Amazing Sights at Angkor In Cambodia
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Angkor is a UNESCO protected city and the largest archaeological sites in South East Asia stretching in an area of 400 km. It is a destination which has the remains of the Khmer regime and the parks, temples and hydraulic structures mesmerize you with its sheer grandeur and splendour. Every year millions tourist cross flock to this amazing fairy tale land and enter Angkor Wat, the largest religious  [...]

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Ras Al Khaimah: Where eagles prey on the imagination

Posted on October 1, 2010 | Adventure Travel9 Comments

It is only you get up close that you realize the golden eagle’s claws are like a razor’s edge, lethal and cutting. The one perched on the falconer’s hand is simply clamping down with all her force and wings spread slightly, an expression of her anger. She is, in her own way, like a child that wanted a particular toy or perhaps it is more a case of a woman scorned. Hell hath no fury like it. She continues to stomp, as if evening out a small sandy dune. But she is hooded and thus no threat. I’m just glad that she isn’t perched on my hand; she seems a real handful.

‘In the wild, the female is the more dominant of the two genders. The key is to be fearless, it is almost as if they can smell it coming from a mile away. Just go in there and grab her as if you own her. Push her head down into the bag, don’t let her boss you around because you’re in trouble if she does. With time, she is now attuned to my presence and is more docile’, says the South African Kruger as he puts his eagle in its place here at the Banyan Tree Al Wadi in Ras Al Khaimah.

Al Wadi Ras Al Khaimah

The luxury resort is a rarity in that it is a fully functional nature reserve and helps guests indulge in falconry while at the same time setting standards for conserving nature’s bounty. And make no mistake, Kruger and his band of traveling falconers are the star of the show. The South African cares for the eagle, two owls and several falcons and showing what the birds can do is just one part of the equation for he also talks to falconers and aspiring falconers about the arts of keeping hold of a bird of prey.

Falconry is arespected job in the area, but it is also a drain on your time since Falcons live for eating, as the saying goes. Thankfully I’m not on the menu, and neither is anyone from the audience. Kruger nevertheless whips off the hood to allow the bird to take in the audience and not be perturbed by anyone. It is a risk worth taking with those rapier talons and sharp beak. Once released, the eagle flies off into the nearby dunes, moody and angry. She even ignored Kruger’s lure briefly (from a distance, it had me fooled. It sure looked like a rabbit), but after some cajoling swoops in and shows why she’s such a dangerous predator. What was once a make-believe rabbit is now a furry scrap of nothingness.

Ras Al Khaimah UAE

‘I’ve never figured eagles out and I’m never relaxed around them. The day I feel I know it all is the day it’ll all go wrong.’ Kruger works hard for these regal birds though. Together with fellow South African Ryan Ingram there are plans afoot to expand the Al Wadi resort to 60 hectares worth of space and this will not only enhance the appeal of a major tourist attraction and a hub for conservation efforts in the area. There is a drama and magic to it all that makes it all a blast from a bygone era and this is the UAE as it is rarely seen, in the clasp of an eagle.

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  • Jackie Rutherson says:

    The piece of information you’ve given out there about eagles is really interesting and worth taking into account!

    Ras Al Khaimah located towards the northern end of U.A.E’s Persian Gulf has a 27-mile long coastline that includes tranquil lagoons and golden sand beaches and also shares Oman’s mountainous borders..It is a great destination for all types of travelers..

    However, it remains largely undiscovered to the most of the travelers, especially tourists, just as you mentioned about these really huge eagles in AL Wadi resort..

    By developing this area they can drastically improve the tourism aspect here, as it’s really different and a chance of a lifetime to see such a gigantic and grand bird!

  • Woody says:

    Having heard a lot about this desert resort from my traveler friend, I decided to try this place..And I’m really glad for that!
    I was warmly welcomed by the host and escorted in the lobby..The music on arriving and the entire atmosphere was really relaxing and chilled me out..This part of the desert has more vegetation than one would expect..!

    The people associated with wildlife here have done an awesome job by arranging different activities for animals as well as birds!
    Earlier, I have been to desert resorts, but have never found such an amazingly interactive falcon community..! These birds are indeed unique, and the person i charge of handling is well-trained and experienced in the handling of the large falcons!

    Other animals here were horses and camels, I found them really beautiful and amazing!
    I loved the short Nature treks in their Nature reserve which had Oryxes and Gazelles, it was good to view them so close and upfront..
    The staff at the activity center are really good..Amiable and glad to take you around the desert for you to see the charming and magnificiently unique birds and animals..

  • Warren Louis says:

    We stayed at the Banyan Tree Al wadi for a long weekend and the experience was just amazing..It’s an hour’s drive from Dubai and set in the deserts in Ras Al Khaimah..

    The whole resort has been built in a natural reserve and the views are really fabulous!

  • Vanessa Duvall says:

    This place is really awesome, especially the natural reserve has got many rare and unique animals and birds…A must-see, this one, at least once in your lifetime..

  • Sandy Smith says:

    Awesome pictures! I loved this post! Thanks a lot!

  • Tub D'Silva says:

    While in U.S.A I’ve visited many desert resorts but this one’s really special and different! The location is awesome and the people associated with handling the unique falcons are really experienced and trained well!
    Thanks for the post!

  • Sylvia Smith says:

    Awesome post! Nice pictures! Keep posting more! :-)

  • Guillermo del Tomo says:

    Cool post! The location is really fantastic and so are the views. I’m glad you posted about this place! Thanks! :-)

  • Yjee says:

    Great post! Awesome pictures :-) Thanks!

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