Our 10 Favourite Photos of Animals

By alison - July 26, 2012 (Updated: October 18, 2015)

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series 10 Favourite Photos.
Our ten Favourite Photos of Animals

Who doesn’t love photos of animals?

We all know the internet was created so people could share photos of cute animals. Who are we to defy the internet? That’s why today we want to share with you our favourite photos of the furry creatures we’ve encountered on our travels.

Here are our 10 favourite photos of animals and the destination where we saw them:

1. Barbary Macaques in Gibraltar

Barbary Macaques in Gibraltar

We loved visiting the cuddly looking Barbary Macaques in Gibraltar

We loved weird and wonderful Gibraltar. The highlight of our visit was hanging out with their famous Barbary Macaques. These monkeys are used to human interaction so it’s possible to photograph them at very close range. This young Macaque was resting, cuddled up to his mother.

2. Icelandic Horse on the Golden Circle

Icelandic Horse

Small enough to be called a pony, the Icelandic horse’s nimble gait allows him to be sure-footed on Iceland’s harsh terrain.

It’s hard to choose just one highlight of a trip around Iceland’s Golden Circle. There are dramatic waterfalls, glaciers, geysers and more majestic landscape than you can point a camera at. One of our most special moments however, was when we happened upon a herd of Icelandic Ponies. These special horses (and they are actually small horses rather than ponies, as they are commonly referred to as) are one of the few breeds to have five gaits and are particularly sure-footed on Iceland’s rugged terrain.

3. Baby Elephant at the Antwerp Zoo

Baby Elephant at the Antwerp Zoo in Belgium

Playful Kai Mook at the Antwerp Zoo in Belgium

Who can resist watching baby animals play? We sure can’t! We were completely captivated by Antwerp Zoo’s Baby Elephant Kai Mook. She didn’t stray too far from her mother but she was having a great time rolling in the dirt and playing with her fellow pachyderms. Kai Mook and her family have recently moved to new and improved digs at the Planckendael Animal park in Mechelen.

4. Alpine Marmot in the Pyrenees

Alpine Marmot in the Pyrenees

A curious Alpine Marmot in the Pyrenees pops up to say hello.

One of our favourite European travel destinations for nature (not to mention food and wine) is the Pyrenees Mountains, which border France and Spain. This region has an abundance of wildlife, but one of the cutest creatures in the area is the Alpine Marmot. Several summers ago, we took the Petit Train from Artouste, France into the mountains to do some hiking. From the train we spotted this curious little fellow and a few of his friends. He was happy enough to pose for my photos.

5. Flocks of Sheep on Europe’s Back-Roads

Flocks of sheep on back-roads

We often find ourselves caught in “sheep jams” while exploring the back-roads of Europe.

We spend a lot of time exploring the back-roads of Europe. While it’s nice to get away from car traffic, we often still find ourselves slowed down by the locals. We’ve been in more “sheep jams” than we can count. These two photos are my favourite examples.

The top one shows a flock following their shepherdess on her bicycle, while she shelters from the rain. The big white dog is a Great Pyrenees (a breed I grew up with) which is fitting since we were driving in the Pyrenees Mountains.

The bottom photo was taken through our car window as we waited for the shepherd to navigate his flock down a back-road in Sardinia. If only traffic in Brussels could be this fun to watch!

6. Whales in Atlantic Canada

Whale Watching in Atlantic Canada

Nothing prepares you for your first sighting of a whale breaching the surface of the Atlantic.

I’ll be this first to admit, this isn’t a great photo of a whale. It’s one of our favourites because it reminds us of the special moment it depicts. Andrew and I both grew up on the coasts of Eastern Canada, but neither of us ever went on a whale watching tour – one of the region’s most popular tourist attractions. It wasn’t until we returned home to visit family for the summer that we had our first whale watching adventure. The irony however was, we saw more whales from our ferry on our day-trip to Grand Manan Island, than we did on the whale watching tour. This fellow put on quite a show as the sun started sinking into the Atlantic.

7. Lemurs in Apenheul Park in the Netherlands

Ring-tailed Lemur at Apenheul Park

This Ring-tailed Lemur was to interested in catching some rays to be bothered by me and my camera.

While we would much rather see animals in the wild, where they belong, we believe well-run zoos play an important role in preserving endangered species and educating the public about the importance of saving our furry friends. One of our favourite zoos in Europe is the Apenheul Monkey Park in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. Many of the primates, including the lovable lemurs, are able to roam free through various area of the park, where they can interact with the human guests, should they so choose. This Ring-tailed lemur was pretty indifferent about me and my clicking camera. He was much more interested in soaking up the sun.

8. Smiling Giraffe at Pairi Daiza Zoo, Belgium

Smiling Giraffe at Pairi Daiza Zoo, Belgium

This friendly giraffe is all smiles

Our favourite zoo in Belgium has to be Pairi Daiza zoo and botanical garden in Wallonia. While there are loads of fabulous (and photogenic) animals in the park, I was most captivated by this friendly giraffe. We were able to come nose to nose with her from a special viewing platform. She even came in close for a head pat. What a wonderful experience.

9. Lion in Bangalore, India

Lion at a safari park in Bangalore India

This lion was keeping a close eye on us and our safari bus.

We had an incredible time visiting Bangalore, India. The trip was filled with highs, and a few lows. These mixed reactions extended to our visit to the safari park. We were able to see lions up close and photograph them from the safety of our safari bus. It seemed like they were well cared for and had plenty of room to roam free. Despite this, the small cages of the animals in the  adjoining zoo left a lot to be desired. We left with mixed emotions but many great photos of the lions.

10. Cats the World Over

Cat near the Acropolis in Athens, Greece

Here kitty, kitty… Alison wants to take your photo.

Andrew jokes that I can find a cat anywhere it will immediately come running to me. I am the epitome of “the crazy cat lady” and if there is a feline, stray or domesticated, within a kilometre of me, I’ll find and befriend it. This particular kitty was hanging out in the Plaka neighbourhood of Athens. There are many strays in the city but people make sure they are fed and have fresh water available. Wandering the narrow alleyways of this neighbourhood, right below the Acropolis, we saw cats everywhere. For me, they were all potential friends and photo subjects.

 The Cutest Cats in the World – Buddy and Orange

Like any proud mom, I think my “kids” are the cutest in the world. So I leave you with these photos of the CheeseWeb staff – Buddy and Orange.

Buddy Cat

Buddy Cat – in charge of CheeseWeb’s Shipping and Receiving department and official box inspector.

Orange – Head of CheeseWeb’s Human Resources Department and official office greeter cat.

Where’s your favourite place to photograph animals? Leave you comments below.

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Big Cheese at CheeseWeb
Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+


    • Comment by Alison


      Alison July 28, 2012 at 21:07

      Aw, he’s great! I love stories of animals that adapt to challenges. Such a great lesson for us 🙂

  1. Comment by Jesse

    Jesse July 30, 2012 at 08:59

    Cats and monkeys still holds the spot for being the most photoed cutie of a specie. In fact, most of them are always seen in my photo sharing social news feeds.

    • Comment by Alison


      Alison July 31, 2012 at 11:36

      They are two of my favourites too, although I must say I find just about all animals irresistible 🙂

  2. Comment by Wandergirl

    Wandergirl July 30, 2012 at 19:11

    Eeeeee. Baby elephants always make my heart melt. I want one!

    And you do have very cute cats. 🙂

    • Comment by Alison


      Alison July 31, 2012 at 11:37

      Me too! It was so much fun watching them play. And thanks for the compliments on our ‘kids’ 🙂 They keep things around CheeseWeb HQ fun 🙂

  3. Pingback: Otters and Butterflies in Dartmoor, England | Expat Life in Belgium, Travel and Photography | CheeseWeb

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