The JBL Expedition 2018 to the Indian Ocean is already starting to take shape in my head.
Today I would like you to participate in the planning of our expedition. And perhaps you have a few ideas which can help me/us! In 2018 we want to set out for the Indian Ocean. To cover our three fields of interest freshwater and marine aquatics and terraristics there I have already thought about a rough itinerary, based on my experience and research (stories, reports, TV etc.):
Madagascar is the dream destination of all terrarium enthusiasts, and the endemic fish fauna sounds pretty exciting too. We are in touch with local research stations specialised in the field of freshwater fish and we want to go “hunting” with their researchers. Due to lack of time we will have to miss out the wonderful reefs of Madagascar.
Seychelles and Mauritius: they are not far away from each other, both count as dream destinations and surely have a lot to offer in all three fields of interest. There are not many studies or publications about the invertebrates or indeed the freshwater fauna in general of these islands. JBL has a very dedicated business partner in Mauritius who is willing to show us the most remote corners of “his” island. On both islands we plan to explore the coral reefs to work out their differences.
Mozambique: is not too far away and has a real highlight for us en route: off the coast of Tofo Beach whale sharks are guaranteed. Whale sharks may not exactly be popular aquarium fish, but almost everyone agrees it is a tremendous experience to observe them in the sea.
So far, so good. Now I’m starting on the fine-tuning: meaning that I have already received possible flight connections and the resulting best schedules from our friendly travel agency Flugpoint in Mannheim. Of course, we always try to avoid long waiting times at airports. Unfortunately it’s not always possible. Then I’m going to put together lots of information about the individual destinations and decide exactly where we are going to stay. This will help determine how long we will be staying in each region. With the help of their partner agencies our travel agency will then look for suitable lodges, and it’s not always easy to convince them that we’d prefer a simple hammock in the wild to a 4-star hotel with whirlpool. This sounds simple but it isn’t. The agencies there always have major reservations about offering us simple lodges. But since Flugpoint Mannheim has already arranged several expeditions with us, they know by experience which offers to renegotiate. Our participants are so preoccupied with creepy crawlies and water dwellers that cultural offers and large mammals are little more than pleasant incidentals. In Australia our guide stopped off specially at a really impressive cultural center near Ayers Rock and gave us one hour for it. After only 10 minutes everyone was ouside again, searching for animals in the bushes!
As soon as the details and the travel price are fixed, we will publish everything on our homepage. So please have a bit of patience in the meantime! Everything should be decided by July. But I’m already looking forward to this expedition, which for me will mean four new countries.