The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is composed of seven emirates,
the latest and best known being Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
However, the borders of the other five are confusing with numerous
small separated exclaves and enclaves.
Sharjah alone consists of at least three eastern exclaves
in addition to the main western part of the emirate.
The locations of the herp field trip were all in Sharjah and Musandam, Oman.
click to enlarge map
Google Earth map showing the three main locations visited during the trip:
Al Batayeh andWadi Al Helo, both in Sharjah, UAE, and Wadi Al Bih in Musandam, Oman. click to enlarge map
In late May 2011 Mark made a short 5-day trip to visit his South African friend Johannes Els at the Arabia's Wildlife Centre in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Mark knew Johannes from a successful field trip to Namaqualand, Northern Cape, S.Africa, prior to the 5th World Congress of Herpetology in 2005.
On the 23rd May he flew from Birmingham to Dubai with Emirates and was met by Johannes, shortly after midnight on the 24th, for the short drive to the Arabia's Wildlife Centre, in the Sharjah Desert Park near Dhiad, Sharjah.
Sharjah is one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates, along with Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah and Umm al-Quwain. The UAE is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south, Oman to the east, and the Persian Gulf to the north.
The purpose of the short trip was to find and photograph as many reptiles and amphibians as possible, but also to visit the internationally renowned Arabia's Wildlife Centre, in the Sharjah Desert Park, and view reptiles and other animals from the distant corners of the Arabian Peninsula, from Jordan to Oman, Kuwait to Yemen.
The trip would be intensive, with long hours of fieldwork during the cooler mornings, evenings and nights, with photography taking up most of the remainder of the day, and only a few hours available for sleep or meals.
Field trip participants:
(Consultant Curator of Reptiles, West Midland Safari Park)
Johannes Els (Head of Depart., Herpetology & Freshwater Fishes Depart., Arabia's Wildlife Centre)
Dilan Sanjeeva (Reptile keeper, Herpetology & Freshwater Fishes Depart., Arabia's Wildlife Centre)
Dilan, Johannes and Mark outside the
Arabia's Wildlife Centre, Sharjah Desert Park click on the images to enlarge