On a recent villa inspection trip to the Half Moon Resort in Jamaica, I got to experience some fantastic activities outside of the resort and would I recommend you all do it? Absolutely! Of course it is essential to relax on the beach or by the pool while sipping a Piña Colada but I also think it’s super important to get a feel for the local culture, tradition and people of the Caribbean Island you are visiting.
The day started with bus collection at Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay, where I was on a Familiarisation Trip* with a group of other Travel Specialists. Our driver was a local man called Michael; who was a wealth of knowledge about everything Jamaican- this is true for all Jamaican drivers, as well as being excellent drivers they are also natural tour guides and very entertaining! An example of Michael’s laid back Caribbean approach to life- We hit traffic driving through Montego Bay town and someone asked “Is this rush hour?” to which Michael replied “I don’t know why people call it “rush hour”… Everybody goin’ slooowly. Nobody rushing anywhere!” He had a great sense of humor! I wish we could all deal with traffic the Jamaican way!!!
We arrived at our first stop – The Black River Safari, after 1 hour and 40 minutes in the bus that you don’t realize passing by as you drive through authentic and charming Jamaican towns…and come across some big potholes that Jamaican back roads are famous for. That’s the great thing about having a Jamaican driver…they know the roads and how best to avoid the potholes!
The Black River Safari is where you can find REAL LIVE CROCODILES in their natural habitat! It was a great tour. It’s a 1.5 hour boat trip and well worth it! Along with crocodile spotting, we also saw giant Mangrove trees and many exotic birds such as the Jesus bird (it walks on water!). The crocodiles seemed to like bird watching too…while licking their lips!!! Our tour guide on the boat was feeding the crocodiles and even petting them while telling us some interesting facts about the wildlife in the area. He told us that while the crocodiles may appear to move slowly they can be very fast when they want to…Needless to say we all made it out of the boat alive!