South Africa’s best wildlife photographs [taken in the wild]

Here is a selection of the best wildlife photographs that we took during our last trip through South Africa. For the best experience, click on these photos for a full screen view. Keep dreaming!

The ultimate ethical safari experience: &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve

It is getting dark fast now the sun has set. A jackal scurries on the African soil that is still warm after a hot summer day. Crickets tune in forming a loud orchestra while bright stars start decorating the sky, one by one. Agile nightjars catch moths and other insects in the faint headlights of the open Toyota Land Cruiser 4×4 safari truck in which we are seated. A woollen blanket keeps my legs warm while I tuck away my Canon camera after capturing some of Africa’s most emblematic animals. I am keeping an eye out for leopards, bush-babies, genets, and other nocturnal animals which eyes would lit up in the respectful infrared light that our tracker moves up and down the trees. Suddenly, Keep travelling

How to select the best game park for your safari in South Africa?

For many, a safari is a dream trip, often a once in a lifetime experience. This is why it is important to select the type of safari and game park carefully to avoid any disappointment. South Africa is one of the best countries in the world to observe wildlife in beautiful and varied landscapes showcased in its two main types of parks: government-run parks and private game reserves. The offer is so vast and prices so high that we have put together some thoughts in order to help you select the safari that is the most adapted to you.

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The best of Kosi Bay in 4 unique adventures

One of South Africa’s most remote destinations may very well be the North Eastern corner of Kwazulu Natal. Bordering Swaziland and Mozambique lies a hardly populated land with scenic yet less famous game parks and a unique ecosystem of four lakes where Tsonga fishermen have passed down their sustainable traditions for more than a thousand years. A land where world’s largest leafs can be found, with rare bird species and different types of mangrove trees. Waters with bull sharks, hippos, manta rays, and whale sharks border South Africa’s most stunning and desolated beaches, on which the only visitors are endangered sea turtles laying their eggs in season.

Join us to explore the best of Kosi Bay in 4 different adventures! Keep travelling!

Diving with sharks

In South Africa Aliwal Shoal is famous for its shark dives amongst tiger, bull, ragged-tooth or oceanic blacktip sharks, often described as the experience of a lifetime. Sadly, cage diving is a bad practice that is heavily advertised for in all but a very few dive centres…

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Lake safari & jungle trekking in world’s oldest rainforest, Khao Sok, Thailand

Lime stone karst formations are gradually revealing themselves as the morning mist on the Cheow Lan Lake slowly rises. The sun bathes the rocks in warm colours and highlights the jungle growing on their steep flanks. I slowly crawl out of my bed to take a morning swim in the surprisingly warm lake. While climbing back up to the pontoon of my floating bungalow, I notice a familiar rising and falling of shrills that gives me goose bumps: a family of gibbons starts to sing, Keep reading

Dive into the Cambodian coral reef

Cambodia is not as famous as Thailand when it comes to islands, paradisiac beaches, coral reefs and scuba diving. And this is all for the best, I am telling myself as I am writing this article from the fishing village M’Pai on the small island of Koh Rong Samloem in Southern Cambodia. Feet in the sand, Keep traveling!

Zip-lining to save the gibbons, Laos

I am running down a gentle slope before I am flying through a tunnel of green leafs and vines opening on the canopy. I am now gliding over treetops with a bird’s eye view on the rainforest that covers the surrounding mountains. Right in front of me appears my everlasting childhood dream: Keep reading!

A few hours in monkey town, Lopburi, Thailand

The weight my backpack suddenly becomes a lot heavier and I struggle to keep my balance. I turn my head and my eyes meet the one of a macaque who grabs my shoulder and checks my backpack in search for food. As soon as Keep reading

Butterflies of Costa Rica

The Monteverde butterfly garden is a fantastic place to admire butterflies and learn more about them and other insects.  Keep reading

Funny quiz: Test your knowledge about our creepy crawlers!

Costa Rica was the first country to realize the value of its biodiversity for the planet, and its economy has been converted into a green economy, promoting eco-tourism. As such, the butterfly garden of Monteverde aims at educating the public about the fascinating world of insects before admiring butterflies in four different gardens representing different climates.

Try to take this short quiz and discover some fascinating fact about creepy crawlers! Keep reading

The hawks of New York City

A high-pitched shriek attracks my attention. I look up and see a young red-tailed hawk up in the tree. It clumsily tries to keep its balance on a branch as a bigger hawk lands next to it, with a pigeon in its claws. It is lunch time! In curiousity and disgust, we observe how Keep reading

How Panama changed the world

The colourful roof of Panama’s Biomuseo designed by the world-famous architect Frank Gehry rises above the horizon of the Amador Causeway. Located along the entrance of the Panama Canal, the causeway used to be owned by the USA and was left barren after Panama regained its territory on 31 December 1999. Frank Gehry’s Panamanian wife took part in the discussions about what to do with the land, and soon crucial decisions were made to build the extravagant Biomuseo. Keep traveling

Portraiting the white-faced capuchin monkey

Seated with a drink and taking in the scenery on the Barú volcano from the terrace at the Lost and Found Hostel, set in the mountains of Panama, I contemplate the beauty of nature, when I get distracted by something approaching through the treetops…

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Discovering Panama’s ecosystems in Panama City

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute displays the impressive biodiversity of Panama’s coastal ecosystems at Punta Culebra in Panama City. Knowledgable and multilingual guides led us through bunkers built during the First World War, now hosting exhibitions about Panama’s nature. Keep traveling

Meet Central America’s ever smiling creatures

Millions of years ago, when the isthmus of Panama was formed, it connected South and North America together. This lead to animal migrations and a fantastic mix of species that adapted to new environments and fought for survival in the new food chain: the giant ground sloth, which could grow up to 6 meters and weigh 3 tons faced deadly saber tooth tigers. Keep traveling

The off the beaten path alternative to Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica

The small town of Santa Elena has expanded massively since the Monteverde Cloud Forest gained popularity, and Costa Rica became the destination for biodiversity. Hesitating between exploring the very touristy Monteverde Cloud Forest, or the off the beaten path Keep reading

A quest to spot the most beautiful bird: The Quetzal trail, Panama

One of Central America’s most picturesque hikes runs between the mountain town of Boquete and the lesser known Cerro Punta in Pamana. Both lay in different valleys putting them a good three-hour bus ride away from each other. They are also linked by the famous 9-kilometre Quetzal trail, squeezed  between two dead end roads, for a total of about 23 kilometres. Given the elevation gain, Keep traveling

Discover Bastimentos: the secret gem of Bocas del Toro, Panama

Since the archipelago of Bocas del Toro was discovered in 1502 by Christopher Columbus, the island of Bastimentos has served as a base for vessels; hence its name that literally translates as “supplies”. Its fertile soil and tropical climate are ideal for a wide variety of plants to grow plentifully as we are about to discover, setting off for a jungle and beach hike with our specialized guides. Keep traveling!

Kayaking through the jungle on the Sarapiqui river, Costa Rica

The Sarapiqui River is powerful and brownish, as it has been raining non-stop for the past 24 hours. Seated in a kayak, resting on the river bank, I observe how David flips himself over with his kayak in the current. The short red embarkation is now floating downstream, upside down. Within a few seconds though, David appears from underneath the water, with a huge smile. “So this is how we do the underwater exit”, he says. “Your turn now!” Keep reading

Kayaking Las Isletas de Granada, Nicaragua

The delicate brown little bird with its bright yellow beak dances elegantly on its high grey legs on a large waterlily leaf. It is a challenge to capture it from my unstable 1-person kayak that rolls violently on the waves caused by a lancha (a small passenger motor boat) passing by. I am kayaking around Las Isletas de Granada, (the islets of Granada), in Nicaragua. According to the legend, there would be 365 islands scattered around the peninsula, one for each day of the year… Quite a lot to explore!

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Tikal: where nature and culture merge

 

It must be a tyrannosaur-rex, I think, while I turn on my side in another useless attempt to fall back sleep as the sun is almost rising. The roar from the Guatemalan jungle is so loud that I fear the size of the animal making this much noise, especially while spending the night in a small tent… Keep reading

A 5-day jungle expedition to discover the ancient Maya capital of El Mirador, Guatemala

 

After a rough four-and-a-half-hour bumpy bus ride, we eventually arrive in Carmelita. We are at the end of the road! And this is just the beginning of Keep travelling!

Photo of the day: A local among the ruins of Uxmal, Mexico

Strolling through the ruins of Uxmal, Mexico we come across one of its inhabitants: a white-nosed coati, or “pizote” as the locals call him.

This friendly animal is  Keep travelling!

Photo of the day: the loudest land animal in the world!

I wake up in the middle of the night, a loud growl breaks the orchestra of crickets that has become a familiar sound. The roar, followed by a scary howl now turns into something that sounds like a huge dog barking. Eyes wide open I wonder if I ended up in Jurassic Parc… Keep travelling

Photo of the day: the “green” iguana, Belize

We gently paddle our canoe on Sitee river, Belize. Trying to spot crocodiles we are focussed on the murky still water until our eyes catch something huge resting in a tree above the bank: a one-meter tall orange iguana!

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Road trip in the wild Northern island of Japan: Hokkaido

Erupting volcanoes, tranquil ponds, busy crossings, endless forests, crashing waves, relaxing onsens, humid and hot in the South, chilly in the North: Japan is a country of significant contrasts, and we clearly notice this as soon as we arrive on its Northernmost island, Hokkaido. Keep traveling!

Photo of the day: butterfly in Glover Garden, Nagasaki

Black butterfly feeding on an agapanthus in Glover garden, a beautiful garden overlooking the bay of Nagasaki, Kuyshu. Keep traveling

Photo of the day: badger on Mount Aso’s green slopes

While hiking along the slopes of Mount Aso, this curious badger decided to play hide and seek with us. Keep traveling!

Wild salmons of Hokkaido

The sea of Okhotsk… Just the sound of it makes me shiver. Only a curtain of fog separates the Russian Kuril Islands from Japan along the narrow straight. Getting out of the car Keep reading

Bear encounter in Shiretoko, Hokkaido

It is early morning when the doors of the visitor centre in Shiretoko National Park open and we receive our bear certificates.
We are about to Keep traveling!

Photo of the day: an unexpected guest!

Taking a bath in the rotemburo (hot spring), we were visited by this big guy that seemed to enjoy the warm volcanic stones! Keep traveling!

Rare bird encounters

The amount of times that I have been woken up by an orchestra of birds singing passionately is uncountable. Whether it would be in my home country or during one of my travels to America, Africa or a different part of Europe, it remains fascinating to discover new tunes and to recognise familiar ones which remind me of home. I am not a bird-expert. I recognise the call of starlings, robins, blackbirds, great and blue tits, wrens, woodpeckers, finches, owls, cranes, birds of prey and a few Keep reading

Photo gallery: Glaskogen’s inhabitants

Surprisingly, the Glaskogen Nature Reserve seems to be partially taken down by some forest companies owning most of this park. Keep reading