Tag Archives: wildlife

A photo from my archives: cheeky monkeys

Kruger National Park, South Africa, 2008.

Well, this isn’t actually just one photo. I simply couldn’t pick one out of the lot. Admittedly, the quality isn’t the best but I love the subjects!

So what’s the story behind this gallery?
Kruger Park. Picnic rest area. Lots of monkeys. Most of them were Vervet monkeys, but there were some baboons running around too.
I didn’t like the baboons, they were too aggressive. So I stopped and stared at a group of Vervet monkeys with babies for a long time. Until I finally decided to capture a few moments on my camera: some of the baby monkeys playing around the trees were really cute! Sweet images of motherhood got my attention too.

And then there was the cheeky one, the cheekiest of them all…the one that caused a moment of chaos in the picnic area. A pack of biscuits on a table was the cause of the mayhem. A pack of biscuits that had been left unattended for about 5 (yes, five!) seconds.
Cheeky monkey saw it, cheeky monkey wanted it.
And cheeky monkey ran as fast as possible, dragged the pack of biscuits away from the humans, and then started nibbling the content…
SouthAfricaPhotogallery_007
Do we need any additional scientific evidence that Vervet monkeys love oaty biscuits with chocolate filling?!

A “PEEK” evening

“Pass me that torch, quick, there is something here!”.

It’s pitch black around, apart from our head torches flashing in the darkness. It’s 7pm and I am walking in the Con Dao National Park forest with a group of Vietnamese school kids, their teacher, a couple of parents, and the  guys from Senses Diving Con Dao, a  local diving school.

I am on the left :-)
I am on the left :-)

How did I get here?!

A few days ago I was chatting to Max, one of the owners of Senses Diving Con Dao, as I wanted to learn more about the island, and he told me about Biodiversity PEEK.
The Biodiversity PEEK (Photography Educating & Empowering Kids) educational program is run by the Biodiversity Group and it teaches children about their own environment. In Con Dao the program runs over two months at a time and it involves around six children from a local school per group. Weekly activities – usually run on a Sunday – range from trekking, to snorkeling, diving, clean up days, and are all aimed at teaching the kids about the wildlife on their own doorstep and what impact (good or bad) we have on the environment.

There was no need to ask me if I wanted to get involved in the night trek with the kids: I was already putting my hand up for that!

And so we went.

Local wildlife
Local wildlife

The trek led us into the forest and up the hill, and it was great to see the enthusiasm from the kids! No leaves were left unturned (in the real sense) and every finding was reported to the group with loud cheers. We mainly saw lizards, geckos, and spiders, and heard noises from bats and monkeys in the bush.

Something has been spotted!
Something has been spotted!

Kids had also been given digital cameras to document and report back what they had found.

The day after the trek they gathered at the bar run by Senses Diving for the second part of the activity:  uploading the photos to a website that will assist them with identification of the species found.

Uploading the photographs
Uploading the photographs

This is all part of increasing the kids’ awareness about their environment, which is of crucial importance. Even more so on an island like Con Dao, which is deemed as globally significant because of its marine life, terrestrial habitat and location. Read more about Con Dao biodiversity here.

I feel very privileged to have taken part in one of the Biodiversity PEEK activities in Con Dao! All tourists are welcome to join in, so please pop by if you are in town and ask the guys at Senses Diving Con Dao how you can get involved!