TV wildlife presenter Michaela Strachan is bringing her famous smile and tales of her ‘really wild adventures’ to this year’s Camp Bestival. It’s fitting that this festival combines the best of family entertainment in the great outdoors – surely the perfect location to spot Michaela in her natural habitat! We were delighted to catch up with Michaela ahead of her much anticipated appearance, to talk festivals and her love of travel.
We’re so excited by your show at Camp Bestival, what can we expect to see?
My show is called ‘Michaela Strachan’s Really Wild Adventures’ and is based on my book of the same name. It’s all about adventures I’ve had whilst filming wildlife over the years and is in poem form. The show is full of fun, facts, humour and energy and is very interactive. All the poems are done to music and vary from ‘Never Try to Outspit A Spitting Cobra’, where I get kids up to see how far their spitting cobras can spit, to ‘Polar Bear Dentistry’, where I get a Dad up and dress him up like a polar bear, to ‘Animal X Factor’, where I get the kids to imitate the sounds of different animals. It tells you what bonnetheads, soupfins and nurses have in common as well as what One Direction have to do with seagulls!
Do you like to go to festivals as a family?
I live in Cape Town and we have been to a couple of festivals there. The most recent was AfrikaBurn in the Karoo desert which is like the Burning Man festival in Nevada in America. It’s a giving festival with music, art work, free spirits, performance art and burning effigies. Everyone wears fancy dress and it was a lot of fun. Ollie, my 9 yr old loved it.
What’s the one item you always take with you to a festival?
An open mind!
Our website, Globalmousetravels, is all about family travel – do you like to travel much with your family?
Of course. I love showing Ollie new things and introducing him to new experiences. We’ve just got back from a holiday to British Columbia, Canada. I wanted to take Ollie to Knight Inlet, a floating lodge in the middle of the wilderness where I filmed grizzly bears years ago. We had an amazing time, we saw loads of bears, orcas, humpback whales, bald eagles. I’ve taken Ollie to lots of wildlife places in Africa too, most recently Chobe in Botswana, we went on a road trip through Lesotho, we’ve been on a cruise to the Caribbean, skiing in France. He’s pretty well travelled for a 9yr old!
Where’s your favourite location in the World?
It’s so hard to choose. I absolutely loved Antarctica. It’s one of the last true wildernesses in the world and I love the fact that no one owns Antarctica. I had the most amazing filming trip there. I’d love to take Ollie and my partner Nick there one day. It’s not the obvious family holiday but it’s definitely on my bucket list to go back.
Where’s the most remote place you’ve ever been?
I guess Antartica is fairly remote! I’ve also been to the Arctic to a place called Longyearbyen, it’s the most northernly town in the wolrd in Svalbard in Norway. It’s called that because if you live there in the winter when there’s almost 4 months of darkness, it’s a long year being!
If you could give one tip for travelling with children what would it be?
Take games. We always pack uno, junior monopoly (out of the box), 30 seconds, Australian snakes and ladders, chess. Most families never have the time to play board games at home so it’s not only a great way to while away the hours of a long train, boat, plane journey, it’s also great family bonding.
And where are you next planning a getaway to?
We’ve just booked our flights for a trip to Botswana for a week’s safari with some friends in December.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer questions for us!