Tobago might be known for its famous Blue Food Festival (celebrating the root vegetable dasheen, also known as taro), but there’s plenty on the menu across this island. Try curried shrimp at The Seahorse Inn and cheesy breadfruit pie at Jemma’s Treehouse, then finish with homemade ice cream at Z’s Grill Shack. Also make an effort to try homemade hot pepper sauce anywhere and everywhere, as the recipes vary hugely in terms of heat and taste – it’s divine.

BOOK IT ABOVE: Tobago’s coastline is edged with beautiful beaches

with birds and insects, and William delighted us with accurate renditions as he conversed with birds in the trees above. Highlights included a great black hawk, which watched intently as we walked beneath his perch, and a leisurely tree frog.

WILDLIFE SPOTTING While much of the flora is protected, there’s still work to be done to protect the island’s wildlife, which is where Corbin Local Wildlife comes in. Part rescue and rehabilitation centre, part breeding reserve, it was opened in 2015 by hunter-turned- conservationist Roy Corbin and his English business partner, Ian Wright. Their aim is to safeguard the future

of Tobago’s native species, as well as the wider ecosystem. Residents, such as the curious nine-banded armadillo that gave my ankle a quick sniff with its wet nose before retreating to the safety of a cosy log, are often rescued injured or from captivity. Their passion is palpable and the fee ($25 for up to two hours)

to see boa constrictors, caimans, red-tailed squirrels, manicous (possums) and agoutis, goes straight back to the organisation. The diversity of Tobago’s birdlife, meanwhile, is no secret to avid twitchers. It attracts enthusiasts keen to catch a glimpse of some of the more than 260 species that call the various land and seascapes here – including the uninhabited isle of Little Tobago – home. But you don’t have to don camouflage or sit in a hide to see some of the most dazzling passers- by. A look skywards was rewarded with gliding frigate birds and, out to sea, with bobbing brown pelicans, but it was at the Adventure Farm & Nature Reserve that we were introduced to Tobago’s superstars, via a frenzy of tiny fluttering wings that darted loudly past. This is where dozens of iridescent hummingbirds – no fewer than five of the island’s six species, including the scarlet- topped ruby topaz – come for their daily sugar fix from the feeders.

We were reliably informed that maintaining these feeders is no mean feat, as the savvy birds are quick to tap on the window with their beaks if the feeders run dry. Other feathered forest dwellers such as red-crowned woodpeckers, blue-gray tanagers and oh-so- exotic blue-crowned motmots also dropped by for the fresh fruit skewered on surrounding branches.


Hypnotised though we all were, Tobago’s natural beauty isn’t confined to its interior. Its coastline is edged with beautiful bays and beaches, some accessible by car or on foot, some only by boat. While I love the look of a good beach, I’m not very good at lounging on them. Rows of sunloungers can be a big turn-off, so I was happy to see no such sight on the wild, untouched shores of the west coast, away from the busier southern stretches in and around popular Pigeon Point. I was

² 5 MARCH 2020 49

Travel 2 features a seven- night holiday at Mount Irvine Bay Resort from £889 between May 31 and June 21 , based on two adults sharing on a B&B basis. The price includes flights with Virgin Atlantic, transfers, 20% spa discount and one round of golf.

Caribtours offers seven nights’ B&B in a poolside room at Kariwak Village from £1,215, or room-only in a Firefly one-bedroom apartment at Castara Retreats (pictured) from £1,085, based on two adults sharing. The prices include flights with British Airways, private transfers and access to a UK airport lounge.

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