Nature Travel

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South America's Amazon region is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, and Amazon river tours can give travelers a chance to see the natural beauty of the region first-hand. The entire region is considered to be endangered, primarily due to industrial companies clearing the land of forests to use it for profit, but the positive effects of preservation efforts are starting to be seen.

January 04, 2012

Saving the Bali Starling

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Thousands of birds enjoy the tropical islands of the Indonesian archipelago, but only a few species can call themselves natives.

One is the Bali starling, a critically endangered species that is endemic to Bali. This striking white and sapphire blue bird has not expanded its range much since scientists first discovered and recorded it in 1912 — it can only be found on the island, mostly throughout the northwest third of it.

January 04, 2012

Four Tips for Packing Light

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Whether trekking Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail or birding in Borneo, nature travel often requires you to be able to readily grab your bag and head off to the next adventure. Large, bulky suitcases can make it difficult to meet the luggage restrictions imposed on small, in-country flights, so the best way to pack for these expeditions is with as little as possible.

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Often recognized from cartoons and cereal boxes, many may misunderstand toucans, a bird that thrives in Brazil's Pantanal.

While the bird is widely recognized internationally, those visiting Brazil may get a close-up view of the red-breasted toucan, one of the 40 species of the bird that exist.

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Paragominas, a Brazilian municipality roughly the size of New Jersey, was once the site of rapid deforestation, losing its forests faster than any other area of the Amazon. However, the Brazilian government in partnership with The Nature Conservancy has put a stop to illegal deforestation and turn Paragominas into a "Green City."

The Nature Conservancy has been working since 2009 to end illegal deforestation in the Amazon, and recent efforts by local government officials have managed to accomplish the task in Paragominas.

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Kanha National Park is home to a wide variety of creatures from tigers to peacocks to elephants. It is such a scenic nature travel destination that Rudyard Kipling used it as his inspiration for the classic children's story, The Jungle Book.

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Few islands in Indonesia’s Nusa Tenggara chain offer the same snorkeling travelers can find on Moyo Island. Lining the perimeter of the island's coast is a gold mine of untouched coral reefs. The reefs offer a trove of biodiversity that give even the most seasoned snorkeler something to revel in.

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The Galapagos Islands are perhaps best known for their curious and approachable wildlife, but there are 560 native species of plants in the islands—plants which arrived in the islands by natural means. And of these, 180 are endemic to the islands, meaning they are found nowhere else. The islands, formed by volcanoes, have a wide variety of climates and vegetative zones each hosting a unique set of flora and fauna. The desert-like lowland areas between the coasts and the higher-altitude areas are home to the aptly named lava cactus and lava morning glory.

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Nighttime game drives and rainforest walks are always a popular part of any IE journey – from an Amazon River cruise to the Pantanal. Our naturalists had this great tip to keep in mind for your next game-viewing excursion. When searching for wildlife at night, wear a light headlamp or hold your flashlight up to eye level. Light coming from eye level will reflect the eyes of the animals around you, making them easier to spot.
 

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While many on an India tour hope to see the way the nation's society, history and religions blend together to form one of the most unique cultural fabrics, travel across this vast subcontinent is equally fascinating and enriching.

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