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“Let’s go and spend a weekend in the rainy Western Ghats learning how to identify toads and frogs, lizards and snakes.” Not necessarily every teenager’s idea of a fun get-away, but the great company – overwhelming enthusiasm of the experts who led the session, and the beautiful surroundings, great hospitality and the charm and strangeness of the creatures we studied added together to make this an amazing and memorable trip.

Students learnt how to identify a number of species, many of them highly restricted in range and are among a few hundred people alive to have seen species of shield snake and the banded gecko. We looked at species of lizard yet to be described by Science and even saw the amazingly unusual caecilian – snake like amphibian. From all this we appreciated the importance of the taxonomical and ecological studies done in the Western Ghats which evidence the incredible richness of this biodiversity hotspot and which ultimately will strengthen the arguments in favour of its preservation. Thanks to Jungle Lore and the researchers and staff of Whistling Woods Retreat for a uniquely enjoyable experience. Don’t just take my word for it – here is what the students had to say:

1: This trip was definitely one of the best school trips I have been on. I was able to overcome, for the first time, my trepidation for non-mammalian animals, and picked up frogs and held snakes. It was a unique experience, one I never thought I would have.The train trip, and my friends, along with a comfortable accommodation only added to the trips awesomeness. Amboli is truly unlike anywhere I have been.

 

2: After a tiring but fun 12 hours on a train we were welcomed to what ended being the best school trip I've ever been on. It was really exciting seeing so many different types of snakes and frogs in the wild and the people we were with, only made it better. I would love to go back to Amboli with DSB!!

3: I loved this Amboli trip so much, it was by far one of the best school trips I’ve ever been to. None of us expected it to be so much fun, not only the program was perfect but so was Amboli, the place was amazing and had breathtaking views and reptiles. Amboli was the perfect place for us to go and complete our silver IAYP trip and I hope it's not the last time we go there either.

4: I wasn’t really expecting to have much fun on this trip because of how little people we were and who we were, but the group we went with only made it more fun. My favourite part of the trip was probably finding and being able to hold the snakes, I was also able to overcome my fear of touching frogs and managed to catch a few. Amboli has been my favourite school trip so far.

 

 

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