Barbados wildlife reserve
You’ll be pleased to hear that this pretty much is my last holiday post! Sorry if it got a bit dull, but I wanted all the memories for myself in one place as much as anything. One of the biggest highlights of the holiday for me was visiting the wildlife reserve on our last full day. I love animals but don’t like seeing the sad caged specimens in zoos, so was pleased that this was a largely open park where the animals can mingle and come and go as they please.
We’d already spotted a couple of the island’s inhabitant green monkeys here and there, but the reserve is home to tons of them, as well as pretty little deer, maras (a funny like rabbit-donkey creature), peacocks, tortoises and even a couple of baby crocs.
We arrived just before 2pm, which is when the keepers feed the animals a heap of fresh fruit and veg. Watching all the species get together for a feast was magical!
The monkeys played and fought over the apples, hopped over the tortoises to get to the best bits, and scampered off with their loot to sit in the trees. I’ll admit right now – I never used to like monkeys: their weird humanlike features creeped me out, but I totally fell for them after seeing them interacting in the ‘wild’.
The deer chomped away in twos and threes, making funny expressions.
After lunch, the peacock treated us to a show of his amazing tail feathers.
And I made friends with the tortoises
These mini crocs – actually caimans – were suspiciously still and calm: a smug-looking turtle was even basking on the back of one of them.
The wildlife reserve admission also lets you take a wander in the adjacent Grenade Hall Forest, a tropical forest full of medicinal trees. It was a very peaceful place to wander in, and there were plenty of sign posts explaining a little more about some of the plants and what they are tradiionally used for.
We happened across a group of monkeys getting back to work after lunch: they were very studiously tearing the bark off the trees… not quite sure why but it was fascinating to watch. There’s also a signal station nearby that you can climb up for great views, but we were zonked after trampling round the forest on a very hot afternoon, so didn’t make it.