One event, more years ago than I care to remember, changed my life so completely, that the origin of this website can be traced back to one encounter lasting barely a minute.
I was due to visit Africa for the first time in just a few days when I discovered that the company I was going to travel with would not be running the trip. There were apparently not enough people to make it worthwhile and I therefore had just over a week to salvage the situation and to find an appropriate alternative. I was originally due to visit Kenya and Tanzania for around three weeks and the closest similar trip I could find, was a longer overland tour that also included a few days in Uganda tracking mountain gorillas. It sounded ideal and so, just over a week later, I found myself surrounded by four armed guards looking for gorillas in the dense forest of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Born and raised in the capital, the closest I had ever come to a gorilla previously was when I visited London Zoo as a boy and Guy the Gorilla was the star of the show… and yet here I was, suddenly searching a lush Ugandan forest for one of the most iconic animals on the planet. We were lucky that day, as we found the gorillas very quickly and settled down to watch the family unit for the hour that our permit allowed. Although it was an immense privilege to watch the magnificent animals playing, eating and even climbing in the trees directly above our heads, I was vaguely aware that something was missing and that the picture was not quite complete. I was not sure exactly what it was at the time until this very large shape shifted on the periphery of my vision and walked slowly, but directly towards us on all fours. It did not take me long to realise that this immense shape was the dominant male silverback, the head of his family unit and a gorilla almost twice the size of the largest of the others. Here was Guy, but he was not in a cage, in a zoo being watched, he was in his home, with his family and he was watching us. I saw him for barely a minute and if you venture as far as my sample trips section of this website, you will see that I was not even able to take an adequate photograph, but I had seen him and I have never forgotten his incredible power or the gentle way that he checked on his family and settled down to eat when he was satisfied that all was well.
Our hour was up all too soon, but on the walk back, as I reflected on a truly momentous event in my life, I already knew two things, that such majestic animals did not belong in cages and that I wanted to spend as much of the rest of my life as possible searching the planet for the natural wonders that I had only previously seen on television, wonders that I had believed were beyond me, but that I now understood were very much a reality.
That is what this website and what I do is all about, understanding that there are no real limits and that whether it be a once in a lifetime trip or a life-long search for a particular animal, normal people can see and do extraordinary things.
I witnessed many other wonders on that first trip to Africa and from that point I have devoted all of my spare time travelling this Wild Globe, looking for wildlife in a natural environment and enjoying the stunning natural landscapes that this incredible planet has to offer. Although I spent my initial years mainly exploring Africa, I slowly realised that other destinations were equally compelling and that it was feasible to reach almost anywhere and to see almost anything.
As an independent travel consultant I have since established a large number of contacts across the globe and am ideally placed to help you plan the perfect trip. All of my contacts live and work within the country that you will be visiting and as such are far better placed to provide you with exactly what you want and need to make your trip memorable. I am not a travel agent selling package tours or fixed holidays that work more for the agents than for their clients and instead I work with individuals on a one-to-one basis to ensure that you get to see and do exactly what you want. Ultimately, with my assistance and advice, you will decide how your individual adventure unfolds and I have never arranged two identical trips.
Having first taken my son James to India to see tigers at the age of four, I can organise diverse and safe family holidays, as well as serious adventures for independent travellers, couples or small groups. I can basically provide as little or as much assistance as you require, from merely making suggestions to planning your entire trip and booking it for you with the relevant parties in each country. Once or twice a year I am generally available to lead tours and by working in partnership with local people, I can significantly reduce the cost of your trip and at the same time support local communities and the important work that they do within their own countries and economies. Although we read a great deal about ethical and low impact tourism, in these difficult times travel and conservation really does have to be inextricably linked and the only true way to protect precious and often fragile environments is in partnership with the indigenous people of each area.
I specialise in general wildlife tours and more focused expeditions to locate specific rare animals, from snow leopards in the Himalayas to jaguars in the floodplains of the Pantanal and orangutans in the jungles of Borneo. I cannot in every case guarantee that you will see all of the possible animals at each destination, but, by placing you in the right areas, at the right time, with the right people, I can certainly greatly increase your chances and my success rate in terms of major target species is very close to 100%.
We can also do some good together, as I am a supporter of several organisations committed to wildlife conservation and welfare. These include World Animal Protection (WAP), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Born Free Foundation, the Aspinall Foundation and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. All of these organisations do a tremendous amount of good and if you would like further details of the vital work that they do, then please visit the conservation section of this website.
Please take some time to enjoy the website and I look forward to hearing from you if you believe that I may be able to assist. If not, happy travels and I hope that I was able to offer a little inspiration.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine