Travel News

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The The Amazon Medical Project was founded in 1990 by Dr. Linnea J. Smith, M.D., who took her first Amazon rainforest tour with IE. The clinic supports the Yanamono Medical Clinic in the remote Amazon basin of northeastern Peru by providing primary care, involving locally trained people and encouraging preventative medicine. The following is Linnea's November newsletter to friends and family.

Dear Clinica Yanamono Family, Friends, and Well-wishers –

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Protecting and conserving the Amazon, a place two-thirds the size of the U.S., is a big job. At International Expeditions we’re thrilled to have teamed up with WWF for years to provide conservation focused nature travel to this precious region – and to other destinations within Peru. And it’s a special honor to wish a happy anniversary to our travel partner WWF as they celebrate 50 years protecting the world’s wildlife and wild places.

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Even for those used to greeting each day to the gently lilting songs of the local birdlife, waking up at Trinidad’s Asa Wright Nature Center is a one of a kind nature travel experience.

The sound of the crested oropendola is a jingling mix between a clicking washboard, sing-song chimes and a kazoo. Visitors who are lucky enough to visit the area during breeding or nesting seasons will hear the birds' unique calls as they find their partners or communicate messages of territory. During other times of the year, the bird is nearly silent.

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Gorée Island in Dakar, Senegal is infamous for its role as a major slave trade post between the 16th and 19th centuries. And while most known for its historical and cultural impact, Gorée’s geological history may also be of interest to those seeking nature travel experiences while exploring this country.

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While art, music and textiles are some the best known contributions of Mali culture that visitors can experience, architecture is a creative venue that is especially rich in this West African country. One of Mali’s most distinct architectural wonders is the Grand Mosque of Djenné.

Considered by many architects to be the greatest achievement of the Sudano-Sahelian architectural style, the mosque is the largest mud brick building in the world, according to Sacred-Destinations.com.

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On a Uganda safari, travelers can enjoy a entirely new side of the legendary river at Murchison Falls National Park. Although Uganda is best known for its incredible populations of gorillas and chimpanzees, this park’s abundant bird life is giving nature enthusiasts even more reason to visit the beautiful country. Situated in the northern part of the Albertine Rift Valley, the national park is one of the nation's ancient areas. Just 20 feet wide, the gorge where the waters of the Nile channel through is a fascinating miracle of nature.

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In Bali, what many may dismiss as a current in the water may actually be an eel in its larval stage. Recently, divers captured footage of the Leptocephalus, which is the name for any eel in its larval stage. It is Latin for "slim head," because the head of this swimmer is the only part of it that is clearly visible.

November 08, 2011

Stargazing on the Amazon River

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South America is different from its northern counterpart in many ways, but this will be especially apparent to stargazers or amateur astrologists searching the night skies. Nights on IE’s Amazon River tours offer plenty of time to admire the stars of the Southern Hemisphere. Some of the constellations seen in these areas are seasonal but others are circumpolar, so they can always be spotted.

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No one travels to Costa Rica to see the same species they encounter in their backyard…which is good since Costa Rica is one of Earth’s richest displays of biodiversity!

“We were so impressed by the beauty of the lush plants, beautiful birds, flowers and the friendliness within the hearts of those who served us, much respect was shown to their country and to us as tourists,” said Costa Rica tour guest John Tracht of Huron, Ohio.

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Many visitors to eastern Africa see massive elephants on Kenya and Tanzania safaris, but those seeking nature travel, including guests on one of International Expeditions’ Borneo tours, have an opportunity to enjoy an even more unique sighting.

Pygmy elephants, a type of Asian elephant, are genetically distinct from other Asian elephants, according to a 2003 study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Columbia University. They are therefore a subspecies, but scientists are still trying to determine whether they are endemic to Borneo.

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