Today I’ve been canoeing in the Mabamba swamp, Uganda during one of my Uganda mountain gorilla holidays. Mabamba is one of the best places in the world to see the elusive Shoebill. Bearing more than a passing resemblance to a Dodo these remarkable birds are endangered mainly due to hunting to meet a steady demand from unscrupulous zoos. But here in Mabamba these birds are now protected by one of the most direct forms of eco-tourism I’ve seen. The steady trickle of visitors who come here to try and find the Shoebill pay a fee directly to the local community who have set up a small office near to where the canoes are moored. The result is that the money truly filters down to the entire community which borders this part of the swamp and they would now lay down their lives to protect these birds. Love it ! Scroll down to see a random collection of images from today’s shoot.
Shoebills are just one of over 40 species included in my new book ‘Swimming with dolphins, Tracking gorillas’ which is a coffee table style paperback showing where and how to see the world’s iconic wildlife in the most ethical ways possible. It’s illustrated with beautiful photography and has been getting some lovely reviews … which is a bit of a relief really after the labour of love to produce it ! It’s available here on Amazon.