Wildlife

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Birds, amphibians and reptiles are all exciting aspects of nature travel, but larger mammals like the three-toed sloth make for an especially memorable sight, especially for families traveling with children.

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Venturing into Caro Lake on International Expeditions’ Amazon River tour, visitors are likely to spot some of the 13 species of primates that call this region home. Looking closely after the monkeys, however, offers an interesting opportunity for birders. Trailing behind are often flocks of greater ani, a distinctive black bird.

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Colorful, spindly-legged and elusive is how many scientists might describe the Sambas stream toad, or Borneo rainbow toad. Although its existence was recorded through an illustration nearly 90 years ago, the toad has managed to evade photographers, artists - virtually all humans - since 1924. Until recently. In June, conservationists managed to take the first photographs of this amphibian, the Belfast Telegraph reports. The endangered toad was found during a "global search for lost amphibians" by Conservation International.

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Perhaps the fact that the Paedophryne genus is made up of four of the 10 smallest frog species in the world is the reason it took scientists so long to discover two of them. The Paedrophryne amauensis and swiftorum, both found in Papua New Guinea, are the making headlines as the smallest frogs in the world. Discovery News reports that the amauensis is a mere 7.7 millimeters long and the swiftorum comes in at just over 8 mm.

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Tanzania's Serengeti National Park is the oldest and most well-known national park in Africa, and travelers won't want to miss the sight of the world's largest and longest over-land migration. Each year, hundreds of thousands of zebras, wildebeasts, gazelle and other animals travel more than 500 miles through Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. Even in the “off-season,” plenty of animals can be seen across the Serengeti plains, making this an ideal nature travel destination any time of year.

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Sierra Leone is one of West Africa's most attractive destinations, but beyond the white sand beaches, the lush forests and nature reserves are home to chimpanzees — primates whose numbers have severely declined in the country since 1970.

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The largest of the parrot family, the hyacinth macaw is almost certain to impress nature travelers, who are likely to see it soaring through the canopies of the Pantanal like a blaze of sapphire light.


The bold, cobalt blue plumage is by far this bird's most distinguishing factor. Its overall body color contrasts with the citron yellow ring around its eye and the yellow patch of skin next to its lower bill.

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Trinidad is home to many exotic birds, and the piping guan is one of the rare species that true birding enthusiasts will hope to see on International Expeditions’ new Guyana & Trinidad tour. Locals refer to the piping guan as "pawi," and not much is known about them.

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Many organizations say that riding on the back of an elephant is the best method of nature travel because it allows humans to see the sights with relatively little disruption to the natural environment.

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Borneo, the third largest island in the world, is home to more than 11,000 different species of flowering plants. After the monsoon season ends around March, the island comes alive with colorful blooms that make this a picturesque nature travel destination. The rafflesia is perhaps the most well-known flower in Borneo and the largest flower in the world. Lucky guests on IE’s Borneo tour Poring Hot Springs, part of Kinabalu National Park, where the rafflesia grows.

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