March 2013

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 International Expeditions was honored to learn the The Active Times has chosen our Guyana adventure as one of the "Best Tours of 2013." Ranging from trekking 100 miles through Africa to view the "Big Five" to flyfishing in Russia's wildest waters, these adventure tours highlight the very best in new destinations opening up for exploration. 

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If you've seen the movie “The Ghost and the Darkness,” you’ll know the strength and ferocity of the African lion when they are so inclined to harm people. This movie is based on a true historical event that took place in the Tsavo area during the late 1800’s. Two male lions killed 130 people over a period of nine months. Of course, with modern transportation and weapons, this type of long-term killing of people by an animal predator is a thing of the past. Today, there certainly are many human deaths caused by lions in Africa and tigers in India, but they are isolated instances.

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Jim Smith, a guest who joined IE to travel to Cuba in January 2013 commemorated his experience with a series of poems, which he has graciously agreed to share. Read his first piece here.

creatures of the night
hanging bats’, screech owls’ abode
cavern depths disclose 


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The monk saki is an unusual primate for many reasons. At first glance, they may appear to be an arboreal termite mound or a burl on a branch, but what gives them away as being a monkey is their very long tail, usually hanging straight down below the branch upon which they sit.

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One of the biggest perks of working at International Expeditions is traveling to some of the world's most fascinating places. In the past year, our staff members have explored Peru, Galapagos, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Cuba and Indonesia. So we asked these savvy travelers:

If you could fly to one destination tomorrow what would it be?

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An amazing fact in regards to the great egret, also known as the common egret: Not only is this a common bird in the Peruvian Amazon, but it is also a common resident over much of the United States.  Often, however, on ecotours, guests seem to be quite enamored by the 3 ½ foot tall birds not realizing that it’s the same bird they may have seen in their own home state!

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It is Friday March 15 and that means I am finally on my way. Where? I am about to go sleep under canvas in the Serengeti! Wildlife viewing in the Serengeti ecosystem - with its famed Great Migration - is tremendous! Nowhere on Earth is there a sight rivaling the spectacle of 1.5 million hoofed animals on the march. The Serengeti has the highest concentration of large mammals on this planet and is famous for its 2,500 lions, the highest concentration found anywhere!

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In January, Jim Smith joined IE to travel to Cuba. Jim commemorated his experience with a series of poems, which he has graciously agreed to share. Read other entries here.

flitting branch to branch
sipping nectar ceaselessly
rare “bee hummingbird”

March 21, 2013

Piranha Do Not Eat People

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The piranha conjures up all sorts of thoughts, many of which are based on movies, where piranhas consume anything that enters or falls into the water. Fortunately, this is not a usual circumstance and typically in the Amazon Basin, “People eat piranhas, piranhas do not eat people!” 

In free-flowing rivers and streams, piranha are incredibly abundant fishes, and although the red-breasted piranha appears to be the most abundant, there are also black piranha, white piranha and even the big fruit-eating pacu is a type of piranha. 

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International Expeditions' Director of Program Development Bill Robison is currently in Indonesia researching travel options. He sent us this photo and story from the road. You can see his other photos on IE's Facebook page.

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Everyone at IE loves hearing feedback from our guests! And while many travelers know that they'll love the wildlife and landscapes they encounter on one of our adventures, it is most often the staff who earns the highest praise. So it was no surprise when Februrary 22, 2013 Galapagos Islands cruise guests Mary & Giff Ewing shared this note about how much they were touched by the naturalist guides and crew aboard the M/V Evolution.

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As part of International Expeditions' people-to-people Cuba travel experience, guests visit the eco-community of Las Terrazas, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. While in the planned community, we make a stop at Cafe de Maria for a cup of locally grown coffee. From the outdoor terrace, guests can gaze on the Cuban countryside while sipping cappuccino with a famous face or a signature iced coffee drink.

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In January, Jim Smith joined IE to travel to Cuba. Jim commemorated his experience with a series of haikus, which he has graciously agreed to share. Read other entries here.