Name: Laurent Baheux
Occupation: Wildlife photographer, author of nine books and portfolios
Home Base: Poitiers, France
What’s the first trip you remember taking?
I followed international sports events when I was a photo-reporter for press agencies. But my first real trip was in 2002 when I decided to go to Tanzania and discover African wildlife. That changed my life, both personally and professionally.
How many countries have you traveled to?
Where do you consider as home?
Everywhere in the world with my wife and children.
What’s your idea of a perfect trip?
A perfect trip is never prepared. I don’t like to organize and prefer to let life surprise me. I just book my flight and sometimes a car, if need be.
How would you describe your packing style?
Light and useful. I often use my camera bag like a travel bag. It fits perfectly in plane cabins.
What do you never travel without?
What’s your preferred mode of transportation?
Planes are fast but polluting, trains are geographically limited, cars are too slow to leave Europe … My dream is to move with no impact on the earth.
What’s been your biggest travel mishap?
Forgetting my passport.
What qualities do you appreciate most in a hotel?
Simplicity, respect for the environment, and ability to blend into the landscape. Though usually, I’m sleeping in a mobile camp in the bush.
Who are your ideal travel companions?
What’s your biggest travel pet peeve?
The security services that completely empty my camera bag to verify the equipment.
What’s the best thing you’ve purchased abroad?
Entry fees to wild areas.
Where do you still wish to go?
All the territories where wildlife can express itself freely.
What’s the biggest thing traveling has taught you?
My perception of humans’ place on Earth. We are part of the wider family of all living beings, which is why I’ve named my latest book The Family Album of Wild Africa [teNeues; US$125]. We must leave more space, more life for other species because we will not survive without them. It’s humanity’s absolute challenge.
No matter where you are, what makes you feel at home?
When I feel free and connected to the environment.
For more information, visit Laurent Baheux’s website.
This article originally appeared in the February/March print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Journal: Laurent Baheux”).