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Embracing the Unexpected with Leigh Dalton

Leigh Dalton loves the great outdoors, so to take guests around his backyard is a dream come true. "A great destination makes for great holidays, and as a guide I am able to enhance a place with cultural stories, history and point out rock art and other features that people would otherwise miss," he says.

"Lords Safaris offer a number of different wetland packages, from airboats to billabong cruises where we showcase habitats of large crocs, fish, birds, buffalo, pigs and horses, and as guides we get excited about the few short months in the dry season when we can hike to swimming spots that are free of crocs."

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Airboating on the Mary River Floodplains. Image: Lords Safaris.

Each year, following the wet season, park rangers undertake the task of relocating saltwater crocodiles from natural waterholes nestled in rugged landscapes. For those fortunate enough to visit the waterholes when swimming is possible, the experience is unlike anything found elsewhere in the world.

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A hike to the top of Gunlom Falls provides a waterhole safe to swim in. Image: Lords Safaris.

Beyond crocodiles, the Northern Territory is home to about 300 species of reptiles and Leigh says the unexpected finds are often the most enjoyable for guests. "The other day we were driving towards Fog Dam and saw a Northern Yellow-faced Turtle cruising across the road. Another time we saw a large Freshwater Crocodile sunbaking on the road with hundreds of ducks and geese in the background," Leigh says. "We can snorkel in clear waters with Northern Yellow-faced Turtles, Frill-necked Lizards, Saw-shelled Turtles and different fish, and see the Fire-tailed Skink and Berton's Legless Lizard at the art sites."

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Freshwater Crocodile. Image: Lords Safaris.

Although Leigh likes all reptiles, he has a soft spot for snakes, explaining most in the region are not considered to be dangerous. "I personally like Olive Pythons, just because they are the biggest snakes around. Another even rarer species is the Oenpelli Python, named after a local community in western Arnhemland. I've seen one twice in over 14 years. But that's what I love about being a guide – the unexpected."

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Olive Python. Image: Lords Safaris.


Related Experience - Ultimate Luxury Safari Adventure (6D/5N)

Covering black soil floodplains, paper bark swamps, savannah woodlands, monsoonal rainforests, river mangroves and dramatic escarpments, this is the ultimate Top End private adventure for wildlife enthusiasts!

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Conservation In Action 

  • Participate in citizen science programs to document vegetation and wildlife in the region

  • Support the communities of Arnhem Land

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