From sloths hanging out, to whales breathtakingly breeching and lions stalking their prey – when we asked you about your best experiences with animals when travelling, we were inundated with more than 2700 special moments.
Selecting just a small handful to share for you was one tough task, but here are 15 of the most fabulous animal encounters from travellers…
Two weeks before their trip, Jason McLaughlin and his wife Charlotte knew they were going away, they just didn’t know where.
You see, the couple were the winners of an Intrepid mystery trip competition, so imagine their delight when Jason and Charlotte turned up at the airport and discovered they were going to explore Peru and its astounding Amazon Jungle…
“The driver kills the engine and for several moments the boat sits in darkness in what equates to silence in the jungle – the polyphonic hum of the cicadas, the occasional whoop of a nighttime bird and the excited wails of unseen monkeys, somewhere, maybe far away, maybe watching us from the shadowy trees which overhang the river banks. We gaze at stars I can’t remember seeing before. The constellations I recognise, The Plough, Orion, Pegasus are there of course, but between them are sparkling clusters of light which, I swear, just don’t exist in the city.
We were overwhelmed with the range of breathtaking photos and heartfelt reasons why certain places had a hold of your heart. From stunning scenery, rare wildlife encounters, meaningful exchanges with locals and places that were special for personal moments, the responses were truly inspiring.
So, we thought we would share just a few…
Think of places where it’s easy for vegetarians to travel and Mongolia probably won’t be high on the list.
Growing vegetables is tough in the harsh climate and tending to the garden is not really part of the traditional nomadic lifestyle. People joke that in Mongolia you eat meat, more meat, with a side order of meat on top of that. But believe it or not, at least in Ulaanbaatar it’s possible to dine meat-free without too much trouble.
In the city there are at least three purely vegetarian restaurants:
Maybe it’s the broadening of existential horizons that comes with seeing how different folk dwell – or perhaps it’s just long beach-bound days perfectly suited to naval-gazing – but overseas travel has a habit of bedevilling the professional ambitions of even the most career-satisfied.
You know the score: one week you’re perfectly content toiling away in the sensibly chosen industry of your sensibly completed qualification, the next you’re in Cuba ruminating that your true calling may be as an antique watch-repairer. And while such whimsical wanderings usually last no longer than the evening’s final mojito, overseas adventurings can on occasion herald vocational redirections of the most drastic variety. Take Charles Darwin for instance.
Sure, being in love with a real-life, actual person can be pretty great – we wouldn’t deny that. But sometimes being in love with a place can be pretty special too. It might be the food your place-crush feeds you, the beach strolls it takes you on or just that you met your real-life, actual-person lover there. Whatever the case, places deserve some loving too.
This Valentine’s Day then, we want to know which country – or city, or place – has a hold of your heart.
So it’s my second time travelling to Italy and I’m so excited just to be in my favourite Italian city, Florence.
Today we have time to explore at our own pace. Yesterday we had a free day and I’m still recovering from the hauntingly breathtaking climb of the Duomo and the huge five course dinner that was included the night before – bruschetta, prosciutto, fusilli with creamy spinach sauce, rare lamb salad and the most amazing tiramisu, all accompanied by the local wine of course.
The Galapagos Islands have long been a destination for the most adventurous and curious of travellers.
Today, the most common way for people to see the incredible wildlife of this Ecuadorian province is by boat, much like Charles Darwin did. However, for Intrepid travellers looking for more in-depth Galapagos tours, you really need to stay on the islands themselves to fully appreciate the incredible creatures for which the islands are famous.
One day a guy walked in to Intrepid’s London store, while simultaneously a girl in Sydney booked her tour of Peru. What comes next is a romantic tale that Holly Howard will be able to tell the grand kids…
“I was at a stage in my life where I wanted to shake things up a bit. I was in a job I didn’t particularly enjoy, at the end of a relationship and living in a flat that I no longer liked. I also just turned 30, so thought it was the perfect milestone to ‘up-stumps’ and see more of the world. South America seemed like an exotic destination, full of history and not yet overrun by tourists – a place where I might even have an ‘epiphany on a mountain top’ about what I should do with my life.