moutain gorilla holidays PHOTOGRAPHY & WRITING BY IAN WOOD
"To all you young souls out there who are reading this, there is just one message for you. Go for it. Get out there and grab hold of your life and make it everything it is meant to be. Let it be a testimony to the love and gratitude you find along the way. This human life is so hard to come by, so rare and so precious. Don’t get to the end of it wishing you had done more. Go and find out what you are really made of so that even if you fail to realise your dreams you will do so doing greatly and never stand amongst those timid souls who know not victory nor defeat."
"Don't blame the traffic if you are the traffic"
Over the last couple of weeks I've been working in Sri Lanka which is a lovely country but sadly a victim of its success in developing tourism. I was thinking of starting small group trips there from next year but have ruled this out due to the unregulated way tourists impact on wildlife. Yala national park has the highest concentration of leopards anywhere in the world and so your chances of seeing these elusive cats is much higher that in most parts of Africa. But expect to be competing with hundreds of other safari jeeps chewing up dust in the race to surround any sightings. On Christmas day last year the park recorded a record of over a 1000 vehicles in one day. Even when we found a leopard all to ourselves one day, our 'guide' phoned some of the other vehicles who soon piled in to to surround it. This type of wildlife tourism wants me to drive far away and not be part of the problem. There is a huge difference between people who want to see, observe and appreciate wildlife to those whose main motivation seems to be to use their selfie stick to get a photo of themselves with the animal in the back ground. We humans are the most bizarre species on our planet. The postive news is that last year there were more deaths to humans caused by accidents with selfie sticks than from shark attacks. Here's hoping for lots more - natural selection is indeed a great part of nature.
My next Sussex coastal photography day is now confirmed for Sunday 8th May 2016 where we'll be photographing a gorgeous stretch of Sussex coastline around Beachy Head and Cuckmere Haven. Numbers are limited to just 5 people so we'll have plenty of time for personal photography advice and we'll take a break for lunch somewhere on route. £85 per person - please contact me here for more info. There's a few photos below taken on these days this year. For more info on my Sussex photogarphy courses and one-on-one days please click here.
April in India is a wonderful time to see tigers in the wild as the remaining watering holes are limited and vegetation is nice and short. On our recent trip we had an incredible 18 tiger sightings in a week - most of which were so close and personal you could hear them breathe. Thanks to Caroline, Carlos, Barbara, Roy, Lee, Derek and Marta for making this trip one of the best ever. There's a few photos from the trip below (click on any thumbnail to view a larger image). I've done my best to not just choose tiger shots as there is a huge array of other wildlife here too. But let's face it -tigers are the main focus of these tours - so if you'd like to see a few more photos of these iconic cats from our time in India then you might also like this link. I will finalise the dates for my 2017 India tiger tour over the next few weeks so if you'd like to be kept in the loop please contact me here.
This trip report is a tad late as I've been in India but huge thanks to Ginnie, Robert, Venetia, Sara, Russell, Jo, Suzanne and Adrian for being so lovely and contributing to such a special time in Tanzania. There's a few photos from this trip below ... click on any thumbnail for a larger version. If you would like more info about my future big cats and chimpanzee trips please contact me here.
A few photos of some of our tiger sightings in the last few days in India ... our final count was an incredible 18 tiger sightings in our week there. I've been travelling for most of the last 7 months now and have been very slack at updating my website recently but if you'd like info on my future tiger trips please contact me here.
A few random photos of mountain gorillas and chimpanzees from my recent trips to Uganda and Tanzania.
A few photos of wild dogs from my recemt trip to the Selous game reserve in Tanzania. More information about the conservation of these endangered animals can be found here.
From 4th to 6th Dec 2015 hundreds of wildlife lovers from around the world gathered at the 1st Indian bird fair in Uttar Pradesh, India, for a few days of utter inspiration. I'm hugely grateful to the organiser, Nikhil Devasar - for not only inviting me - but for putting on such an incredible festival. Early mornings were spent exploring the local area and we were consistently rewarded with some beautiful wildlife sightings - from river dolphins to numerous bird species. By day, the talks in the main lecture marquee from various experts in their field were always informative. And then as night fell we were treated to a buffet of scrumptious Indian food along with performances of dance and music. I've met so many lovely people over the last few days that it seems like the universe is smiling down on me and future tours to Nepal, Bhutan and various parts of India are now all in the pipeline - connected with not only experts in their field - but inspiring happy people. Scroll down for a few photos from this festival which will now become an annual event. Sarus CraneOur tempory homes for the festivalNikhil Devasar, opens the festivalTim Appleton of Rutland bird fair helps out with bird ringingCrested BuntingDr Balachandran, leading Indian bird ringerNigel Redman gives his incredible talk on the Chats of IndiaPied StarlingThe first four of 101 Hindu tenples along the river