What are the necessary conditions for participation in a JBL expedition?
I would therefore like to briefly explain what really is important: In conversations with nature enthusiasts I notice again and again that there are amazingly high numbers of people interested in taking part, but that many of them are unsure about their own suitability.
I would therefore like to briefly explain what really is important:
- Flexibility: The times and itineraries only apply to Germany and in Switzerland. In other countries they merely form a rough guide and require some patience as we wait for more information or adapt our plans to the local situation. A plan is just a plan! A great deal of enthusiasm: To date all our team members have come supplied with an incredible enthusiasm for EVERY animal. Of course we are especially pleased to see fish, invertebrates and creaping animals. But we can get just as excited by a beautiful bird and interesting mammal as by a rare or spectacular plant. We all have our favourites, but a love of nature in general is perhaps the most important prerequisite.
- Physical fitness: We won’t be doing a triathlon but with 30 °C and 85 % humidity a hiking tour through a riverbed can be absolutely strenuous. Since the age of slavery is no more (at least in our world), everyone has to carry their own luggage, which will be tough with our extensive photo equipment. First class hotel with whirlpool: First class can mean a hammock and the whirlpool might be a river near the camp. Our overnight accommodation is often very basic but in return in the middle of nature. But I ALWAYS try to take care that we have acceptable toilets.
- Jungle food: Of course there are regional meals which can be in small portions. But nobody has to eat maggots or beetles unless they want to. I’m happy just to take photos of others eating live animals. Diabetics or vegetarians need to inform us in advance and we usually manage. Using gestures and hand signs to communicate: Expeditions always are international but this is what makes it so exciting. If it is a large group we split it into smaller teams of 6-8 people who travel together during the day. The teams are grouped according to the languages. Those who only speak German, English or French will have no problem. But people who only speak an exotic language, such as Finnish or Chinese need to have very well developed skills to communicate their wishes by using gestures and hand signs. What are the chances of getting a place? At the moment I can’t know how many applications there will be. From experience the chance for first time applicants is about 60 %. Repeaters will be put on a waiting list and move up if someone cancels, which certainly can happen.
Nobody needs to be biologist or certified diver! We are simply a bunch of nature mad people (in the best possible sense) with a shared enthusiasm for a variety of animals, and this has brought us together for research and adventure. If you like the sound of this then you are just the right person and I look forward to being with you on an expedition!
Find out more about our previous expeditions here: Expeditions