Monthly Archives: September 2018

White Wedding In Antarctica The Ultimate White Wedding

Our colleague Conny Bartl, part of the team who run Hebridean Sky & Island Sky, experienced a true white wedding recently during an Antarctica expedition voyage.

“A bride and groom wearing rubber boots!” Sounds a little kinky don’t you think, but nothing to worry about here as they have good reason – they are tying the knot on The White Continent.

Wedding In Antarctica

A strange venue? Not at all, and it’s not the first time this Antarctica season that a happy couple have decided to get hitched in this unique wilderness. I was extremely lucky enough to be sailing in Antarctica very recently and the wedding was an exciting bonus.

It was interesting to note how this all worked, with both the expedition team and passengers alike obviously feeling a great part of this wonderful celebration in such a sensational location. Because a professional photographer is always on board, all the proceedings were recorded with outstanding expertise and with great sensitivity for this part of the world. Opportunities were abundant. Just imagine, pure white backdrops, ice everywhere you look, breath-taking scenery and wilderness, and maybe a little snow if you’re lucky to create even more romance – like icing on the cake as it were. But there’s no show without Punch as you cannot stop nature in its tracks…in this case a procession of penguins (how rude) taking the limelight, walking right through the wedding shot, just getting on with their day-to-day penguin business and completely unaware of what’s happening around them!

Wedding In Antarctica

When you think about it, whether it’s a special birthday, wedding blessing or anniversary, celebrating on an epic voyage of this nature makes sense and saves you a small fortune! Why? Because virtually everything’s included. As well as having the location and the venue in place, you have your invited guests (including lovely likeminded fellow passengers), a professional photographer already on board free of charge, fine dining catering including several courses, wedding cake and the wine, all taken care of.  Even the blessing ceremony is included which is carried out by our own exceptional Polar Captain. So, nothing painful to pick up at the end of the celebration except another glass of wine to celebrate a perfect day.

Wedding In Antarctica

Everyone was wonderfully surprised how the expedition team and crew generously got involved with preparation for this special occasion. Instead of the bride being escorted down the alter, she was carefully taken by Zodiac which was terribly romantic. She looked stunning. Although our vessels are English speaking throughout, it was so moving when all of the different passenger nationalities prepared a “best wishes” message in their own language before the celebration dinner started that evening.Wedding In AntarcticaWhat a privilege to feel part of this intimate experience and to share not just the ceremony but the incredible natural world. I found it very spiritual and very much inclusive, as did my fellow passengers, all together – the happy couple, the passengers and crew and expeditions team alike.

But you don’t have to be getting married to sail on our first-class vessels. You just have to be prepared for the experience of a lifetime, unique wildlife encounters, total wilderness and probably the finest scenery you could ever hope for. Our enthusiastic Polar Experts have been working for us year on year and they love to share their wealth of knowledge with you whether it’s out on deck, on Zodiac landings and during meal times. Many of our passengers are single travellers and we attract like-minded, wildlife and natural world enthusiasts at every level which makes for super camaraderie on board. We have a small amount of single cabin space but also offer triple and twin cabins to share, and if you wish you can upgrade to balcony suites.

Hebridean Sky & Island Sky Vessels offer you:

  • Spacious All Suite Cabins, Maximum 112-114 (Ideal for Antarctica)
  • Quality surroundings throughout
  • World Class Cuisine, Wine & Beer Included at Dinner
  • Expert Zodiac Landings Twice Daily & Informal Lecture Programme
  • Kayaking & Camping on Ice available on most departures
  • Photo Coach on board every departure
  • Complimentary Helly Hanson Polar Jacket & Rubber boots for loan
  • 2 Nights Pre Stay in 5 Star Spa Hotel Included
  • 100 Minutes of Free Wi-Fi for your personal use
  • Elevators serving all passenger decks
  • WILDFOOT Exclusive Offers!

And if you are celebrating a milestone birthday, an anniversary or a wedding, we’d love to help to make it an occasion to remember during your exceptional, epic Polar experience.

The finest whale watching in Antarctica is usually late February and early March. We have two ideal departures and the good news is we still have some space, although limited!
One is an in-depth Antarctica Circle voyage which comes with a generous offer, and the second is an exceptionally unique whale science voyage which focuses on the marine mammals of Antarctica. Amazing opportunities to experience The White Continent at its best.

And if you are celebrating a milestone birthday, an anniversary or a wedding, we’d love to help to make it an occasion to remember during your exceptional, epic Polar experience.

Exclusive offer

WILDFOOT Travel offer a pair of quality binoculars (one per cabin) for any reservations on Hebridean Sky or Island Sky during the 2018/19 or 2019/20 season. Must book before 31 October 2018.

Find out more about our trips  on Hebridean Sky and Island Sky here:

Hebridean Sky

Island Sky

 

Africat, proetcting big cats in Namibia Africat – Big Cat Conservation in Namibia

Chris-Packham

Chris Packham, one of AfriCat’s patrons, said
‘I have the great fortune to visit many conservation projects around the world and AfriCat is in the premiership. Its whole ethos is founded upon securing practical solutions to problems in the field. It’s about really making a difference, not talking about it. It’s about intelligent and effective solutions being implemented now, not tomorrow. ‘

This short video taken at AfriCat gives an idea of what it takes Chris to get a particular image.

The AfriCat Foundation in Namibia is working to save the large carnivores of Namibia. It is committed to the long term conservation of these animals and the environment they inhabit. It does this by protecting endangered species, education, research and working with the communities who live along side them. The greatest threat to these animals comes from habitat loss/degradation and increasing competition and conflict with people. AfriCat listens to local people and works with them to find sustainable solutions. When visiting Namibia you can stay at the Okonjima, the home of the AfriCat Foundation, learn about the conservation programme while tracking rehabilitated cheetah and seeking the elusive leopard in their ‘wildlife reserve’. The 22,000 hectare reserve/park is itself a project in rebuilding a sustainable ecosystem. Okonjima was a cattle farm with the ensuing issues of bush encroachment and degraded grasslands. The grassland management programme being implemented has seen all forms of wildlife benefiting. Now even a small herd of cattle are back within the park helping to enrich the soils.cheetah running in Namibia

In the past the threat to livestock posed by the large carnivores meant that farmers regularly shot or trap them, so much so that lions and spotted hyenas have been eliminated from most farms and thus much of Namibia.  Currently it is estimated that there are less than 900 lions left in a narrow band along the Zambezi strip, through Etosha National Park and westward to the coast. AfriCat North has been working tirelessly with local community farmers running a human wildlife mitigation programme on the Western Boarder of Etosha National Park developing solutions that work locally. For example AfriCat has been supporting communities to strengthen or build kraals so livestock are better protected at night.

The lion guards in Namibia

The community Lion Guards, local farmers themselves, are providing advice, information and support to fellow farmers. The information gained from the lion research programme has given valuable insight into the movement of local lion populations and enabled AfriCat through the Lion Guards to alert villages to the presence of lions    AfriCat is now seeking funding to create a sustainable operational basis for developing and expanding its lion research, education and community conservation programmes in the area.

 

You can donate to special appeals

There is scope to ‘adopt-a-carnivore’ at Okonjima.

More information can be found at www.africat.co.uk or contact the AfriCat UK team at [email protected]

saving the lives of big cats in Namibia

Giottos Rocket Air Blower Giottos Rocket Air Blower

Giottos Rocket Air Blower - ideal for getting rid of dust and dirt in the fieldDave Cheetham Wildfoot TravelEach month Wildfoot Travel’s Dave Cheetham reviews a piece of wildlife travel or photography gear. From clothing, to books and cameras to accessories, the product-in-focus may vary, but the honest and thorough scrutiny remains constant.

“Conscious that I often take my camera gear into dusty and dirty environments, I recently invested around £10 in a Giottos Rocket Air Blower, hoping for an easy way to clean my camera gear in the field.

Since I added this nicely designed, rather tactile gadget to the contents of my camera bag, I’ve been finding more and more reasons to use it. And every time it takes care the job at hand with surprising efficiency.

The first and most striking thing you notice about the Rocket is the force it seems to generate from a simple squeeze of the hand. One clench of the palm and a force-ten gale fires out of the nozzle. The ferocious blast of air offers a hugely efficient and safe way of removing debris from corners and crevices on camera bodies, lenses and any other bits and pieces you carry. For those with a little knowledge and confidence, you can even use the blower to clean the inside of your camera and its delicate sensor.

The Rocket’s unique design draws air in from bottom of the unit and blows it out through the nozzle at the top, preventing the dust you are blowing off from being sucked back in to the main chamber. So you are never blowing the same dust back on again.

Aside from making it look pretty cool, the rocket-leg feet prevent the base of the unit from touching any dust covered surfaces. When the blower is lying on it’s side the same fins prevent the blower from rolling away.

Overall, this is an extremely robust and durable device with many cleaning applications, which comes at a price that is hard to find fault with. If you’re serious about your photography and your gear, you should add this invaluable gadget to your kit bag. The day your favourite lens rolls off into the dust, you’ll be glad you did.”