moutain gorilla holidays PHOTOGRAPHY & WRITING BY IAN WOOD
Camping at over 12,000 feet in temperatures down to minus 28 C isn't everyone's idea of a picnic and this trip certainly had some extreme highs and lows if you'll forgive the pun. Massive thanks to Ashley, Rob, Christine, Ginnie, Robert, Michal, Derek, Lee, Linden and Lesley for being so utterly brilliant on this trip - both individually and as a group. We've just returned to Delhi ahead of our tiger trip which starts tomorrow so a slight change of habitat from the beautiful Himalayas to the heat of Ranthambore. Time is very limited at the mo, so for now there's just a few pics below from our Himalaya adventure - a place I've fallen utterly in love with and yearn to return. Future trips to Ladakh, Nepal and Bhutan are all somewhere in the very long pipeline so please contact me here to register any advanced interest in such wonderful wanders.
"When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon my soul expands." Gandi
When people first enquire about possibly joining a Borneo orangutan holiday with me I send some general info out where I describe these trips like a group of friends sharing an incredible experience together. This happened so quickly on this tour that it has to be one of my best trips ever so massive thanks to Michal, Jemma, Andy-1, Celsey, Andy-2, Christine (back for her 3rd trip with me !), and Pat. We had special permission to visit Lamandua on this trip which is completely off limits to visitors normally and seeing this beautiful area of forest was one of the highlights along with the journey down an array of rivers to get there. I'm in Flores now working with manta rays and Komodo dragons and internet access is pants so I've just chosen a few random images from our week below. There's more info about an orangutan release and a new book I have coming out in March on the previous trip report which is here.
"Wow.... this trip had everything! it was great fun, educational, exhilarating, humbling, amazing food, stunning scenery, great company and unbelievable wildlife. The memories I made will stay with me forever! " jemma Atkins
"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another - what you like doing this to ? I thought no one but myself loved this so."
Huge thanks to all who participated in this Borneo orangutan fundraisng trip. This is the 10th year that I've run these and they've now raised tens of £1000's for the Orangutan Foundation whose work is ensuring there is a long term future for orangutans, forests and people out here. Yesterday I filmed the release of a young orangutan back to the wild which sums up exactly how the money from these trips helps directly aid conservation of this iconic species. . If you'd like to come on a future Borneo orangutan holiday click here to take you to that part of my website. There's a few random pics from our week below - click on any thumbnail to see them larger.
My new book about orangutans will be published in March 2017 with every penny of the retail price - not just the profit - being dontaed to further this cause.
There's a couple of short You Tube clips below from previous trips.
Today I've been working with the veterinary team of the Orangutan Foundation UK who have successfully released another orangutan into Lamandau wildlife reserve in Borneo. This area of forest has been a release site for some years now with hundreds of orangutans rehabilitated there. Just three weeks ago this seven year old female orangutan was found tied up in an oil palm plantation. The way the older female orangutan in the video comes to help her when she's finally released was so touching. She will now be monitored by field staff to check that she is thriving in her new found freedom.
I'm pleased to announce the availability of gift vouchers for my Sussex photography days - how commercial is that !? - Surely the ideal Christmas present for the one you loathe ... sorry predictive spelling mistake ... love. One-on-one day vouchers are £195 and small group days (max 5 people) are £85. Contact me here for more info or to order one.
"Good company, uncomplicated photography advice and a fine pub lunch !" Lucy Adams
Look at the stars ... look how they shine for you. I've spent the last week in Algonquin park in Canada way beyond the land of light pollution. Here's a few photos of the stars which are all unedited with the star trail photos just a combination of about 200 photos layered together to show the movement of our planet during that time.
I'm not a great City person and feel much more at home in a forest or on a remote island but I have to say Toronto rocks as a city ! About to head up north now but I think Toronto has to be one of the friendliest cities I've ever been to.
"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.