Amazing wildlife, both on land and underwater, is the drawcard of the remote Galapagos Islands. It’s not an easy part of the world to reach and you need a good sense of adventure to explore the rugged terrain, but as Intrepid Express reader Michele Delaforce discovered, the Galapagos have a unique way of making it worth your while…
“Swimming with the sea lions at San Cristobal in the Galapagos Islands was one of the most exciting and memorable times of my life. We had to walk for an hour to reach a cove that was quite difficult to get to, but the rewards were worth it!
Tanzania is one of those in-your-face experiences that remains as a strong travel memory long after the adventure is officially over, so much so that Intrepid Express reader Debra Nooyen is already planning her next trip…
“Africa has always held a special fascination for me and finally I realised a dream come true. I booked an Intrepid trip and was certainly NOT disappointed. During the weeks of my wild and wonderful trip I had some great experiences, including meeting the most fantastic group of people – we are all now connected through Facebook.
Intrepid’s Costa Rica Express is a top trip to discover the country’s abundant wildlife, intense volcanic landscapes and superb beaches in a short space of time. But the tip for this trip is what not to pack, as Intrepid’s Jeremy Bookman explains…
“On our first trip to Costa Rica last year, my wife and I thought buying fresh fruit sounded like the perfect refresher for strolling through one of the many beautiful National Parks. Ordinarily I think it would have been, until we came upon an old bridge guarded over by a white-faced capuchin monkey. My wife reached for the camera, but before we knew it he was on the attack and reaching for our bag! Commotion ensued and I grabbed a branch to defend our food. The monkey made for the trees and so it seemed the ordeal was over.
One of the best things in life is getting to live your dream and Intrepid’s Lisa Rollinson got to do just that on the Road to Zanzibar…
“I’m an animal fanatic! I have dreamed of travelling to Africa since I was a little girl and while growing up I wanted to be David Attenborough. By my late teens I realised that a career in wildlife documentaries was unlikely, but I could still travel through Africa and see all the animals… and continue my dream.
It might be hard to put into words what it’s like to spot your first wild animal, but Intrepid’s Danielle Jeffreson still can’t stop talking about her South Africa experience…
“It’s 5.30am and the temperature is hovering around a fairly chilly 10 degrees Celsius (50F). We are about to set off on our first game drive in search of the Big 5 in Kruger National Park. The open backed safari vehicle definitely gets the cool wind rushing through your hair and everyone is excited with the prospect of sighting their first animal.
Surrounded by Africa’s most incredible wildlife and completely caught up in the wonderful moment, Intrepid’s Zoe Rees felt like she was seeing the world through rose coloured glasses in Kenya…
“Pink? Not my favourite colour, but I have to admit that there are occasions on which I’ve enjoyed the colour immensely – brilliant sunrises and sunsets, the rosy hue of Uluru and stepping out of our safari vehicle at Lake Nakuru in Kenya.
Before me was literally a sea of pink flamingos that stretched as far as the eye could see. It was amazing to witness these unique birds frolicking, feeding and splashing around in the soda lake. Apparently it is Lake Nakuru’s abundance of algae that attracts the millions of flamingos, though I was even more amazed to find out I was there at a slow time and usually the flock is double the size!
Think Africa and it’s likely to be the incredible wildlife that first springs to mind – impala, ostriches, zebra, gorillas and of course the ‘Big Five’, elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo. Creatures big and small add to the appeal of Africa as Intrepid’s Ellen Sziede discovered…
“All the animals of Africa are astounding, but I have to admit that I also find some of them quite threatening. While working for a lodge in Malawi it wasn’t all that unusual for a hippo to lose its way into our village. I soon became wise to checking before I used the outside bathroom at night, as hippos graze on land after dark, and this also happens to be when they are at their most aggressive.
Indian tigers are known for being stealthy, beautiful and almost impossible to spot. That didn’t deter former Intrepid leader Kate Whitton when she went searching for this illusive giant cat in the north of Rajasthan
“Being a mad cat lover I couldn’t possibly visit India without including one of its many National Parks on my trip. So on trusted advice, I chose an itinerary that visited Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan in the hope that I might see a tiger.
As dawn broke I headed to the wildlife park (ironically, this park was once owned by a maharaja for hunting purposes). The scenery was stunning in the morning light – wildlife abounded in the form of monkeys, spotted dear, sambar, crocodiles, jackals, peacocks and more.
Seeing your country battle it out on football’s world stage is one thrill, but when Micah Demmert got so close to an elephant he could smell its bad breath, he thought all his birthdays had come at once on Intrepid’s Southern Explorer…
“The trip started on a kind of night that was to become increasingly common – around a camp fire with a drink in hand, telling stories and laughing. We met our tour leader, Johan, and our driver Sedrick, and were briefed about all of the amazing things that we were to see and do. After 8 days of World Cup shenanigans, what I was hoping for was a nice relaxing sleep in, a leisurely drive, the odd elephant or lion or two, and a chance to become a participant in southern African culture. Well, 3 out of 4 aint bad!