Alan Godwin, our Founder Owner and CEO, was fortunate to have travelled extensively during his expat childhood (for example, flying around the world at age nine, visiting Expo 67 in Montreal and the original Disneyland in Los Angeles, and spending a Christmas in pre-Pol Pot Cambodia visiting a very uncrowded Angkor Wat). Such early journeys instilled in him a deep interest in the world, its diverse people and especially its natural history. In 1989, after a late gap year travelling through Southeast Asia and Australia and a further year working for a London safari tour operator, Alan founded Reef and Rainforest Tours Ltd. as a one-man-band from the living room of his flat in west London.
Alan’s love of wildlife photography and scuba diving, his degree in English and his previous career in publishing have all proved invaluable when writing, designing and producing our website and various printed materials. Alan studied biology at ‘A’ level for a year, but had to abandon it due to a complete inability to understand chemistry: however, his broad knowledge of, and fascination with, nature and wildlife has continued to develop with each new journey of discovery to the world’s best wildlife locations.
In the course of growing Reef & Rainforest over the last quarter century and more, Alan has travelled repeatedly to a wide number of destinations including Belize, Costa Rica, Madagascar, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, India, Namibia, South Africa, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Philippines, Panama, Bhutan, Guatemala and the Maldives. He was one of the first to realise the potential of natural history travel to such previously obscure destinations as Belize and Madagascar, and the first to offer jaguar watching in Brazil’s Pantanal.
Other extensive travels with his children have provided a keen insight into what makes a perfect family holiday. So much so, in fact, that In October 2015, Alan travelled from Devon to the View From The Shard in central London to collect the winner’s award for Best Family Eco-Tour from Family Traveller magazine.
When not working or travelling, Alan likes to cook, read travel books (Redmond O’Hanlon is a favourite), ride his motorbike and bicycle, play pool and tennis, walk on Dartmoor and around the scenic South Hams, canoe and swim in the Dart River and off South Devon’s heavenly coast.
Alan is an avid supporter and former trustee of the Plymouth-based Shark Trust which works to protect and conserve those much misunderstood and maligned fish, widely persecuted yet vital to the health of marine ecosystems the world over. Please visit the Shark Trust’s website and join up to help save sharks (and their cousins, the rays) from unregulated and unsustainable exploitation.