Ethical gifts and gifts that give back this Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching, we are constantly bombarded with festive songs, adverts, cheerful Santas and a bewildering range of gift ideas. Every other travel blog I read at the moment  seems to be sharing a gift list for travel addicts. However, at the risk of...

read more

The Wildlife of Canada’s Clayoquot Sound

From the tiniest and most colourful life forms, to some of the biggest mammals on earth, the Clayoquot Sound has it all. Explore this wonder of unspoilt beauty with me, as I visit the wildlife of the Clayoquot Sound.

read more

How to be a responsible, child safe aware traveller

The first time I visited Africa, many years ago, I remember waltzing into both a school and then an orphanage, amongst a stream of fellow tourists, on an organised excursion. We all took out our cameras and started clicking away while the children looked back at us....

read more

Saving the marine turtles of West Africa

For thousands of years turtles have been visiting the beaches of West Africa to lay their eggs. The few female hatchlings that battle the odds and survive into adulthood return to the very same beach of their birth, some 25 years later, to lay their own eggs. Yet last...

read more

The Songs of the Baka in the Rainforest of Eden

As I made my way through the lush greenery of giant ferns and towering palm trees I could hear the sweet sound of Baka songs floating through the air. Interlocking, polyphonic rhythms and melodies woven together. Songs that prepared the tribe and the animals of the...

read more

20 Favourite Wildlife Photographs #WorldWildlifeDay

Today is World Wildlife Day and this year's theme is “The future of wildlife is in our hands”. It's horrific to think about how many of the fabulous species of animals that roam the world today will have disappeared by the time your children or grandchildren have...

read more

Review: Snoozebox at the YHA Eden Project

Sheets of rain pour down as I walk up to a row of shipping containers. In the dim light I search for the number 108. It's not long before I find it and as I peep inside I think yes, this will suit me just fine for the next couple of nights. My private room had...

read more

The Grizzly Bears of Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest

We’ve be looking for hours, or so it seems, staring intently at the grass-like sedge that grows along the banks. Drifting along on the water with just the occasional slosh from the oars, we pass trees clad in wispy moss, part of the ancient forests of cedars and spruce that surround us. Low clouds creep around the upper slopes of the tree covered cliff-faces. A light rain is falling but our cameras are at the ready. And then I see them, two round fluffy brown ears, peeping up from behind the sedge. In perfect unison two of us point at the same spot on the bank and softly exclaim “Bear!”

read more

Cities on the edge of Nature – Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver on the west coast of Canada is said to be one of the best places in the world to live. It has a stunning backdrop of the snow-capped Olympus Mountains and the impressive 400 hectare Stanley Park as well as the Salish Sea, a popular whale-watching location, all on its doorstep. Like Victoria, Vancouver is certainly another wonderful city on the edge of nature.

read more

Win two tickets to BlogStock (and join me in the tipi)

Last year I had a great time at the first ever blogging festival and this year’s event looks to be even bigger and better. I’ll be speaking about Responsible Bucketlists and I’d love you to join me so I’m giving away 2 free tickets to BlogStock2015.

read more

A taste of Sicily

From the sun dried tomatoes of Ispica to the chilli chocolate of Modica, I recently spent a fabulous week discovering new flavours and meeting the wonderful people behind a delicious assortment of food in Sicily.

read more

Through the jungle to the Dudhsagar Falls, Goa

The rocks around the pool's edge are slippery. I sit down, slide into the cool water and swim over to the waterfall. At the height of its rage, the torrent races down the mountainside in an overpowering, deluge. Despite it now being the end of Goa's dry season when...

read more

Don’t fuel the orphanage industry in Nepal

Earlier today I received a tweet from my friend Sallie, from the award-winning volunteer organisation people and places, asking for my help. She had been in contact with the children's charity, Next Generation Nepal (NGN). Following the recent devastating earthquake...

read more

Finding my Nirvana in Mallorca

Earlier this year I spent a wonderful weekend in Mallorca, an island that I love. My visit this time may have only been brief but it was a real treat staying at what I now consider to be the best spa hotel in Mallorca, Hotel BonSol. A gem of a hotel in a sleepy...

read more

Spring comes to Kew Gardens in London

Daffodils, blossoms and magnolia trees greet me as I pass through the gates into Kew Gardens. It's a little early for bluebells but soon the woodlands here will be carpeted with them too, a favourite subject of many a photographer. At last the sun is shinning. Spring...

read more

Middle Eastern delights on a Food Tour in Dubai

The salty smell of fish fills my nostrils and the hubbub from the traders and buyers invade my ears. Outside the latest catch is being auctioned. It's so fresh that the fish are still wriggling. Your senses come alive at Dubai's fish market, the colourful and hectic...

read more

Save the Halong Bay Moon Bears

Have you ever been to Halong Bay?

I’ve read many of my fellow travel bloggers’ stories from this enchanting place in Vietnam and for a long time I’ve longed to go there, to taste the delicious cuisine, to learn about local culture, to witness its breathtaking natural beauty and to sail across Halong Bay.

But, as I found out recently, there is a darker side to Halong Bay, that I’m sure no tourists or travellers know anything about.

read more

Keeping Dolphins and Whales in Captivity

Just over a year ago I shared with you Why I regret swimming with dolphins. Following this, while I couldn't undo what was done, I added my voice to the many that are calling for the world to bring an end to the keeping of such intelligent and beautiful animals...

read more

The Baboons of Makasutu Forest

When we arrived at Mandina Lodges we were given a few words of  warning! "Don't leave your toiletries out in your open-air bathroom as the baboons might steal them." Replanting Makasutu Forest and the return of the baboons When the founders of Mandina Lodges,...

read more

A night on the river in Makasutu Forest

As I lie in bed I can feel a gentle movement in the decking beneath me or is it my imagination. I listen to the creeks and groans of the wood... splashes of water... silence... another splash. Getting out of bed I draw back the muslin curtains and catch my breath. A...

read more

Responsible volunteering with ‘people and places’

In my last post I shared with you my concerns about irresponsible volunteer organisations and orphanage tourism. Today I’d like to tell you about a great volunteering organisation that take a very responsible approach. Getting to know 'people and places' As my...

read more

Justifiable bad press for orphanage tourism

There has been a lot of bad press lately about volunteer tourism and I’ve heard a few horror stories myself, such as local teachers being dismissed because the school knew that a volunteer teacher was on there way. Even more disturbing still though are cases involving...

read more

The Community Stove Initiative

In May, when I left The Gambia, I had a mission to raise enough money to buy at least ten more of the new design of stoves that run on peanut shell briquettes. The Community Stove Initiative If you have been following my blogs from The Gambia you may want to skip the...

read more

Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for the day

“Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for the day. Teach him how to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” Chinese proverb After visiting  the girl I sponsor in The Gambia, we set off to visit Lamin's family who live just up the road, in a village on the outskirts of the...

read more

Visiting my sponsored child in The Gambia

In 2005 I started sponsoring a little girl in The Gambia. She was just 6 years old. A few months later I visited The Gambia for the first time and, of course, I arranged to visit her, her school and her family. Nearly 8 years later I am still sponsoring her and...

read more

On the trail of the mythical Kumpo of Kanuma

When I heard (on Twitter) that a kumpo, a mystical character of the West African Jola tribe, had been spotted near the village of Kanuma, just a few hours drive from where we were staying in The Gambia, there was only one thing for it; I was determined to arrange an...

read more

Why I regret swimming with dolphins

When I heard that you could swim with dolphins in Sharm el Sheikh I leapt at the chance. This was a long-held dream of mine and I was over the moon. It was a spur of the moment decision that I now regret. Before we had left England I had looked at what excursions were...

read more

Snorkelling in the Red Sea – Tarin Island

Snorkelling in the Red Sea is a treat not to be missed and was without doubt my favourite part of my recent trip to Egypt.   Although I had been snorkelling before, it was a long, long time ago. That was also in the Red Sea, but in Israel rather than Egypt. I can...

read more

Sustainable tourism in the Middle East

As discussed in my previous post the current political events in the Middle East have adversely affected the tourism industry throughout the region. I recently visited Destinations Holiday and Travel Show in London and spoke to award-winning travel journalist, Matthew...

read more

Egypt… is it safe to travel there?

The political crisis in the Middle East over the last few years has severely impacted on the tourism industry throughout the region but does this mean that tourists should stay away? Following my visit to Egypt last November I’ve spoken to a number of people about how...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest