My third time on Necker Island has been more special than any other visit. I was here twice before with different groups of entrepreneurs to learn from each other, from Richard Branson and his team and to “relax” with every water sport, themed party and hilarious adventure imaginable.
It’s true, Richard is quite the prankster, myself falling for his tricks, sending me in the completely wrong direction during a hike, challenging me to climb straight up a cliff, daring me to jump in the jacuzzi with my clothes on or pretending to be a masseuse and whispering sweet nothings in my friend Steve’s ear. He has a sense of humor to match his big business sense and getting the personal time with him is always exciting, eye opening and inspiring.
Most people know of his business accomplishments, his funny antics and cheeky personality but few know that his main passion in life right now is saving endangered species.
My last visit I had several meetings with him about our shared passion for nature, conservation and species preservation. In the two years since my first visit in Necker in June of 2012, I had put together a nature education project for the island to inspire and educate guests about the passion and hard work Richard personally does to rescue and revive species that are rapidly disappearing. Richard loved my ideas and gave me his support to pursue my passion.
The last week was so special to me because I had the opportunity to experience the island and all its magic through the eyes of 5 incredible children who had never been to Necker and were in awe of the unique and exciting experiences available, especially the animals. I had planned activities for them that included a walk around the island, observing plants and animals and exploring parts of the island that have been left untouched and still look like what the island looked like when Richard first purchased the land. We discussed what plants and animals are native to the Caribbean and what were brought in from places losing habitat, like Madagascar.
The lemurs and the giant tortoises are always the favorite. We got to feed the lemurs everyday and interact with these hilarious primates with soft little hands, furry bodies and the funniest personalities.
The tortoises are so big and ancient looking it is no surprise they have been around as long as dinosaurs.
Richard loved the Nature Explorer Journal we made for him. Each page was a different animal that one of the children drew with some fun facts we learned together about the different species. It was the high light of my week seeing the kids work so hard to present such a thoughtful gift to our host and friend, Richard.
Since my visit and consultations with Richard and Necker management in April they have produced several new videos and blog posts about the Nature on Necker as well as began using hashtags #NeckerAnimals and #NatureOnNecker for sharing their photos and progress. Here is the most recent video with Richard and the nature director, Vaman.
Be sure to follow @NatureOnNecker on Instagram!
Animals of Necker Island