Brazil and La Reunion
Kirsty Lang ventures into a sanctuary for Bahia's lethal serpent, the Atlantic Bushmaster, nicknamed "the fire extinguisher" because of its marked attraction to heat (it has even been known to attack the headlamps of passing motorbikes). Along with tamarins and cougars, the species is now endangered by the shrinking of Brazil's Atlantic rainforest - but one man, Dr Rodrigo Souza, is working hard to conserve it.
On La Reunion, Robin Denselow learns why the local sound, maloya, was never music to the ears of the island's French rulers - and how its lyrics still reflect tensions between Creole residents and expats from the mainland, and concerns over the high cost of living.
(Photo: A tray of Atlantic Bushmaster snakes, nicknamed 'the fire extinguisher'. Credit: Kirsty Lang)