Ask the ex­perts

See­ing the world while try­ing to make it a bet­ter place; com­ing face to snout with Guyana’s wildlife; and fi nd­ing our feet on the Norfolk coast – our ex­perts put you in the know…

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Walk­ing the Norfolk coast, get­ting wild in the jun­gles of Guyana and check­ing our travel priv­i­leges – our ex­perts have their say

TRAVEL THE WORLD AND DO SOME GOOD ALONG THE WAY Q I’m look­ing to take a sab­bat­i­cal from work and want to do some­thing around re­spon­si­ble travel. Sug­ges­tions? James Smith, via email

A When it comes to ‘green travel’, there are dif­fer­ent ways to ap­proach it. A sus­tain­abil­ity-fo­cused way is to vol­un­teer on a bio­dy­namic or or­ganic farm via an or­gan­i­sa­tion like World Wide Op­por­tu­ni­ties on Or­ganic Farms (WWOOF). You can also com­mit to stay­ing at eco-friendly ac­com­mo­da­tion as much as pos­si­ble, use rideshar­ing when trav­el­ling re­gion­ally, as well as bi­cy­cle shar­ing schemes where avail­able.

An­other, and of­ten less ob­vi­ous, way to travel sus­tain­ably is by em­brac­ing a ‘less is more’ mind­set and spend­ing longer stretches of time in fewer places. By do­ing this, you not only re­duce your car­bon foot­print by lit­er­ally trav­el­ling less (fewer flights, fewer bus rides, etc), you also tend to con­sume less when liv­ing like a lo­cal and stay­ing put in a sin­gle place for more than a week.

Fi­nally, sus­tain­able travel is not only about what you con­sume but also what you con­trib­ute. When op­por­tu­ni­ties to give back to a spe­cific com­mu­nity, cause or a group of peo­ple arise, ex­plore them. Dur­ing our year-long trip, we stayed in Dharam­sala, In­dia, for nearly three weeks and vol­un­teered at a Ti­betan refugee cen­tre, where we helped with English-lan­guage classes. Ex­pe­ri­ences like this pro­vide a very dif­fer­ent level of sat­is­fac­tion, be­yond the foun­da­tional en­joy­ment you get purely from trav­el­ling. Alexan­dra Brown

GO WILD IN THE PARKS AND JUN­GLES OF GUYANA Q I’ve got a week in Guyana and love wildlife. Where should I make sure to visit? Emily Chomicz, via email.

A Lit­tle-vis­ited Guyana has won­der­ful wildlife-watch­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, even if you’re only there for a week. Start­ing in Ge­orge­town, you can hand-feed man­a­tees at the ponds of Guyana Na­tional Park or look for the rare blood-coloured wood­pecker in the Botan­i­cal Gar­dens, which alone boasts al­most 200 of the 850+ bird species in the coun­try; or travel down the coast in search of hoatzin, Guyana’s na­tional bird.

From Ge­orge­town, take a day trip by plane to the spec­tac­u­lar Kai­eteur Falls, al­most five times the height of Ni­a­gara. Here you may also see the or­ange Guianan cock-of-the rock and the tiny golden rocket frog,

which spends its whole life on one leaf of the gi­ant tank bromeliad.

Fly­ing or driv­ing into the in­te­rior, you can stay in one of the rain­for­est lodges, such as Atta Rain­for­est Lodge. This is lo­cated by the Iwokrama Canopy Walk­way, a great spot to see and hear the for­est come alive at dawn or dusk and catch a glimpse of some of its many species of mon­key, in­clud­ing the red howler, the loud­est mam­mal in South Amer­ica. Nearby, at the mo­ment, there’s also one of a hand­ful of ac­ces­si­ble harpy ea­gle nests, the largest rap­tor in the Amer­i­cas.

Top off the trip with a river jour­ney to Karanambu, home of gi­ant ot­ters, gi­ant anteaters, count­less birds, gi­ant wa­ter-lilies and in­cred­i­ble spot­light­ing trips on the river at night. Here you can see black caiman as well as par­tic­i­pate in col­lect­ing re­search data. You may even spot an elu­sive jaguar. Claire An­tell

DIS­COVER THE NORFOLK COAST Q What day walks along the Norfolk coast in­cor­po­rate the most va­ri­ety of land­scapes? Daniel Judd, via email

A This peace­ful, un­dra­matic coun­try­side is full of sub­tle charms, pic­turesque vil­lages, wild shores and se­cret spa­ces. It all adds up to num­ber of great day walks.

For a short trip, try Ring­stead to Old Hun­stan­ton (6.5km), where the clas­sic farm­land of the fi­nal sec­tions of the Ped­dars Way can’t pre­pare you for the beauty of the coast as you wan­der beach and board­walk.

A longer trek is Bran­caster to Wells (20.75km), from salt-marshes to the sands at Holkham. Ex­plore pine-backed beach be­fore strolling the shore and a forested sec­tion to a cause­way that leads to the town.

Some of the most spec­tac­u­lar marshes can be found on the Coast Path from Stiffkey to Cley (11.25km), pass­ing ar­guably the best bird re­serves in the re­gion, with Blak­eney Point dom­i­nat­ing the hori­zon. And fi­nally, Sea Palling to Win­ter­ton-on­Sea (10.5km) is a wild and empty coast­line with beau­ti­ful beaches and the bonus of a seal colony at Horsey, right on the shore. Alexan­der Ste­wart

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