We are always interested to hear about your travels, whether it’s a return trip to a country you love, great moments captured on camera, or the smaller things that help make an enjoyable trip. The next six pages showcase some of the fantastic travel tales and photographs you’ve shared with us this Spring. From family adventures in the Masai Mara, to exploring Vietnam, to a private tea ceremony in Kyoto; we hope you will enjoy reading them as much as we did.
Articles in the 'Safari & Wildlife' Category
Despite its compact size, Sri Lanka is an incredibly diverse island covered in tropical forests and lush tea plantations, home to some top-notch cuisine and blessed with a fascinating history and culture. But one of the most exciting things about the island is its surprising biodiversity. The profusion of different habitats and altitudes here means that wildlife enthusiasts can spot a great variety of flora and fauna without having to travel long distances.
Audley’s Costa Rica specialist Oonagh Mallinder explains why travelling to Costa Rica during the ‘green season’ can be a very rewarding experience.
Just one visit and you’ll understand why Vancouver is regularly voted one of the best places in the world to live. Offering the cosmopolitan vibe of a major city, yet compact and simple to navigate, Vancouver also sits in a spectacular natural setting. Snow-capped peaks, pretty beaches and lush rainforest are within easy reach of the historic streets of Gastown, the exotic sights and smells of Chinatown and the laid-back delights of boho Granville Island. Whether you want to learn about First Nations culture and history, go whale watching or sea-kayaking, sit on the beach or simply enjoy some top-class dining, shopping and entertainment, multi-cultural Vancouver has it all.
With its stunning landscapes, friendly cities, exotic wildlife and unique indigenous culture, Australia makes an ideal destination for a family holiday. But its vast proportions, diverse activities and profusion of options make it difficult to know where to go and what to do. In my experience, the perfect family trip satisfies both children and adults and includes the country’s greatest highlights as well as a couple of less obvious attractions to impress the folks back home.
Wedged between the arid plateau of Tibet and the hot fertile plains and jungles of India, Nepal offers a plethora of opportunities to travellers despite its small size. The Himalaya Range forms the backbone of Nepal and provides arguably the best mountain scenery in the world. However, there’s far more to Nepal than mountains and the country’s national parks and unique architecture provide a wonderful contrast to the wild landscapes.
Jamie Scarrow is one of British Columbia’s premier wildlife photographers and his work has been published in notable magazines such as National Geographic and Nature Conservancy. Here, he talks about his work at the Knight Inlet Lodge in Canada and his aspirations for the future.
As someone who has been on numerous safaris Alex Matts is always looking for that ideal combination of wildlife, intimate accommodation and remote African bush. Here, she puts together her own perfect safari.
In 2009 Costa Rica topped the Happy Planet index, reporting the highest life satisfaction in the world, and, once you’ve visited this beautiful and diverse land, it’s easy to understand why.
With our new Africa and the Indian Ocean brochure now available, our specialists choose some of their favourite experiences from the region.
For first-time visitors to Australia visits to Sydney, Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the Great Barrier Reef are a must but Kangaroo Island, situated off the coast of Adelaide, is fast becoming a popular addition to tours for those wanting to delve further into the wildlife of the country. Lou Payton, one of our Australia specialists, recounts her recent visit to the island.
Zambia’s South Luangwa has been home to some of Africa’s legendary guides – names such as Norman Carr, John Coppinger and Phil Berry are splashed throughout guide books and brochures on Africa. Probably the best known name though is that of Robin Pope. Once a walking guide, Robin bought his own camp, and then added another and another until he owned Zambia’s most successful safari company – Robin Pope Safaris.
The safari experience in South Africa has changed dramatically over the last few years; new super-luxurious lodges situated in private reserves, staffed with butlers, adorned with plunge pools and featuring extensive wine lists are now in abundance. As you would guess, these places are fantastic but the cost can sometimes prohibit people visiting a place where the wildlife, not the accommodation, should be the focus of their trip. With this in mind, Rachel Hunt recently explored the more affordable accommodation options available in and around the Kruger National Park.
Look deep within the ancient rainforests of Borneo and you will discover a land that time forgot; sheer valleys sheltering tribal peoples living off the land in a way that has altered little in thousands of years. However, the lure of this mighty island is in the sheer diversity and abundance of wildlife it offers; a visitor to Borneo can swim with turtles one day, watch orang-utan swing through the trees the next and follow a herd of elephants tramping through the river the day after.
As regular Audley travellers will know, at the end of each trip, we call our travellers to make sure you’re safely home and find out how your adventures went. The safari specialists are no different, and we love listening to your stories. For me, safari is fascinating, even at second-hand, and I always like to find out what your highlights were. I’ve heard stories of thrilling chases, of heart wrenching moments when young animals narrowly escaped death, and magical evenings counting shooting stars.
For humans travel is a passion or an enjoyable break from daily life but for some species it’s a necessity and one that take’s them considerable distances in search of food or as a means of escaping predators. Here we look at some of the most spectacular migrations that can be witnessed around the world.
Our Latin America specialists pick out their birding highlights of the region.
Harsha Ogale’s latest research trip took him back to the national parks of central India. He had been longing to visit Tadoba Tiger Reserve, mainly for the tiger viewing opportunities it offers, but also because it’s in Maharashtra, a state in the very centre of India, and where he was born and brought up.
Canada is such an immense country that it is often difficult to know which part to explore first. Some prefer to visit the non-stop cities or the iridescent mountain lakes, whilst others like to get away to the endless tracts of wilderness that lie to the north. Such an enormous country is the perfect destination for lovers of wildlife and beautiful scenery and my perfect trip would encompass getting off the beaten track to experience the best of this natural world, whilst contrasting this with the sophistication of the cities.
Boarding a boat for a cruise in the polar regions is the start of an incredible journey, and one that will most definitely have wildlife encounters of the most unbelievable kind. Over the next four pages we have had a look at the animals you will definitely or hopefully see, and how they fit into the polar food chains. Deciding to write this piece was a challenge and something of a break from the usual format of articles, and we also couldn’t resist sharing some of our personal polar wildlife moments, including ones where we ourselves could have become part of the food chain (so we would have ourselves believe)…
Kenya’s Masai Mara is one of Africa’s legendary safari destinations. The long dry months tend to attract the most visitors, but the cognoscenti go in the lush months of the green season. In March, June and November, you might get the odd storm, but these are quickly burnt off by the tropical sun. Your reward is watching the bush come to life. In a few days the plains turn emerald green, and tired over-heated animals stretch their legs and head out into the grasslands. Visitors to the reserves have the wildlife largely to themselves, and towering storm clouds make for unforgettable sunsets. Greg Monson owner of Kicheche, one of our favourite camps in the Mara, tells us what makes the green season so special.
Madagascar is probably best known for its unique wildlife. Cut off from the mainland Africa for millions of years, the island’s flora and fauna has evolved into unique species including 150,000 forms of life which are found nowhere else in the world, including all the numerous species of lemur. Here two of our specialists describe some of the highlights of their recent travels in Madagascar.
Oman has not been renowned for its conservation record but, as Harry Ring discovers, the turtle project in Ras Al-Jinz is an encouraging development in the quest to protect this delicate species.
Critically endangered, with a population thought to have dropped from 30,000 in 2000 to as low as 15,000 today, Orang-utans are now found on only two islands in the world: Borneo and Sumatra. With the equator running almost right through the middle of these islands, the 4th and 6th largest in the world respectively, this is the heart of the tropics and contains some of the most important wildlife habitats on the planet.
Sri Lanka, otherwise known as the “Pearl in the Indian Ocean”, may be small but the attractions of this tropical island are vast. With a history dating back as far as the 4th century BC, the country is home to numerous religions and within its varied landscapes can be found a rich array of animal and bird life as well as friendly people and excellent food. When planning a trip to Sri Lanka, the country can easily be divided into four distinct regions and the time spent in each depends on your thirst for culture, scenery, wildlife or time relaxing on the beach.
Belize is well-known for its superb reefs and sparkling turquoise sea but as I discovered on a recent research trip, there is so much more to the country than the reef alone. It is overflowing with vast expanses of wild untouched rainforest, over 900 fascinating ancient Mayan ruins, raucous wildlife, thriving tropical fruit and cacao plantations, over 500 species of beautiful birds and is a cultural melting pot that makes the very nature of the Belizean people both intriguing and unique.
Nervously we crept forward, using a conveniently located acacia bush as cover. I felt clumsy in comparison with my Bushman guide, who seemed to move so effortlessly and silently. Less than 30 metres away stood two female rhino with a young calf. For a few seconds they sensed our presence, but we were downwind and with their notoriously poor eyesight we were entirely safe. That didn’t stop the adrenalin coursing through my veins as I viewed these majestic animals. It was an absolute privilege to see rhino on foot at such close range and yet another example of why Botswana remains one of Africa’s finest wildlife destinations.
The beauty of Indonesia is to be found in its sheer diversity. The country is the world’s largest archipelago, consisting of 17,000 islands with a population of over 245 million. The people practise a vast array of religions and, although
officially a Muslim country, any tour of Indonesia will lead to encounters with Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Confucians and even Animists.
The sheer breadth of religions reflects the various waves of immigration to the country from many parts of Asia and beyond. This melting pot of cultures, beliefs and traditions makes the country a fascinating place to visit. To compliment this, the country is blessed with the verdant volcanic landscapes of Java; abundant wildlife including the endangered orang-utans of Sumatra and Kalimantan; and the white sand beaches of Bali and Lombok, to name just a few.
Diversity does bring one drawback and that is how to decide on what to see in a country with seemingly limitless options. Here we simplify the process, outlining the main highlights on the larger islands, explaining how these can be combined and highlight some outstanding offers.
Sir Frederick Selous is an important figure in the history of Tanzania. Bronwen Pearson, one of Audley’s Tanzania specialists, follows in his footsteps and explores the area that was eventually named in his honour - the Selous Game Reserve.
Audley’s Mark Garrett answers some common questions about travelling to the Galapagos Islands.
It’s a happy coincidence that many of South Africa’s highlights lie upon a clearly defined, easily navigable route, a coincidence that makes it a great destination for first-time visitors. Here is a bit of an introduction to those highlights and how to stitch them all together.
Fall is a magical time to visit Canada, and Ontario is no exception. Fiona Pearce’s recent visit started with the iconic Niagara Falls and she then moved on to explore lesser-known parks, wildlife and culture.
Threatened on every side by palm oil plantations and logging camps, Borneo’sMaliau Basin is a vital rainforest refuge for 1,800 species of flora and a vast array of wildlife. Nick Ghosh treks into its heart.
Botswana is best-known for its luxury safaris but you can still experience its fantastic wildlife by avoiding luxury lodges and staying in mobile tented camps. Victoria Saner finds these get you even closer to nature.
Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park is Africa at its most adventurous: canoeing on the river, stalking game on foot and hunting for tiger fish. But it’s also family friendly, as Matt Vlemmiks discovers.
Brian Jackman goes to the dogs in the wilds of Tanzania.
Untamed expanses, snow-capped mountains, craggy glaciers and roaming wildlife. Aaron Cork finds America’s far north lives up to all his dreams.
Age commands respect in Africa, and the Governors’ Safari Camps in the Masai Mara are amongst the longest-established in East Africa. Best-known in the UK as home to the BBC’s ‘Big Cat Diaries’, their relationship with the local community goes back generations. Silver Level Safari Guide Leonard Sadera talks to Sarah Read, Audley’s East Africa Regional Manager, about how Governors’ has helped his family.
Being immortalised by Kipling hasn’t been enough for the tiger: the king of the jungle no longer lives in a monarchy. Tiger numbers have been dropping fast in India but Harsha Ogale finds that the national parks are now throwing a lifeline to this highly endangered predator.
The Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa offers a more personal kind of safari, as Charlotte Mellor discovered.
Matthew Vlemmiks gets very, very close to the wildlife on a photographic safari in Zambia.
Alexandra Matts falls under the special spell of Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau.
Chris Moore chooses his top ten experiences in China
Katie Fewkes reveales some of the secrets of Uganda’s national parks.
Driving around Namibia, James Down discovers a great deal of life in the Namib Desert.
Russell and Mel, our Seychelles specialists, discuss their four favourite islands of this stunning archipelago.
Our specialists highlight the best places to spot dolphins and whales on your travels.
Find out what’s involved in learning how to scuba dive. Uncover the treasures within our ocean in some of the best dive sites.
The vital efforts of Friends of Conservation to protect the black rhino in Tanzania
Our specialists reveal their ornithological highlights from around the world.
James Butler reveals some of the unique wildlife encounters to be had in Canada, Alaska and the Arctic.
Paul Done introduces you to a few of the more unusual inhabitants of Australia.
Rachel Wood invites you to help save the dwindling turtle population of the Western Cape of Australia
This fascinating annual spectacle is explained by Alexandra Matts.
Heather Miller discovers Madagascar’s unique array of wildlife.
Marilyn Tromp takes an alternative approach to viewing the intriguing wildlife of South Africa.
The best places to find Africa’s cats, large and small, identified by our Africa Specialists.
Our specialists familiarise you with some feline inhabitants of the Subcontinent.
Jonathan Goldsmith encounters the special wildlife of the Falkland Islands
High volcanoes, rich forests and beach wildlife in Costa Rica.
Many people automatically think of the Amazon as the place to view wildlife in South America. If you are a wildlife fan then the wetlands of South America are without doubt the most rewarding to visit and there’s no better place that Los Llanos in Venezuela.
Ian Mason relates the magic of seeing the giant panda, China’s national symbol.
Henrietta Preiss reveals the intriguing behaviour of one of Japan’s more quaint inhabitants
Kate Dicks discovers a birdwatcher’s paradise in Thailand’s national parks.
Malaysia and the less developed islands of Indonesia are home to some of the most elusive and threatened primates in the world. Joanne Poole discusses the various species and where to find them.
Natalie Lewis discusses the plight of the Asian Elephant.
Our diving experts uncover their most treasured dive spots.
A Zambian safari is not for the faint-hearted but has significant rewards to offer, as Ruth Milligan explains.
Melissa Hillen discusses her love of the African bush.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda, Katie Fewkes finds there is more than meets the eye for adventure seekers.
Harsha Ogale and Rupert Cue reveal the best ways to immerse yourself in the wilder side of India.
We consider the issues surrounding travel to the Galapagos with Graham Watkins of the Charles Darwin Foundation.
Cate Mackenzie explains why you might want to save visiting Botswana for a rainy day.
Ruth Milligan’s guide to an African trove of lush tropical forests, deserted beaches and stunning wildlife.
Our specialists take a month-by-month look at the wildlife experiences on offer in the Galapagos Islands.
Cate Mackenzie recounts her experiences at some of her favourite bushcamps in Zambia.
Jill Bradley reveals the best places to whale watch whales South African style.
Vicky Nagle takes a cruise to Antarctica.
Elephants are part of life in the Indian Subcontinent.
South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal province deserves more than a few days of your attention.
Indroducing the Australian continent.
Exploring the Peninsula Valdés in Argentina.
Experience the wilderness of Botswana on a mobile camping safari.
Getting to grips with South Africa’s famous wildlife park.
Heather Tyrrell introduces this unique and untamed country.
Our specialists have chosen ten destinations that we think deserve attention.
Heather Tyrrell explains why the Selinda reserve isher favourite corner of Botswana.
Exploring Tanzania’s lesser known game reserves.
Sustainable tourism is thriving in the rainforests of Borneo.
A colourful cruise around this famous archipelago.
A run-down of Africa’s most spectacular safari destinations.
The fabulous scenery and timeless charm of the Tibetan Plateau.
Stunning landscapes and wonderful wildlife in Britain’s furthest-flung territory.
Charlie Read reports back from his favourite island, Sri Lanka.
Carolyn Foreman explores the rainforest in style.
Chris Orme reflects on the spectacular wildlife of Borneo.
Our specialists pick out the best bits of South America.
Carolyn Foreman gets up close and personal with the wildlife of the Galapagos Islands.
John Freeman recounts some of his most memorable moments from his trip to India and Sri Lanka.