ietravel's blog

August 03, 2011

Amazon River Birding List

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Are you an avid birder? Guests on our Amazon River cruise have discovered this journey is a "MUST" for any nature enthusiast! Accompanied by our seasoned naturalist guides, a recent departure compiled this impressive list of species. Be sure to click here for the full species list.

 

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Far beyond the city limits of sparkling Rio de Janeiro lie some of Brazil's most spectacular gems for those seeking genuine nature travel. The striking yellow breast and beak of the saffron toucanet is one such wonder, and can be found in Iguazu National Park (pictured) on a Pantanal expedition.

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South America has much to offer those who are interested in nature travel with the Brazilian Pantanal — the world's largest expanse of wetlands — holding particular esteem among the birdwatching crowd. Ranging between 54,000 and 75,000 square-miles, the Pantanal is home to a wealth of rare and beautiful animals, including more than 1,000 species of birds.

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Fuzzy, grey-bearded faces peer out at visitors as they enter the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal in Bali. The four troops of Balinese long-tailed macaques in this forest are protected by Hindu values, offering visitors a unique nature travel experience.

Visitors have a good chance of seeing a macaque in the forest, as there are roughly 340 of them residing there. They live in distinct troops that occupy certain areas of the forest and very occasionally have violent inter-troop conflicts, according to the forest's website.

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Birders have long explored the Amazon River and its tributaries, as theses waterways are home to a diverse collection of avian species, many of which are rarely glimpsed outside of the region.

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The island of Elephanta offers the epitome of Hindu cave culture and nature travel. Even its name refers to the rock art practiced by people as far back as the 6th century. When Portugese navigators landed on the island, they found a massive stone elephant commonly called Gharapuri, which is an alternate name for the island, according to UNESCO.

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Meals are an aspect of Egyptian culture that American travelers may be unprepared for. Learning about Egypt’s dining culture will whet any visitor’s appetite for some local fare before exploring the Pyramids or relaxing on a Nile cruise.

While Egyptians are generally very enthusiastic about food and meals, their formal meals are structured differently than the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner format of the West.

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Once thought to be a cross between a camel and a leopard, the giraffe is now a commonly recognized animal in its own right. However, spotting one on a Kenya and Tanzania safari is still a treat for nature enthusiasts.

The giraffe is the tallest living animal, measuring as high as 20 feet. Their long necks allow them to reach into trees to maintain their herbivorous diet, and their legs — usually measuring about six feet high — allow them to run at speeds of 35 miles per hour at a gallop.

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Salt mined in Maras, Peru, just north of Cusco, has always been popular among the Andean people, but markets as far away as Switzerland, Japan and the Philippines are now demanding the special mineral.

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Satellite images and flights over the western Amazon River recently revealed a previously unknown indigenous group existing there, National Geographic reports.

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