February 2012

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International Expeditions’ Borneo tour is ideal for those fascinated by the natural world. One of the world's oldest rainforests is located on this Pacific island, and World Wildlife Fund reports that there are at least 100 endemic species of mammals, birds and fish that call Borneo home, including the extremely rare Miller's grizzled langurs.

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While most wildlife enthusiasts are already familiar with chimpanzees and gorillas, a West Africa cruise along The Gambia allows visitors to become acquainted with a more unique type of primate — red colobus monkeys.

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While most people on a custom Kenya safari are there for a chance to spot the “Big Five” – lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard – birders are flocking to Kenya’s Lake Nakuru National Park for something a little smaller. The park boasts nearly 500 species of winged wildlife!

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Tanzania is an ideal destination for animal lovers and nature travel enthusiasts, as there are plenty of wild beasts roaming the lands. If you want to scout out a herd of elephants, International Expeditions’ Kenya and Tanzania Safaris could be just the ticket to making your dream a reality. However, these majestic African creatures are threatened by poachers, and their numbers have been dropping dramatically in recent years.

February 08, 2012

Night Visions in the Pantanal

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The flora and fauna of Brazil's Pantanal is enough to fill a day, but the most rare and unique sights may be seen at night.

On a night game drive during nature travel in the Northern Pantanal, travelers on a Pantanal tour may be able to spot elusive mammals such as tapirs and ocelots.

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The ancient ruins of Machu Picchu are considered to be one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Built during the mid-1400s between the reigns of Pachacutec and Tupac, the sprawling city ruins cover more than 125 square miles of the eastern slopes of the Andes mountains — more than 8,200 feet above sea level.

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The Amazon River is home to many different species of animals, including the elusive jaguar, the largest member of the cat family living in the Americas. The species predominantly sticks to the rainforests of Latin America, especially around the Amazon River basin, but they were once found all across South and Central America.

Jaguars are easy to recognize, as they are covered in rose-shaped black spots. However, some may appear to look more like panthers or other big cats if their fur is dark enough to disguise their spots.

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The sights along a West Africa cruise are stunning, but it is the famed culture of the region that brings an added sense of richness to expeditions in this remote area.

Along the Niger River are buildings with unique mud architecture, fishing villages and livestock farms. However, it is the stories that have been passed down from generation to generation that add color to these landscapes.

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All of the Monteverde Reserve is a gorgeous paradise, but one species there may be especially eye-catching to birders on International Expeditions’ Costa Rica tours.

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It's no secret that deforestation has been detrimental to the world's rainforests. Advocacy groups and volunteers have been working to put a stop to the industrializing of tropical regions like the Amazon for decades. While these groups have been successful, damage has already been done to the delicate ecological balance.

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Most people tour Patagonia for the stunning hikes and nature travel experiences around the Andes. However, exploring the cultures of the people who have inhabited these rugged peaks for centuries adds a particular sense of beauty and connection to this vast wilderness.

At the extreme southern reaches of South American, people have been building civilizations for centuries. However, it was not until the 16th century that they first made contact with Europeans.

February 21, 2012

Dining in Dakar, Senegal

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The flavor of Dakar’s culture is rich and colorful, and the nation's food selections are no different. Just as the West African and European cultures come alive in the city's architecture and way of life, the two cultures come together over a meal to provide a one of a kind dining opportunity during your Senegal tour.

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Nepal, high up in the Himalayan mountains, is an isolated region, and as such there are many species of animals unique to the area. Those considering a Nepal travel package will want to include the Suklaphanta Wildlife Preserve as a nature travel destination. This reserve is home to one of the largest herds of barasingha, or swamp deer, in the world.

February 23, 2012

Marshland Birds of the Amazon

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Travelers on Amazon River cruises will see thousands of beautiful colors that make up this neotropic ecozone. While those splendid sights are what many come to experience in South America, the shades of black and white may be just as interesting.

While cruising on smaller excursion boats upriver toward the confluence of the Ucayali and Maronon Rivers, travelers are likely to see black-capped donacobis and white-headed marsh-tyrant.

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Nature travel is such an exciting venture because you get the chance to see wildlife around the world, and Madagascar may well be the next place you want to visit. You should probably pack a magnifying glass and a flashlight if you want a chance to see the newest discovery on the African island.

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On your next Patagonia tour keep an eye out for the rufous-tailed hawk. The birds, which were first discovered by Charles Darwin on his famous voyage aboard the Beagle, have a variety of coloration in their bodies, but they all have rust-colored tails, often with black horizontal stripes. Official estimates place the entire population of this unique bird at less than 1,000.

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International Expeditions guests Bill and Pam Daws just returned from our February Guyana tour, and were kind enough to share their favorite experiences. Nature travel often brings with it the unexpected, and Mr. and Mrs. Daws share what it is like when tour plans don’t go 100% according to plan.