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