The Galápagos . . . so what comes to mind? Well Darwin of course, the Beagle perhaps, Lonesome George maybe? An awareness that it’s also the laboratory for the evolution of our natural world, and a place where one can peacefully spend absolute hours watching myriads of exotic life forms that have never felt threatened by us Homo sapiens. It’s a place where we are the paparazzi and the inhabitants are the celebrities.

I think I’m right in saying it’s on everyone’s bucket list at some stage of their lives and you may wonder what does a company that puts together the most amazing safaris and experiences on the African continent have in common with this far flung set of isles? Well, remarkably it turns out lots indeed – exchange game drives to boat trips, bush walks to snorkeling and walkabouts on the the most pristine of islands and habitats, not to mention of course the exclusivity of your own yacht and amazing guiding of course. As Darwin said, “it’s a little world within itself.” To me, it’s a live immersion into the most wonderful, colorful and interesting forms of life on our fragile planet.

We spend the days exploring the archipelago (tending to sail the longer passages between the different islands at night) on fascinatingly different environments with names such as Isabella, San Cristobal, Pitt Point, Witch Hill and the Devil’s Crown. Each one unique, some offer excellent snorkeling, others different species of boobies and frigate birds, others the whitest of beaches to brackish lagoons with flamingoes. There really is something for everyone. We swim with hammerhead sharks, watch blue footed bobbies do their foot stomping dance, enjoy the intricate courting and elegance of the waved albatross, paddle with penguins, look for an endemic short eared owl that hunts storm petrels, dive in the warm waters and swim with dolphins, take a deep breath and try to keep up with a paddling turtle, snorkel with legions of tropical fish and gaze up at squadrons of frigate birds catching a free ride on our yacht. For an active multiple generational family that loves the outdoors and natural world then there is nothing that beats it.

Life aboard yachts are, of course, immaculately turned out: the rooms are air conditioned and amply spacious, the chef ensures the freshest ingredients, the wine is chilled and the crew tends to everyone’s needs.  All of these make for the most comfortable days with lots of activities as well.  It’s the perfect combination, trust me.

My bags are packed and in a few weeks I head off to the Galápagos again to explore, revel, swim, enjoy and marvel at Mother Nature doing what she does best. I’m a very lucky fellow! 


Photography by: Simon Belcher and Patti Ross Milne