Nigel Marven is man who has always seemed to walk on the wild side of nature, inviting home creatures that most of us would simply run away from.

Be it the snakes in his back garden in South Africa or his house being occasionally visited a caracal cat, Marven has had a fantastic affinity with nature.

The naturalist and TV presenter is back with a new series exploring Columbia and its natural beauties and he took some time out of his schedule to answer some questions about the South American nation and the new show.

What did you expect from Colombia and what did you actually experience?

We've all heard lots of scare stories about the dangers of Colombia, but during the weeks we spent there we never felt unsafe, indeed everyone we met on our travels across the country was extremely friendly and helpful. It is also probably the most colourful  country I've ever visited, from market stalls to tropical birds, from carnival costumes to brightly-coloured boats - this riot of colour is one of the things that really shines through in the series.

What makes Colombia so unique?

Colombia is unique for many reasons. It's the only country in South America with coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, and the wide range of habitats - wet coastal forests, high mountains, scrubby desert, vast grasslands and the tropical Amazon - means the wildlife is incredibly diverse. Colombia has the highest number of vertebrate species - mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians - of any country in the world, with over 160 species of hummingbird alone!

What was your favourite moment from filming this series?

My favourite moment while filming this series was during our few days at the beautiful Hato la Aurora Ranch in the Llanos, the grasslands that cover much of the eastern part of the country. It was towards the end of the day and dusk was falling when a posse of cowboys sent an urgent message that they had discovered an anaconda. We excitedly raced out to film, but when we got there is was even better than we hoped - the snake had caught and killed a deer and was slowly preparing to feed. We had to film by the light of car headlamps and torches, but it was a real thrill to see such amazing behaviour in the wild, a first for me, and the sequence turned out to be a fantastic finale!

Which was the most amazing creature you saw in Colombia and why?

We met so many wonderful creatures in Colombia, both big and small, in all sorts of habitats. The standout for me was a tiny bird at the top of an Andean mountain peak, the bearded helmet crest. It's a hummingbird that is only found at high altitude, and as its name suggests, it has a beautiful, delicate crest and beard. As it hovered in front of my face to feed from pretty yellow flowers, with the surreal landscape of the Paramo stretching out into the distance behind, it was a truly unforgettable moment.

Wild Colombia with Nigel Marven, new and exclusive to Eden is on Monday to Thursday at 8pm from 19th November.


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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