Dynasties: In Focus

Paul Goldstein is one of very few people that has spent time with all five of the BBC's ‘Dynasty’ luminaries. Several chimp safaris, literally years with lions, two fabled expeditions to Emperor penguins and wild painted dogs throughout Africa. 15 marathons in his tiger suit along with 20+ ‘striped’ safaris adds to this not underwhelming litany. Here he shares a few thoughts and tips on these species:

Chimps and see

Chimpanzee in the jungle, Uganda

In terms of character they are probably most similar to humans which, although not always a good thing by any means does make them fascinating viewing as some of their habits are identical. Kabale forest would be my choice of destination for them in Uganda and why not twin them with a visit to their bigger cousins: gorillas.

Chimps & Gorillas of Uganda

Lion kings

Lion, Paul Goldstein

King of the jungle maybe but being cats they are actually often very lazy. However to hear the roar of a male or see a whole pride bisect the dawn’s rays is a seminal moment of Africa and one everyone should experience at least once. There many good places to see lions: the Serengeti, Mara Conservancies and Ngorongoro Crater probably being the best.

See all Big Cat Safaris

Hail the Emperors

Penguins, Paul Goldstein

It is VERY expensive to see them as only C class ice breakers can access these colonies and there is no guarantee that you can fly in, as the weather is capricious at best but the Happy Feet allure of these birds, especially their chicks is still strong. Alternatively King penguins are far more numerous, have brown chicks not grey and are easier and less expensive to see in South Georgia, six million can’t be wrong.

Antarctic Expeditions

Cry wolf?

Painted dog, Paul Goldstein

These painted dogs were almost wiped from the African continent due to a combination of hunting, culling and distemper. However there are many areas now where they can be seen with a degree of regularity. As hunters they are in a class of their own: the outriders fan out wide and the peloton of reserves keep up a decent clip behind their prey. Relentlessly they coarse and rarely does their quarry elude them. Moremi in Botswana, certain reserves in south Africa and the more remote reserves of Kenya and Tanzania still offer good opportunities for these enigmatic predators.

Botswana & Zimbabwe Lodge Safari

Burning bright?

Tiger, Paul Goldstein

Tigers were almost a footnote in history, poached by butchers more interested in their pelts than their future. Fortunately their numbers have stabilised but they are still threatened. Indian national parks with their layers of bureaucracy do not always assist tourists but the visceral thrill of seeing your first striped burnished cat will never be forgotten. I have spent years trying for that perfect tiger image and never come close but you won’t find me complaining. This is an iconic species worth thousands of times more alive than dead on the slab. Best to see in Ranthambore, Kanha, Pench, Tadoba and my favourite: Bandhavgarh.

Tiger Safaris

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