Our wildlife on earth...
Pinnawella Elephant Ophanage, Sri Lanka - 2001
Back in 2001 I was working for a tour operator called Holiday Options and we launched a programme of holidays to some Tropical Islands of the World.
During those days I got the opportunity to visit the Maldives and Sri Lanka on a two centre familiarisation trip which of course was magnificent having never been to either country before.
The highlight of the trip was not the glorious beaches of the Maldives but this visit to Pinnawella Elephant orphanage where you can witness the incredible work the locals are doing to maintain and grow a healthy population of this magnificent mammal.
I stayed in the nearby Kandalama Hotel which at the time was one of the most eco friendly resorts in the world. I always remember having a shower and looking to my left where a monkey was sat watching me through the window…. quite a sight….for me not him !!
Triglav National Park, Slovenia - 2013
La Vanille Nature Reserve, Mauritius 2015
One of the many stars of the Mauritius wildlife scene is the Giant Tortoise although these beasts actually originate from the Seychelles.
Everytime I hosted a trip to Mauritius I always liked to visit La Vanille Nature reserve to witness the conservation and breeding programmes of this amazing animal.
If you are very lucky as I was on one occasion, I was able to hold a giant tortoise egg as it was hatching – a wonderful experience especially when you consider the fact that this little animal will outlive me and roam the planet for well over 100 years
The nature park has now taken on a new project with the Ebony Forest – an area covering 50 hectares of native Mauritian forest where the island’s rare and endangered flora and fauna can find sanctuary.
Praslin, Seychelles - 2018
In 2018 I had the opportunity with Beachcomber Tours to visit the islands of the Seychelles.
The island of Praslin was a firm favourite due in part to the World Heritage site that is the Vallee de Mai ancient forest.
Early one morning before breakfast I headed off to a secluded beach at the Constance Lemuria hotel and while hoping to spot some early morning sea life I instead stumbled upon a couple of enormous land crabs as well as a nest of these critters!
Spiders are not often peoples favourite creature but I find them fascinating and in particular these Seychelles “Palm” spiders whom I had to get up close and personal with in order to take this photo.
Not sure how many of you would be happy with one of these in the palm of your hand !
Mahe, Seychelles - 2018
With the dreadful spread of Covid 19 in 2020 the dear old bat has taken a bit of a bashing in the media.
Both in the Seychelles and in Mauritius I find watching these beautiful animals fascinating particularly at dusk when they come out to feed.
Like birds, these fruit bats play a critical role in spreading the seeds of trees and other plants. Many also carry the seeds inside them as they digest the fruit, then excrete the seeds far away from the original tree.
I particularly like this photo that I took…. they look pretty cute don’t you think ?
Snow Monkeys of Japan - Oct 2019
When I knew I was going to Japan probably the first thing I did was check where and when I could go and visit the snow monkeys !
Thankfully there are a number of different locations and one on my route was at Iwatayama, a small mountain that has a monkey park, which is located in the Arashiyama district west of Kyoto.
I took this picture of this gorgeous male watching over his hareem.
An amazing experience to see them in the wild although let it be said they were attracted in to a feeding area for tourist purposes. Not ideal but they were wild and judging by the fun and games they were having – happy !