Our Favourite Wildlife Experiences So Far… Part 2

Last week we began looking at our favourite wildlife experiences around the world, if you missed part one you can catch up by clicking here.

This week we round out our list with five more of our best experiences around the world.

6: Snorkelling with Whale Sharks, Tofo Mozambique

While we have been lucky to see them several times now, our first experience of the world’s largest fish really stands out. Their amazing markings and huge gapping mouths are stunning as they glide by almost in slow motion. Almost oblivious to your presence the grace with which they swim by looks out of place when compared to their size. When we were in Tofo the Beach Club had weekly seminars about whale sharks and manta rays, well worth sitting on if they still run.

The beautiful markings of the world's largest fish

The beautiful markings of the world’s largest fish

7: Chasing the Big 5 in South Africa

You can’t compile a great wildlife list without mentioning Africa and the Big 5. There are some great National Parks and reserves in South Africa to see Africa’s incredible wildlife. We loved Ado National Park for Elephants, we were almost trampled by a family when we couldn’t get our car started! Hluhluwe for Rhino spotting and you can’t miss out on Kruger. The best bit of advice we can give you is to sty in the parks overnight. We didn’t on a couple of occasions and really missed out, but when we did we had breakfast with elephants one morning and were woken by the roars of lions another!

One of the many elephants in the Kruger National Park

One of the many elephants in the Kruger National Park

8: Australia’s Unique Wildlife along The Great Ocean Road Victoria

It is easy for me to pass judgement and say how amazing Australia’s wildlife is but I still get excited when I see kangaroos or koalas in the wild. From our ‘home base’ in Australia (thank you Mum and Dad) we can see kangaroos from the balcony at happy hour or a short drive sees them grazing on the local golf course! Koalas in abundance live along the great ocean road and there are some fantastic reserves and shelters for native wildlife.

Kangaroos on the local golf course along the Great Ocean Road

Kangaroos on the local golf course along the Great Ocean Road

9: Orang-utans in Borneo
This is one of Natalie’s suggestions and unfortunately Borneo is still a place on my ‘to-go’ list.  Natalie said, “The famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Borneo is known across the World for their efforts with Orang-Utan rehabilitation.  This fantastic centre provides a base to rehabilitate injured or orphaned animals, before a staged approach to reintegrating them into the 43 sq KM reserve begins.  As you walk through the reserve you see the Orang-Utans staring back at you – equally as interested in you as you are them!!  It’s impossible to forget their bright orange coat and distinctive stare.  Such beautiful creatures who so deserve to be protected”.

Minding his business - a snoozing Orang-Utan at Sepilok (taken on a film camera)

Minding his own business – a snoozing Orang-Utan at Sepilok (taken on a film camera)

10: THE WISHLIST: Manta Rays

While we have been incredibly lucky with our travels to see so many amazing animals in their natural habitat there is one that has eluded us, the Manta Ray. Whether it has purely been wrong place at the wrong time or adverse weather conditions they remain at the top of our animal bucket list. Guess that’s the beautiful thing about travel, the more you see the more you want to see, and that list never seems to get any shorter!

– Dean

South Africa 610

Just remember to watch where you go!

Just remember to watch where you go!

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Chapter 12: Post Party Chill… or that was the plan!

After the excitement of the party, we thought the pace of our time in Oz might slow down…. But we were wrong!  Mum and Dad were still around until the Thursday and the six of us spent many a happy hour together.

It is rare that we get time to spend with both sets of parents, at the same time and we really enjoyed the opportunity that this presented.  Ray took Mum and Dad out to see his plane.  It was a shame that the weather wasn’t good enough to go up in it, but Dean and I were lucky enough to return with him later on it the week to do a couple of laps (not to be confused with loop-the-loops!).  We are both so proud of Ray’s efforts in building the plane (yes you read that right) and I was proud to be the first female to fly in the plane!  Mum and Dad will just have to come back and have a go next time!

Just looking with Mum and  Dad as windy weather stopped play...

Just looking with Mum and Dad as windy weather stopped play…

... Later in the week flying with the F.I.L (Father-in-Law!)

… Later in the week flying with the F.I.L (Father-in-Law!)

We then went out for lunch to celebrate Ray’s birthday and it was lovely to be back for that.  Just before the wedding party I had taken Mum and Dad along the Great Ocean Road again, but we’d rather rushed bits of it so we went back and made several stops between Torquay and Apollo Bay.  For me I love Airey’s Inlet and it is a real must see stop.  We dipped our toes in the water at Anglesea – such a beautiful beach.  On the way back many a photo was taken of the wild Kangaroos on the Anglesea Golf Course!

Airey's Inlet

Airey’s Inlet

Roos!

Roos!

The last day was spent taking the ferry from Queenscliffe to Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula.  It’s a great ride and the sun came out to play.  We all stopped at the amazing Mubble Ice cream (Owned by Dean’s Cousin) and sampled some of their finest flavours.  One of the six of us liked it so much they went back for seconds… but they will remain nameless!  The back beach there was as speculator as ever and we really had a lovely day.

Another great photo thanks to yet another passer by!

Another great photo thanks to yet another passer by!

Dean will tell you all about the Grand Prix separately, but we enjoyed the rest of our week and we were so sad to be leaving.  In hindsight two weeks was never going to be long enough in Australia and we said our goodbyes vowing to come for longer next time.

Boy time on our last night... Maree and I left them to it!

Boy time on our last night… Maree and I left them to it!

Australia you truly are my second home and never fail to disappoint.  It was a wonderful visit, and we can’t wait until next time!

–          Natalie