A bucket list has become one of the most talked-about phenomena of recent times, especially in the wake of the smash-hit comic documentary series An Idiot Abroad, presented by Karl Pilkington. For those unfamiliar with the format, comedians Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant along with Sky Television, sent their long-time friend and producer Karl Pilkington around the world to expand his Middle England horizons and complete a bucket list. Comedy aside, this made for an excellent point that travel really does broaden your mind. Although it is long after New Year and its resolutions, I have made a conscious decision to collate my own bucket list and reach out to the blogger community to get further inspiration.
#7 – I want to plumb the depths of the Great Barrier Reef
The countdown for my bucket list starts at number seven, with Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. This huge expanse of coral is an underwater landscape of vivid colours and weird shapes, inhabited by thousands of species of sea life. The nearby beaches provide a great place to relax as well, which is something that is harder to find on other trips. A beautiful haven for tropical marine life, it would be amazing to realise some childhood dreams and be a mermaid for a day!
#6 – I want to observe the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat
Travelling to Africa to see the mountain gorillas would surely make most people’s list, but ever since I became a fan of David Attenborough’s wildlife programmes, I have wanted to see them in their natural habitat. I feel a sense of sadness when I see apes in the confinement of a zoo and I would rather observe them from a distance in their natural surroundings. The huge but shy gorilla has been an icon of the natural world and Rwanda is the best country to visit to see these apes in the wild.
#5 – I want to take a river boat on the Amazon
Number five on my list is exploring the huge Amazon rainforest. A massive area which covers several countries, the rainforest in Ecuador is under particular threat from logging and other destructive economic activities. A magical paradise with literally thousands of species to see, the Amazon has been described as the ‘lungs of the world’. Due to threats to our environment, I would like to see this beautiful example of biodiversity and endangered species before it is extinguished.
#4 – I want to trek across the Arctic tundra
Global warming and other human pressures have begun to take their toll on the population of this majestic area; I would like to take a trek across the Arctic, perhaps a cruise or dog sled ride before it’s too late.
#3 – I want to come face to face with nature’s greatest predator
At number three in my countdown must be seeing the Great White Shark in its natural habitat. Seeing this apex predator in action at close hand in the ocean is an awesome experience and one in which many of my friends have tried to seek out. I would specifically like to visit Dyer Island in South Africa. A short boat trip from here will take visitors to the hunting grounds of the Great White as it preys on seals. It is an unforgettable sight.
#2 – I want to catch sight of the majestic snow leopard
At number two is catching sight of the magical snow leopard in its mountain kingdom of Bhutan. It’s one of the rarest animals on earth, found only in the extremely inhospitable environment of the Himalayas. To spot the snow leopard in the wild takes an adventurous spirit that not many have, but hey, I can dream!
#1 – I want to walk in Darwin’s footsteps
The Galapagos Islands must rank at number one though for anyone who is serious about wildlife and exotic travel. As well as being able to see species such as the Giant Tortoise, visitors can also tread in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, Britain’s greatest naturalist and the man who refined and developed the theory of evolution. A visit to such an inspiring location would surely be at the top of any wildlife fan’s bucket list, it is top of mine… is it top of yours?
Feel free to tweet your comments and recommendations to @AmateurTraveler.
This article was written for Tribes Travel, specialists in Galapagos cruises.
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