After multiple volunteering projects, wildlife work and finally graduating with a degree in Animal Behaviour in 2008, Nicki's love for the natural world took her on an adventure that began in China. She made her way through Southeast Asia and Indonesia before ending up in Australia where she worked on farms to fund her next trip. In 2010 she headed for the Amazon Rainforest where she spent seven months working in conservation and community development before more travelling, which then led into a career in eco-tourism back in the UK.
Nicki's love for Southeast Asia and enthusiasm for responsible travel led her to Audley in 2012, where she has been able to return to the region and explore more of Malaysia, Borneo and more recently Burma.
As well as being a wildlife enthusiast, Nicki's other interests include travel and nature writing, cooking and as well as being a keen diver on her travels, she enjoys swimming and surfing back in the UK.
My Most Memorable Experience
My most memorable experience was seeing Borneo's pygmy elephants along the banks of the Kinabatangan River in Malaysian Borneo.
As I worked my way around Sabah I had heard rumours that the elephants had been sighted here recently, but I was trying desperately not to get my hopes up. Then, with the sun going down behind us we rounded a bend in the river and spotted a large female pygmy elephant and her tiny calf on the banks of the river. As we got closer trees began to shake a little and slowly but surely a herd of elephants over 70 strong came ambling out of the treeline down to the waters edge for a drink. Some even plopped into the river for a swim and I had to stop myself jumping in to play!
My Favourite Destination
Kuching is the entry point into Sarawak and has such a laid back and cosmopolitan vibe to it that I just slipped right into a comfortable few days of walking, watching and eating.
I found some of the best (and also weirdest) food I ate in the whole of Borneo whilst walking around the streets and markets of Kuching. Kuching, which means "cat" in Malay, has a certain relaxed air about it that makes one not want to leave. Instead you want to have yet another walk along the river, or just one more cocktail.
My Favourite Accommodation
Located high in the rainforest above a sweeping white sand beach of Teluk Datai in northwest Langkawi, The Datai is a rainforest getaway like no other. Surrounded by lush vegetation, the hotel offers and incredible and unexpected luxury without the hustle bustle of a typical resort.
Where the majority of the facilities and rooms are set within the rainforest, as well as a stunning pool, a grand stone staircase leads you down to the beach where there is another pool, restaurant and spa and a feeling of absolute isolation on the private and inaccessible beach.