents 10 destinations for viewing especially shy native species.
Von Lisa Goldmann
Cranes can be seen en masse near Berlin in the autumn, resting and gathering their strength for the long journey ahead.

Cranes can be seen en masse near Berlin in the autumn, resting and gathering their strength for the long journey ahead.

Patrick Pleul/ picture alliance / dpa
Beavers were almost extinct in Germany a century ago. Now they're back.

Beavers were almost extinct in Germany a century ago. Now they're back.

Patrick Pleul/ picture alliance / dpa
The great mouse-eared bat, one of various species of bats that hibernate in caves in Germany.

The great mouse-eared bat, one of various species of bats that hibernate in caves in Germany.

Patrick Pleul/ picture alliance / dpa
A grey seal pup on the beach of the German North Sea island of Helgoland.

A grey seal pup on the beach of the German North Sea island of Helgoland.

Kurverwaltung_Helgoland/ picture-alliance / dpa/dpaweb
Wolves have returned to Germany.

Wolves have returned to Germany.

dapd
Wildcats are extremely shy -- but in the spring, a lucky hiker may come across wildcat kittens waiting for their mother to return with food.

Wildcats are extremely shy -- but in the spring, a lucky hiker may come across wildcat kittens waiting for their mother to return with food.

Ronald Wittek/ picture alliance / dpa
In Bavaria, lynx can be seen roaming around an enclosure in the Bayerischer Wald nature reserve. Seeing one in the wild is almost impossible.

In Bavaria, lynx can be seen roaming around an enclosure in the Bayerischer Wald nature reserve. Seeing one in the wild is almost impossible.

Boris Roessler/ picture alliance / dpa
An otter in the wild in Germany.

An otter in the wild in Germany.

Jan Ole Kriegs/LWL/ picture alliance / dpa
Kingfishers can be spotted all over Germany -- wherever there are natural streams or rivers.

Kingfishers can be spotted all over Germany -- wherever there are natural streams or rivers.

Patrick Pleul/ picture-alliance/ dpa