12 Days of Christmas – 8 new animals

Throughout my travels I’ve encountered plenty of new animals – here are my 8 most memorable encounters.


In Rurrenabaque, Bolivia, just after we boarded the boat for the pampas tour, a group of Spider monkeysapproached us and stole the Pringles we were eating. It was great seeing them up close and on-board our boat!


I hate Mosquitos. They have plagued my life through the lower parts of South America and all the way through Central America – it was especially bad in Utila, Honduras when you had to run the gauntlet at dawn and dusk and we were constantly covered in Insect Repellent (but still got bitten).


Whilst I didn’t necessarily discover Dinosaurs this trip, we did trek out to see their footprints. The trek might not have gone that well as I was suffering badly with a tummy bug but it was still very cool to be around footprints from ancient times.


Llamas aren’t that unique and there are a couple in the fields near by home, but they are still weird looking animals. It is however a strong debate if I should include the living animal in Machu Picchu, Peru or the dried foetus in The Witches Market, La Paz, Bolivia. I’ll choose the live animal as it’s just a little more pleasant!


I have a new fascination – sharks. After first meeting them in the Galapagos Islands, to Scuba Dive in Caye Caulker, Belize with their menacing presence nearby was extraordinary! Sharks are just so graceful and fearsome creatures!


Before I left on this trip I was terrified of Alligators and Crocodiles. I still am, but my time in Rurrenabaque, Bolivia dulled the fear a little. At one point the boat pilot ran an alligator over and then insisted I get out whilst it was staring at me! A shouting match ensued as I refused to get out of the boat!


It’s no coincidence that I discovered most of the new animals in the Galapagos Islands, (the top spot comes from there too) but the Sea Lions are worthy of inclusion here. They are playful and will swim with you and when resting you can get so close it’s unreal! One even nibbled my leg.


My favourite animal I’ve discovered on this trip has to be Blue Footed Boobie. They have amazing dating rituals, allow you to get really close, dive bomb into the water en-mass and have a comical name. What is not to love about this fantastic bird? I even have the t-shirt!