Due to my love of animals and nature, I take some time for travel.
I travel to exotic, isolated areas of the world, in an environmentally responsible manner. I went deep into wild and remote regions where most travelers don't venture. From sleeping on a wooden boat in the Peruvian Amazon, to tents in many African countries. I explored the Galapagos Islands, to visit a nature sanctuary, where they are trying to save the giant tortoise. Climbed Machu Pichu, enjoyed the spectacular view of Mt. Kilimanjaro. And while in Masai Mara , witnessed zebra and wilder beast migrating crossing a river, where crocks waited for lunch. I was literally to Timbuktu and back.
My small travel group sponsors projects with local villages, by helping to build schools, bring school supplies, provide health care, clean water and income from tourism. what I found most heart warming was the education of the villagers on the positive aspects of coexisting with the wild animals, to intertwine with the land and it's creatures. To find ways to live off the land without abusing the earth and poaching endangered animals.
I would give up my alarm clock, Mr. mcNugget. Give up enjoying cereal with Maggie Monkey, tripping over skunks on the way to the bathroom: only to wait in line behind Donald Duck for Alie the Gator to finish up in the tub, making the bed while Ahah Chew, the kinkajou hides under the blanket. No more sharing a raisin cinnamon bagel with Spike the porcupine. Starting my exercise program of wrestling with my serval, lifting my 12 ft. reticulated python, Monty.....moving 100 lb. feed bags ....and chasing Jamie Fox up and down the steps. I would leave all the comforts of my home to go off into the wild.
I slept in tents in Africa, where bats would fly in and monkeys would scurry across the top of my tent. I'd wake up to the roar of nearby lions and trumpeting elephants. Have breakfast with a family of warthogs grazing under the the table, while I'd wait for a bucket of hot water for a quick warm shower.
My Amazon adventures allowed me to swim with piranha, enjoy a curious cayman in my river boat and avoid a very close poisonous snake in the rain forest jungle. I slept under the starry skies in the Galapagos, waking to the roar of sea lions, tried not to trip over marine iguana on the way to the shore to swim with sting ray.
There is a obvious danger involved when staying in wild life area. It is a privilege to view the animals up close. But I must keep in mind that their senses are much keener then mine and most are stronger and faster than me. It is their home and I am a guest. Camping is a gentle and unobtrusive way to enjoy remarkable wild life encounters, and the simple pleasures of unspoiled wilderness.
One of many highlights was to trek gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable forest in Uganda. This is for the adventurous visitor, as the jungle is thick and walking is strenuous. There are no paths. Keeping track of the gorilla groups protects and ensures their safety from poachers and harm.