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Caribbean-On-Line » Caribbean Travel Advisor » Bonaire

Bonaire travel tips

September 29, 2008

Off the beaten track: Hunting for wildlife in Bonaire

bonaire-wildlife.jpgBonaire is famed for it's diving, and it's safe geographic position south of the hurricane belt. However, unlike most of the Caribbean islands, it isn't a classic tropical paradise. It's dry as a bone, flat as a pancake, full of cactus and is a major supplier of sea salt. On a 'desert' island that is considered one of the top diving destinations in the world, who could have imagined finding such varied and interesting animal life topside.

Bonaire is home to one of the largest concentrations of greater flamingoes in the world. They achieve their iconic pink color due to their preferred diet of shrimp and other microscopic delicacies found in the brackish water of the salt pans. Driving into Washington-Slaagbai National Park parrots fly amongst the cacti. Feral donkeys roam about the island at will. Driving fast at night down a quiet country road, or any roadway is cause for concern, as the wild donkeys can emerge from the bush at any time. Iguanas are everywhere - climbing up cactus, sunning on rocks, trying to get some shade under thorny bushes. There are small green ones, and lengthy menacing ones. Somehow the islanders are able to catch them in spite of their ability to move swiftly into the underbrush when stalked. To complete a bonafide Bonarian experience you'll need to make local friends if you are to sample island 'chicken', a delicacy only prepared at home.

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