GIVING

JUST AN EGO TRIP INTO MISERY? WHEN YOU’RE TRAVELLING, YOU CAN ALSO GIVE SOMETHING BACK TO THE COUNTRY YOU ARE VISITING, AND HELP TO HEAL A HOLY RIVER.

In the heart of India. They show you the way without having to be asked. If they can swim there, the water’s going to be deep enough for the inflatable dinghies that follow these hosts like a string of pearls, bend after bend down the mighty Ganges. The rare creatures swim, invisible beneath the brown waters of the huge river. And they can’t see us either because their eyes have no lenses. Every now and then they surface to take in air, snorting and puffing like a steam engine, sometimes even waving one of their great fins. “So elegant, so beautiful, so different – no wonder the fishermen think of them as holy beings,” says Sandeep Kumar Behera, normally so jovial, but now suddenly introverted and reflective. He is the coordinator of the dolphin protection programme at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). His team has managed to secure the survival of the rare Ganges river dolphin – so far only one 165-kilometre-long stretch, but hopefully one day his concept will be extended to the whole river. Elsewhere the elusive mammal

Other topics