Trips

I came up with a New Years Resolution for 2009 which is to go to a photographic location at least once a month. That sounds easy because I could just nip over the fence and get a few snaps of the steam train.
What I decided to do was to go away with on either a family holiday or photographic workshop.
Problem now is I have got the photography bug and I am therefore trying to do it again. And again.
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2018 January - India

A month spent in India primarily as my niece was getting married in Kerala but then three weeks in three locations, Madhya Pradesh for Tigers, Gujarat for Asiatic Lions and Rajasthan for Leopards. The trip was enjoyable but disappointed in all three areas for wildlife. Bandhavgarh was closed due to a strike so we were moved to Pench were we had an amazing encounter with wild dog but one tiger in 10 days is definitely below average and frustrating. Lions at Gir Forest felt more like an enclosure with an abundance of concrete water hole and rangers on motor bike felt very unnatural. Finanlly, the leopards for Rajastahn failed to deliver except from a far and it was difficult to get a sharp shot or even see them at times.
Oh well there is always next time and Kanha Jungle Lodge was a new find that will definitely be visited again.

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2017 November - Antarctica

This is a place I've had on my bucket list for a long time and two things stopped me going; the sea crossing and the cost. Anyway, after coming to terms with the cost I decided to book with WildPhoto on a trip specifically aimed at photographer. I joined my friends, Ann Brooks and John Betts on the trip. The crossing to Antarctica was fine with an uneventful crossing and the weather in Antarctica was blue sky and calm seas - not at all what I envisaged. Beautiful for tourists but not quite the howling gales and wind swept penguins and seals I had in mind. Unfortunately on the last day the weather turned and I got some really nice photographs of Elephant Seals hankered down in the blizzard. Our landing was cut short as the weather was so bad. Then the nightmare crossing began for two days of hell on water. 
Never again I said. I think I will be saying it in ten years time. NEVER AGAIN!!

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2017 September - Kenya

Trip to Kenya for Wildebeest and other wildlife. Slightly late as we went towards the end of September but it was an amazing trip for wildlife with high proportion of "good" photographs that seem to have  taken forever to sort out. In particular the lion were abundant with lots of cubs which are always a joy to watch. I think the highlight of the trip were the fighting giraffe, it was incredible to hear the slapping of their necks as they struck each other.
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2017 June - Borneo

Trip to both Malaysian and Indonesian Borneo for Primates and other wildlife. Both countries were wonderful but Indonesia was more memorable and photogenic with the feeding stations in Tanjung Puting NP providing an abundance of Orang-utan. Malaysia was more opportunistic but the Kinabatangan River provided lots of variety of species and we visited some beautiful places. 
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2017 June - Canada

Trip to Algonquin, for moose, in Ontario for a few days followed by a week at Baffin island in the Arctic North of Canada with Marc Latremouille. 
Moose at Algonquin were a bit shabby and illusive. Baffin Island consisted of small tented accommodation which was floating in a puddle of water, lack of organisation by the hosts (not Marc) with lots of waiting around for someone to take us out on the ice. 
Saw several bears but little opportunity and no sign of the Narwhal which was the primary reason for the trip.
Will not be going again!!

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2017 March - Norway

This was my second trip to see the magnificent Must Ox of Dovrefjell, Norway. This time in the cold month of March when the snow is receding but still very cold with temperatures of -20c and howling winds to bring the temperature down even further.  
The trip was not particularly successful as the winter was milder and therefore the muskox where a lot higher in the mountains which made them more difficult to reach. The deep snow proved tough going and our previous distances of 10 kilometres on the mountain where not achievable so the best we managed was to find a solitary muskox some 2 or 3 kilometres up the slopes. 
I felt like I was getting old and trekking distances seemed impossible especially as a shoulder injury I sustained last year was making it difficult to carry the camera bag.

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2016 September - British Columbia

On the 25th September I travelled to Chilco, British Columbia, Canada as one of a group of six photographers to photograph Grizzly Bears on the Chilcotin River. Great trip where we were based on two boats going up and down the river looking for bears fishing. I have never seen so many bears in one location and I think on one day you could see 20 bears on different parts of the river bank from the boat where I was photographing. Fantastic lodge, which offers horse riding as well as bear viewing. In fact you can see bears from horse back. 
I hope you enjoy looking at the images.

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2016 August - Norway

David & Carol Taylor, John Betts & I had a trip to Dovrefjell National Park in Norway. David & Carol had visited the area a few years ago in the autumn time and were happy to revisit to try and capture more images of the Musk Ox. 
I had previously seen Musk Ox in Northern Quebec and they had been difficult to photograph as they were very skittish, running away as soon as they saw you approaching. The Dovrefjell herds are more habituated with people and it was much easier. What was challenging was the distances we had to walk with an average daily walk in the region of 10 kilometres over terrain that was undulating to say the least and at times we had to cross the tundra vegetation which was rocky and boggy.
But once again another great trip with fantastic photographic opportunity.


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2016 July - Wales

In July, David & Carol Taylor, John Betts, Ann Brooks and her partner, and I had a trip to Skomer, a small island off the coast of Pembrokeshire. Prior to visiting Skomer I had a day at the Barn Owl Centre in Gloucestershire and a couple of days at the Red Kite Feeding Station at Gigrin Farm, Rhayader. Once we all got together we headed out to Skomer on the early morning boat and was fortunate to have great weather, both on the crossing and during our three night stay. For me it was a bit late in the season and although there still were some puffins on the island most of the breeding pairs and young had gone back out to sea. Its a fantastic island with great opportunity to photograph the puffins in both morning and evening light. Thanks to all for great company and another fantastic trip together.
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2016 June - Iceland

In June, David & Carol Taylor, John Betts & I had a trip to Iceland. It was my second trip to Iceland but this was my first trip for wildlife as last time I had gone in February looking for landscapes and the Northern Lights. 
David & I had spent a lot of time planning the trip and we had research a number of areas that we wanted to visit but we didnt want to rush around so we eventually targeted just two main area which was Husavik  and MyVatn in the north and Selfoss in the South with a short stop over at Skeftafell on the way south. 
It was extremely successful and other than the Harlequin Duck we managed to have some great opportunities with many birds.

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2016 May - Grinton Moor

A day trip to Grinton Moor near Reeth in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park turned out to be a interesting and productive day with lots of nesting birds there was lots to see and a short drive onto Grinton Moor lasted all day, well at least until the rain and wind came and the birds disappeared.
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2016 April - Norfolk

Short trip to Norfolk to catch spring birds and to spend half a day with Simon Litton and his performing hares!
Fairly quite in Norfolk and slightly disappointed with the birding opportunities. The highlight was of course the hares, although they were lacking by their absence most of the time. I visited Hinkley Broad for the first time and was lucky to see a Bittern in the reeds.

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2016 March - Uganda (Lake Mbura)

Final stop in Uganda was Lake Mbura which is mid point between Bwindi and Entebbe. The purpose of our stop over was to do a little relaxation prior to our flight home and we stayed at  Mihingo Lodge which is a luxury lodge euston the edge of Lake Mbura Nartional Park.

Although it was relaxation time we still found time to do a few game drives and really enjoyed the large Zebra herds and a fantastic time on the Nyaruyegura River where we saw a phenomenal number of pied and Malachite Kingfisher and got a particular good sighting of a rear White-backed Night Heron


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2016 March - Uganda (Bwindi)

Fifh stop in Uganda was Bwindi in the South of Uganda. We stayed at two locations; Buhoma and the less popular Nkuringo area of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Buhoma region has three groups of gorilla and Nkuringo one. There are many other groups but these are the ones which have been introduced to humans and therefore approachable. 

We spent three days in total, although the actual time with gorillas is strictly limited to one hour to try and avoid infection from us. The first day was an relatively easy trek into the mountain and we reach the gorillas in less than one hour. Alas, they were on the move so it was a case of chase and photograph and it was incredibly tough and the terrain was think vegetation which made access even more difficult. The second day we had a much harder climb into the mountains and we were well over two hours before we reached the gorillas. When we found them they were feeding in a open area and this was my best opportunity to capture some images although the light was so hard by the time we got there that it was tough photography with the dark fur on green leaves causing over exposed highlights  On the third day we had an even longer climb and the terrain was both up and down and we even crossed rivers, taking our shoes off and paddling in the cool water. When we reached them it was think vegetation on a steep incline and the gorillas kept high in the trees. So all in all a wonderful experience and three different settings for my photography.


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2016 March - Uganda (Ishasha)

Forth stop in Uganda was the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park (Ishasha) in the West of Uganda. The Ushasha region is the home of the famous Tree Climbing Lions. After arriving late morning we had lunch and headed out to look for these sometimes illusive animals. Word was that they had not been seen for several days and after several hours we had seen very little other than a mongoose and a few bird species including a rather nice Wood Sandpiper.

Second day we headed out with an early start but still no Lions. Back to camp and we heard word that they had been spotted so we quickly headed back out and I have to say that it was one of the best lion experiences. They did their usual lazing around but the tree added quite a lot to the experience and with quiet a few cubs in the group it was another very special experience.



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2016 March - Uganda (QENP)

Third stop in Uganda was Queen Elizabeth National Park in the West of Uganda.We visited two locations; the first being the Mweya region. This was a very dry and arid area and the wild life was quite sparse. We found lazy lions on the plain and quite a few antelope including good sighting of Ugandan Kob.

We took a boat tour on the Kazinga Channel between Lake Edward and Lake George and got quite close to Hippo and Fish Eagle. 


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2016 March - Uganda (Kibale Forest)

Kibale National Park is a national park in South Uganda. It is 766 km2 (296 sq mi) in size and is located between 1,100–1,600 meters (3,600–5,200 ft) in elevation. 

We stayed three nights at Kibale Forest Camp which is situated in close proximity to the chimpanzee which is the primary species that I had targeted in this area of Uganda. Three nights gave us two full days of Chimpanzee trekking and what a great opportunity to spend time with these wonderful primates it turned out to be. 

The first day we entered the forest at about 8am and literally saw the chimpanzee high in the trees. After a short while they started to move around and search for food and we were rewards with a full day of exhausting amazing activity. On the second day it was a total opposite and we literally walked 10km in search of them and although we saw many they never came down from the tree canopy.

The chimpanzees were probably the highlight of this stupendous holiday.


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2016 March - Murchinson Falls Uganda

In March this year I travelled to Uganda to fulfil one of my lifetime ultimate destinations, namely the Gorillas of Uganda. It was a spectacular trip and I came home with too many images which I would like to share with you on my website. 

Because of the number I decided to break the trip into the different areas I visited.

First port of call was Murchison Falls which is in northwestern Uganda, spreading inland from the shore of Lake Albert around the Victoria Nile. 

Only two nights in the park and it was certainly insufficient time to enjoy its full splendour. We arrived in the late evening after a quick stop off at  Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary around lunchtime. You can imagine the full heat of the day and the hard light. The rhinos were hiding in the think bush and it was difficult to get good images but is certainly worth an overnight stop on the next trip.

So in the morning of our only full day we visited the park area and were fortunate to see the Patas Monkey which is only seen in this part of Uganda. In the afternoon we had a boat trip on the Victoria Nile and climbed the side of Murchison Falls. An exhausting day but good training for the trekking in the following week.


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2015 November - Ethiopia

In late November I travelled to Ethiopia with my wife Elaine. The trip was organised by an excellent agent, based in Addis Ababa who were recommended by a friend of mine Marcel Mueller

The trip focused on Gelada Monkey, Simien Wolf, and Colobus Monkey and the trip surpassed my expectation having heard how difficult it can be to spot and photograph some of these elusive animals. 

Ethiopia is an incredibly beautiful country and the people were all extremely friendly. I was amazed by the amount of farmer after imagining all the famine that the country has suffered. But everywhere we went the people were very much living off the land and crops looked to be plentiful and the land fertile. 

So after 16 days and 6000 images I ended the trip with yet another intension to revisit as soon as possible. I regret not spending any time photographing the beauty of the country and the people and this is on my list of things to do in the future. Perhaps I might even go back with Marcel as he is an extremely good photo journalist and I know Ethiopia is one of his favourite places in the world.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy seeing some of the images I captured on the trip.



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2015 September - Alberta, Canada

On the heels of my trip to Terrace, British Columbia I could not pass up the opportunity to spend some quality time exploring the vast and wondrous National Parks in Alberta, Canada. Although I had set out to capture photographs of the local wildlife what struck me the most was the beauty and undeniable presence of the famous Canadian Rockies.   Travelling through quaint towns such as Banff, Canmore and Jasper to name a few I couldn’t help but be in awe of the marvellous, majestic mountain range forged over 76 million years ago that surrounded me everywhere I went. Aqua blue lakes fed by melting glaciers mirror the jagged edges of these commanding giants and humbled even a guy like me with its splendour. In the solitude of my journey, I could hear mother nature’s voice whispering to me like a soft gentle breeze which was comforting in a time of personal reflection and soul searching. In addition to my impromptu reunion with landscape photography, I was also able to enjoy my true love - wildlife photography! I snapped some great shots of Moose, Black Bears, Elk, Big Horn Sheep, Bison and even a came across a Beaver and her kit as they emerged from the river bank. Amazing! Alberta, with its phenomenal mountains, inspirational glaciers, crisp lakes and endless forests is a fabulous feast for the eyes and a delight for the lens. Definitely worth going back for again no doubt about it! 


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2015 September - Spirit Bear Adventure in BC, Canada

On the 10th September I travelled to Terrace, British Columbia, Canada as one of a group of six photographers to photograph Spirit Bears in a remote area in the Great Bear Rainforests. When I booked the trip I thought the chance of seeing these elusive bears was pretty remote and I joined this trip organised by John Marriott of canwildphototours.com. The trip was lead by Ethan Meleg and the whole experience from start to finish was truly incredible with a great bunch of buddies. Great boat, good food and amazing sighting of both Spirit and Black Bears every single day.
I hope you enjoy looking at the images as I certainly enjoyed taking them.

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