The kennemer dunes in National Park Zuid-Kennemerland

A beautiful day in March with sun and not too windy, and some time to discover the “Kennemerduinen” which is part of national park "Zuid-Kennemerland". Looking for the best place to enter we find the visitors centre, with an ample parking and the start of several walks. One of them leading to the beach.

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A footpath through the dunes.

We take the one to the beach, after all, it is a beautiful day! In the visitors centre, you can buy a map of the area, but there is also a free map, although a bit small. Various walks are well signed so it should be no problem without a map.

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The city of Haarlem in the distance.

In the dunes, there is bound to be some height differences, for Dutch people a treat. Now and then a surprisingly beautiful nature view is alternated with city skylines, we are in the densest populated area in the Netherlands after all. In this park, you will not be walking (or biking) on your own on a sunny day in March.

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Great cormorants 

Part of the park closes for visitors during the breeding season. Unfortunately, this is also where the European bison is most often. Understandable, so no European bison for us this time. After our beach visit, we found an excellent bird watching cabin with plenty of water birds to view.

Slobeend, Anas clypeata. Kennemerduinen, Nationaal Park Zuid-Kennemerland dunes Tefeleend, Aythya ferina, Kuifeend, Aythya fuligula, Kennemerduinen, Nationaal Park Zuid-Kennemerland dunes P1080089

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1) Northern shoveler ♂, 2) Pochard ♂ and Tufted duck ♂, 3) Coot, 4) Great crested grebe

De Hoge Veluwe National Park

“De Hoge Veluwe” is a region in the centre of the Netherlands consisting of several nature parks, estates, farmlands and countryside villages. Some parks are state owned and some privately owned like “National Park De Hoge Veluwe”, owned by a foundation taking care of a rather large piece of the region although only 1/20 of the total Veluwe area.

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Lots of pine with a Great spotted woodpecker.

What use have Park lists: our idea is to enter park information into RikenMon’s Nature-Guide. Currently you can search based on what you have seen but alternatively, you can find something of your interest and discover where it can be seen. Suppose you would like to see a Wisent, find it in the App and discover which park offers the possibility to watch this animal Clicking on the park will also show all other nature to witness in that park, great idea! This is our first park we are entering.

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Lots of animal tracks in fast sand dunes.

National Park “De Hoge Veluwe” is maintained by the entry fees collected at the gate. Almost 10 Euro raises our expectations. Unfortunately, cars are not barred and very present in the park partly due to the small fee for them. Although cars are not allowed on all roads we did not manage to avoid them, even on a weekday outside the holiday season.

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White bikes, free use in the park.

Each visitor is allowed to use the white bikes with sturdy tyres and adjustable saddles, very good and more important available at several places inside the park. Due to the size of the park, a bicycle gives the opportunity to see most of the various scenes in a day. Inside the park (but not in the entrance fee) there is an art museum and hunting lodge as well. Both are an attraction on its own, but we fail to see how to manage that in one day.

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1) Spawn, 2)Hair moss, 3)the compass on top of a water reserve is a calm piece full place in the park. There is a footpath over the small hills where we saw the great spotted woodpecker.

Unfortunately, we did not see much wildlife. According to the information there should be herds of deer and sheep, many birds and much more. The informative website shows three key items of which nature is one, but perhaps we were just at the wrong place at the wrong time. The free visitor centre is spacious and with a rather old collection of stuffed animals, but it also contains a very nice museum called “museumonder”. It is very informative of the geological region with a focus on children’s entertainment.

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The “museumonder” with tree roots and lots of displays and fun info

Why RikenMon's Nature Guide

Some years ago we decided to travel and discover the world. The idea was to sell our belongings and just leave our hectic little country. We worked hard and put all of our savings apart. After some time we were ready to go, economics had changed, and the economic crisis began. At this period, however, we were confronted with some personal reasons to stay connected to Europe. We decided to travel with our small camper through Europe, and there was still a lot to discover as well! We had a couple of great summers in Europe and stayed for the winters in Africa for the better climate.

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Before we began our journey we were into nature, we enjoyed spotting animals, but it was not a goal in itself. While travelling, we had plenty of time and discovered we both liked spotting animals and identifying nature became a serious hobby. But how do you find what you have seen, we used the internet and a lot of books. Soon we found that searching the internet is hard when you do not know the name, a lot of things seem important to the new nature spotter. So we end up buying a lot of books of all categories in Europe and Africa. Our small camper quickly became loaded with books.

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We needed the easy searching of books combined with the content of the internet for each and every part of the world, but that didn't exist. As we were not the only traveller around, we decided to make this product ourselves! First, we started with a website and soon discovered it is a lot of data to enter! So we have begun limiting ourselves to Europe, and since it would be great to make this into a business we made apps for Android and iPhone, so this product could be at your disposal wherever you are.

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We miss the art of selling, so we are struggling to make it a business. With the idea to enter animal and flora data of the remainder of the world we believe our product is the best. So you can travel the world with just your phone to identify all fauna and flora. This is our dream, and we keep going to bring everyone our great app.

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